A GLIMPSE OF JESUS: The Stranger to Self-Hatred

Brennan Manning, Author
Brennan Manning, Author . Harper San Francisco $21.95 (160p) ISBN 0-06-000069-4
Reviewed on: 12/23/2002
Release date: 01/01/2003
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Self-hatred, low self-esteem, unhealthy guilt and self-pity, according to the author, pose the single largest obstacles in today's world to discovering the love of God in Jesus. In this compelling sequel to The Wisdom of Tenderness, former Franciscan priest Manning (The Ragamuffin Gospel) offers insights into ways that Christians can overcome self-hatred, accept themselves for who they are, and recognize that Jesus loves and values them. According to Manning, the church perpetuates feelings of unworthiness by projecting onto God the image of a punishing father who does not love his children. In addition, by requiring a perfect obedience to the letter of the moral law, the church forms people into Christians who internalize failure and despise themselves when they cannot live up to the church's high moral standards. This self-hatred can be overcome, Manning writes, by a glimpse of Jesus, the "Savior of boundless compassion, unbearable forgiveness, infinite patience and healing love." Such a glimpse of Jesus comes through prayer and silent meditation. Once Christians realize that Jesus accepts them for themselves, they are liberated from self-hatred and are free to love others with the same compassion God has shown them. Manning sharply criticizes evangelists, preachers and priests who induce feelings of self-hatred, and urges Christians to cast their eyes upon Jesus, embracing his love and acceptance. Manning's book offers a radical portrait of discipleship for the modern church. (Jan.)

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