November 26, 2020

Brennan Manning

b manning

Brennan Manning
April 27, 1934 – April 12, 2013

“Suffering, failure, loneliness, sorrow, discouragement, and death will be part of your journey, but the Kingdom of God will conquer all these horrors. No evil can resist grace forever.”

Richard Francis Xavier Manning, better known to legions of faithful readers as author, speaker, and contemplative Brennan Manning, for whom grace was irresistible, completed his earthly journey on Friday, April 12 at 12:10AM.  He is now resting safely in the arms of his Abba.


  1. His books were very helpful to me. I am grateful for his life

  2. I had a chance to listen to him in Milwaukee…and I let it pass. I didn’t know who he was or what he wrote. I have been meaning to read some of his stuff. I’m reading Philip Yancey on Prayer and Soul Survivor currently.

  3. I was in a thrift store yesterday browsing the bookshelves (this has become a real problem, pray for me) and I come across, “Rich Mullins: An Arrow Pointing to Heaven,” written by James Bryan Smith. I read the back: “Rich Mullins: An Arrow Pointing to Heaven is the most powerful book I have read in the last five years…it is the purest echo of the gospel I have read in a long time.” ~ Brennan Manning. That clinched it for me and I walked to the checkout.

    Brennan Manning was an author I came across a few years back who was unlike any other I had read at the time. It wasn’t a message of “You’re so bad. God is so mad at you and is throwing you out where there is gnashing of teeth. So you better straighten up and fly right or else.” It was a message of love and grace in scandalous abundance! He wasn’t afraid to tell on himself; his weaknesses, his pride, his humanity. He wasn’t ashamed to tell you how he would find himself, in a drunken stupor in a random doorway, and how God, through Jesus, entered into it with him and lifted him up and out of that (time and time and time again). Making the reader quiver with the possibilities that God could do the same for you. But not just could, would!! Whether you yourself were in a drunken stupor, leaning over the toilet ridding yourself of your last meal, lying in a bed that you didn’t belong in, or whatever other millions of ways we wear our shame on the sleeves of our lives, Brennan Manning wrote with such humble love and grace you caught glimpses of this Jesus, not passing you by in disgust, but walking right into your situation, standing with you, loving you whole.

    Rest in beautiful peace, Brennan! May your words continue to spread the scandal!

    • @RG….your second paragraph may be the most beautiful and concise look at Brennan (and God’s) look at us sinners. Incredible writing…thank you for sharing this!

    • Thank you Rebekah for expressing so well my thoughts. Much better than I could have 🙂

  4. br. thomas says

    “God loves you just as you are and not as you should be” – thank you, Brennan for speaking those words so passionately to me so many years ago. God used your ministry to change the course of my journey, away from one of a “performance-oriented, trying to please God so He would love me” to one of simply receiving His love and grace, wherever I was. May you rest in peace, in your Abba’s embrace.

    • br. thomas:
      You took the words right out of my fingers! I’ll never let anyone pry the reality of Abba’s radical grace out of my heart that Brennan helped to plant so deeply there!

    • +1
      Father used Mr. Manning to help me learn about His passionate grace and His passionate love for us. I have missed his writing for the past several years since he entered his final illness. I look forward to sitting down with him and discussing many things in heaven for, say, an eon or so!! Thank you, Father, for utilizing this humble man to speak Your Words of love into our lives, we are very blessed indeed!!

  5. Dana Ames says

    Manning was so honest, such a rarity. He helped so many people. May God grant him repose and memory eternal.


  6. I like “Ragamuffin Gospel” so much that I have four copies on hand, ready to be given out.

    • O, Rick Ro.

      Eagle hasn’t read anything by Brennan yet. Perhaps C.M. could send off one of your copies off to him.

      I posted this on another blog today, forgive me for pasting, exhausted off to bed now.

      The Ragamuffin Gospel!

      O, that book I read it & wept. I was excited to share it with my X pastor-wolf-in-sheep disguise.

      He didn’t share my enthusiasm and I got a brutal lecture & a reminder that I needed to submit myself to those who were in authority over me. He scolded me for reading a book by a Catholic-and from what he knew-a defrocked priest.

      That put the breaks on me for a time. But, not for long. I have bought all Brennan’s books, and I have given them all away, otherwise I would get a copy to Eagle.

      So thankful for Brennan, his impact on this earth, on so many hearts, no doubt his grace impact will echo in the chambers of eternity.

      • I have several copies as well…..if ANYONE needs to read Brennan it is Eagle, and likely HUG. Give me an address and I’ll mail to Ch, Mike to forward!!!

  7. ugh, typos galore…

  8. Dan Crawford says

    Brennan taught me that I didn’t have to be perfect or even “good” to get God’s attention and receive his grace. Rest in peace, brother.

  9. It is a tragedy to lose him. It is sad to hear of his trials to the very end, but he lived a real life now, in contrast with other’s myth of a “best life now”. I think the quote you chose says it all. Rest in peace.

  10. Rest in peace, Brennan, and thank you for your books, which have been immeasurably helpful in my journey. Hope to meet you in Heaven someday, brother.

  11. I recently have come across Manning and have a video of his weekend seminar at a local church. She has had it for over 5 years and just recently I have been able to appreciate his message. He has a Carlinesque delivery being from Brooklyn and his suffering in life made him a complex character. When we watched the first video together I mentioned to my wife that this must have been what it would have been like to encounter Paul and the other 12.

  12. What a blessing Brennan’s words have been and will continue to be to me and so many others. I continue to need those words of God’s overwhelming, unending grace and love for each and every one of us. Rest in Abba’s arms, Brennan.

  13. We’ve lost a true voice of grace and love. Rest in peace. I learned so much from his writings, especially Ragamuffin Gospel and Ruthless Trust. The kingdom needs more like him this side of heaven.

  14. I, like so many of us, credit Brennan as an instrument of God in allowing me to believe that “Abba” (“Daddy in my brain, but it makes not a bit of difference) could love me not because I was a GOOD kid, but because I was HIS kid.

    NOT a sappy, universal,” there are no rules and God understands no matter how awful your choices”…….but instead a God of compassion and overwhelming LOVE who did not need me to perfect to be lovable and worthy……but who still Loved me enough to want me to draw closer to Him by following in His footsteps of Grace.
    Learning that I cannot run far enough in sin and misery to outrun His love, forgiveness, and willingness to brush me off and set me on my feet again.

    As someone who always tends to feel that I either am the very best OR the very worst (at everything in life) it was a relief to find out that unlike my earthly Daddy, this One didn’t give more love for first place or less love for being a total and complete loser.

    Rest in the endless JOY of your ABBA and his kingdom without end. NOW the real fun starts!

  15. I, too, love his Raggamuffin Gospel. I let someone borrow it and never got it back! I hope she has passed it on to others as well.

    Thanks to Brennan Manning for all his wonderful thoughts and words.

    • As much as I LOVED The Ragamuffing Gospel, I think my favorite book of his was Signature of Jesus. Wow!!

  16. Judy from Canada says

    Brennan Manning’s books have been water for a thirsty soul in my life. They have been read over and over. I do not know another author who ‘gets’ Grace like he did. Ragmuffin Gospel and Abba’s Child are high on my recemended reading list. Though his voice is now silent it lives on in those whose lives he has influenced and changed.

  17. I find it amusing, how whenever I bring up either Brennan Manning or Robert Capon in conversation with my theologically astute friends, I get a bit of a hairy eyeball. I hear their concern and accept the heart from which it comes for they are truly my friends.

    But there is one thing I cannot get away from — more than any other author or teacher or pastor or friend — these two men have helped me pare everything down to the *One* who matters most of all. Jesus — the love of God incarnate.

    All else, even all else we like to say about Jesus, is simply subordinate to the one simple fact that of Jesus. For in Jesus, God himself has found me and embraced me in the middle of my filth and stink and ugliness and helpless foolish weakness. Jesus is the one true thing that I can stand on.

    Even now, as life hammers me on a hard and unyielding anvil, so that I cannot find my direction and every choice is bad — Manning (and Capon) have helped me to fix on that on Unalterable Compass, the True North. All maps are ultimately false, but the True North is true indeed. Mr. Manning has helped me to begin to rest in that. And ironically, it is his *example* of repentance that showed me how.

    Thank you Mr. Manning. And good morning to you. Good forever morning to you.

    • Dave D,

      Can you recommend a book by Robert Capon? Maybe the one you’ve found easiest to follow and most grace filled?

      Blessings, Bob

      • @ Bob,

        Books by Robert Capon that I’d highly recommend…

        1. Parables of Grace

        2. The Astonished Heart

        3. The Mystery of Christ…And Why We Don’t Get It


        • Much obliged, Tom! I have a book by him on the parables and it’s good, but I’ve gotten “bogged down” and haven’t finished it, I must confess.

    • Dave D,

      I could not have stated it better!

      Manning and Capon go together. I read Manning long before Capon, and I’m glad I did so. Manning gave me permission to believe in the God of extravagantly wasteful grace. Capon systematically showed me that that kind of ruthless grace is the only reasonable lens through which to understand the God in Christ who is reconciling the world to Himself.

      I love you Brennan. I am overjoyed that you are experiencing the consumation of God’s love.

      Thank you CM for delivering the news of Brennan’s natale to us.


  18. brennan knew that he was a great sinner, but he also knew that he had a great savior. because of the furious love of god that came to him in jesus christ, because of the fierce mercy and relentless tenderness that the lord showed to him, he was able to have a ruthless trust and an intimate belonging no matter what the circumstance. though he was indeed a ragamuffin, because of jesus, he will always be abba’s child. all is grace …

  19. I bought a used copy of Ragamuffin Gospel a couple of years ago, when I got Capon’s Between Noon and Three for the book discussion we had here. Somebody (maybe Pattie?) had recommended it.

    Just started reading Ragamuffin last night and found that it’s very readable, far better in style and content than most Christian books these days. Heavy on grace, which I find refreshing.

  20. I read Ragamuffin Gospel a few years ago. Can’t say that I agreed with everything in it, but that is typical of almost everything I read. Still, it really impacted me and made me rethink my daily Christian life. I lent the book to my mother and she ended up buying copies to hand out to people. I lent the book to my oldest daughter and she loved it too. He will be missed, but his message of God’s Grace continues through his writings.