My wife, Nicole, just posted this on her Facebook page and I thought it was worth posting here too …

I have been a Christ follower for over 25 years now. Just a few minutes of reflection and I stand in awe again in recognising what tremendous Good News the Gospel is. Today, just like when I first encountered Christ, I rely completely on His grace. I am painfully aware of my sins, my shortcomings, my severe "limp", the recognition that the life I have in God is Him living in and through me. I guess that is why the "Ragamuffin Gospel" continues to be one of my favourite books – Brendan Manning's introduction resonates in every way – although focused on his book, I also read it in context of the Gospel. The Gospel is Good news – but maybe not for some?

"Not for muscular Christians who have made John Wayne, and not Jesus their hero.
It is not for academics who would imprison Jesus in the ivory tower of exegesis.
It is not for noisy, feel-good folks who manipulate Christianity into a naked appeal to emotion.
It is not for hooded mystics who want magic in their religion.
It is not for Alleluia Christians who live only on the mountaintop and have never visited the valley of desolation.
It is not for the fearless and tearless.
It is not for red-hot zealots who boast with the rich young ruler of the Gospels, 'All these commandments I have kept from youth.'
It is not for the complacent who hoist over their shoulders a tote bag of honors, diplomas, and good works, actually believing they have it made.
It is not for legalists who would rather surrender control of their souls to rules than run the risk of living in union with Jesus.

Rather the 'gospel' is for the bedraggled, beat-up, and burnt-out.
It is for the sorely burdened who are still shifting the heavy suitcase from one hand to the other.
It is for the wobbly and weak-kneed who know they don't have it all together and are too proud to accept the handout of amazing grace.
It is for inconsistent, unsteady disciples whose cheese is falling off their cracker.
It is for poor, weak, sinful men and women with hereditary faults and limited talents.
It is for earthen vessels who shuffle along on feet of clay.
It is for the bent and the bruised who feel that their lives are a grave disappointment to God.
It is for smart people who know they are stupid and honest disciples who admit they are scalawags."

This book resonates with me – because in a hundred different ways I pray alongside the tax collector every day – "God have mercy on me a sinner."…. the Good News is He does 🙂

4 thoughts on “Good News for Scallywags!

  1. Here is pure wisdom and outspoken apostles amongst us today.
    Let’s rejoice, ‘There is a glorified Man on the right hand of the Majesty in heaven faithfully representing us there. We are left for a season among men: let us faithfully represent Him here’ (Tozer). Marvelous post Mark/Nicole.

  2. Overjoyed to stumble on this and on you, again, Mark! Fell in love with the Ragamuffin Gospel some years back.
    You can find me via the contact info the commenter asks for. 🙂 Blessings, brother! Hope you’re still playing piano!

  3. I believed the Gospel is for everybody, even those muscular Christians,academics, noisy, feel-good folks who manipulate Christianity into a naked appeal to emotion, hooded mystics, Alleluia Christians, for the fearless and tearless, red-hot zealots, the complacent, legalists and etc.
    It is the sick who needs a doctor and these people are in a way sick. They have warped the Gospel and needs to open up their eyes and hearts to it again.
    To deprive them of the good news would be judgmental too. They need as much help as those who are poor and broken, maybe more as they have been deluded much.

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