In his two previous books translated into English,Patience with God and Night of the Confessor, best-selling Czech author and theologian Tomas Halik focused on the relationship between faith and hope. Now, in I Want You to Be, Halik examines the connection between faith and love, meditating on a statement attributed to St. Augustine-_amo, volo ut sis,_ "I love you: I want you to be"-and its importance for contemporary Christian practice. Halik suggests that because God is not an object, love for him must be expressed through love of human beings. He calls for Christians to avoid isolating themselves from secular modernity and recommends instead that they embrace an active and loving engagement with nonbelievers through acts of servitude. At the same time, Halik critiques the drive for mere material success and suggests that love must become more than a private virtue in contemporary society. I Want You to Be considers the future of Western society, with its strong division between Christian and secular traditions, and recommends that Christians think of themselves as partners with nonbelievers.
Halik's distinctive style is to present profound insights on religious themes in an accessible way to a lay audience. As in previous books, this volume links spiritual and theological/philosophical topics with a tentative diagnosis of our times. This is theology written on one's knees; Halik is as much a spiritual writer as a theologian. I Want You to Be will interest both general and scholarly readers interested in questions of secularism and Christianity in modern life.