Keeping it brief today…
I’m a fan of the author Brennan Manning. He’s one of only two Christian authors I really pay attention to (the other being Tony Campolo). Manning is a former Franciscan Priest and Catholic friar. He has served in a prison as a Chaplin, but disguised as one of the inmates, rather than sitting in an office. He’s a recovering alcoholic, who uses his own stories of misery to help move others toward healing. He’s a true reformer in the church, bouncing between Catholicism and Protestantism more often than Mickey Rourke was bouncing checks in the 90’s. He is presently 75-ish years old. (Can’t find his actual birth-date, but an article in 2004 listed him as being 70…so the math’s probably right.) Also, in like 2001 or 2002 (don’t quite recall) I wrote to him and he wrote me back…by hand.
Manning released a new book titled, “The Furious Longing of God.” In an early chapter, he says the following:
I believe in God with all my heart. And in a given day when I see a nine-year-old girl raped and murdered by a sex maniac or a fourteen-year-old boy slaughtered by a drunken driver, I wonder if God even exists.
I’ve known ministers (my age, younger, and older) who have been brought before their church leadership and even fired or forced into stepping down for expressing that very thought (and sometimes less). I can’t tell you how much of a relief and an encouragement it is to read that a man with Brennan’s credentials also feels like that sometimes.
Just wanted to say that.