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Patience with God: The Story of Zacchaeus Continuing In Us Hardcover – April 14, 2009

4.8 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“I think of Tomáš Halík as I think of C.S. Lewis, Thomas Merton and Henri Nouwen — a rare combination of intellect along with an uncommon commitment never to betray the gene that unites us all as children of God.”
Doris Donnelly, professor of religious studies at John Carroll University in Cleveland and director Cardinal Suenens Center for Theology & Church Life

About the Author

TOMÁŠ HALÍK worked as a psychotherapist during the Communist regime in Czechoslovakia and at the same time was secretly ordained as a Catholic priest and active in the underground church. Since the fall of the regime, he has served as General Secretary to the Czech Conference of Bishops and was an adviser to Václav Havel. He has lectured at many universities throughout the world and is currently a professor of philosophy and sociology at Charles University. His books, which are bestsellers in his own country, have been translated into many languages and have received several literary prizes.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday Religion (April 14, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385524498
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385524490
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,697 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Professor Tomas Halik (b.1948) studied sociology and philosophy at Charles University in Prague, receiving his Ph.D. in 1972. During the years of the communist regime he studied theology secretly; in 1978 he was ordained a Catholic priest at Erfurt, East Germany. For eleven years he was active in an `underground church.' Since 1989 after the collapse of communism he has lectured at universities in Europe, the United States, Latin America, India and Taiwan; he has authored over 200 publications.In the 1990s he served as one of President Vaclav Havel's external adviser. In 1992, Pope John Paul II appointed him adviser to the Pontifical Council for Dialogue with Non-Believers and in 2009, Pope Benedict XVI granted him the title of Monsignor - Honorary Prelate of His Holiness. His books have been published in German, Polish, Italian and Spanish in addition to his native language. At present he is a Professor of sociology on the Philosophy faculty at the Charles University in Prague, and also Rector of the St. Salvatore Church, which serves university students.

What good could come from a theologian living in the `most atheistic country' in the world? Readers expecting to learn "how to be saved" will be disappointed in this work. However, those who search for some meaning in the seemingly senseless world can be enriched by Halik's ideas as they journey on `the road less traveled.' The author has found his vocation in serving those on the "outside," rather than comfortable believers.
Just as Jesus Christ did not come to serve the healthy, but rather, the sick, so Father Halik aims not to increase the righteous, but to give these outsiders an understanding of genuine faith-- offering not easy certainties, but helps in living a mystery.
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What if atheism is not a disease that needs eradicated? What if it isn't an enemy that needs vanquished? What if atheism isn't the opponent of faith? What if atheism lays on the same continuum of faith? What if it is the atheist--the vocal, passionate, and suffering atheist--who stands in solidarity with the kenotic Christ? What if it is the atheist who best understands the derelict cries of the godforsaken Christ of Golgotha?

In his new book Patience with God, Thomas Halík argues that the atheist is blessed in his solidarity with Christ. Rather than crushing him with fine crafted arguments in favor of God's existence, the atheist stands in the same pilgrimage of faith. She simply needs more patience with the periods of God's hiddenness. Instead of an enemy of faith, he is the prophetic voice of protest against a world gone mad, a God who is absent, and a world of violence and shame. She gives voice to the secret doubts of the faithful soul. Rather than eradicate the disease that is atheism, the person of faith, the person of the Church, is obligated to stand in solidarity with the sufferings of the impatient atheist. It is in this moment of solidarity that the faithful approach God's own kenotic (self-emptying; see Phil. 2) activity.

I for one have found the atheistic/theistic debates tiring. From a purely rationalistic/apologetic standpoint I haven't found either position particularly fruitful, helpful, or even overly convincing. At the end of the day, both the atheist and theist have his or her reason for believing what they do. While not airtight, most arguments have their plausibility, internal consistency, and external weaknesses.
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Dear friends...
I have read the book "Patience with God" it in its original Czech version.

As far as I am concerned the book is a unique collection of essays written by a notable and very influential catholic priest and philosopher. He examines the guiding principles of Christianity with the solutions for common everyday problems.

In our hard times the book of Tomas Halik is valuable especially for those who are searching for a constructive approach, to people of different attitude towards Christianity and especially to those who resolutely or reluctantly deny the existence of the highest power - the God. Like Zacchaeus.

Sincerely Brigita

P.S. The author, Tomas Halik has a web site...in English, too. See [...]
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The author, Tomas Halik, is a catholic priest, adviser to former Czech President Vaclav Havel, and old enough to have lived under Communism. There is seriousness, heft and humility in what he writes. The voice is of a wise counselor inviting either learning or shared commiseration of the experience of life and God. The book is a translation from his native tongue, but the translation reads fluidly and the reader is never left feeling like - "I bet something was lost in translation."

The subtitle, the first chapter and the final two chapters invite the reader to ponder Zacchaeus as a unifying story for the entire work, but the wrapper fails to contain the chapters in between. Stemming from a story shared in the introduction, Zacchaeus was the starting hook, and probably kept as a nod to the American religious marketplace, but the real book bursts through in between.

The chapters in the middle are great meditations on what a mature faith is, what it looks like and how it is formed. They are a mature answer to the shallow atheism and the shallow Christianity that seem to have overtaken the West. Foremost in Halik's meditation are that both shallows are impatient. To the God marketed by American Evangelicalism, "God is not so readily available(p19)." To the atheist, that existential feeling of nothing, was already found in God's tomb of Holy Saturday (p43). The mature faith has patience with God; patience to wait for a deeper understanding, patience to wait for Easter morning.

Being catholic, St. Therese must appear, but the author slips the trite by connecting the little way with Luther's anfechtung. Also contained are a poignant reflection on St. Paul's image of the church as a body and the longing to see that body actually care about its members.
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