Thank You Brennan Manning…

Brennan Manning
Brennan Manning

Last week, one of the author’s that helped shape my life through his words, and stories of his life experiences-died.  His name is Brennan Manning, if you are reading this post because of the title, I am sure you are aware of his story and a few of the books he has written.

I know that with today’s technology we have plus other sites to source quotes and such, but I would like to convey my appreciation for the boldness of Manning’s ability to relate to humanity at its simplest form.

Here is my compilation of quotes that either got my attention, or shocked me to reality, which by the way, Brennan was gifted at word punching and it felt so gut wrenching in the moment, yet at the same time you knew it was exactly what you needed!  I hope you enjoy these quotes from one of my favorite author’s, please feel free to add your own as well.

The Ragamuffin Gospel
The Ragamuffin Gospel


We say we believe that the fundamental structure of reality is grace, not works- but our lives refute our faith.

My deepest awareness of myself is that I am deeply loved by Jesus Christ and I have done nothing to earn it or deserve it.

The difference between faith as ‘belief in something that may or may not exist’ and faith as ‘trusting in God’ is enormous.

Grace is the active expression of His (God’s) love.

If your God is an impersonal, cosmic force, your religion will be noncommittal and vague.

We must never allow the authority of books, institutions, or leaders to replace the authority of knowing Jesus Christ personally and directly.

Whatever we have done in the past, be it good or evil, great or small, is irrelevant to our stance before God today.  It is only now that we are in the presence of God.

For the disciple of Jesus ‘becoming like a little child’ means the willingness to accept oneself as being of little account and to be regarded as unimportant.

The ragamuffin gospel reveals that Jesus forgives sins-including sins of the flesh-that He is comfortable with sinners who remember to show compassion, but that He cannot and will not have a relationship with pretenders in the Spirit.

Jesus unmasks the sinner not only as a beggar, but as a criminal before God.

…repentance is not what we do in order to earn forgiveness; it is what we do because we have been forgiven.

When we give anything more priority than we give to God, we commit idolatry.

These sinners, these people you despise are nearer to God than you.  It is not the hookers and thieves who find it difficult to repent: it is you who are so secure in your piety and pretense that you have no need of conversion.

One cannot be a disciple without being committed, and if there are many hesitant disciples today, the reason is that they have not made a decisive commitment.

The Christian with depth is the person who has failed and who has learned to live with it.

Abba's Child
Abba’s Child


God not only forgives and forgets our shameful deeds, but even turns their darkness into light.

Accepting the reality of our sinfulness means accepting our authentic self.

We encounter God in the ordinariness of life; not in the search for spiritual highs and extraordinary mystical experiences but in our simple presence in life.

The Pharisee lurking within all of us shuns sinners.  Jesus turns toward them with gracious kindness.

I am reluctant to push God off His judgment seat and take my place there to pronounce on others when I neither have the knowledge nor the authority to judge anyone.

Living in the awareness of the risen Jesus is not a trivial pursuit…it is the key that unlocks the door to grasping the meaning of existence.

I find comfort in knowing that the rock on which Jesus would build the church sank like a stone.

Self acceptance becomes possible only through the radical trust in Jesus’ acceptance of me as I am.

The Importance of Being Foolish
The Importance of Being Foolish


The communist who accepts Karl Marx but not his doctrine is scarcely different from the Christian who accepts Jesus Christ but refuses to shape his life according to Christ’s teaching.

It is symptomatic that, despite that the church having been around for 2000 years, the mass of people pass Christianity by.  WHY? Because the visible presence of Jesus Christ is rarely present in Christians as a whole.

To ascertain where you really are with the Lord, recall what saddened you the past month.

The allure of cultivating security, pleasure, and power is Satan’s worldly way.  Jesus utterly rejects it.

The glory shining on the face of Christ Jesus does not shine in many of us…we have not surrendered to the mystery of the fire of the Spirit that burns within, we stand close enough to the fire to stay warm, but we never plunge in; nor do we come out burned and incandescently transformed.  We might be nicer than most other people, or have better morals, but we do not live as brand new creations.

The exploration of the mind of Christ is a journey to nowhere if the pilgrim is still handcuffed to the flesh.

We cannot possess the mind of Christ until we recognize ourselves as forgiven enemies of God and in like manner extend forgiveness and reconciliation to our own enemies.

We are to be an altogether new creation, not simply a refurbished version of it.

The Furious Longing of God
The Furious Longing of God


I believe that Christianity happens when men and women experience the reckless, raging confidence that comes from knowing the God of Jesus Christ.

The question is not can we heal?  The question, the only question, is will we let the healing power of the risen Jesus flow through us to reach and touch others, so that they may dream and fight and bear and run where the brave dare not go?

Holiness is a terrifying word when spoken by the living God.

Lion and Lamb
Lion and Lamb


Losing our illusions is painful because illusions are the stuff we live by…God strips those falsehoods from us no matter how naked it may make us, because it is better to live naked in truth than clothed in fantasy.

Perhaps we think that because we are Christians and read the Bible and know a great deal about God, that therefore we know God.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

Christian action follows Christian being.  We must live out in our lives what we are.  Christian existence means that we have been transformed.

If God tears up your beautiful game plan and leads you into a valley instead of onto a mountaintop, it is because He wants you to discover His plan, which is more beautiful than anything you or I could have dreamed up.

You will trust God only as much as you love him.

Suffering is not an accident in the Christian life.  It is a necessity imposed by divine decree.

Before I am asked to show compassion toward my brothers and sisters in their suffering, I am asked to accept compassion of Jesus in my own life.

Jesus reveals… a God who fully embraces the human condition, and plunges into the thick of our human struggle.

God entered into our world not with the crushing impact of unbearable glory, but in the way of weakness, vulnerability, and need.

The Wisdom of Tenderness
The Wisdom of Tenderness


The sad truth is that many Christians fear the responsibility of being free.

The heart enveloped in the tenderness of God passes that tenderness around indiscriminately, making no distinction between the worthy and the unworthy.

Abba’s children don’t worry about tomorrow or even late this afternoon.

The way of tenderness is not chronic niceness, sloppy sentimentality, or a soporific spirituality for the softheaded.  The spiritual life isn’t a theory.  Living the spiritual life, treading the way of tenderness, calls for radical conversion, renunciation of the circumscribed moral code, and a life of humble service.

We reach life only through death; we learn tenderness only through pain; we come to light only through darkness.

The Signature of Jesus
The Signature of Jesus


To acknowledge Jesus as Savior and Lord is meaningful insofar as we try to live as he lived and to order our lives according to His values…we need to make him present in our time, our culture, and our circumstances.

Unless the Church of the Lord Jesus creates a counter-current to the drift of materialism, self indulgence, and nationalism, Christians merely adapt to the secular environment in a tragic distortion of the gospel.

Discipleship means living one day at a time as though Jesus were near, near in time, near in space, the witness of our motives, our speech, our behaviour.  As indeed He is.

The surest sign of union with the crucified Christ is our forgiveness of those who have perpetrated injustices against us.

the stunning disclosure that God is love has had a negligible impact on the majority of Christians and minimal transforming power.  The problem seems to be that either we don’t know it, or know it but cannot accept it; or we accept it, but are not in touch with it; or we are in touch with it, but do not surrender to it.

Above All
Above All


Jesus Christ, in whom the fullness of divinity dwells, is not to be boxed, tamed, defined, interred or deterred, made plausible or comprehensible, explained or explained away, reduced to polemic, located within or beyond creation, liberated or captivated, housebroken or temple-broken.

Following the real Jesus is not a matter of working wonders, of becoming a famous preacher or writer, of creating a huge church or becoming a charismatic leader.  It is instead a matter of transformation according to the pattern of the Messiah.

The fundamental secret of Jesus in relationship to others was his sovereign respect for their dignity.  They were not toys, emoluments, functions, or occasions for personal compensation.



3 Comments Add yours

  1. Chris Jordan says:

    Brennan Manning’s book “The Ragamuffin Gospel” is one of a handful of books that has literally transformed my life for the better. Thanks for the post and for sharing these quotes!


    1. EsseRealis says:

      Thanks for the follow and the comments Chris, I look forward to reading more of your thoughts!


  2. Jeff Jannsen says:

    I think we lost a pioneer in the concept of Grace with Brennan. His book, “LIon and Lamb” and others have radically changed my life and the way I see the Father. Thank you dear man, and congratulations on being before the relentless one!! I am envious


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