And the Secret of Their Greatness”
Eric Metaxas brings his skill as a writer and researcher to this excellent series of biographies. Each man’s story is told with care, accuracy and depth, giving us important insights and reflections on their life and spiritual journeys. Each chapter stands on its own as a great piece of writing and together they make a life-changing book.
I haven’t read a lot of biographies. I prefer theological and practical discipleship books. That being said, one of the greatest gifts that came from receiving “7 Men” to review was the inspiration to read more biographies — because I loved it! What an inspiring book.
I’ve really been missing out and Metaxas’ introduction gives some great reasons why it is important to put aside other things to read biographies of great men (and women): We need heroes!
Certainly Jesus is the hero for all generations, but God seems to have designed humanity with the need to follow in the footsteps of less-divine men as well. All of us need to find people we can look up to and emulate (and learn from when they catastrophically blow it). We need mentors who are right in front of us, in our homes, churches and neighbourhoods, and those who have passed from this life. Without giving these people influence over our lives we live life myopic at best, or blind at worst. “7 Men” gives us a great sampling of heroes to help open our eyes.
Metaxas is an incredible writer and intelligent scholar, but what surprised me about this book was that he wrote more as a fan than a researcher. His accurate language and love for details were all there, and the writing was impeccable, but the heart behind the words was what really came to the forefront. He wants every reader — particularly the men — to be as inspired, excited and amazed by these men as he is. And not just the men, but by the God who created these men, the Christ who saved them, and the Holy Spirit who lived in their hearts and motivated their lives.
This is no dry series of biographies full of events and dates. This book is meant to challenge and motivate us to a greater awareness of life. Each biography gives us lessons to learn, habits to adopt, mistakes to avoid and points us to God as our ultimate source of wisdom and strength.