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The Importance of Being Foolish: How to Think Like Jesus

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  782 ratings  ·  68 reviews
In the eyes of the world, Jesus was a fool. He did not abide by the rules of his day; the people he associated with were shunned by society; his Sermon on the Mount reads likea primer on being left behind, stepped on, and ignored. In order for us to truly be the people Jesus wants us to be, we too must learn to become "foolish."

Becoming a Christian is not a magical enterpr
Paperback, 192 pages
Published June 27th 2006 by HarperOne (first published June 28th 2005)
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Feb 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religion, 2013
One of the most profound and impacting books I have read in a very long time. This book is an absolute must read! I must confess, I underlined about 30% of the book, and plan to re-read it again immediately. I feel sure that it is impossible to get all it has to offer, on the first read.
Karen Wondercheck
Jun 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book is not my favorite Brennan Manning book, that would be "The Ragaumuffin Gospel" and "The Furious Longing of God", but it did speak to me and encourage me to continue to strive to think with the mind of Christ, who in the eyes of the world, was a fool. In 1 Cor. 1:18 "The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." This book reminds me that if I am not intentionally seeking the mind of Christ I am depriving mysel ...more
Meghan Armstrong
Apr 10, 2009 rated it liked it
This short book by Brennan Manning is a revised version of a previous work from 1976, which he describes as written with “a little bit more grace and humility” the second time around. And it’s a good thing. I can’t imagine reading it without the compassion and understanding that comes peppered throughout. I probably could have used more.

The Ragamuffin Gospel, also by Manning, is one of my top five favorite books, mostly because it revolutionized my view of God’s value system. It is absolutely o
Jul 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is probably the best book I've read so far this year!

I offer the following as a quote to captivate you:

“A gentle revolution will come through a little cadre of Christian fools who are willing to overthrow the established order by arranging their lives around the mind of Christ. Their question is transparency through truthfulness, and their lifestyles will be shaped by the gospel of Jesus Christ. If ‘truth consists in the mind’s giving to things the importance they have in reality,’ in the w
Jun 18, 2007 rated it really liked it
this review first appeared on []

this is a book i found sitting on a table at my mum's house and decided to take with me.

brennan manning is a franciscan priest best known for his book 'the ragamuffin gospel' (which i also have in my possession - review sometime in the future). faced with the choice of reading this book and 'the ragamuffin gospel', i decided to read this one because i like the cover design...

in the event, it turned out to be one of the most impacting
Mar 31, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This book strongly advocates foolishness - that is, foolishness in the eyes of the world. Brennan Manning suggests that instead of following our instinctive desire for security, pleasure and power we choose to let the reality of Jesus and his sacrifice fill our lives. As he points out, too many Christians are half-hearted about living a Christ like lifestyle. Jesus' commands in the gospels set out an incredibly radical way of life.

This is a thought-provoking and very important book. (Also, I lik
Brooke Fradd
Jan 22, 2016 rated it liked it
Not my favorite of Manning's works, but some good take-aways none the less. ...more
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If you don't want to be challenged, don't pick up this book. Brennan will have you pulling back from the reading, pondering a paragraph here or sentence there. Several times, I had to reread paragraphs to grasp their full meaning for they were stuffed full of wisdom. This book was deeper than I expected. ...more
Kimberly Brooks
Sep 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
"To the fool, Jesus Christ is not a sage or a starry-eyed reformer...he has redirected reality and given it a revolutionary reorientation. Jesus did not tidy up the world. He brought it to a screaming halt. What he refashioned out of the human stuff of the old order is not nicer people with better morals but brand-new creations." YES. ...more
Landon Johnson
Dec 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am so glad I stuck with this book until the end. The most powerful pages were the last 20. And the book picks up steam all throughout. Reading Manning’s stuff is really a glimpse into his heart, which is why I love reading him. Foolish is no different. Manning’s heart for Jesus and the insights he has accumulated throughout his adventures are shared well in this book.
Buddy Draper
Oct 26, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: discipleship
Manning spent a year with a group of monks called Little Brothers of Jesus who went around doing good works and living in spartan simplicity. It seems that he returned with the aim of setting Christians straight but I couldn’t connect with what he was saying.
Soraya Keiser
Dec 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
I just love Brennan Manning's books. He does not polish over his life or the Gospel from an ivory tower. He is there in the thick of things, just as much a sinner as you and me. This book especially challenged me and made me think in new ways. ...more
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite books. It really convicted and challenged me.
Feb 24, 2019 rated it liked it
I'd give the first two chapters six stars if I could. But the rest of the book didn't connect for me. So the star rating is my average. ...more
K. Hill
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Read this book if you want a deep relationship with Jesus. That said, it has made me quite unpopular in our current culture.
Ian Hastings
Apr 03, 2020 rated it liked it
I wanted to love this book like I loved all his others. Just felt really dry and I couldn't connect.... ...more
Feb 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Classic Brennan Manning. I read it in small bits to chew on his wisdom and savour his challenges to my conventional thinking. Fantastic book.
Cat Rayne
Jun 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
How to think like Jesus in the typical “no holds barred “ style of Brennan Manning.

There is God, and his truth, and there is everything else. Brennan makes the solid, and biblical case to pattern your thoughts and your very existence in this world after Jesus. There is nothing else.

Appreciate Manning’s style, it convicts while softening you for humble submission to prayer for a mind like Christ and then to live your life in the mindset.
Jan 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
“A gentle revolution will come through a little cadre of Christian fools who are willing to overthrow the established order by arranging their lives around the mind of Christ. Their question is transparency through truthfulness, and their lifestyles will be shaped by the gospel of Jesus Christ. If ‘truth consists in the mind’s giving to things the importance they have in reality,’ in the words of Jean Danielou, then the desire for security, pleasure, and power will be realistically assessed as s ...more
Vaughn Bender
Jan 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book title was a bit confusing at first. When I first started reading through the first few chapters I was trying to connect some sort of dots to relate why the book was called "the importance of being foolish" but it wasn't until I read through half the book the idea of the title was starting to form in my mind. This book is not very similarly written like his others and that is ok. Mr Manning touches on a few key points such as blessings, transparency, security, pleasure, and power and wh ...more
Dec 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy, faith
Manning's book "The Ragamuffin Gospel" hit me like a bolt of fire and tears. One of the most important books I've read leading me to a better understanding of grace and deepened my relationship with my heavenly father. I told myself that I should not have expectations that this book would be similarly powerful. Yet in the back of my mind I think I still hoped it would be. I was initially disappointed. Probably because of my high expectations. But part of it was because the as the author admitted ...more
Todd Wilhelm
Jun 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Typical Manning. Insightful, honest, and challenging. I have liked every book of his that I've read.

"The last desire that hinders us from putting on the mind of Jesus Christ is the lust for power. In his ministry, Jesus rejected any display of power except the power of the Holy Spirit. Unlike "the kings of the Gentiles [who] lord it over them" (Luke 22:25), the disciples were not to exercise authority. The Lord himself performed the menial service of the slave at the door by washing the dusty fe
Jan 25, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thought-provoking and challenging, if a little heavy-going in places. This book explains what the Christian life is (or should be) about - relationship, not legislation - and hints at what it means to be 'fools' for Christ. Not fools as in buffoons, but in the eyes of much of the world.

Early chapters deconstruct much of the way we tend to behave, with encouragements to embrace truth and transparency, while moving away from the diversions of security, pleasure and power. Later chapters attempt t
Mar 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: jesus
If you like Brennan Manning and have read most of his books, add this one to the list. Convicting is not the word I would use to describe most of his books, but it certainly describes this one. He expounds on what it means to follow Jesus, particularly in laying all our sins and failures at His feet.
I couldn't tell you an overarching theme, like "grace" for The Ragamuffin Gospel or "accepting God's delight" for Ruthless Trust (my personal favorite), but this one is not meaningless.
Again, if yo
Deborah Humphreys
Jul 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Brennan clearly makes the case for "Has God not made foolish the wisdom of the world?" I Cor. 1:20. To have the mind of Christ compels me to examine my heart, laying it bear for the God' love to freely enter. This can only be done when I lay down my quest for security, pleasure and power offered by the world. Then I can hear God tell me who I really am. I am his beloved child. He can fill me with compassion, kingdom purpose, and all that Jesus was and is and will be.

I absolutely loved this book
Nov 20, 2008 rated it it was ok
The title of this book wasn't really tied into anything until the very end of the book. What the author is saying is pretty much what all the other religious books I've been reading have said: Christians don't act like Christians and we need to start! We need to start acting more like Jesus, thinking like Jesus, and not degrading what happened on the cross. I like the author's idea, but I don't think it was properly executed in this book. And when there is a typo on the first page, you know it's ...more
To be a Christian is to be transformed, but are we willing to be like Jesus was in the eyes of the world: foolish.....not playing the fool or silly, but living in a way considered ridiculous in the eyes of the world(ly). Manning looks at the worldly mind focused on power, security and pleasure versus the focus of Christ's mind: communion with the Father, forgiving love, compassion for others and selfless service. A good read to determine if one is just playing spiritual games, or truly among the ...more
Oct 27, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a good book, but not a great one. Despite absolutely loving The Ragamuffin Gospel (TRG), also by Brennan Manning, I was somewhat disappointed by this book. I would figure that over half of the book is just a re-hash of his previous one, and there doesn't seem to be a coherent theme such as in TRG.

I would say that you need to read this one first, but that would just make TRG seem like a re-hash; and it is a much more superior book.
Jul 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
I don't think I have read anything by Brennan Manning that hasn't challenged me to consider the cost of following Christ. If you are looking for another great book by Manning, that will challenge you in your pursuit of God, I highly recommend, The Importance of Being Foolish. The title alone should do it:). ...more
Pete Kieffer
Jan 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I was very inspired by this book. Manning pulls no punches in describing what is a stake when we take on the mind of Jesus. He has no time for the moralistic "Sunday Christian"--- Jesus, the Cross, and the Resurrection must become the center of our life. The Importance of Being Foolish, calls us to an authentic passionate Christian life. ...more
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Richard Francis Xavier Manning, known as Brennan Manning (April 27, 1934 – April 12, 2013) was an American author, friar, priest, contemplative and speaker.Born and raised in Depression-era New York City, Manning finished high school, enlisted in the US Marine Corps, and fought in the Korean War. After returning to the United States, he enrolled at Saint Francis University in Loretto, Pennsylvania ...more

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