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For all the debate about belief and nonbelief in today’s world—and how everyone becomes pigeonholed by one or the other— TomᚠHalík teaches that God requires us to persevere with our doubts, carry them in our hearts, and allow them to lead us to maturity. For Halík, patience is the main difference between faith and atheism. Faith, hope, and love are three aspects of patience in the face of God’s silence, which is interpreted as “the death of God” by atheists and is not taken seriously enough by fundamentalists.

Using the gospel story of Jesus’s encounter with Zacchaeus, Halík issues an invitation to all people who stand (like Zacchaeus did) on the sideline—curious but noncommittal. The fact that Jesus gravitated to the poor and the marginalized means that he also has a special place in his heart for diligent seekers on the margins of the community of believers.

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