Last night, my wife and I had the distinct pleasure to attend the Bonhoeffer Live Tour at Peachtree Presbyterian Church in Atlanta and hear Eric Metaxas. The experience far exceeded my expectations. I came with preconceived notions that as a Yale-educated intellectual, Mr. Metaxas likely would spend an hour and a half lecturing about the details and history of the life and death of Deitrich Bonhoeffer. And that would have been rewarding enough to me! But while he spent time on facts and elements of Bonhoeffer’s life, his presentation was full of highly intelligent wit and humor, and his presentation of gospel Truth was unapologetic and forceful. He was passionate about Bonhoeffer the man, but even more passionate about stimulating and inspiring people to live genuinely Christians lives like Bonhoeffer lived. He impressed me as one who lived his faith as passionately as he preached preached by explaining his firm support of Food for the Hungry.
Metaxas was so conversational that I felt as though he were in a private discussion with my wife and me the whole evening. His presentation and points were intellectually stimulating as he reminded the 1300+ attenders that Christians have a right, a responsibility to act on the principles taught in Scripture. At the same time, he produced bursts of laughter throughout the evening. Humble, genuine, faithful and articulate, Eric Metaxas fulfilled my expectation and beyond.
I tried to take good notes during the presentation, and here are some quotes I jotted down. These are not verbatim, but they are as close as I could get. It has been a while since my journalism days, and I have lost some of my low-tech-analog pad-and-pen skills!
- The more you trust God, the more He will lead you down a strange path.
- After growing up in a Greek-German-American home and graduating from Yale University, and having heard the gospel in my 20’s, I asked, “Why didn’t I know this?”
- If you believe the Bible, it will change your life. If your life isn’t changed by the Bible, you don’t really believe it.
- Have something to say before you open your mouth. If you have nothing to say, if you haven’t thought your idea through, keep your mouth shut.
- If you really believe something, your life will show it. In whatever manner you live, you prove your beliefs.
- I just started working on an honorary doctorate.
- It’s o.k. to learn from those with whom you disagree.
- The Bible is not just a text to be studied and learned, but it is God’s living Word to lived.
- God looks at the heart, not the bloodline.
- If you were an average Christian (in Nazi Germany), the Nazi’s had little trouble with you…Neither did Satan.
- A person becomes a disciple, who in turn makes disciples, who in turn make disciples, and that’s the church. If you’re not doing this, you are not a church.
- If you believe God is calling you to do something, you are foolish not to do it.
- If you don’t see the tragedy in the Cross, the resurrection has little meaning for you. Because of the cross, Jesus killed death.
- It is God’s will that we go to death with the peace of God.
- Once you have a glimpse of heaven, you are forever homesick.
At the end of evening, we had the honor of meeting Mr. Metaxas and having a brief conversation with him. After speaking for two hours and signing books for well over an hour, I felt like I was talking to an old friend. If you have the opportunity to hear him speak or meet him, take it. You will not be disappointed.
Books by Eric Metaxas:
- Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
- Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery
- Seven Men: And the Secret of Their Greatness
- No Pressure, Mr. President! The Power Of True Belief In A Time Of Crisis: The National Prayer Breakfast Speech
- Life, God, and Other Small Topics: Conversations from Socrates in the City
- It’s Time To Sleep, My Love
- Everything You Always Wanted to Know About God (but were afraid to ask)
- Everything You Always Wanted to Know About God: The Jesus Edition
- Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving