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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

To Light A Fire On The Earth. Proclaiming the Gospel in a Secular Age. Bishop Robert Barron in conversation with John L. Allen, Jr.

When I went into a Catholic cathedral overseas a long time ago, someone started muttering about 'superstition and ignorance'. Unfortunately, this is an increasingly common view of Christianity and Catholicism in particular.  As Allen writes, Catholics 'have to cope with an elite snobbery that says religion is backward, benighted, superstitious, and dangerous...'  It's good, then, that Barron can actually stand up to the cleverest people of our increasingly secular world and argue about his beliefs in depth.

This book provides an interesting look at how Barron sees the Catholic faith, what he thinks about the Pope, and how to bring Catholics back into the fold.  He especially emphasizes showing someone the beauty of the Catholic world. He thinks that many people today find too much talk about 'truth' a turn-off.  Instead, it's more important to get them to look at the glorious Chartres Cathedral or Sainte Chapelle. Bishop Barron certainly has a wonderful point here. No doubt, there are many who just see these buildings as examples of great architecture, but others will be inspired by their radiance and begin to wonder whether there is something more...

Allen also talks to Barron about the Catholic Church's teachings on sex. This is an important part of the book but Barron's explanations may not convince a lot of people.  However, it is the clearest exposition that I have read.  Barron also argues that the Church's over-emphasis on sexuality has probably turned many people away, and it's a good idea to place more importance on different aspects of its teachings.

He also looks at other controversies, such as the scandals, and dealing with aggressive atheism.  This all becomes quite theological.  Barron discusses Aquinas's arguments for the existence of God, for example.  I may read this part of the book again, although by chance I read AJ Cronin's anecdote much simpler!

This is a good book to read if you are interested in Bishop Barron and Catholicism.

I received this free ebook from Blogging for Books in return for an honest review.

                                                                                    

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