The Prodigal: A Ragamuffin Story

Paperback | October 28, 2013

byBrennan Manning

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From the inspirational author of The Ragamuffin Gospel comes a powerful contemporary retelling of the Parable of the Prodigal Son.

Jack Chisholm is “the people’s pastor.” He leads a devoted and growing megachurch, has several best-selling books, and a memorable slogan, “We have got to do better.” Jack knows how to preach, and he understands how to chastise people into performing. What he doesn’t know is anything about grace.

This year, when it comes time for the Christmas sermon, the congregation at Grace Cathedral will look to the pulpit, and Jack will not be there. Of course, they will have seen plenty of him already—on the news.

After an evening of debauchery that leads to an affair with his beautiful assistant, Jack Chisholm finds himself deserted with chilling swiftness. The church elders remove him from his own pulpit. His publisher withholds the royalties from his books. Worst of all, his wife disappears with their eight-year-old daughter.

But just as Jack is hitting bottom, hopeless and penniless, drinking his way to oblivion, who should appear but his long-estranged father, imploring his prodigal son: “Come home.”

A true companion piece to The Ragamuffin Gospel, The Prodigal illustrates the power of grace through the story of a broken man who finally saw Jesus not because he preached his greatest sermon or wrote his most powerful book, but because he failed miserably. Jack Chisholm lost everything—his church, his family, his respect, and his old way of believing—but he found grace. It’s the same grace that Brennan Manning devoted his life to sharing: profound in nature and coming from a God who loves us just as we are, and not as we should be.

“A wonderfully written story that is as entertaining as it is thought provoking.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“. . . the consummate final tale. What they have created is the Ragamuffin at his best, full of hope, full of love, and finally, full of belief in the goodness of God.” —Phyllis Tickle, founding editor, Religion Department, Publishers Weekly

“Brennan Manning’s last work continues the powerful message of grace and forgiveness that has transformed so many lives. The Prodigal will transform you too.” —Mark Batterson, New York Times best-selling author of The Circle Maker

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From the Publisher

From the inspirational author of The Ragamuffin Gospel comes a powerful contemporary retelling of the Parable of the Prodigal Son.Jack Chisholm is “the people’s pastor.” He leads a devoted and growing megachurch, has several best-selling books, and a memorable slogan, “We have got to do better.” Jack knows how to preach, and he underst...

Brennan Manning spent his life and ministry helping others experience the unconditional love of Jesus Christ. A recovering alcoholic and former Franciscan priest, his own spiritual journey took him down a variety of paths, all of them leading to the profound reality of God's irresistible grace. His ministry responsibilities varied grea...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 8.38 × 5.5 × 0.75 inPublished:October 28, 2013Publisher:ZondervanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0310339006

ISBN - 13:9780310339007

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Customer Reviews of The Prodigal: A Ragamuffin Story

Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Left me feeling moved I opened the covers of “Prodigal” a little bit worried that I was going to be reading a novel that would be all-too-predictable in its story line, that of the parable of the prodigal son and his path to being reunited with his father. But I was pleasantly surprised to find that Manning and Garrett have taken an age-old story line, infused it with interesting plot elements, and given new voice to the tale of the prodigal son. I found that the story did start off a little on the slow side, but soon I found myself utterly absorbed by the characters I was meeting. Jack Chisholm is a flawed human being in a manner that readers will be able to relate to, often well-meaning but struggling to live through past hurts or selfish desires. He is so completely off-mark in what he teaches as America’s pastor, that it is hard to believe that churches such as his actually exist out there. Sadly, it’s all too true that the gospel of grace and freedom can be twisted to become all about striving to just “do better”, forgetting the grace and redemption Jesus offers. Jack’s path to healing and reconciliation is a fascinating one to watch, and some of the scenes brought tears to my eyes! The novel is well-written and will leave you thinking about your own relationship with Jesus, as well as reflecting on how you treat others in the world around you. I closed the pages of this story feeling moved by the power of God’s love to find us even in our darkest moments, and bring us hope when all seems lost. I award this book a solid rating of 4 out of 5 stars, and recommend that readers who enjoy entertaining and moving contemporary fiction books pick up a copy for themselves. A review copy was received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.
Date published: 2013-11-12

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Editorial Reviews

"Manning and Garrett do a wonderful job bringing to life the downfalls of a superficial form of contemporary Christianity, while dramatizing struggles readers can easily relate to. This story of love found and grace extended will bring hope to everyone who reads it."--Booklist