Book Club Questions
I Want You to Be: On the God of Love
2017 Catholic Press Association Book Award, First Place in Theology
Foreword Reviews' 2016 INDIES Book of the Year Award, Gold, Philosophy
In I Want You to Be, Tomáš Halík 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’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 appeal to readers interested in questions of secularism and Christianity in modern life.
Tomáš Halík is a Czech Roman Catholic priest, philosopher, theologian, and scholar. He is a professor of sociology at Charles University in Prague, pastor of the Academic Parish by St. Salvator Church in Prague, president of the Czech Christian Academy, and a winner of the Templeton Prize. His books, which are bestsellers in his own country, have been translated into nineteen languages and have received several literary prizes. He is the author of numerous books, including From the Underground Church to Freedom.
Book Club Questions
1. Tomáš Halík says that God approaches us more as a question than an answer. Have there been times in your life when your faith has left you feeling doubt or confusion?
2. "I love you: I want you to be." What is love to you after reading this book?
3. Father Halik calls this book an “interim report” of his journey, and seeks to be an inspiration for your journey, for your own courage to seek, rather than a set of reliable maps. Did you receive motivation or encouragement from the book?
4. This book is addressed to those who consider themselves believers, almost-believers, or erstwhile believers. What does Father Halik tell you about sharing your life and faith with non-believers?
5. Love means self-transcendence. And what is more radical than to abandon self-absorption—which is especially pronounced nowadays—in favor of an “absolute mystery.” Have you experienced this type of transcendence at some time during your life?
6. "I want you to be." What does it mean for you to be, after reading this book? How can you "be" and help those around you to "be"?
7. The command to Love one’s enemy is certainly timely today. What has I Want You to Be taught you about carrying this out?
8. What have you learned after reading this book? Has it broadened your perspective about how to love God? Your friends and family? Your enemies? Has it broadened your perspective about a difficult issue—personal or societal?
9. What parts of I Want You to Be were troubling to you or difficult to understand?