Ruthless Trust: The Ragamuffin’s Path to God

Publisher
Harper San Francisco

Author
Brennan Manning

Central Theme
Ruthless trust is the ragamuffin’s path to God, who is delighted with our trust.

Overview
Trust is the result of faith plus hope, which then matures into trust. God is glorified more by our trust than our love. Without trust it is impossible to please God! Before we trust God we must become attentive to His presence and unconditional love. “The underlying premise of this book: the splendor of a human heart which trusts that it is loved gives God more pleasure than Westminster Cathedral, the Sistine Chapel, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Van Gogh’s Sunflowers, the sight of ten thousand butterflies in flight, or the scent of a million orchids in bloom.”

Beliefs num
–Trust is the way to please God.
–Gratefulness is the evidence of trust.
–The trinity of pain, suffering and evil poses an enormous difficulty for trust.
–Our God is trivialized and too small. To trust we need a God-sized God: radiant, infinite, incandescent, eternal, powerful and majestic.
–Artists, mystics and clowns help us see God in unexpected ways and places.
–Trust can be tainted by craving tangible reassurance, the presumption of God’s intervention or dishonesty with Jesus.
–Trusting Jesus requires moving beyond intellectual knowledge of God to an actual experience of God.
–Brokenness is the path to humility, which is in turn the path to confidence.
–Nowhere actually stands for “now here.” to the follower of Jesus.

Questions Worth Discussing num
–What is the distinction between faith and trust?
–What in your life makes trusting God most challenging?
–Do you agree that the American Church fails to admit its brokenness and is therefore missing God’s true love, acceptance and forgiveness?
–Why would trust mean so much to God?

Provocative Quotes byline
–Always and everywhere the overriding issue for the ragamuffin is the person of Jesus Christ.
==BM, Preface.
–Brennan, you don’t need any more insights into the faith. You’ve got enough insights to last you three hundred years. The most urgent need in your life is to trust what you have received.
==Spiritual director.
–The underlying premise of this book: the splendor of a human heart which trusts that it is loved gives God more pleasure than Westminster Cathedral, the Sistine Chapel, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Van Gogh’s Sunflowers, the sight of ten thousand butterflies in flight, or the scent of a million orchids in bloom.
==BM.
–If God stopped thinking about me, he would cease to exist.
==Angelus Silesius, 15th-century theologian.
–Nouwen’s earlier books are peppered with the word faith, and yet in his swan song, he uses faith once and trust sixty-five times. My point? Somewhere along the way, in the life of the maturing Christian, faith combined with hope grows into trust.
==BM.
–The person with an abiding spirit of gratitude is the one who trusts God.
==BM.
–There are only two choices; integration and acceptance of our whole life story, or despair.
==Eric Erikson.
–Without explanation I turned down several request so speak at memorial services in his honor in Nashville, Wichita, and Chicago. I was lost in the tangled, dark, and frightening inner world of my grief, doubt, fear, and anger over Rich’s death.
==BM.
–Along with Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Samuel Beckett, and Eugene Ionesco, many Christians have been unable to cope with what they fear most the loneliness and absurdity of life.
==BM.
–The sheer magnitude of evil that our age has witnessed in death camps, nuclear warfare and internecine tribal or racial conflicts has not raised the question how can God tolerate so much evil, but rather how the more tangible reality of evil still allows the possibility of God’s existence.
==Louis Dupre.
–When the heart-strings are suddenly cut, it is, I believe, a physical impossibility to feel faith or resignation, there is a revolt of the instinctive and animal system, and though we may submit to God, it is rather by constant painful effort than sweet attraction.
==Harriet Beecher Stowe.
–The glory of God is the human being fully alive. And the life of the human consists in beholding God.
==Irenaeus, Against the Heresy of Gnosticism.
–But to avoid mystery is to avoid the only God worthy of worship, honor and praise. And it is a failure to slake the thirst of seekers and believers alike those who reject the dignified, businesslike Rotary Club deity we charter about on Sunday morning and search for a God worthy of awe, silent reverence, total commitment, and wholehearted trust.
==BM.
–In the days ahead you will be a mystic who has experienced God, or nothing at all.
==Karl Rahner.
–Sacred scripture is too important to be left exclusively to biblical scholars. Theology is too vital to be consigned solely to the province of theologians, to explore the depths of the God who invites our trust, we need the artists and mystics.
==BM.
–The reality is more profound. It is God Himself who can be discovered in the beauty of sensible things.
==Henry Newman, who once thought behind every flower, was an angel who made it grow and blossom.
–Life is lived forward but understood backwards.
==Soren Kierkegaard.
–The great weakness in the North America church at large and certainty in my life, is our refusal to accept our brokenness. We hide it, evade it, gloss over it. We grab for the cosmetic kit and put on our virtuous face to make ourselves admirable to the public. Thus we present to others a self that is spiritually together, superficially happy and lacquered with a self-deprecating humor that passes for humility.
==BM
–It may mean more to Jesus when we say, ¢â‚¬ËœI trust you,’ than when we say ‘I love you.’
==BM.

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