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December 21, 2013

THE PRODIGAL by Brennan Manning and Greg Garrett

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"The gospel of grace announces: Forgiveness precedes repentance.  The sinner is accepted before he pleads for mercy.  It is already granted.  He need only receive it.  Total amnesty.  Gratuitous pardon." (from book)

A Ragamuffin Story
Brennan Manning
Greg Garrett

The Prodigal: A Ragamuffin Story
Paperback, 304 pages
Published October 28th 2013


(from Goodreads)
From the inspirational author of The Ragamuffin Gospel comes a powerful contemporary retelling of the Parable of the Prodigal Son. Jack Chisholm is 'the people's pastor.' He leads a devoted and growing megachurch, has several best-selling books, and a memorable slogan, 'We have got to do better.' Jack knows how to preach, and he understands how to chastise people into performing. What he doesn't know is anything about grace. This year, when it comes time for the Christmas sermon, the congregation at Grace Cathedral will look to the pulpit, and Jack will not be there. Of course, they will have seen plenty of him already---on the news. After an evening of debauchery that leads to an affair with his beautiful assistant, Jack Chisholm finds himself deserted with chilling swiftness. The church elders remove him from his own pulpit. His publisher withholds the royalties from his books. Worst of all, his wife disappears with their eight-year-old daughter. But just as Jack is hitting bottom, hopeless and penniless, drinking his way to oblivion, who should appear but his long-estranged father, imploring his prodigal son: 'Come home.' A true companion piece to The Ragamuffin Gospel, The Prodigal illustrates the power of grace through the story of a broken man who finally saw Jesus not because he preached his greatest sermon or wrote his most powerful book, but because he failed miserably. Jack Chisholm lost everything---his church, his family, his respect, and his old way of believing---but he found grace. It's the same grace that Brennan Manning devoted his life to sharing: profound in nature and coming from a God who loves us just as we are, and not as we should be.

Jack Chisholm, "the people's pastor" was the pastor of a very large church. It wasn't anything for Jack to have a congregation of 4000+, not counting his TV worshipers. Jack knows how to preach, how to chastise people into doing right.  What he doesn't understand is grace.  But, he had failed all of them, the congregation, his wife and his daughter. Everything that was important to him is lost.  He is homeless, penniless and drinking to the extreme. He is lost. His personal assistant, Sally had been his downfall.  He had committed adultery.
Jack hadn't talked to his father in years.  Whenever he thought of his father he got angry.  His childhood had been full of misery, because of his father.
Tom Chisholm, is terminally ill.  He gets in touch with his son and asks him to come home.  He wants desperately to have a relationship with him before it's too late..
The  message is that no matter how bad we've sinned, God forgives. You just have to receive it.
The author tells the very important message of forgiveness, love and grace.  The Prodigal can change  the ways and thinking of a person that is willing to change. Jack didn't find God because he preached good  but because he had failed miserably.  He had lost everything but he found the important thing, and that is grace. I would recommend this book to anyone that is troubled.  The book is full of love, forgiveness,warmth and grace.  Sometimes we have to fall to stand tall.

I would give this book 4 HEARTS.

I was given a complimentary copy of THE PRODIGAL by Brennan Manning and Greg Garrett from Booksneeze for my uncompensated view.


Brennan ManningRichard Francis Xavier Manning, known as Brennan Manning (April 27, 1934 – April 12, 2013)was an American author, friar, priest, contemplative and speaker.Born and raised in Depression-era New York City, Manning finished high school, enlisted in the US Marine Corps, and fought in the Korean War. After returning to the United States, he enrolled at Saint Francis University in Loretto, Pennsylvania. Upon his graduation from the seminary in 1963, Manning was ordained a Franciscan priest.[2]

In the late 1960s, Manning joined the Little Brothers of Jesus of Charles de Foucauld, a religious institute committed to an uncloistered, contemplative life among the poor. Manning transported water via donkey, worked as a mason's assistant and a dishwasher in France, was imprisoned (by choice) in Switzerland, and spent six months in a remote cave somewhere in the Zaragoza desert. In the 1970s, Manning returned to the United States and began writing after confronting his alcoholism.

“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.”
Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel


  • The Prodigal (November 2013)
  • All is Grace: A Ragamuffin Memoir
  • Smack Dab in the Middle of God’s Love
  • Patched Together (A Story of My Story)
  • Souvenirs of Solitude
  • The Furious Longing of God
  • Above All
  • Abba’s Child
  • A Glimpse of Jesus: Stranger to Self-Hatred
  • Journey of the Prodigal
  • The Wisdom of Tenderness
  • Ruthless Trust: The Way of the Ragamuffin
  • The Boy Who Cried Abba: A Parable of Trust and Acceptance
  • Lion and Lamb: The Relentless Tenderness of Jesus
  • Signature of Jesus
  • The Ragamuffin Gospel
  • Reflections for Ragamuffins: A Daily Devotional
  • Posers, Fakers and Wannabes
  • The Rabbi’s Heartbeat
  • The Importance of Being Foolish

Greg GarrettGreg Garrett is the author of novels, including the new The Prodigal (with Brennan Manning), Free Bird (chosen by Publishers' Weekly and the Denver Rocky Mountain News as one of the best fiction debuts of 2002), Cycling, and Shame, the memoirs Crossing Myself and No Idea, and works on theology, popular culture, politics, and narrative including The Gospel according to Hollywood, The Gospel Reloaded (with Chris Seay), Holy Superheroes, Stories from the Edge, We Get to Carry Each Other: The Gospel according to U2, The Other Jesus, One Fine Potion: The Literary Magic of Harry Potter, and Faithful Citizenship. Greg is also--with Brian McLaren, Lauren Winner, Phylis Tickle, Chris Seay, and other writers--involved in The Voice project, a scripture project for Thomas Nelson. Greg is 2013 Centennial Professor at Baylor University, writer in residence at the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest, and Residential Scholar at Gladstone's Library in Wales. He lives in Austin, Texas with his family.


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