Skip to main content

Seven Men

Seven Men

7 Men and the Secret of Their Greatness by Eric Metaxas

Many readers will know of author Eric Metaxas for his award winning book on Dietrich Bonhoeffer.  This new book, 7 Men and the Secret of Their Greatness is a collection of mini-biographies on great men figures in history who have made a significant contribution to society but have also lived out a vibrant faith in Jesus Christ.  The figures include Jackie Robinson, Pope John Paul II, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Chuck Colson, Eric Liddell, William Wilberforce and George Washington.  The power of a book like this is you get a glimpse of the adversity these men faced and how they overcame it by their lives, incorporating their faith in everything they accomplished. 

Living Beyond Your Moment

Two of the figures in this book, George Washington and Jackie Robinson radically affected the lives of others who came after them.  Metaxas writes of Washington, “Most of us can hardly fathom just how unusual Washington’s decision was.  In rejecting power, General Washington became the first military leader in the history of the world to win a war and the voluntarily step down instead of seizing and consolidating power” (24).  Others in his militia forced the issue of his becoming immediate leader over the nation, yet he wanted this decision to come the civilian base.  There was a greatness here in his laying aside of the push for power and going back to his being a Virginian farmer. 

Jackie Robinson, in a similar vein, could have acted with vitriol, anger, and verbal lashings for the cruel and evil way he was treated, yet, he took the road less taken for the sake of those who would come after him.  Metaxas directly quotes from Robinson here, “I had a bad few seconds, deciding whether I could continue to endure this humiliation,” Robinson wrote later (129).  He turned the other check when accosted, yet he knew that losing his temper would jeopardize the future of all the blacks that would follow him (129).  Breaking the color barrier in baseball paved the way for understanding among all races in America.  Yet, what I didn’t know, was that Jackie was a committed Christian from very early on in his life and sought to integrate at every step his faith and life.

I found this book to be a very good introduction into the life of seven great men.  In matters of sacrifice and discipleship, Bonhoeffer bears a great witness.  In matters of love for all of God’s people, Pope John Paul II is included.  In different yet striking ways, these men bring out the best of what the Lord can do when a man’s life is devoted to Him.

Thanks to Book Sneeze and Thomas Nelson for the review copy in exchange for review.


Popular posts from this blog

the great spiritual migration

The Great Spiritual Migration by Brian D McLaren

Brian McLaren and his own pithy way brings to the foreground and emphasis on a new kind of Christianity. The kind of faith that Brian envisions is a kind of migration not been set in the bedrock of beliefs that is unmoving but rather shifting with both culture and with faith. His new book the great spiritual migration is exactly that, a pointed work that encapsulates a vision towards the future where Christianity is changing and its peoples lives are changed as well.

Brian states in the introduction, "but we also know that for a lot of people Christianity is malfunctioning, seriously so, and it's not pretty. This kind of frustration with conventional Christianity is what McLaren gets gets to at the heart of this message is concerned with a number of different clusters unbelief. One, namely that Christianity has been stuck in a set of propositions or beliefs that has controlled churches in the faith, rather then a spirit of love t…

Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning

Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning by Timothy Snyder
Misperceptions, misconnections, and missed observations are just some of the issues that Timothy Snyder raises in his book, Black Earth, concerning the Holocaust.  Snyder, no stranger to the frontlines of scholarship on the Holocaust, with his previous book Bloodlands, that concerns the land from Hitler to Stalin, takes a look at the Holocaust from new sources and new avenues of thought.  How did some nation-states survive relatively unscathed from Nazi persecution while others, notably Jewish populations, succumb to a wave of killings?  Also, what was the role of the Soviet Union in the war and how did Stalin effect changes in the Final Solution?  These questions are only two of the many that Snyder answers in his detailed account of the Holocaust.
One of the best chapters was entitled The Auschwitz Paradox.  Generally when the public thinks about the Holocaust, we think of Auschwitz first or at the top of our mental m…

NKJV Study Bible by Thomas Nelson

NKJV Study Bible by Thomas Nelson Publishers
Growing up with the NIV, the NKJV was not a bible I was familiar with.  This new NKJV Study Bible takes all of the features of the Thomas Nelson Study Bible and makes them better.  Right out of the box I noticed that the Bible was considerably lighter than most study bibles I have read.  Further, the text font was much larger than most study editions, although I’m not quite sure of the size. The aquamarine color was a great touch and the Bible was finely put together, enduring the wear of many coming years of use.
Why is this Bible worth the purchase?  First, the study notes were great for extra handling of particular confusing and messy areas of Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments.  Yet, the study notes aren’t an obstruction to the reading of the biblical text.  Clearly, the editors have taken great care in making the text stand out and the notes illuminate certain themes and areas of Scripture.  Second, the NKJV takes into account all t…