I wanted to put a plug out there for the Soularize CD set. It is a “conference in a box” and can be purchased for less than $20 (Promo code = VB50). This has audio from N.T. Wright, Frank Viola, Brennan Manning, and others. Here are the sermons/classes that are on the CD:

  1. The Kingdom of God (Acts Part 1) – NT WRight
  2. Paul’s engagement of the hellenistic world (Acts Part 2) – NT Wright
  3. Salvation (Acts Part 3) – NT Wright
  4. Paradise: A Historical Perspective – Rita Brock
  5. Saving Paradise- Rita Brock
  6. The Story of God’s Garden- Rita Brock
  7. Abba Father – Brennan Manning
  8. We are all called to the healing ministry- Brennan Manning
  9. Christian transformation – Richard Rohr
  10. Non-dualistic thinking- Richard Rohr
  11. The Practice of Meditation (Part 1)- Richard Rohr
  12. The Practice of Meditation (Part 2)- Richard Rohr
  13. Jesus,  Homosexuality, and the future of the church – Round Table
  14. Holistic and integrated understanding – Frank Viola
  15. Narrative Ecclesiology – Michael Dowd
  16. Thank God for Evolution – Jim Palmer
  17. Divine Nobodies – Mark Scandrette
  18. Living in the ways of the kingdom – Garith Higgins
  19. Spirituality in film – Spencer Burke
  20. Retail Christianity or Wholesale Love?

Furious Longing of God by Brennan Manning Review Using Greek Moods

I thought I would try a little something different to give you an idea of how good Manning’s new book, The Furious Longing of God, really is. Here is a review categorized by Greek moods:

Indicative – The book was a little hard to get into at first. His style takes some adjusting. My wife read the book as well and had a little difficulty until about the halfway point and then she enjoyed it much better. Manning tends to be a little choppy, the chapters are short and it is a quick read. But if you really digest what is there the read could take much longer as Manning is able to chock more meaning into as few of words as anyone I have read. His message of God’s love and longing for his people is unmistakable and it is difficult to walk away from this read without feeling an inherent sense of self-worth and appreciation for God’s view of us. There are several stories and illustrations from this book that will be with me the rest of my life. What is more, he doesn’t stick with how God views us…he also moves from the response that should elicit in us toward others.

Imperative – Go and buy a copy of this book. Read it. Apply it. Live it. Understand God that much more.

Subjunctive – You may or may not like the first few chapters of the book due to his style. If you read this book you may want to follow it up by reading Raggamuffin Gospel. That might just be as good of a read as the Furius Longing of God.

Optative – May you be blessed by your reading of this book. May you go to the link above and purchase many books from amazon during your visit.

This book was good enough that my wife is going to let someone borrow it this Sunday. I think it is going to make the rounds at church.

Further Reflections on The Furious Longing of God

One thing that stands out to me about Brennan Manning is his ability to reflect the attitude of Paul in Philippians 3. Paul had all kinds of things to boast in. He even listed them for us. Then he turns right around and says “Rubbish!” And Paul’s list was quite an impressive one at that! Manning has his own list of “impressive accomplishments” to which he too immediately turns and basically says “Big deal.” I love it when I find people who in a worldly since have every right to say they are big stuff don’t even seem to notice it themselves. Then there are those of us who are small potatoes who want to act big, put on a big show, or get noticed.

I love the fact that Brennan Manning, by his example, is calling us all to careful and reserved introspection to find that even all that is right within us is still so easily tinged by the air of self-importance. I am not in the same circles as Michael W. Smith, Michael Card, Max Lucado, Larry Crabb, or Eugene Peterson and Rich Mullins before his death. But if I was, I would be sorely tempted to let you know about it! Manning is in those circles but it really doesn’t seem like he cares that he is or even that it is any more impressive than running in the same crowd as Harry, Sue, or Bill who attend service at your congregation. I have a lot to learn and I am grateful that I am surrounded by people who are able to help me learn it!

The Furious Longing of God – Initial Impressions

Manning has me convinced…I am important to God. It is astounding to me that I am a higher priority to God than often times He is to me. That is sad but too true. It is such a brutal correction to our twisted thinking that if God had anything to do with fury toward us that it would result in punishment. Manning has me convinced that God’s love and longing for all people has a furious component to it. It is just that intense. I don’t know if I would call it reckless, as Manning does (p.30). But then again, maybe it is reckless. It is hard to call a crucified Lord anything but that. It is hard to envision Jesus on the cross and think of the words tame, mundane, and ho-hum. As I read this book, I cannot help but think about the movie Taken and the intense and furious nature of the longing of a father for his child. He is willing to go to whatever lengths, even dangerous lengths, to make sure we are able to live with him forever.

What also strikes me about this book is Manning’s intense honesty. He is not afraid to talk about God the way he has experienced Him. He is also not afraid to expose his life in brutal honesty for what it is, even in all its weakness. I admire that about him. I look forward to opening my eyes over the next hundred or so pages to see just how much God loves me. If there is one thing I have learned about God’s love for me it is that the song “Jesus Loves Me” doesn’t do it justice. I don’t know God or Jesus loves me just because I read about it in the Bible. I am sure many of you would agree with me in saying that I know it is true because I have experienced it first hand.

For more on this excellent book see Jim Martin’s post from today. More to come…

To purchase this book click here – The Furious Longing of God

A Couple of Books I Look Forward to Reading

The next two books on my reading list are Reggie McNeal’s Missional Renaissance and Brennan Manning’s Furious Longing of God. Any of you read either of these two books? Thanks to the Ooze for the copy of Manning’s book. I will post a review here and at their site in coming weeks. I was just skimming through McNeal’s book and it looks excellent. It is not all about theory. He devotes many pages to some very creative and practical ways of putting missional theology to work in a congregation or among individual Christians. This book is basically a “how to manual” for churches and church leadership to become more missional focused.