The Ragamuffin Gospel is a book about the essence of Christianity by former Franciscan priest Brennan Manning. Manning argues that Jesus' gospel was one of grace, and that efforts to earn salvation are impossibly misguided. He states that the true meaning of God's grace has been lost in society amidst a constant search to merely please God, as though the Almighty is only a "small minded book keeper," who tallies sins and uses them against humanity. Citing numerous biblical references and utilizing colleagues' stories, Manning illustrates the simple need for humanity to accept the freedom of God's grace, and its power to change lives. A popular quote from the book: "To evangelize a person is to say to him or her: you, too, are loved by God in the Lord Jesus." It was first published in 1990.
In March 2005, the United Nations released its Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. Among the findings: 2/3 of the world's ecosystems are seriously degraded; 90 percent of the world's fish stocks are depleted; and climate change is not just something that might happen, it is already upon us. Many people, including many Christians, will hear this and delude themselves into thinking that technology can and will save the day. A wiser and more helpful response, especially for Christians, is to find a way to step back into the flow of nature from which we have extricated ourselves. In Darwin, Divinity, and the Dance of the Cosmos, Bruce Sanguin shows us the way. Sanguin draws on the latest scientific understandings of the nature of the universe and weaves them together with biblical meta-narratives and frequently overlooked strands of the Judeo-Christian tradition to create an ecological and truly evolutionary Christian theology - a feat few theologians have even attempted.