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The Wisdom of Tenderness


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About the Author

Brennan Manning is the bestselling author of many books, including The Ragamuffin Gospel and Ruthless Trust. He leads spiritual retreats in the United States and Europe for people of all ages and backgrounds.


This testament to God's tenderness is a modern-day epistle to churches, though its core message is sometimes obscured by the author's personal issues with the institution. Manning, a retreat leader and author who married after leaving a religious community in which he had been a priest, is openly critical of churches and leaders that have failed to reflect and transmit the tenderness of God. Because of this, his words can be harsh, perhaps by prophetic necessity, but this tone sometimes detracts from the tenderness of which he speaks. Manning came to write on the subject when, after an extended time of silence spent in the Allegheny Mountains in western Pennsylvania, he heard a single phrase in his head and heart: "Live in the wisdom of accepted tenderness." In elaborating on this inner directive, he draws on a wide range of sources, including Daniel Berrigan, Ken Keyes and C.S. Lewis, giving his work an ecumenical flavor. He is most effective, however, when he uses his own life as illustration, relating how alcoholism made him keenly aware of God's tenderness and mercy. Manning writes for the individual and the institution, and both will benefit from listening to his words. Especially those who long to hear more about divine mercy from the pulpit and see it reflected in their leaders and institutions will welcome his brief treatise. (July) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

"An extraordinarily vivid picture of the love of God..."--Crystal Lewis, Singer/ Songwriter
"A passionate, luminously articulate challenge to Christians to move beyond fashionable idolatries and become authentic followers of Jesus..."--The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
"For every thirsty pilgrim who has wandered life's desert seeking an oasis of grace, your search is over."--Philip Gulley, author of Just Shy of Harmony
"Those who long to hear more about divine mercy ... will welcome his brief treatise."--Publishers Weekly
"This is the demanding, unyielding, impatient tenderness of God that will ... give your heart new life."--John Ortberg, author of "If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat"

The author of ten books, including The Ragamuffin Gospel, Manning examines the transformative possibilities of sin and pain and how they compel us through suffering to find our way to spiritual maturity and ultimately to the quality Manning calls tenderness. This book, like Daniel Lanahan's recent When God Says No: The Mystery of Suffering and the Dynamics of Prayer, is well suited to the present moment and should find a broad and appreciative audience. For most collections. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

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