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What makes a person truly great? Is it only what they've done? Their work and accomplishments? Perhaps, as Eric Metaxas discusses in his newest volume 7 Men and the Secret of Their Greatness, it's often what they don't do that makes them worthy of remembrance.
For instance, when the newly founded United States wanted to make George Washington it's new king, he refused, or Jackie Robinson, one of the most talented baseball players of his time, surrendered his right to fight back against racists, or when Chuck Colson volunteered to go to prison when he didn't have to. These men and the four more who are profiled--Eric Liddell, John Paul II, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and William Wilberforce, all lived their lives for a greater purpose, laying down their comfort and ambitions to follow what they believed was right.
In 7 Men you'll learn more about these remarkable men and the faith that guided each of them. In a day when character often takes a backseat, their stories will enrich your life, and show you what's possible when one person chooses to follow the path of humility.
Number of Pages: 256
Vendor: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 2013
|Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)|
Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End SlaveryEric MetaxasHarperOne / 2007 / Hardcover$16.49 Retail:5 Stars Out Of 5 4 Reviews
$23.99Save 31% ($7.50)
In Seven Men, New York Times best-selling author Eric Metaxas presents seven exquisitely crafted short portraits of widely knownbut not well understoodChristian men, each of whom uniquely showcases a commitment to live by certain virtues in the truth of the gospel.
Written in a beautiful and engaging style, Seven Men addresses what it means (or should mean) to be a man today, at a time when media and popular culture present images of masculinity that are not the picture presented in Scripture and historic civil life. What does it take to be a true exemplar as a father, brother, husband, leader, coach, counselor, change agent, and wise man? What does it mean to stand for honesty, courage, and charity, especially at times when the culture and the world run counter to those values?Each of the seven biographies represents the life of a man who experienced the struggles and challenges to be strong in the face of forces and circumstances that would have destroyed the resolve of lesser men. Each of the seven men profiledGeorge Washington, William Wilberforce, Eric Liddell, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Jackie Robinson, John Paul II, and Charles Colsoncall the reader to a more elevated walk and lifestyle, one that embodies the gospel in the world around us.
Eric Metaxas is the author of the New York Times bestseller Amazing Grace, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About God (But Were Afraid to Ask), Everything Else You Always Wanted to Know About God, and thirty childrens books. He is founder and host of Socrates in the City in New York City, where he lives with his wife and daughter. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Atlantic, Washington Post, Books & Culture, Christianity Today, Marks Hill Review, and First Things. He has written for VeggieTales and Rabbit Ears Productions, earning three Grammy nominations for Best Childrens Recording.
PBJonesEdmonton, AlbertaAge: 55-65Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5Seven Men: The Secret of Their GreatnessJune 2, 2015PBJonesEdmonton, AlbertaAge: 55-65Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Eric Metaxas, NY Times best-selling author, makes the point that in our culture we are loathe to point out anyone as a good role model. Metaxas bucks that trend in his book, 7 Men. He champions the notion that the knight in shining armor who does all he can to protect others and the gentleman who opens a door for a lady are the ideals of manliness.
In a world where all authority is questioned and in which our appreciation of real leadership has been badly damaged, we end up with very little in the way of the heroic in general. Added to that is the revisionism applied to historical figures.
For example, George Washington is no longer seen as the manly Father of the Country but as a wealthy landowner who hypocritically owned slaves. Columbus isnt held up as heroic explorer opening up a New World, but as a murderer of indigenous people.
Idol worship is never good but neither is being overly critical of otherwise good men.
What sets 7 Men apart is that the author doesnt talk about manhood he shows what manhood looks like in the lives of great men.
Seeing and studying the actual lives of people is simply the best way to communicate ideas about how to behave and how not to behave.
Metaxas believes that one of the primary characteristics of authentic manhood is someone who sacrifices himself for those he loves. Thats a picture of real fatherhood and real manhood.
Each man surrendered himself to a higher purpose and gave something away that they might have kept.
Metaxas' writing style is engaging and inspiring. One of the best features is the bonus chapter on Corrie Ten Boom at the back of the book.
Jimmy ReaganWest Union, OHAge: 35-44Gender: male4 Stars Out Of 5Enjoyable!April 14, 2015Jimmy ReaganWest Union, OHAge: 35-44Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Here is a biographic volume consisting of seven vignettes. The subtitle of And the secret of their greatness hints at what author Eric Metaxes is up to. Never was an introduction more indispensable than here where we learn that he is not attempting to give an authoritative biographic word, but to examine the questions: 1) What is a man? and b) What makes a man great?
This is not profound biography. There is likely very little new here beyond what you might read in a longer biography, but his wrestling with real manhood is more of a success. At times, he rambles about his own personal thoughts or reminiscences of the subject at hand, but it all flows well. Though he has written some well-received biographies, this volume appears to be put together more in haste.
Still, it is enjoyable reading and goes fast. I left it wanting to read a fuller length biography of at least two of his 7 men. The addition of the chapter on Corrie Ten Boom was nice too.
There is a pretty good tracing of Christianity in each life and some good insights. Some of us would question Pope John Paul II being included and offered as if on the same level of Christianity as the others, but even that chapter told all I might ever want to know of him in an interesting way.
These books of collated mini-biographies can be a nice change up in our reading schedule and can suggest future reading. For what it is, it is well done.
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255.
Floyd JohnsonUpstate NYAge: 55-65Gender: male4 Stars Out Of 5Character Traits For The AgesApril 7, 2015Floyd JohnsonUpstate NYAge: 55-65Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 4I first encountered Eric Metaxas last year as I read his abridged autobiography of Dietrich
Bonhoeffer. I was pleased to have the opportunity to review another of his recent books. I have not been disappointed.
After nicely presented Introduction, the book focuses on short biographical essays on seven men who have influenced western culture:
Pope John Paul II
Charles W. Colson
Eric Metaxas claims that each of these men had character traits that allowed them to stand out in their in own lifetimes and to world in the years (and, in some cases, centuries) following their death.
Using the biographies penned by the author, I would agree with his choices except for that of George Washington - a slave owner, a poor military leader for much of his life, and misleading statements made about his own life all contribute to my concerns. He had traits that made him stand out (humility and leadership skills); but, given the picture of his life portrayed by Metaxas, George Washington does not compare to the other six men examined in the book. It is possible that Metaxas missed discussing the faults of the other six, but given the emphasis he gives to the faults of George Washington, his name does not belong with the other six.
My other concern is that the list of names is decidedly Western and European. Given the international nature of the church, there must be African, Asian, and South American representatives that will have stood the test of time. The author hints that more books may be coming in this series - perhaps they will cross the cultural boundaries avoided in this current book.
Despite these two concerns, the book was well worth the time I spent reading it over the past week. The character traits represented by these seven men make each of them stand out in their own time and for all time. The traits exhibited by these seven are well worth emulating by the men being raised to lead the next generation as well as our own.
This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are my own.
nomer15Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Excellent book of mini-biographiesMarch 5, 2015nomer15Gender: femaleQuality: 5Meets Expectations: 5"7 Men and the Secret of Their Greatness" by Eric Metaxas presents mini-biographies of seven men and the faith that shaped them. The men featured include George Washington, William Wilberforce, Eric Liddell, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Jackie Robinson, John Paul II, and Charles Colson.
I had previously read Metaxas's biographies of Wilberforce and Bonhoeffer, but was not as familiar with the other five men. This book taught me many things about each of these men. The character of each man shone through as Metaxas explored their lives. These biographies are well-written and detailed, with the amount of meticulous research shining through.
Washington gave up power for the greater good. Wilberforce dedicated his life to fighting the slave trade. Liddell gave up a chance to win in the Olympics by putting his faith first. Bonhoeffer defied the Nazis and was martyred as a result. Robinson broke the baseball color barrier. John Paul II surrendered his entire life to God and His service. Colson ended up serving time in prison, but developed a wide-reaching prison ministry as a result.
As a mom of two young boys, I am disheartened by the portrayal of men and manhood in popular culture today. A book like this is a true gem; I am excited to introduce my boys to the men in this book. This is a wonderful book that causes me to want to learn more about the men featured here.
(Ive received this complimentary book through the BookLook program in exchange for a review. A positive review was not required and the views expressed in my review are strictly my own.)
RON5 Stars Out Of 5Seven Men And the Secret of Thier GreatnessJanuary 30, 2015RONQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Excellent examples of the character profiles missing among, not only in our young people, but in our society as a whole. Sure wish our National leaders could model such men, if they did we would not be in the moral decline our country is now experiencing.