Author, latest, Seven Men and the Secret of Their Greatness (2013)
Other books include NY Times #1 Best-seller Bonhoeffer
Keynote speaker at the 2012 National Prayer Breakfast
Voice of BreakPoint, a radio commentary that is broadcast on 1,400 radio outlets with an audience of eight million
His book & movie reviews, essays, poetry, etc. have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, New York Times, Washington Post, Christianity Today, National Review Online, etc.
Graduate, Yale University
Author Eric Metaxas Reveals Seven Great Men of God
The 700 Club
CBN.com- TRUE MANHOOD
Best-selling author Eric Metaxas says that over the last few decades there has been confusion about what
true manhood is. He states this relates to the larger issue of authority coming under attack. The idea of fatherhood has also diminished in the last forty years, and we have ended up with two very distorted views of manhood – being macho or being emasculated. Role models haven't been deemed as important in recent years. With these cultural attacks on what it means to be a man, it is important to find good role models, especially for young men.
God's idea of authentic manhood is to have distinguishable masculinity from femininity (the way He designed
it) and strength (moral, physical, spiritual to protect and bless those who are weaker – not for selfish gain or harm).
Of course, God’s son, Jesus, was the greatest example of true manhood. However, Eric compiled a list of seven men that could be considered good role models for today. Eric chose these seven men because they surrendered themselves to a higher purpose of giving something away that they could have kept. Doing this takes courage and usually faith. Here are the seven men he chose in chronological order:
GEORGE WASHINGTON (1759-1833)
George Washington voluntarily gave up the honor of being a king at a time when that position was valued. Instead of gaining personal power, it was more important for him to sacrifice himself and do the right thing for the sake of his new country and future generations. This decision changed history. Though he never fathered any children himself, he is known as the father of our country.
A famous painting depicts George Washington kneeling next to his horse to pray before a battle. Biographers say there is no record of him doing this. However, Washington was a deeply religious man and relied on his faith to help him make decisions about the war. It is recorded that Washington's nephew witnessed his uncle's private morning and evening devotions in which Washington would be in a kneeling position with the Bible open before him.
WILLIAM WILBERFORCE (1759-1833)
William Wilberforce gave up the opportunity to become the prime minister of England for the sake of fighting against slavery and for oppressed people. His return to his Christian faith and his personal relationship with God changed how he saw the world. He saw that God was a God of justice and righteousness and He was no respecter of persons. Wilberforce saw that every human being was made in God's image and worthy of profound respect and kindness. He was motivated by his love of God and the love of man more than simply a sense of injustice.
In his battle to end slavery, Wilberforce knew he had to rely on God and that the battle was God's, not his. Because he knew it was a spiritual battle, Wilberforce prayed and read scriptures daily. He also prayed with others about these issues and memorized many scriptures, including Psalms 119 in its entirety. Wilberforce sought out the support, advice, and encouragement of other Christians as well. He would not have been able to win the
victory over the slave trade and the other things he accomplished without the power of prayer.
ERIC LIDDELL (1902-1945)
Eric Liddell's story was depicted in the feature film Chariots of Fire. Brought up in China by missionary parents, Liddell kept his faith in God throughout his life. He was completely devoted to God and wanted to use his athletic talents to glorify Him. However, he valued obedience to God more than this. In 1924, Liddell gave up his chance to win an Olympic gold medal in his best event, the 100-meter race. It was more important for him to honor God by not running in those races which were held on Sunday, “The Lord's Day.” Later in the competition, he won an Olympic gold medal in the 400-meter race.
No matter how busy he was, Liddell never neglected his daily time with God. Every morning he rose early to pray and read the Bible. A close friend of Liddell's observed that he was “God-controlled” in his thoughts, judgments and actions and not surpassed or equaled in this. He died as a POW in Japanese controlled China in 1945.
DIETRICH BONHOEFFER (1906-1945)
Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a brave German pastor and theologian who defied the Nazis unto death. He prayed earnestly and left the safety of America to go back to certain death in Germany because he felt that God wanted him to. He referred to the Bible as the Word of God and believed that God wanted to speak through it. He believed reading the Bible should be personal and real. Bonhoeffer taught his theological students how to pray, study, and meditate on the scriptures daily. His personal relationship with God and his deep study of the Bible made him one of the leading and prophetic voices for the church at that time. He was hanged in a German concentration camp.
JACKIE ROBINSON (1919-1972)
Jackie Robinson was the great baseball player who broke the color barrier in professional baseball. To do this, he had to rely on his faith in God to help him give up the right to fight back against the vicious racial attacks he received. His mother taught him the value of prayer and displayed how to handle racial attacks with dignity. Robinson was chosen by Brooklyn Dodgers General Manager Branch Rickey because of his athletic ability and devout faith in God (Branch Rickey was a “Bible-thumping Methodist). Robinson believed that God chose him for this purpose and would give him the strength to accomplish it. He received a lot of abuse but did not fight back because that is what God wanted and he promised Rickey he wouldn’t. Robinson kept his reliance on God and prayed every night for strength.
Eric says unfortunately, in the new movie 42, the crucial element of Robinson’s faith was ignored.
POPE JOHN PAUL II (1920-2005)
Pope John Paul II surrendered his whole life to God and was not an ambitious man. He was consistent in his faith all of his life and practiced what he preached. He was humble, humorous and exemplified whoever will lose his life shall gain it.
CHARLES COLSON (1931-2012)
Charles Colson was a Wilberforce for our times, according to Metaxas (who knew Colson personally). He wanted to help people in society who suffer. After he became a Christian, there was a marked change in his life. When his part in Watergate threatened to send him to prison, he knew the only thing he could do was trust God completely – even at the risk of looking crazy to the rest of the world. Colson only cared what God thought. He went to prison as a result of pleading guilty. However, he knew when you give everything to God you are truly free. In prison, Colson faithfully read his Bible. Three years later, he started Prison Fellowship Ministries. Colson continued to be involved in teaching the biblical worldview. Throughout his ministry, he loved to say that no matter what, Christians must be at their posts, doing their duty.
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