Barron draws on religious writings ranging from the Old and New Testament,Augustine, Thomas Aquinas (the subject of one of his previous books),Martin Luther and Dante to more contemporary writers like Faulkner, Flannery O'Connor, Paul Tillich, Hans Kung and Thomas Merton to position the story and meaning of Jesus' life in a profound new way. This book gave me, a lifetime seeker, powerful new insights into why Jesus really is the way, the truth, and the light. The writing style is intelligent, brilliant, yet wholly readable. You'll want to savor and underline many of the thoughts and observations. For example, the succinct interpretation of the Sermon on the Mount is reason enough to get and read this book. Barron, a priest who is a theology professor at Mundelein Seminary in Illinois, provides us with a fresh way of viewing the Trinity which gives new meaning to the divine love it represents and what the Trinity says about how we can make love, and thereby personal fulfillment and happiness, integral aspects of our lives. If your looking for a book that will invigorate your faith and spiritual life, then get and treasure this book. It's a reference manual that you'll go back to often for encouragement and counsel. You'll keep it handy alongside books by Richard Rohr, Anthony DeMello and Thomas Keating. If anything its brilliance, scholarship, and insights exceed any of these authors. This book may well be for you the next best thing to having your own spiritual director. It could be the basis of a turning around, a metanoia, that will change your life!
I picked this book up knowing nothing about its content. As a reward, I received the most readable, sensible and well-supported view of Christianity I have ever read. This is not a religious book in the sense that it does not about Church or religions. (In fact, the author, Catholic Priest, seems to recognize that churchs and religions can be of the most difficult obstacles to understanding Christ.) Rather it is a book that focus on a multi-level interpretation of scripture and its call to transform our view of ourselves and our place in creation. This is done in part by reference to literary works be Dante, Faulkner, Flannery O'Connor and others in a successful effort to show a common search for the real Christ in us and in our midst. This book about transformation can transform the way you view the Bible and your place in and beyond the world. I set it aside to reread in two weeks and will probably do so several times.
As an aside, Barron is very similar to Richard Rohr in many of his views. (He quotes Fr. Rohr's works at least once.) If you find Fr. Rohr interesting, Barron, intentionally or not, follows and expands many of his themes.