The subtitle of this book is the cry of the heart for intimate belonging, and it explores how we tend to present an “imposter self” to the world, trying to appear worthy of God’s love. The theme is to experience the love of God by “coming out of hiding” behind masks and becoming “our true self”. We tend to inhibit the intimacy we long for with our heavenly Father because our less-than-perfect lives shatter the myth that we are good enough. The author aims to convince us of our “belovedness” — that God takes pleasure in us — independent of our perceived successes or failures.
Manning comes from a faith tradition very different than my own, which makes it challenging to fully understand him without reading slowly and carefully, often rereading a sentence or section. It requires patience and humility to avoid evaluating his thoughts exclusively through my own mindset. His obituary describes the fascinating history of Franciscan religious study and ministry that shaped his views of God, people, and the world. While Manning has valuable insights for all Christians, his reliance on psycho-spiritual concepts and quotes alongside Biblical truth makes it difficult to discern the exact foundation of his perspectives. On the other hand, he shares deep insight into gospel principles, as well as the stories and teachings of Scripture. I would recommend this book to readers already familiar with this author’s work or those who enjoy reading weighty material on a most worthwhile subject.
Required Federal Trade Commission disclaimer: I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by Tyndale Blog Network in exchange for an honest review.