Night of the Confessor: Christian Faith in an Age of Uncertainty

Tomás Halík. Doubleday/Image, $13 trade paper (240p) ISBN 978-0-385-52452-0
At the end of the first chapter, Halík (Patience with God) invites the reader not to continue unless he or she is able to explore the Christian faith in terms of paradox. A Catholic priest who has heard a lifetime’s worth of confessions, he has gleaned certain elemental attributes that bespeak deep truths about God, faith, and obedience. Halík speaks out of the experience of living under religious oppression in Communist Czechoslovakia, which may account for the book’s mournful tone. Christianity, he says, means following the “one who did not evade the darkness.” He rebukes the preening and prancing faith healers whose ministries before crowds betray narcissism and megalomania. Faith, as delineated here, is not easy; not fancy; not about formulas, platitudes, or rewards. His theme is mystery, a timely antidote to otherwise predictable notions about authentic belief. Read slowly, it makes sense, if the reader is willing to suspend systems, pietisms, and preconceived categories within the Christian faith, a challenge that does not disappoint. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/14/2011
Release date: 01/10/2012
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