Although Fr. Barron clearly, as the title itself indicates, intended this book to be an introduction to Catholicism, I think that what he has written here is an excellent introduction to Christianity as a whole. And I say that in spite of the two swipes (on pages 3 and 164) he takes at the Orthodox Church, of which I myself am a member. Other than perhaps his understanding of the interrelations of the three divine persons in the Trinity, which seems to be based largely around the filioque, and, of course, his discourse on papal infallibility, there was hardly a thing I could find with which I disagreed. In fact, that may be the greatest message that I took away from the book, probably contrary to Fr. Barron's desires: that perhaps East and West aren't so different after all.
Fr. Barron is, in turns, poetic and intellectual throughout the book. His initial descriptions of the Incarnation (pages 9-10) and the liturgy (pages 172-4), for instance, are so beautiful they could easily become verse. And his discussion of God (chapter 3), for example, wonderfully breaks down very difficult and rather heady concepts in language that anyone can understand. Adding to the beauty of the book are the black and white photographs of some of the most beautiful sites in Christendom sprinkled throughout the book and the wonder-evoking set of color photographs in the center.
Also contributing to the excellence of this book are the numerous short quotations, bits of wisdom, and anecdotes sprinkled throughout. For these, Fr. Barron draws especially heavily on modern Christian thinkers like Paul Tillich, Thomas Merton, and Edith Stein, giving us a presentation of a Christianity that has grappled with the great problems of the modern and postmodern world and its thought as encapsulated by such figures as Marx and Freud (whom Fr. Barron references specifically). In course, he demonstrates to the reader that Christianity is not the medieval superstition and antiquated silliness some would like to paint it as, but it continues to be what it has always been: the Truth, the way to Life from the realm of unbecoming.
I recommend this book as an introduction to Christianity for the newcomer and an engaging refresher for the experienced – with a uniquely but not exclusively Catholic flavor. I especially recommend that all Catholics have a read of this book.