Brennan Manning, April 27, 1934 – April 12, 2013: Death of a Ragamuffin

I first heard about Brennan Manning  when I heard about his book Ragamuffin Gospel from Rich Mullins. I read it all the way through in about two sittings – I think that was about 1993? I was a ragamuffin and I knew it. Manning was a constant reminder to all of us that the love of God is always bigger than we think it is. God’s grace is always better than we think it is. Whatever conception we have of the goodness of God, it will have to grow bigger. I can still hear him shouting, “Stretch man! Stretch!”

When I was playing with Satellite Soul I wrote a song based on a talk I heard Manning give about the scandalous love of God and how he beckons us to stretch ourselves. Here’s a live recording of the song “Always Greater”.

I thank God today for the original ragamuffin. I am thankful that he will be made whole again and am grateful that Brennan Manning bore such constant witness to the scandalous love of God.

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About Tim Suttle

Tim Suttle is a pastor, writer, and musician. He is the author of several books: Shrink: Faithful Ministry in a Church Growth Culture (Zondervan 2014), Public Jesus (The House Studio, 2012), and An Evangelical Social Gospel? (Cascade Books, 2011). Tim's work has been featured at The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, Sojourners, and other magazines and journals. Tim is also the founder and front-man of the popular Christian band Satellite Soul, with whom he toured for nearly a decade. He has planted three successful churches over the past 13 years and is the Senior Pastor of Redemption Church in Olathe, Kan. Tim's blog, Paperback Theology, is hosted at Patheos.


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