The 700 Club with Pat Robertson

Jimmy Wayne


Editor, Socrates in the City (2011)

Author, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy (2010)

Written Thirty children's books

Books & videoscripts for Big Idea Productions (Veggie Tales)

Former editorial director & head writer, Rabbit Ears Productions

Former writer & editor of Chuck Colson's syndicated daily radio program Breakpoint

Graduate, Yale University

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Eric Metaxas: Socrates in the City

By The 700 Club

When a friend approached Eric about starting a seekers’ Bible study in Manhattan, Eric had a different idea.  He thought a speakers’ series, with a nice venue and a good atmosphere, might be more appropriate for the New York City crowd, and he believed it could be a better way to reach non-believers.  So he set out to do a real NYC event.  Rather than do altar calls, he wanted to open discussions about life, with the assumption that through this discourse people would come to know Christ.  “I have no doubt,  if people are really seeking the big questions, it will lead them to the Lord,” says Eric.  His vision was to create a place for Christians and non-believers, where they felt safe to explore the big questions of life and think more deeply.  Taking its name from the Greek philosopher Socrates, who famously said, “The unexamined life is not worth living,” the Socrates in the City lecture series grew from this vision.  “We’re commanded by God to worship God with our mind,” Eric says.  At the Socrates in the City lectures, people can do just that.

Since its inception more than eleven years ago, Socrates in the City forums have drawn big crowds and great speakers.  Every month or so Socrates in the City sponsors an event in which people can begin a dialogue on "Life, God, and other small topics" by hearing a notable thinker and writer such as Dr. Francis Collins, Sir John Polkinghorne, Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks, N.T. Wright, Os Guinness, Peter Kreeft, or George Weigel.  Topics have included "Making Sense Out of Suffering," "The Concept of Evil after 9-11," and "Can a Scientist Pray?"  No question is too big—in fact, the bigger the better.  These events are meant to be both thought-provoking and entertaining, because nowhere is it written that finding answers to life's biggest questions shouldn't be exciting and even, perhaps, fun.

Now, the best-selling author has collected some of the most memorable lectures in his latest book, appropriately called Socrates in the City: Conversations on “Life, God, and Other Small Topics.” Eric chose eleven talks from standing-room-only events, including those given by some of the greatest Christian minds of today.  The book includes everything from Eric’s introductions, to the actual presentations and the audience Q&A, so readers get a sense of the unique gatherings held in some of NYC’s most special private clubs.  Included is Eric’s sense of humor shared with the guests, the serious reflection on life’s great issues from a deeply Christian viewpoint, the sometimes hilarious repartee between Eric and the speakers, and their off-the-cuff responses to some very interesting audience questions.   

Some of the questions discussed in the book include:  With technological advances in the field of biology, how do we believe in God in the age of Science?  Should faith inform our ethics?  Can those of no faith be good citizens? With another presidential cycle upon us, the “hot-button” issues once again seem to merge with the cultural and the political.  Can civility get us through?  As the number of natural disasters increases worldwide, how do we make
sense out of suffering and tragedy? What about evil? As the word spirituality becomes more prevalent in our lexicon, what does that mean to organized religion?

Eric was raised in church, but never heard about salvation.  Expecting to conquer the literary world after graduation from Yale, he found himself at age 24 living with his parents and working a "horrible" job as a proofreader at Union Carbide.  The culture at Yale had really sophisticated people who thought the big questions of life (like why are we here?) have no answers and it is folly to pursue such questions.   It was a kind of unspoken attitude, but it was in the air.   He worked with a born again Episcopalian, Ed Tuttle, who consistently witnessed to Eric.  When Eric's uncle was hospitalized in a coma, Ed told Eric that people at his church were praying for his uncle. And then he asked Eric if he could pray with him about his uncle.  Eric was deeply touched that people he did not know were praying for his uncle and that they really believed that their prayers would be heard and answered.  Several weeks later around his 25th birthday, Eric dreamed that he had found what he was looking for - God - in the person of His Son Jesus Christ. Telling Ed about his dream, Ed asked Eric what he thought the dream meant.  Without hesitation, Eric said it meant he had accepted Jesus.    Eric had no doubt.  Instantaneously, though some areas were a gradual process, Eric knew he could know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God was God.   As more time passed, he found the truth about God to be true.  He has never looked back and now he wants to share the Good News.

Eric Metaxas is the author of two critically acclaimed New York Times bestselling biographies, Bonhoeffer:  Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy and Amazing Grace:  William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery.  He is also the author of the Everything You Always Wanted to Know About God (but were afraid to ask) apologetics trilogy, which has been praised by pastor Tim Keller ("The difficulty is not to gush."); Dick Cavett ("Stylish and entertaining... Metaxas deserves a prize); and the actress Ann B. Davis (Alice of the Brady Bunch), ("I'm absolutely smitten with this book!"). Eric has worked for VeggieTales, where he co-wrote Lyle the Kindly Viking and was featured as the voice of the narrator on the Esther video.  He has authored over 30 children's books, including Squanto and the Miracle of Thankgiving.  His work for Rabbit Ears radio has won three Grammy nominations for Best Children's Recording. Woody Allen has called Eric's humor writing “quite funny”, and the musician Moby has called Eric “one of the funniest people I know.” Metaxas edited the Yale humor magazine and his humorous essays and cultural commentary have appeared in The New York Times and The Washington Post, among other places. Eric has debated Christopher Hitchens about Jerry Falwell on CNN and has debated at the Oxford Union on the subject of American Christianity.  He has been featured on Huckabee, Hannity & Colmes, NPR’s Morning Edition and Talk of the Nation, and many other programs.   

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