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Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Seven Men by Eric Metaxas

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I could read or hear stories about lives impacted by God all day every day. Jesus Christ does the most beautiful work in broken down people. It is interesting to read about how each of these people came to this unrelenting faith in Jesus Christ. It would not die or let go. Each one overcame terrible odds. The glory of their stories is rooted in the fact that they overcame these factors by submission. They said a humble yes to Christ and it changed everything.

The seven men in this book are George Washington, William Wilberforce, Eric Liddell, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Jackie Robinson, Pope John Paul II, and Chuck Colson. I have read a bit about most of them, but not this in depth. I did not know much of the back story of Jackie Robinson or the Pope. Each one told a remarkable tale. The sacrifices and torment that they suffered are hard to wrap your mind around. Washington's willingness to relinquish power made him great. William Wilberforce went against everything his family and society taught him to set the captive free. Eric Liddell was apart from his wife and children for years to preach the gospel in a war torn country. Dietrich Bonhoeffer bravely entered into the fight against Hitler and wrote his most stirring work from prison. Jackie Robinson was taunted by racial slurs and violence as the first member of Major League Baseball. The Pope lost his entire family during Hitler's regime and when he felt the call to the priesthood, he had to attend an underground seminary. Chuck Colson went to prison for his role in Watergate and spent his life thereafter ministering to those in prison. 

Sometimes, it seems as if there are no more great men in our culture. Read this and be inspired. Be encouraged.

It was funny to me how many of these men were impacted by Bible-thumping Methodists. The Wilberforce family all but told their son he could be anything but a Methodist. They even went and retrieved him from some extended family when they found out that they were devout Methodists. I thought his story was a beautiful picture to each of us in our society. He chose directly impact society by showing them how they should live. He made a point of church and family on Sunday and chose them over most things. Those around him could not grasp it and it impacted many.

In the Pope's story, it talks quite a bit about Hitler's regime infiltrating Poland and all of the underhanded ways that the government tried to get people to separate themselves from the church. Hitler had told his followers that he was a Christian (though he despised it) to gain favor so he had to convince people to leave the church on their own. One way was to launch campaigns embracing pre-marital sex and freedom of sexuality. People would break away from the church then and choose immorality. Thus, one of the Pope's strongest messages became the beauty of true sexuality. I love that they all taught by sharing what was good.

Perhaps you remember when I read all of Corrie ten Boom's writings a few years back. Glory be, at the end of this book Mr. Metaxas put an excerpt from his new work Seven Women. You can guess who was included. I have learned so much about spiritual warfare and the beauty of the gospel from her life. I can't wait for this new work.

Men, read this book. Women, read this and pray for your men.

This book was graciously given by Thomas Nelson Publishers for review.

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