The three most important parts of a book are: a well constructed plot, compelling characters, and a satisfying conclusion.

Monday, November 18, 2013

THE PRODIGAL: A Ragamuffin Story by Brennan Manning and Greg Garrett

The Prodigal by Brennan Manning
  Publisher:  Zondervan
  Release Date:  November 5, 2013
  Pages:  304

About the Book:  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. 'A wonderfully written story that is as entertaining as it is thought provoking.' ---Publishers Weekly, starred review '. . . the consummate final tale. What they have created is the Ragamuffin at his best, full of hope, full of love, and finally, full of belief in the goodness of God.' ---Phyllis Tickle, founding editor, Religion Department, Publishers Weekly 'Brennan Manning's last work continues the powerful message of grace and forgiveness that has transformed so many lives. The Prodigal will transform you too.' ---Mark Batterson, New York Times best-selling author of The Circle Maker.

Wanda's Review:  The Prodigal is a story that reveals to us that no matter how bad our sin, we are offered forgiveness. 

From the book - "The gospel of grace announces: Forgiveness precedes repentence. The sinner is accepted before he pleads for mercy. It is already granted. He need only receive it. Total amnesty. Gratuitious pardon." 

Jack Chisholm was the pastor of a mega church. He had been called "the people's pastor" and brought in 4,000 people to worship and even more watching TV. But now he was feeling completely lost. He had failed them all - his wife, daughter, and the church. He loses everything that is important in his life because he commits the sin of adultery with his personal assistant, Sally. She had been the pastor's downfall. 

Tom Chisholm, Jack's father, is terminally ill, and wants to have a relationship with his son. He calls his son home. Jack hasn't talked to his father in a decade and thinking about him only provokes anger. His childhood memories are filled with misery because of his father. And the story unfolds ---

This is a wonderfully written book with a strong message of love, grace, and forgiveness - a story that could shape the hearts and minds of many. 4 star rating and I highly recommend. 

I received a copy of this book from BookSneeze to read and review.


The Author - Brennan Manning
Richard 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.
Brennan Manning