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God or Nothing

4.50  ·  Rating details ·  470 ratings  ·  72 reviews
Published (first published February 2015)
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Dean I'm only 35 pages in, but I would say it is very accessible to the lay person. The book is in interview format, and Cardinal Sarah gives erudite and…moreI'm only 35 pages in, but I would say it is very accessible to the lay person. The book is in interview format, and Cardinal Sarah gives erudite and concise answers that show the reader the depth and beauty of his own journey and the faith in general. (less)

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Aug 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
How much I regret not reading this when it first came out! Or at least before now. There is much in it which is timeless and I would give those parts a clear hands-down 5 stars, but towards the end, there is also material relating to the clerical abuse scandals which is already historically-dated and appears well, hopefully optimistic? Innocent, even. It shows what a good and holy man he is. I tried reading some of it and then found it too difficult. I may come back to this again later. Kept thi ...more
Julie Davis
Dec 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I began this after a conversation with friends about the Catholic Church in Africa. I expected the entire thing to be biography, but the last 2/3 or so was Cardinal Sarah answering questions about the global Church today, evangelization, and connecting with God. As a result it was informative and inspirational in equal measures. Cardinal Sarah frequently quoted Popes Paul VI, John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Francis which made for an interesting juxtaposition of papal styles, all with the same me ...more
Br Stabin John Capuchin
We are living in a world where we see from every corner of the earth has doubts about the Christian vocation. Many questions are asked from various corners of the world. The holiness of the Christian priesthood and religious life have been questioned day by day. Though inside the seminary many eyes and mouths are reached up to us asking the same questions, challenging the vocations, mocking our decisions to adhere to God's call. I received the answer for all these from God through the book "God ...more
John O'Brien
Sep 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
One of the most profound reflections on the state of the Church I have read in decades. More than that, Cardinal Sarah exhibits the spiritual vision of man of deep prayer and scholarship. The sections on contemplation are alone worth the book. In interview format, the book covers his childhood in the African nation of Guinea, his conflicts as archbishop with the dictator, and his eventual appointment to Rome. Cardinal Sarah shows himself to be one of the most literate, incisive, balanced, and Go ...more
Fer de Uña
(Crítica de la 2ª edición en castellano, editorial Palabra, 2015)

El cardenal Gantin decía que "Dios no me pide éxitos, sino amor. El verdadero amor no pasa primero por la palabra, sino por el corazón. Lo demás es secundario y efímero. Sólo Dios es esencial y eterno. Y el amor nos permite parecernos un poco a Él".

Esta cita, presente en el libro, condensa de manera admirable su idea central, el pulso que se mantiene constante a lo largo de la entrevista al abordar las diferentes temáticas sobre l
Dec 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-read-list
Absolutely spectacular read. Beginning with an account of his own upbringing in Africa, Cardinal Sarah touches on all aspects of the Church's life. He speaks with wisdom, consideration of the poor, and the strength and heroism of a man of God. His life is not about a particular ideology, but only the proclamation of the Gospel.

Africa is not mission territory. Africa is the missionaries. Let us hope they can have effect soon.
Feb 27, 2017 rated it liked it
A very good read, especially if you are a passionate Catholic and know a fair bit about the ins and outs of Catholic doctrine and theology. The story of Robert Cardinal Sarah's life is amazing, but the emphasis on doctrine can make this book somewhat of a slow read at times.
Jan 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Every Catholic needs to read this book. If you want to understand matters of faith, Church teaching, the beauty of Church Encyclicals, Catholicism in the news, how to live your life - this book has it all.

The interview style takes a chapter or two to get used to. Cardinal Robert Sarah is a very holy man, with a story you want to hear and a faith you want to share in.
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful book. Beautiful man.

I heard recently that Africa will be the key to redemption of the Catholic Church. I believe Cardinal Sarah may be leading this revolution. Obviously written not long before the real extent of the scandals unfolded but a reflection of a very smart man with a heart for God.

I wish I was half the man of Cardinal Sarah, such an intellectual man of wisdom, faith, hope & love with exceptional knowing.

Much of the intellect and depth of this book is beyond my reach but
Aug 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: catholic
A series of questions and answers. The Cardinal is an impressive guy. He does not hold the "West" in high regard. Faith in Africa is much different- more real.

The title is appropriate.
Jose Torroja ribera
Claridad absoluta de planteamientos, aunque vayan contra las opiniones generales de la sociedad, incluso de muchos de los creyentes católicos. Interesantísimo.
Mar 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I was pleasantly surprised by what I read in this book. I had only heard about Cardinal Robert Sarah. Not only did I come to know about his life, but it was put together in such a way that I believe it is helpful for spiritual growth. There's a great deal of info about the various popes and their work to protect the teachings of the Church and the care they have for God's people. Also, many of the saints are quoted which clarifies Church teaching. This was a selection for our spiritual book club ...more
Nov 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
I know theology isn't everybody's thing and there's plenty of hot-button topics in here. But there's one very simple reason you should read this wide-ranging interview with Robert Cardinal Sarah, who grew up in a colonial Guinean village and today is close to the top of one of the world's oldest and largest organizations.

This man could very much one day be the first modern Pope from Africa.

Now that's what I call meritocracy.
Kevin Hughes
Jul 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: religion, vatican
Make this man Pope! Ha ha.

The book was very good, especially on the topic of personal prayer, where it was inspiring to me. Yet it was also full of good content about the theological and philosophical outlook of the modern world, and of the Church itself.

I finished it feeling that I should read it again soon in order to absorb all the good content better, so I think that's worthy of a rare four-star rating.
Jul 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Excellent glimpse into a very holy prelate of the Catholic Church. Amazing life story from a tribal youth to priest to bishop and now Cardinal, which I personally hope will ascend even higher. Timely as he presents the challenges the church is confronting today and frequently makes the point that we (the church) have been here before. The theological virtues are the key ingredients for both the clergy and the laity to overcome the materialism of our culture aka modernism.
Maria Koshute
Jan 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very thought-provoking, inspirational, and moving book. So many passages to underline and meditate on. Only criticism is that the interview format seemed to be a bit disjointed and repetitive...I felt like it could have been organized more succinctly. But still, would highly recommend for the exceptional content.
Feb 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wish I could give it 10 stars. What a wonderful exposition of faith!
Oct 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful presentation of the deep faith and spirituality of such a holy man.
Eye-opening and inspiring.
Scott George McCombe
We currently live in troubling times. The Church is collapsing in many parts of the world and, faced with an aggressive and uncompromising secularism, seems entirely unsure on how to assert itself in the 21st century. Yet while the Church is struggling in the West, there is hope in that the Church is flourishing in what used to be considered the Third World, particularly on the continent of Africa. Once the territory of European missionaries, the situation has dramatically reversed with many Afr ...more
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spiritual-life
A Breath of Fresh Air.

I decided to read this book because of Cardinal Sarah’s immaculate reputation, especially when it comes to liturgical reform. In addition to that, I was desperately looking for signs of hope from our hierarchy in the Church.

This book was a breath of fresh air. It renewed my hope in the hierarchy, that there are some who DO get it, who do understand the challenges and crisis of the church today.

In addition to Cardinal Sarah’s refreshing analysis of the spiritual state of the
Chris Koerber, CFP
This book is done in an interview format; co-author Nicholas Diat asks questions of Robert Cardinal Sarah and the answers just keep coming; calling for us to live our lives in a much closer life to our Lord.

From p. 280, an excerpt:
“...How can we ignore the sorrowful cry of the prophet Isiah: The righteous man perishes, and no one lays it to heart, devout men are taken away, while no one understands.” (Isiah 57:1)

While Christians are dying for their faith and their fidelity to Jesus, in the West
Ben Daghir
Jun 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology
In the present day of 2017, it's extremely powerful to read an interview from Cardinal Sarah.

"God or nothing" is the last thing that people want to hear.

"God or nothing" is exactly the kick in the *** that I need in developing as a believer and follower.

This book reminds me of the "Jesus is either a lunatic or Lord" type of thought process.

We don't like to hear and learn about the extremes, the cold hard truth, the type of stuff that makes us cringe and wonder if believing in God really does re
John Ray Catingub
Cardinal Sarah has quite the upstanding reputation in modern Catholicism. From a humble upbringing, a struggle against antagonist government in his early years of ministry, a catapulting to places of religious power, that the cardinal has retained his fidelity to Christ and the Church, espousing and promoting orthodoxy and adherence to the magisterium, prove that he is one of the good princes of the Church. Amid compromising bishops and cardinals, and the push of modernism and aggressive colonia ...more
Eduardo Garcia-Gaspar
Jan 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: moral-religion
El subtítulo de la obra dice algo que la describe muy bien, «Una conversación sobre la fe». Es una entrevista larga y rica con Robert Cardenal Sarah, done él responde preguntas de Nicolas Diat acerca de su vida y sus creencias y fe. Si la vida del cardenal, oriundo de Guinea en África es fascinante, más lo son sus ideas religiosas, bien representadas en su frase «El hombre solo es grande cuando está arrodillado ante Dios».
Es un gran punto de referencia para quienes desean profundizar su fe y hac
Javier Muñoz
Sep 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Maravilloso libro para conocer en profundidad los orígenes y el pensamiento del Cardenal Sarah, con una vida muy rica.
Pero es que además el repaso de Magisterio que aporta el libro es muy considerable.
Lo mejor, el amor a la Iglesia y al Papa que demuestra el cardenal, y en concreto la defensa del magisterio del Papa Francisco, en línea con sus antecesores, pero con un estilo diferente y muy necesario en la Iglesia ahora mismo.
Joseph Raborg
Jan 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Cardinal Sarah is a very profound thinker. He speaks the truth forthrightly, yet with compassion for those who are straying. One of the best things about the book is how he uses the inherited wisdom of the Church to explain the worst problems afflicting the West and the Catholic Church. Especially beneficial was how he brought out the best teachings of our last three popes: St. John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Francis.
Nov 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Reading about Cardinal Sarah's early life was fascinating. Lots of interesting and funny stories from growing up in a rural village in Guinea to the time he became the youngest Bishop at age 34. However the second half of the book has got a little intellectual for me, with lots of discussion of doctrines etc.
Daniel Tanner
Jan 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If I have one minor complaint it's that there's a lot of repetition from chapter to chapter where the interviewer essentially asks the same question but in a slightly different way or different context. But overall, this was an interesting biography which really gives you a unique view of the recent happenings in the Catholic Church and its struggles in the modern era.
Gregory Graham
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Cardinal Sarah is an extraordinary man. He had an amazing life journey from a small village in Guinea to the Vatican, with a communist dictator trying to kill him along the way. He is very insightful and direct when addressing the joys of the Gospel and the problems in the world and in the Church. He addresses modern problems without forsaking the Apostolic tradition.
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Robert Sarah is a Guinean Cardinal Prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He was appointed as Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments by Pope Francis on 23 November 2014. He previously served as Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and President of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum.
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“We need priests who are men of the interior life, “God’s watchmen” and pastors passionately committed to the evangelization of the world, and not social workers or politicians.” 9 likes
“Today all our freedoms are threatened. Economic, political, and media pressures never cease to diminish the connection between liberty and truth.” 6 likes
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