Manning Re-Sets Church


There maybe pearly gates to heaven, but does the contemporary church truly live behind rose colored glasses?

Brennan Manning was buried in 2013 as an elderly man. He had reflected long and wrote about a many centuries older Christian church. His words ring clearer than ever. He slams our easy-believism and likewise hammers religion.

He continues to be correct:

  1. We have spread so many ashes over the historical Jesus that we scarcely feel the glow of His presence anymore.
  2. Religion is a matter not of learning how to think about God, but of actually encountering Him.
  3. Love is the axis of the Christian moral revolution and the only sign by which the disciple is to be recognized.
  4. Have I grown complacent with what I give because it conceals what I withhold?
  5. Any spirituality that does not lead from a self-centered existence to another-centered mode of existence is bankrupt.
  6. Grace will always be a banana peel for the orthodox foot and a fairy-tale to grown-up sensibility.
  7. Sheer scholarship alone cannot reveal to us the gospel of grace. We must never allow the authority of books, institutions, or leaders to replace the authority of knowing Jesus Christ personally and directly
  8. The Pharisee savors impeccable conduct, the child delights in the relentless tenderness of God.
  9. Ritual acts are the undoing of authentic religion.
  10. The truth of faith has little value when it is not also the life of the heart.
  11. The church claims to represent Jesus on earth, but in fact it often supplants Him.
  12. God's love is based on nothing, and the fact that it is based on nothing makes us secure. Were it based on anything that we do, and if that 'anything' were to collapse, then God's love would crumble as well.

To my own unique self in a world full of voices contrary to the gospel requires enormous fortitude. In this age of much empty religious talk and proliferating Bible studies, idle intellectual curiosity and pretensions of importance, intelligence without courage is bankrupt ... of what value is learning that does not turn to love. (p102 'The Rabbi's Heartbeat', Navpress Colorado Springs 03)

For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings. (Hosea 6:6)

Today's Soul Snippet:

Theology has become the arbiter of truth when it cannot be the guarantor of truth. ~ Michael Cartwright