Ask almost any Catholic with Internet access who Bishop Robert Barron is, and you may receive a response like this: Oh! He does the Word on Fire YouTube videos! For the bookworm, his hit book Catholicism lingers in the back of a faithful mind. Walk into a Catholic book study, and odds are, you’ll see a supplemental resource written by Bishop Barron.
In To Light a Fire on the Earth, John L. Allen Jr. partners with Bishop Barron to bring the story of the Gospel to our secular world. For those who are looking for a sentimental reflection on the Catholic faith, they will be disappointed. Rather, Bishop Barron tackles the growing secularism in our society, and combats it with the hard truths and promises of Catholicism.
For example, Barron states that while the Catholic Church is “extreme in its demand…it’s also extreme in its mercy.” As a result, Barron argues that we should not succumb to what he labels “beige Catholicism” that is plain and watered-down. He recalls a story of a child who once recalled the story of the whole Star Wars saga, right down to names and details. The point? If a child can recall names like Obi Wan-Kenobi and Darth Vader, then he is capable of learning about Habakkuk, Nebuchadnezzar, and Aquinas. To combat secularism, Catholics must have high expectations for not only ourselves, but also for the next generation of the faithful.
To Light a Fire is highly recommended for those who are Catholic, Protestant, non-believers, and everyone in between. This book discusses everything from secularism to the use of the Bible in everyday Catholic living. For those who are not Catholic (or Christian), the book expertly describes Catholic teaching and doctrine. To those of us who are Catholic, the book is a reminder of why we believe what we believe. Additionally, as Catholics, Barron encourages us to be authentic with non-believers and to show them the beauty of our Faith.
Note: I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.