All is Grace — Brennan Manning

Recommended reading: Brennan Manning’s All Is Grace, with John Blase. [Colorado Springs: David C. Cook, 2011].

I’m not going to review Manning’s memoir; there are many such reviews on the Web. A good start might be with co-author John Blase’s review in the Huffington Post.

Manning is almost 80 years old and is receiving constant care as he suffers from what is described as “liquid brain,” a thiamine deficiency associated with alcohol abuse. Its formal name is Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome. Most commentators see All is Grace as his final publication. [*see note at end of post.]

For me, ever since I read his signal 1990 book, The Ragamuffin Gospel, Manning represents a life of faith at ease even though his biography illustrates someone whose tortured life is hardly at ease–unless one considers the gift of grace.

Others have seen this. A preliminary chapter of All Is Grace entitled “Reader Testimonies,” contains a brief note by the spiritual writer-editor-teacher Robert Benson, who nails the influence of Manning:

“I learned the truth of the gospel from Brennan, the same gospel you will find in this book: That in the end, my sin will never outweigh God’s love. That the Prodigal can never outrun the Father. That I am not measured by the good I do but by the grace I accept. That being lost is a prerequisite to being found. That living a life of faith is not lived in the light, it is discovered in the dark. That not being a saint here on earth will not necessarily keep you from being in that number when the march begins.” (emphasis mine–ara)

Want to hear the jazz of faith at ease? Read Manning’s memoir. And pray for his ease as he deals with his disease.

*[On Friday, April 12, 2013, Richard Francis Xavier (Brennan) Manning died.] 


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