Saturday, July 28, 2007

grace - a preface

... This book is not for the superspiritual.
It is not for muscular Christians who have made John Wayne, not Jesus, their hero.
It is not for academics who would imprison Jesus in the ivory tower of exegesis.
It is not for noisy, feel-good folks who manipulate Christianity into a naked appeal to emotion.
It is not for hooded mystics who want magic in their religion.
It is not for Alleluia Christians who live only on the mountaintop and have never visited the valley of desolation.
It is not for the fearless and tearless.
It is not for the red-hot zealots who boast with the rich young ruler of the Gospels, "All these commandments I have kept from my youth."
It is not for the complacent who hoist over their shoulders a tote bag of honors, diplomas, and good works, actually believing they have made it.
It is not for legalists who would rather surrender control of their souls to rule than run the risk of living in union with Jesus.
... [this book] was written for the bedraggled, beat-up, and burnt-out.
It is for the sorely burdened who are still shifting the heavy suitcase from one hand to the other.
It is for the wobbly and weak-kneed who know they don't have it all together and are too proud to accept the handout of amazing grace.
It is for inconsistent, unsteady disciples whose cheese is falling off their cracker.
It is for poor, weak, sinful men and women with hereditary faults and limited talents.
It is for earthen vessels who shuffle along on feet of clay.
It is for then bent and bruised who feel that their lives are a grave disappointment to God.
It is for smart people who know that they are stupid and honest disciples who admit they are scalawags.
[It] is a book I wrote for myself and anyone who has grown weary and discouraged along the Way.
-brennan manning, the ragamuffin gospel, pgs. 13-14

It is a book that I have begun to read. I'll let you know how it goes.

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