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30 review for A Church in Crisis: Pathways Forward

  1. 4 out of 5

    Stef

    Repetitive in places, but this is a must-read for every Catholic today, especially if one has not kept up with what's been going on INSIDE the Church the past 30-50 years. Thorough and engaging. A bit depressing too, if one were to dwell on all the wrong that's happening. But I have hope in our young people, and I believe in happy endings, because Christ has already won. Let's all pray for perseverance to fulfill our vocations and win the daily skirmishes for the Kingdom. The mission hasn't chan Repetitive in places, but this is a must-read for every Catholic today, especially if one has not kept up with what's been going on INSIDE the Church the past 30-50 years. Thorough and engaging. A bit depressing too, if one were to dwell on all the wrong that's happening. But I have hope in our young people, and I believe in happy endings, because Christ has already won. Let's all pray for perseverance to fulfill our vocations and win the daily skirmishes for the Kingdom. The mission hasn't changed. :)

  2. 5 out of 5

    Debra

    Excellent. The crisis is laid out, the way forward too. I found the first half of this book so discouraging as it lays out decades of offense against God via the clergy and supposed Catholics, as well as the abuse crisis and the current divisiveness in the Church with much caused by the hierarchy, all the way to the Pope. It is very clear what times we are in. This was not a fast read for me because I put it down half way through thinking I can't read this. Then, I picked it up again and I am so Excellent. The crisis is laid out, the way forward too. I found the first half of this book so discouraging as it lays out decades of offense against God via the clergy and supposed Catholics, as well as the abuse crisis and the current divisiveness in the Church with much caused by the hierarchy, all the way to the Pope. It is very clear what times we are in. This was not a fast read for me because I put it down half way through thinking I can't read this. Then, I picked it up again and I am so glad I did. The second half of this book gave me great hope and it is inspiring me to become who I should be as a Catholic Christian and a daughter of God. I am so blessed to have wonderful priests where I live and I pray for the conversion of all clergy and laity alike. For all Christians. For all human beings. Those not with God will not be with God when their days here end. It is that simple. The bible is very, very clear on this. We should want all peoples to know the joy of the Lord.

  3. 4 out of 5

    E Geis

    Martin brings to the table some of the most pressing issues in society and the Church. His zeal and motivation to raise up good, sound leaders in the Faith and Doctrine of the Church is motivating. A good read.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Erik

    As a diocesan seminarian this book is a must-read. Informational. Compelling. Prophetic. Gives a keen look into the sneaking heresies of our Church today. A level-headed assessment that is raw, real, and helpful. My only critique is that it felt as if it could have been condensed a little bit. The last chapter is a real encouraging call to a pathway forward through the prophetic dimension of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit that I won't forget. As a diocesan seminarian this book is a must-read. Informational. Compelling. Prophetic. Gives a keen look into the sneaking heresies of our Church today. A level-headed assessment that is raw, real, and helpful. My only critique is that it felt as if it could have been condensed a little bit. The last chapter is a real encouraging call to a pathway forward through the prophetic dimension of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit that I won't forget.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    What is A Church in Crisis: Pathways Forward by Dr. Ralph Martin all about? Quoting from the book jacket: “…In A Church in Crisis: Pathways Forward, Martin offers a detailed look at the growing hostility to the Catholic Church and its teaching. With copious evidence, Martin uncovers the forces working to undermine the Body of Christ and offers hope to those looking for clarity…Powerfully written, A Church in Crisis reminds all readers to heed Jesus’ express command not to lead His children astray What is A Church in Crisis: Pathways Forward by Dr. Ralph Martin all about? Quoting from the book jacket: “…In A Church in Crisis: Pathways Forward, Martin offers a detailed look at the growing hostility to the Catholic Church and its teaching. With copious evidence, Martin uncovers the forces working to undermine the Body of Christ and offers hope to those looking for clarity…Powerfully written, A Church in Crisis reminds all readers to heed Jesus’ express command not to lead His children astray. With ample resources to encourage readers, Ralph Martin provides the solid foundation of Catholic teaching—both Scripture and Tradition—to fortify Catholics against the errors that threaten us from all directions.” Powerfully written? Absolutely. Other than the Bible, A Church in Crisis: Pathways Forward is the most powerful book that I have ever read. It has already changed my life. My initial reading of A Church in Crisis came about as a result of borrowing the book through an inter-library loan program as my local public library did not own a copy. After finishing A Church in Crisis, I have purchased my own copy so that I can read it over and over as there is so much information to digest. With copious evidence? With ample resources? Absolutely. Numerous citations from Holy Scripture provide support for the positions presented in the book. All references, quotations, comments, and notes in the book are thoroughly documented with 543 endnotes covering 73 pages—so many references that even a reference librarian should be impressed. Dr. Martin emphasizes that Holy Scripture is our lifeline from which our Catholic teachings and traditions come. He stresses the primary importance of Jesus Christ’s message to spread the Gospel so that all may "believe, repent, be baptized, and be saved.” The importance of faith, hope, and trust in Jesus Christ in all things and at all times is the central theme of the book. Of particular importance to me personally was Dr. Martin’s emphasis regarding the error of “Universalism” which has grown worse since the 1980s. Universalism is the error that states all, or the vast majority of souls, will go to heaven and that Hell is a remote possibility. This conflicts with hundreds of verses of Holy Scripture, and Jesus Christ’s clear and consistent teaching that “many” are on the road to damnation, and “few” are on the road to salvation. This sober teaching by Jesus himself is rejected by many out of hand. Obviously, it damages our understanding of the need for on-going repentance and living a moral life, the need for sacraments, prayer, and the Word of God. A Church in Crisis: Pathways Forward should be read by every person who wishes to attain eternal salvation. This book will help people recalibrate their worldview away from secular culture and back to the Word of God. Dr. Ralph Martin, the author of A Church in Crisis: Pathways Forward, is Director of Graduate Theology Programs in Evangelization and a professor of theology at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in the Archdiocese of Detroit. He holds a doctorate in theology from the Angelicum University in Rome. Additionally, Dr. Martin is the founder and president of Renewal Ministries (https://www.renewalministries.net), lectures worldwide, and is the author of many books including A Crisis of Truth, The Fulfillment of All Desire: A Guidebook for the Journey to God Based on the Wisdom of the Saints, Will Many Be Saved? What Vatican II Actually Teaches and Its Implications for the New Evangelization, and The Urgency of the New Evangelization, (all of which I have added to my “must read” list) as well as many articles in scholarly and popular publications. In conclusion, the following is a comment regarding A Church in Crisis: Pathways Forward by Fr. Peter Ryan, S.J.: The crisis of truth is back. An unblinking analysis of these toxic threats to the Church is once again desperately needed, but while many have provided elements of such an analysis, few have proffered so sweeping an evaluation while retaining admirable balance and evincing heartfelt love for the Church. Yet Dr. Martin goes further still in this book, which I do not hesitate to call prophetic. He points the way forward by holding fast to Scripture, rejecting the rationalization of sin and the false security of universalism, and recommending the proven remedies of repentance and reliance on the power of the Holy Spirit.” Fr. Peter Ryan, S.J. | Professor of Theology, Director of Spiritual Formation, Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Former Executive Director USCCB Committee on Doctrine.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Cornelius Pulung

    Sesudah Konsili Vatikan II, umat Katolik secara umum dapat dibagi ke dalam tiga kelompok: Pertama, kaum liberal/progresif yang memandang Konsili Vatikan II secara terpisah dari Tradisi Gereja yang sebelumnya dan mendukung banyak perubahan dalam hal doktrin dan moral; kedua, kaum konservatif/neo-konservatif, yang menerima Konsili Vatikan II namun mengkritik banyaknya pelanggaran yang terjadi dalam penerapannya; ketiga, kaum tradisionalis, yang berpandangan bahwa bukan hanya penerapan Konsili Vati Sesudah Konsili Vatikan II, umat Katolik secara umum dapat dibagi ke dalam tiga kelompok: Pertama, kaum liberal/progresif yang memandang Konsili Vatikan II secara terpisah dari Tradisi Gereja yang sebelumnya dan mendukung banyak perubahan dalam hal doktrin dan moral; kedua, kaum konservatif/neo-konservatif, yang menerima Konsili Vatikan II namun mengkritik banyaknya pelanggaran yang terjadi dalam penerapannya; ketiga, kaum tradisionalis, yang berpandangan bahwa bukan hanya penerapan Konsili Vatikan II yang bermasalah, melainkan dokumennya sendiri. Ketiga kelompok tersebut juga memiliki sikap yang berbeda terhadap Paus Fransiskus: ada yang membela setiap kata dan perbuatan Paus secara buta, dan ada yang menolak mengakui Paus yang sekarang, bahkan menganggapnya sebagai Anti Kristus. Buku yang ditulis Ralph Martin - seorang Katolik karismatik yang ortodoks dan setia kepada Magisterium Gereja, dan mungkin dia bisa ditempatkan dalam kelompok konservatif - mengambil posisi yang lebih moderat: benar bahwa kekacauan dan krisis yang terjadi saat ini salah satunya juga disebabkan oleh Paus itu sendiri, namun tetap harus diakui bahwa Paus Fransiskus adalah penerus Petrus yang sah. Menarik untuk dicatat bahwa Ralph Martin sendiri awalnya memiliki sikap yang positif terhadap Paus Fransiskus di awal kepausannya sebagaimana dijelaskan di awal bukunya, namun seiring berjalannya waktu, terdapat pergeseran pandangan yang membuatnya bersikap lebih kritis, namun tetap secara hormat terhadap Paus. Ini adalah pergeseran pandangan yang sepertinya akan menjadi tren di kalangan konservatif ke depannya. Sebenarnya isi buku ini sebagian besar mendokumentasikan dan menjelaskan hal-hal yang bermasalah secara rinci sejak Kepausan Paus Fransiskus, yang sesungguhnya juga membuktikan kegelisahan yang dirasakan oleh kaum tradisionalis Katolik yang mengkritik Kepausan ini dengan tajam. Mereka yang rajin mengikuti media-media Katolik seperti One Peter Five, Lifesite News, Catholic News Agency, Catholic Culture, tentu sudah tidak asing lagi dengan semua isi buku ini. Namun bagi seseorang yang awalnya memandang Kepausan Fransiskus secara positif, namun mulai merasa bimbang dan gelisah atas segala hal yang terjadi selama ini, maka buku ini dapat membuka mata mereka untuk melihat permasalahannya dengan lebih jernih. Dan persis di sinilah kekuatan buku ini: dengan ditulis oleh seorang yang bukan liberal maupun tradisionalis, maka seharusnya akan semakin banyak mata umat Katolik yang akan terbuka dan mampu membuat penilaian terhadap Kepausan yang sekarang dengan lebih jernih. Di bagian akhir buku ini juga terdapat satu bab yang menguraikan langkah-langkah apa yang harus dan bisa kita lakukan di tengah situasi krisis yang melanda Gereja. Saya yakin buku ini dapat menjadi titik awal diskusi di antara sesama Katolik mengenai langkah apa yang bisa dilakukan secara individual guna mempertahankan iman dalam situasi Gereja yang semakin memprihatinkan ini.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Fr. Dominic Rankin

    Perhaps the cover image of this book remains the icon best suited to summarizing its call: the surreal, shocking, blaze that tore through Notre Dame last year, as the Church approached the celebration of Easter. It was a moment that seems to capture much of what we fear and face as a Church. Unseen sparks strike unprotected beams ... flames erupt. A secular world dries the wood. Lackluster evangelization fails to care for entire swaths of the Church's members. Distractions and ambiguity leave c Perhaps the cover image of this book remains the icon best suited to summarizing its call: the surreal, shocking, blaze that tore through Notre Dame last year, as the Church approached the celebration of Easter. It was a moment that seems to capture much of what we fear and face as a Church. Unseen sparks strike unprotected beams ... flames erupt. A secular world dries the wood. Lackluster evangelization fails to care for entire swaths of the Church's members. Distractions and ambiguity leave countless wandering aimlessly through the glass and marble, leaving them unmoved, unchallenged, and walking, unchanged, right out the door. And those given the care of the basilica have walked off for the day: too busy, too tired, too worldly. And then a satanic wind whips through the ancient windows and timbers, and a conflagration bursts through the roof to a horrified, but unresponsive crowd outside. The fire is exacerbated by all that came before, and blazes with a demonic fury, yet the distracted and malnourished crowds, who have only ever appreciated the great church for superficial reasons, never for the Bread of Life that it holds, or the saints who have walked between its walls, remain unmoved and seem uninterested in fighting the flames. Benedict XVI's clown cries that a fire rages, yet none seem to think it any more than a funny side-show. (Drawing here from Introduction to Christianity) And yet, some faithful few still save the Eucharistic gift of God, and the fragments of those Saints who had been transfigured by His Love. The Blessed Sacrament and the relics are saved, so are the windows, archways, organ, and statues. All that is best, and most truly, the treasures of the Church: its faith, its hope, its love - the gifts of Christ - remain! The church still stands, and is still beautiful. What is needed are individuals who will not falter amidst the falsehoods and foolishness, or descend into despair, discouragement, or dividing off into their own little cliques. Fires aren't fought by cliques, they are fought by individuals - warriors, humble servants of an Almighty God - but united into a company with no standard except the cross, and no glory, except in Christ Who carries it before us all. Basilicas aren't rebuilt in a day, but only after centuries of faithful labor, humble prayer, and total sacrifice. And windows and walls and wonders do not attract any attention if someone remains standing outside. Yet, if they are invited in, by those who have seen God's Glory, then, once again, cannot the crowds become pilgrims, the superficial become saints, and the Church become triumphant? It can with God.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Richard Grebenc

    One of my favorite reads of the year. Martin pulls no punches in laying out in detail (440 pages with nearly 600 endnotes) the problems that the engaged Catholic has been increasingly lamenting over the years. He is not afraid to name names, but always in such a way that he is fair to the problematic party (or at least his problematic position). The first half of the book lays out the crises: confusion coming from the Church hierarchy, division within the Church, problems of Scripture scholarship One of my favorite reads of the year. Martin pulls no punches in laying out in detail (440 pages with nearly 600 endnotes) the problems that the engaged Catholic has been increasingly lamenting over the years. He is not afraid to name names, but always in such a way that he is fair to the problematic party (or at least his problematic position). The first half of the book lays out the crises: confusion coming from the Church hierarchy, division within the Church, problems of Scripture scholarship, the problem of universalism (will all men be saved?), the ongoing sexual revolution (LGBTQ+), liberation theology and its descendants (the Amazon synod), and taking moral responsibility. Of special note: he deals with Vatican II (and a certain "spirit" that came from it) in a balanced way that shows the beauty of its teaching while not denying problems that arose from those who hijacked its teaching in the years following. The second half provides "pathways forward": addressing militancy against the Church from without and within, pastoral passivity in the face of sin, the forthcoming judgment of God, the need for repentance, and the need for action and evangelization. Laying out the problems in such fashion is necessary for understanding and clarity. While it is a depressing exercise, in a sense, I found it actually quite energizing. It makes me even more determined to stand firm in the truth of Christ and share it regardless of the consequences. But to do so in love, which is always stressed here as the authentic means of correction and advocacy, as well as evangelization. If a person believes the fullness of revealed truth is found in the Catholic Church what it the world could prevent him from living it and sharing it! God bless Ralph Martin for completely revamping and updating his 1982 book, *A Crisis of Truth* to meet our current challenges.

  9. 4 out of 5

    A.J. Jr.

    A good and important book. But I fear the church is in far worse shape than even Dr. Martin would like to believe. And I'm afraid the people who most need to read this book never will. It seem to me the Catholic church has fallen into the same errors of liberal theology as have the other (now deceased) mainline Christian churches. As much as Dr. Martin (and many others) would like to believe this is not possible, this does seems to be happening all the same. Because the Catholic church is so anc A good and important book. But I fear the church is in far worse shape than even Dr. Martin would like to believe. And I'm afraid the people who most need to read this book never will. It seem to me the Catholic church has fallen into the same errors of liberal theology as have the other (now deceased) mainline Christian churches. As much as Dr. Martin (and many others) would like to believe this is not possible, this does seems to be happening all the same. Because the Catholic church is so ancient and so large it's fall is taking longer and will be greater. De facto schisms have already taken place. As I count them, there are now six different Catholic churches: 1) the official church; 2) the liberals who defy this official church; 3) the Novus Ordo conservatives; 4) the FSSP; 5) SSPX; and 6) Sedevacantists. Dr. Martin is a Novus Ordo conservative who lives within the official church. Thus the unhappy book he writes about the terrible condition of his church; a church which looks very similar today to the Presbyterian church in the USA about 100 years ago: in crisis and in the process of a nearly complete liberal takeover. I fear the author's warning cry, although well-intended, is too little too late.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Brace1737

    Ralph Martin has observed the Catholic Church worldwide for many years. In his new book he points out several problems that confront the Church today such as confusion over some statements by Pope Francis, the withdrawal from traditional teaching about sexuality,the Vatican's alliances with those who hold very different views than the Church and a lack of zeal over the need for the Church to peach the message of salvation. Comment: Dear Dr. Martin: I read your book because I wanted to be aware of t Ralph Martin has observed the Catholic Church worldwide for many years. In his new book he points out several problems that confront the Church today such as confusion over some statements by Pope Francis, the withdrawal from traditional teaching about sexuality,the Vatican's alliances with those who hold very different views than the Church and a lack of zeal over the need for the Church to peach the message of salvation. Comment: Dear Dr. Martin: I read your book because I wanted to be aware of the conservative point of view. I'm just a lay person. Some of your suggestions especially in the final chapter are certainly worth putting into action. Other suggestions were worth noting but I can't see myself carry out since those were directed at church leaders. Should you have written two books one for lay people and one for church leaders?

  11. 4 out of 5

    Tamara

    Ralph Martin presents a study of the many issues (external and internal) dividing the Catholic Church in our present world with almost 550 footnotes of sourced documents, books and articles. Martin spends the second part of the book on the "Pathways Forward" and what all of us who profess the Catholic faith should be focused on, or rather Who we should be focused on--that is following Christ and not being afraid of what the world may think. So the main question Catholics need to ask is: how do w Ralph Martin presents a study of the many issues (external and internal) dividing the Catholic Church in our present world with almost 550 footnotes of sourced documents, books and articles. Martin spends the second part of the book on the "Pathways Forward" and what all of us who profess the Catholic faith should be focused on, or rather Who we should be focused on--that is following Christ and not being afraid of what the world may think. So the main question Catholics need to ask is: how do we navigate the waters of the world while remaining faithful to Christ and His Gospel? I wished Martin had focused more on the Pathways Forward section and less on the repetitive Crisis section that anyone who will read this work has most likely heard or read most of this. This is my main reason for only 3 stars; my other reason was Martin seemed to leave out a lot about the mercy of God in the discussion on the "universalism" argument (I'm a huge devotee of The Divine Mercy) and how mercy can heal the current divisions in the Church without compromising the teachings of Christ.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Joseph Foley

    The book is well written as I would expect from Ralph Martin. The reason I gave it only three stars is that the first three hundred pages is restating things that have been in the news and in numerous other books. If a reader is not aware of the problems that the Catholic church is suffering under then the book is excellent but for the reader who is actively concerned with issues related to the church it is redundant.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Fr-corey

    I like Ralph Martin and I was intrigued by what he said about this book. Still, I was conscerned that I would be just examining a train wreck. I know the church is in a mess, do I really need to hear more about it. I was pleasantly surprised. Dr. Martin’s love the church is evident as he presents the evidence of what is wrong and the pathways forward. I highly recommend.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Maureen

    This is for those who truly love the Catholic Church. It presents a clear picture of where we are now. This is a call to the faithful to open your eyes to the spiritual war we are living in but not to lose hope.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    A little depressing to read how our world, families, and Church have gotten to the poor state it is in now and it's hard not to despair about the situation. Seeking personal holiness, a life centered in prayer, and being courageous in our standing up for truth, are the answers here. A little depressing to read how our world, families, and Church have gotten to the poor state it is in now and it's hard not to despair about the situation. Seeking personal holiness, a life centered in prayer, and being courageous in our standing up for truth, are the answers here.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Zac Brewer

    Read with my men’s group. It is a fantastic read. Ralph does a great job pointing out the serious problems facing the Church today and gives some answers and ways to fight back against them without falling back to screaming about Freemasons.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Valerie

    So needed. So depressing. I fear it could turn a weaker Catholic from their faith. So much exposure of the evil within our church. But the admonitions are so timely and needed. God, please heal our Church. Purge us and purify us. Please raise up holy priests.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

    Depressing read, but I think Ralph Martin has a lot to say about the decline of the vitality of the Church and its counter-cultural mission. Explains a lot, though not, I think, always with an unbiased eye.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Claire Jaworski

    Everyone should read this book. I truly believe the Holy Spirit guided Ralph Martín 100%. This book is powerful!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    Answered all the questions I have about the pope and state of the world. Well written and thorough.

  21. 4 out of 5

    FatherBenjamin Ross

    Wow! Eye-opening and encouraging; challenging but inspiring. A must read.

  22. 4 out of 5

    William F

    As a Catholic it explains to me the 'modern church' As a Catholic it explains to me the 'modern church'

  23. 5 out of 5

    MRS B M SINCLAIR

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Ulrick

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kyle Kowalczyk

  26. 5 out of 5

    Judy

  27. 4 out of 5

    Nils Dahl

  28. 4 out of 5

    Emily Meixner

  29. 4 out of 5

    Seth Ball

  30. 5 out of 5

    Pieter Morlion

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