This is an excellent introduction to the basics of the Catholic church. I first heard of this book when I watched the series on EWTN a couple of years ago. They would advertise the book and video series for sale at the end of each episode, and I immediately wanted it. However, the series on DVD and Bluray is quite pricey for me to afford. I was ecstatic when I found out I could get the book as an audio book narrated by then Father Barron.
There is only one part of the book that I am unsure of. At the end in chapter 10 Bishop Barron discusses the “Last Things”, heaven, hell and purgatory. When he discusses Hell and Purgatory, as nearly as I can tell based on my knowledge of church teaching, he seems to be pretty much right on the money. However, when he discusses Heaven, particularly who goes there and our “blessed hope”, I am unsure of the Catholic church’s official stance on this issue.
I have recently been listening to a man named Michael Vooris who has attacked Bishop Barron on this issue several times. Vooris claims that Bishop Barron teaches that because of God’s mercy almost ALL men will make it to heaven. Vooris, of course, disagrees with this stance. Bishop Barron does say in this section of his book that we cannot even be certain that Judas Iscariot or Hitler are in hell. This seems rather far fetched to me because Jesus said to his disciples regarding Judas “Woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man. It would be better for him had he never been born.” (Matthew 26:24). Of course, this does not SAY that Judas will go to Hell, but it certainly implies dire consequences for him.
Overall, however, this is a very good book with clear, concise explanations of what comprises the teachings of the Catholic church. Very much worth the credit I paid for it.