26/01/2007

The Importance of Being Foolish (by Brennan Manning)

'The Importance of Being Foolish' is a thought-provoking book by Brennan Manning, showing what it means to be a 'fool' for Christ. He points out the dangers inherent in modern life - the quest for power, security and pleasures, and how different the Christian life can - and should - be if we're dedicated to following Jesus with all our hearts.

I didn't find this as inspiring or compelling as either 'The Ragamuffin Gospel' or 'Abba's Child', but then those rank as two of my all-time favourite Christian books. Still, there was plenty in it, a book to savour and re-read in sections, a little at a time.

There are some anecdotes, some personal experiences, some Scripture exposition, and some gentle guidelines. The overall theme is that most Christians are only half-living. We say one thing, and behave another way. We may not commit obvious harmful sins, but we get distracted by what's around us and miss - most of the time - the voice of God.

There are chapters on truth, transparency and diversions, then the second half of the book looks at how we can become more like Christ, seeing a little of how his mind works, and what he would wish us to do. Mostly that isn't about being a 'fool' in the sense of an idiot or a clown; it's more about renouncing worldly standards and wisdom, in favour of the one thing that matters.

Recommended for anyone looking for more meaning in their Christian life.

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