Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Book Review: Catholicism

Catholicism: A Journey to the Heart of the Faith
by Fr. Robert Barron
New York: Image Books, 2011

“Catholicism: A Journey to the Heart of the Faith” by Fr. Robert Barron is a book to accompany / complement the series by the same name. Having not seen that series, this book is being judged on its own merits. Fr. Barron states that, in writing this book, he wanted to show “how God uses Catholicism to utter his Word.” In very poetic language, he describes how God has spoken through the pages of Scripture, the sacred liturgy, missionary travels, the lives of the saints, the beauty of cathedrals, in Catholic writing and art and theater, and most importantly in the person of Jesus Christ.

In many ways, this book could function as a Catholicism 101 text, although there are many items within its pages that even those well-versed in the faith will find valuable. Fr. Barron examines the teachings of Jesus, explores proofs about God, the problem of evil, the person of Mary, the beginnings of the Church, the mystery of the Church, the communion of saints, prayer, and the last things.

“Catholicism: A Journey to the Heart of the Faith” goes beyond a traditional exploration of Catholicism in that it not only explores the person of Jesus Christ and the tenets and roots of the faith, but also its integration into the life of its followers. Barron shows how the faith has influenced culture and changed the lives of those who have chosen to give their lives to Christ. While no one book could ever hope to encompass all of the Catholic tradition and influence, Fr. Barron has provided interested readers with a highly-readable overview. Readers will come away with either a new-found or renewed appreciation for the Catholic faith.

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