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7 Men: And the Secret of Their Greatness

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In Seven Men, New York Times best-selling author Eric Metaxas presents seven exquisitely crafted short portraits of widely known—but not well understood—Christian 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 t In Seven Men, New York Times best-selling author Eric Metaxas presents seven exquisitely crafted short portraits of widely known—but not well understood—Christian 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 profiled—George Washington, William Wilberforce, Eric Liddell, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Jackie Robinson, John Paul II, and Charles Colson—call the reader to a more elevated walk and lifestyle, one that embodies the gospel in the world around us.


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In Seven Men, New York Times best-selling author Eric Metaxas presents seven exquisitely crafted short portraits of widely known—but not well understood—Christian 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 t In Seven Men, New York Times best-selling author Eric Metaxas presents seven exquisitely crafted short portraits of widely known—but not well understood—Christian 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 profiled—George Washington, William Wilberforce, Eric Liddell, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Jackie Robinson, John Paul II, and Charles Colson—call the reader to a more elevated walk and lifestyle, one that embodies the gospel in the world around us.

30 review for 7 Men: And the Secret of Their Greatness

  1. 4 out of 5

    Eric

    Seven Men by Eric Metaxas A great book that makes multiple points about a few heroic Christian men that lived unselfish lives or had moments of unselfishness, risking much for the great benefit of many. The seven short biographies are written with great depth and make this book a fascinating read. I read parts on my own and my wife read parts to me while I was driving and we both greatly enjoyed it. George Washington - gave up being a king or at least greatly idolized leader for the sake of the fo Seven Men by Eric Metaxas A great book that makes multiple points about a few heroic Christian men that lived unselfish lives or had moments of unselfishness, risking much for the great benefit of many. The seven short biographies are written with great depth and make this book a fascinating read. I read parts on my own and my wife read parts to me while I was driving and we both greatly enjoyed it. George Washington - gave up being a king or at least greatly idolized leader for the sake of the founding a government with checks and balances William Wilberforce - fought for the end of slavery in England for the glory of God Eric Liddell - gave up a gold medal in the 100 and put God higher than man’s medals in both the olympics and life Dietrich Bonhoeffer - literally gave his life to helping Jews and others, and trying to remove Hitler Jackie Robinson - willingly endured terrible racism for the sake of many Chuck Colson - after his remarkable conversion he gave everything to Christ and his calling to serve prisoners through prison ministry

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Age Appropriate For: All Ages Best for Ages: 15 and up Alicia Willis recommended this book to me a while back, and I have wanted to read it ever since. She and I share a passion for our faith and history, and she knew this book was something I would love. Metaxas picked some well-known and some not well known people in this book, but each of them were chosen for their faith. While I have read books on George Washington, William Wilberforce, Eric Liddell and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, others - Jackie Robi Age Appropriate For: All Ages Best for Ages: 15 and up Alicia Willis recommended this book to me a while back, and I have wanted to read it ever since. She and I share a passion for our faith and history, and she knew this book was something I would love. Metaxas picked some well-known and some not well known people in this book, but each of them were chosen for their faith. While I have read books on George Washington, William Wilberforce, Eric Liddell and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, others - Jackie Robinson, John Paul II, and Charles Colson - were only names to me before this book. My admiration for all these men grew as I read the pages. If you are intimidated by those thick books about historical characters, this book is for you. It isn’t very long, and each chapter can be read in half-an-hour or less, giving a quick overview of the life and faith of the person. Metaxas style is engaging and not dull in the least. This never feels like a list of historical facts, but stories about people who really live and why they are relevant. We need more books like this and more people reading them. Being reminded of those that have gone before is always a great way of inspiring both the young and the old. I highly recommend this book for those who love history or those that want to learn about heroes of the faith.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Alicia Willis

    Eric Metaxas has done it again! This book is wonderfully written, inspiring, and educational. I loved the stories of each of the seven men depicted, particularly as they all came from very different backgrounds and heritages. The lives of Washington, Wilberforce, Liddell, Bonhoeffer, Robinson, Pope John Paul II, and Colson are presented, offering a inspirational, yet brief look into their histories. For those of you who read Amazing Grace and Bonhoeffer, Metaxas does cover Wilberforce and Bonhoef Eric Metaxas has done it again! This book is wonderfully written, inspiring, and educational. I loved the stories of each of the seven men depicted, particularly as they all came from very different backgrounds and heritages. The lives of Washington, Wilberforce, Liddell, Bonhoeffer, Robinson, Pope John Paul II, and Colson are presented, offering a inspirational, yet brief look into their histories. For those of you who read Amazing Grace and Bonhoeffer, Metaxas does cover Wilberforce and Bonhoeffer again, but in a far easier-to-read format and with strict observation of the basic facts. This is really nice for a fast, easy brush-up on your history. My only regret is that the author himself is not included in the list of Seven Men. While it would have been impossible and perhaps even wrong for Metaxas to include himself, I was left with the desire to know more about him and the story of his life. In my mind, he is also a great man and I look forward to reading a biography on his story someday! A must-read for any historian, those seeking the truth about godly manhood, and those who want truly excellent role models.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Huff

    Excellent. Metaxas is such a great writer, and this collection of biographies was engaging and exciting. I certainly recommend for a quick, yet robust read.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jimmy

    Metaxas calls the reader to explore the definition of manhood. The subject of manhood is explored from the Bible's perspective and contrasted with our society's definition of manhood. The book calls to attention two definitions of manhood (both of which are incorrect). The "macho" man is the first one discussed and it is soon realized that a man who is all talk, and strong enough to push you around is not really a man but a bully. The next definition is the emasculated man. This man has had his ma Metaxas calls the reader to explore the definition of manhood. The subject of manhood is explored from the Bible's perspective and contrasted with our society's definition of manhood. The book calls to attention two definitions of manhood (both of which are incorrect). The "macho" man is the first one discussed and it is soon realized that a man who is all talk, and strong enough to push you around is not really a man but a bully. The next definition is the emasculated man. This man has had his manhood stripped away. He is not tough. He is not a provider or a protector. He has had his courage and bravery ripped from him. A great man is one who is tough when he needs to be tough and gentle when he needs to be gentle. He is stern, compassionate, and kind. He has drive, boldness, passion and confidence. He is a leader. Metaxas introduces the idea that in today's society there are not many men who have a lifestyle worth emulating. Too many men today are corrupt, selfish, they worship themselves, they seek their own fame and glory. They have no idea what it means to sacrifice. By their definition, they have twisted what it means to be great. The book tells us that Jesus gives us the definition of what it means to be great. Jesus said that if anyone would be great; he would need to serve others. Seven gives us seven men who were by no means perfect but they had qualities worth imitating. These men had values, stood by their word, made a difference in the lives of others, they had courage when it was hard, they did not give up when times were most difficult. These seven men share qualities that we could share with our own sons and show them what it looks like to be a man. The reader is drawn into relationship with George Washington, William Wilberforce and Jackie Robinson just to name a few. We see areas of weakness and strength. We see men of integrity and honor. We see men who did not tapout when things looked grim. Seven is a great book. Metaxas does a wonderful job at carefully crafting the words so that they draw you in and you feel like you are part of these men's lives. This is book is for men, women and children. This book is a calling for us to grab the real meaning of manhood and teach it to our children and show them how to teach it to their children.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sharon Barrow Wilfong

    The only problem I have with this book is that each biography is brief enough to have me looking through Metaxas' bibliography to read more about his subjects. Not that Metaxas does an incomplete job writing about these great men but because he whets your appetite. These men are probably not going to be considered the greatest men by many and maybe some of them shouldn't but I appreciated the author's reasons for including them. While Mr. Metaxas honestly shows the foibles of each man he shows that The only problem I have with this book is that each biography is brief enough to have me looking through Metaxas' bibliography to read more about his subjects. Not that Metaxas does an incomplete job writing about these great men but because he whets your appetite. These men are probably not going to be considered the greatest men by many and maybe some of them shouldn't but I appreciated the author's reasons for including them. While Mr. Metaxas honestly shows the foibles of each man he shows that humans can also be great while making mistakes or wrong or even immoral decisions. Also, Metaxas is not set out to write a thorough biography of these men but rather focus on why he believes they are great. The first biography is of George Washington. Metaxas does not spare the young Washington who lied about the massacre of French soldiers at the hands of a couple of Indians during a diplomatic negotiation that was to hopefully stave off war between the British and French. He also shows his bravery and his abilities as a war strategist. But he also points out something that seems to be overlooked in every historical account of our first president. He agreed to become our president but refused to become our King. This was unprecedented in the entire recorded history of mankind. And people did not simply go along with it. There were several leaders who were bent on making George Washington King and he had a battle to fight against them. Another important feature about Washington has to do with his slaves. Many authors enjoy pointing out the hypocrisy of a man who spent his life fighting for human freedom as described in the Constitution but not many seem inclined to admit or know that Washington freed all of his slaves before he died and left the elderly slaves with pensions. It's easy to judge slave owners now, but how many today, of any race, in the same position would have done the same thing back then? How many of us are fighting against the slavery that still exists today throughout the African continent and the Middle East? Wilberforce is of course included since he helped fight against slavery in England and succeeded in having it outlawed in the country seventy years before it was finally outlawed in the U.S. Bonhoeffer is described as a radical in his own right because he refused to bend his knee to Hitler and the German Reich Church that thought it could syncretize Christianity with fascism. He is less clear as to why he sees Pope John Paul II is great although I found his brief biography of the man interesting. Metaxas also includes his hero and mentor Chuck Colson, the man who worked under President Nixon and went to jail only to become a Christian and start a Prison Ministry that is still serving Prisoners and their families. One of the most inspiring was Eric Liddell. He was the Olympic gold medalist who became famous in the movie Chariots of Fire. Everyone knows his bravery in refusing to run in the Olympics on Sunday, but not many of us know how about his life as a missionary in China, where he died under Japanese occupation in a prison camp. Or that he died because when offered released gave his place to a pregnant woman and chose to remain in the camp in her stead. But I must say my very favorite Great Man and the most inspiring to me was Jackie Robinson. Not just because he was the first black man to join a professional baseball team but because of all that he endured, how he refused to fight back and how his Christ-like practice of turning the other cheek forced white America to confront the ugliness of racism and be convicted in their hearts. This is a highly readable book and I recommend it.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    A seven CD audiobook that biographically details the lives of 7 men and their faith in God. Including: George Washington, Jackie Robinson, Chuck Colson, Pope John Paul 2 and 3 others. If this were a book I would not have been able to finish it. Not a favorite.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    1.5 stars I don't get it. I should have loved this book. I thoroughly enjoyed Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy and Seven Women: And the Secret of Their Greatness. Maybe it was the audio book format? I picked up Seven Men for my younger brother and I to listen to in the car. I assumed it would present him with some more role models and maybe re-introduce some familiar faces to me at the same time. From the start, though, we were both thoroughly annoyed. Metaxas spends way too much time des 1.5 stars I don't get it. I should have loved this book. I thoroughly enjoyed Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy and Seven Women: And the Secret of Their Greatness. Maybe it was the audio book format? I picked up Seven Men for my younger brother and I to listen to in the car. I assumed it would present him with some more role models and maybe re-introduce some familiar faces to me at the same time. From the start, though, we were both thoroughly annoyed. Metaxas spends way too much time describing how he came to be interested in each individual man. We didn't care. We weren't reading this book for Metaxas, and we certainly didn't care about how he learned about Bonhoeffer and what that did for his personal career. We wanted to hear more about Bonhoeffer. The book was immensely repetitive. Every other sentence is foreshadowing ("but that would all change when...") or repeating the same trite line from a paragraph earlier. I felt like we learned very little new and got bashed on the head with the same facts. There was hardly any new content or observations brought forward, and my brother and I frequently felt frustrated with the way historical facts got glazed over. Maybe that is the problem with two history buffs listening to a popular biography. Finally, we strongly disliked the reader. Having just finished The King's Speech: How One Man Saved the British Monarchy on audio book, it is possible our heads were too full of beautiful British accents, but the reader's tone and timing on words annoyed us immensely. Eventually, my brother gave up listening to this one and I stuck it out out of a pure, stubborn desire to be done. It didn't get much better. Sure, I may have learned something I didn't know about each of these 7 men, but I came dangerously close to loathing them in the process.

  9. 5 out of 5

    David Steele

    Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Spy by Eric Metaxas stands head and shoulders above most biographies. Indeed, it is one of the best biographies I have ever read. The new work by Metaxas, Seven Men and the Secret of Their Greatness is filled with the rich historical detail that readers have grown accustomed to from the author. Metaxas sets out to survey the lives of seven men; men who have influenced his life - men he considers to be great. The seven men that the author presents include the following: Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Spy by Eric Metaxas stands head and shoulders above most biographies. Indeed, it is one of the best biographies I have ever read. The new work by Metaxas, Seven Men and the Secret of Their Greatness is filled with the rich historical detail that readers have grown accustomed to from the author. Metaxas sets out to survey the lives of seven men; men who have influenced his life - men he considers to be great. The seven men that the author presents include the following: George Washington, William Wilberforce, Eric Liddell, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Jackie Robinson, Pope John Paul II, and Charles Colson. The biographical sketches are fascinating in their own right. However, the most helpful part of the book is actually found in the introduction. Here the author explores real manhood, most notably - God's intended benchmarks for manhood. Metaxas argues that there are two distorted ideas about manhood. The first false notion of manhood is the macho mentality, where men intimidate others using strength, fear tactics, and intimidation. The second false notion of manhood is "to be emasculated - to essentially turn away from your masculinity and to pretend that there is no real difference between men and women. Your strength as a man has no purpose, so being strong isn't even a good thing." Clearly, the author has hit the bullseye in his assessment here. Metaxas proceeds to describe God's ideal for manhood: "God made us in his image, male and female, and it celebrates masculinity and femininity. And it celebrates the differences between them ... All blessings and every gift - and strength is a gift ... to be used for his purposes, which means to bless others. So men are meant to use their strength to protect and bless those who are weaker." Additionally, men are called to be servant leaders. Metaxas continues, "The true leader gives himself to the people he leads ... So God's idea of masculine strength gives us the idea of a chivalrous gentleman toward women, not a bully or someone who sees no difference between himself and them." Finally, the author discusses the need for men to be strong men; men of courage: "The courage to do the right thing when all else tells you not to do it. The courage to rise above your surroundings and circumstances. The courage to be God's idea of a real man and to give of yourself for others when it costs you to do so and when everything tells you to look out for your self first." 7 Men and the Secret of Their Greatness should not be confused with a full fledged biography. Readers can go elsewhere and should be encouraged to check out Metaxas' excellent work on Bonhoeffer as well as William Willberforce. The book under consideration should be considered biographical cliff notes that coax readers to move into deeper waters.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Patrick

    The title of this book is a bit misleading, because Eric Metaxas makes no secret of what motivated these seven illustrious men to greatness: The unifying thread among them is a functioning moral compass anchored in a strong Christian faith -- and that much is clear from the introduction, before a reader even delves into the mini biographies. It's nice to see George Washington, Jackie Robinson, and Pope John Paul II -- already and deservedly role models in many eyes -- sharing the book with admira The title of this book is a bit misleading, because Eric Metaxas makes no secret of what motivated these seven illustrious men to greatness: The unifying thread among them is a functioning moral compass anchored in a strong Christian faith -- and that much is clear from the introduction, before a reader even delves into the mini biographies. It's nice to see George Washington, Jackie Robinson, and Pope John Paul II -- already and deservedly role models in many eyes -- sharing the book with admirable men who are not quite as famous, such as William Wilberforce and Eric Liddell. Chuck Colson and Dietrich Bonhoeffer round out this "Magnificent Seven." Subtlety is *not* one of the hallmarks of these literary portraits, and there are a couple of instances where more vigorous editing would have helped the book, but I liked it very much.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Joseph R.

    What makes a man great? This question challenges most people, especially today when the idea of a masculine role model is generally frowned upon, if not completely ignored because masculinity is supposed to be toxic. Such an assumption is based on false examples of manhood--the bully, the egoist, the muscle man, etc. Eric Metaxas argues that positive role models of manhood do exist and are important to culture (not just ours, but any culture). Examples of how to behave are sorely needed in an ag What makes a man great? This question challenges most people, especially today when the idea of a masculine role model is generally frowned upon, if not completely ignored because masculinity is supposed to be toxic. Such an assumption is based on false examples of manhood--the bully, the egoist, the muscle man, etc. Eric Metaxas argues that positive role models of manhood do exist and are important to culture (not just ours, but any culture). Examples of how to behave are sorely needed in an age that idolizes pop stars and self-centered politicians. Metaxas gives short biographies of seven men who truly embody the strength of character and selfless serving that role models should have. Many of these men are not perfect men but achieved a level of greatness by their choices and their actions. George Washington's military career started rather disastrously--he basically started the French and Indian War. But as he grew in leadership, he came to the point where he would refuse to be king of the newly-free states of America. He voluntarily rejected great power for the sake of the people of the new nation. Charles Colson started out working and scheming for Richard Nixon. He came to Christian faith and turned his life around, creating a ministry that helps to reform prisoners. He had direct experience of prison life due to Watergate and he realized the desperate needs of the imprisoned. He chose a different life and became a role model. Other men in this book went through great trials. Pope John Paul II was a young and vibrant man who, in the last years of his life, suffered greatly (and publicly) from Parkinson's disease. He became a great witness to the value of all human life, even the weak and the sick. Jackie Robinson had to run a gauntlet of hate and unbelievable mistreatment as the first man of color to play major league baseball. He chose to be strong enough not to fight back. His example opened up opportunities for others. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a Lutheran minister who fought against the Nazi government that oppressed so many people in Germany and throughout Europe. Bonhoeffer eventually wound up in a concentration camp where he died. Great trials make great men when they choose to act selflessly. The book is very inspiring and makes me want to read more about these great men. Metaxas has written longer biographies of William Wilberforce (who fought against the slave trade in early 1800s England) and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. I will probably read those soon. Highly recommended.

  12. 5 out of 5

    John Boyne

    I loved this book! Eric does an excellent job of providing brief biographies on 7 key figures in history who represented Christ to their fullest and changed the world forever as a result of their faith and convictions. The 7 men (he does 7 women in another book) were George Washington, William Wilberforce, Eric Liddell, Dietrich Bonheffer, Jackie Robinson, Pope John Paul II, and Chuck Colson. Each man sacrificed his life to serve Christ and left a lasting legacy for generations to come. It has i I loved this book! Eric does an excellent job of providing brief biographies on 7 key figures in history who represented Christ to their fullest and changed the world forever as a result of their faith and convictions. The 7 men (he does 7 women in another book) were George Washington, William Wilberforce, Eric Liddell, Dietrich Bonheffer, Jackie Robinson, Pope John Paul II, and Chuck Colson. Each man sacrificed his life to serve Christ and left a lasting legacy for generations to come. It has inspired me to seek out longer biographies on these men to learn more about them. Eric brilliantly tells these men's stories, stories that everyone should know about!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Rob

    I love everything Metaxas writes and this book is no exception. If you want to be inspired by some truly great men and learn how each of them was driven, inspired, and strengthened by their faith in God, then this book will suit you well.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Chip

    If you’re looking for the brilliance of Bonhoeffer, keep looking.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lena Morrison

    I do my reviews in the form of a letter, which is why they are written like this. Dear Eric Metaxas, Thank you for writing this book. It technically got a 3.42, since I averaged the score that all the biographies got individually. I did the like the intro, and I must admit that in many ways what you say is true. We have lost sight of who heroes are. I will rate each biography individually. George Washington His life was nice, but I was mostly bored. It seems like we are wrong in our usual legend I do my reviews in the form of a letter, which is why they are written like this. Dear Eric Metaxas, Thank you for writing this book. It technically got a 3.42, since I averaged the score that all the biographies got individually. I did the like the intro, and I must admit that in many ways what you say is true. We have lost sight of who heroes are. I will rate each biography individually. George Washington His life was nice, but I was mostly bored. It seems like we are wrong in our usual legends about him, though. I do like George Washington. He's just wasn't why I read this book. 3 stars Wilbur Wiberforce I liked him! At first, it was sad that he left his faith, but I am so happy he returned. He seemed like a man who truly loved God with his whole spirit. He made quite an impact. I can't believe society was that bad! I can see how he felt about being alone, though. I really liked this short biography. 4 stars Eric Liddell This guy is the reason I read this book, and I have no words. The guy was an amazing believer. He obeyed God in every aspect of his life. God gave Eric the extraordinary talent to run fast, and he did. He put his God, my God, before anything else (even his own much-desired ambition). He served in China with such humility and such heart. I am beyond impressed. I am moved. It's so heartbreaking that he died in such a way. I was almost moved to tears, and I definitely got goosebumps, when I read about how he wrote his little booklet as he was suffering in the camp in China. If that isn't faith, true life-giving faith, I don't know what is. Eric missed his family, and he had to deal with the worst side of people. He risked his life several times to help people in China. He followed the one true God, he showed the world who Jesus was, and he showed it with love and passion. I don't know if I will ever be so amazed at any one man. Eric was loved by his country, adored by his family, and treasured and remembered by all the people he served. The running part was a small part of the picture of God's plan for Eric. Jesus shown in everything he did. He lived and breathed God. Eric Liddell taught me that we must do what God has made us for in every situation. We must never hold back from what God wants us to do, because he will give us the strength to do it. I loved his story. I hope that I can serve God with such a wholehearted abandon that Eric Liddell did. The amazing movie "Chariots of Fire" only captured a snippet of the life Eric lived for God. There was so much more. Wow. 5 stars!!!!! Dietrich Bonhoeffer He had a good story. He loved God, he sought to follow him, and he made a difference. Yes, his story was cool. However, it didn't fascinate me as much. I know you found it amazing, but it wasn't all that great for me. Also, I'm not sure how admirable it is to plan to murder someone, even someone as evil as Hitler. So, that's about it. 3 stars Jackie Robinson His story was good. I had never heard it before. It was terrible how the people treated him! I felt sad about how angry he got, and how people were jerks to him. But, it was amazing how he stood his ground despite being mistreated in a vicious way. His talent was impressive, and his resolve was, too. 3 stars Pope John Paul II His story was fun. He certainly made a difference. He seemed to really love other people and love God. He loves by God's word, he was kind, and he loved. It was a nice story, and I had never heard it before. But, it wasn't amazing for me. 3 stars Chuck Colson I liked his story. I liked how he turned his life over to God. It was probably the least touching for me, though. 3 stars Thank you for taking the time to write this book. Sincerely, Lena Marie

  16. 4 out of 5

    Julie Davis

    When Rickey asked Jackie if he was up to the job, he wasn't talking only about playing great baseball. He knew Jackie could do that. What he meant, he explained, was that if Jackie were to become major-league baseball's first black player, he would be in for a tremendous amount of abuse, both verbal and physical. Jackie said he was sure he could face up to whatever came his way. He wasn't afraid of anyone and had been in any number of fistfights over the years when anyone had challenged him. But R When Rickey asked Jackie if he was up to the job, he wasn't talking only about playing great baseball. He knew Jackie could do that. What he meant, he explained, was that if Jackie were to become major-league baseball's first black player, he would be in for a tremendous amount of abuse, both verbal and physical. Jackie said he was sure he could face up to whatever came his way. He wasn't afraid of anyone and had been in any number of fistfights over the years when anyone had challenged him. But Rickey had something else in mind. "I know you're a good ballplayer," Rickey said. "What I don't know is whether you have the guts." Rickey knew he meant something dramatically different from what Robinson was thinking, so he continued. "I'm looking," Rickey said, "for a ballplayer with guts enough not to fight back." This was an unexpected wrinkle, to put it mildly. [...] Jackie knew that resisting the urge to fight back really would require a superhuman effort, but he was deeply moved by Rickey's vision. He thought of his mother. He thought of all the black people who deserved someone to break this ground for them, even if it was difficult. He believed God had chosen him for this noble purpose. He believed he had to do it--for black kids, for his mother, for his wife, for himself.Eric Metaxas wrote this book to ask two questions: (1) What is a man? (2)What makes a man great? He answers them by looking at the lives of seven men who are worthy of emulation. Metaxas initially caught my interest by pointing out that today manhood is often denigrated in popular culture because of a lack of positive role models. These days the news is more likely to have stories about men using their gifts in negative ways than in heroic behavior. For example, a man misuses his strength by being bullying or domineering which is the opposite of what it should be used for, to protect those who are weaker. He then tells the stories of seven men who lived their lives in ways we can admire. These biographies are short but pack in a lot of information. They cover a diverse group including Jackie Robinson, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and Chuck Colson. Even when I thought I knew everything pertinent about someone like George Washington or Eric Liddell, Metaxas was able to show a whole new side to them. Each story turns on the fact that they surrendered themselves to God and sacrificed themselves in some way for the greater good. Metaxas isn't heavy handed but he doesn't shy away from occasionally raising points that encourage the reader to look deeper within his (or her) own heart. I came away inspired and with several new heroes. It's early in the year but I already have a book to put on my "2016 Best" list.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Marianne

    Haven't met an Eric Metaxas book that I didn't like. C'mon, this one started out with a description of why John "The Duke" Wayne set standards for manliness. Spot on. Seven men are profiled. Let me see if I can remember them: 1. George Washington 2. William Wilberforce 3. Eric Liddell 4. Dietrich Bonhoeffer 5. John Paul II 6. Jackie Robinson 7. Chuck Colson Three politicians, two sports stars, and two theologians. Eric Liddell's story stood out for me, although I enjoyed all of them. Liddell had such an Haven't met an Eric Metaxas book that I didn't like. C'mon, this one started out with a description of why John "The Duke" Wayne set standards for manliness. Spot on. Seven men are profiled. Let me see if I can remember them: 1. George Washington 2. William Wilberforce 3. Eric Liddell 4. Dietrich Bonhoeffer 5. John Paul II 6. Jackie Robinson 7. Chuck Colson Three politicians, two sports stars, and two theologians. Eric Liddell's story stood out for me, although I enjoyed all of them. Liddell had such an epic, short life that spanned medals at the Olympics, wars, detention camps, and a terrible illness. But really, each of them led epic lives. Each of them was truly great. I was really moved by Jackie Robinson's story, which I only knew about at a very shallow level. My father was a minister, and I'm always irritated by the standard cultural depictions of ministers. Think Reverend Lovejoy on The Simpsons or Rowan Atkinson on Four Weddings and a Funeral, to mention two. They're insufferable, stuffy, laughable, bumbling and easy to disdain. I'm sure there are some ministers like that, but the stereotype is very unfair. There have been many, many heroic men of faith that fought to protect the innocent, and gave their very lives in dire circumstances. They were nothing short of heroic. Liddell, Bonhoeffer and John Paul are all examples. Why is it that we, as a country, admire and imitate sports stars and performers more than truly great men who humbly and unselfishly fight evil? It seems to be the way the world is set up. I'm glad that Eric Metaxas writes books like this. True stories are always the best and real villains are always the most terrifying. Real heroes are also the most inspiring, and I'm inspired by these men.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Tony Kauffmann

    this book is okay, nothing spectacular. 1 chapter per person is not nearly enough to describe their life and struggles and victories. I'd recommend if you're interested in any of the men mentioned in this book, just buy a biography of only them. It will be much more substantial than the life-snippets you get here.

  19. 5 out of 5

    W. Derek Atkins

    Seven Men of Courage This book, written by Eric Metaxas, is a wonderful celebration of the lives of seven men who each left an indelible mark on the world, from George Washington and William Wilberforce to Jackie Robinson and Pope John Paul II. By Metaxas' own admission, the seven men whom he chose to include in this book was done in a subjective manner, and was based on his own opinions of those men whose lives he considers to be instructive for learning how to live out our own lives - including Seven Men of Courage This book, written by Eric Metaxas, is a wonderful celebration of the lives of seven men who each left an indelible mark on the world, from George Washington and William Wilberforce to Jackie Robinson and Pope John Paul II. By Metaxas' own admission, the seven men whom he chose to include in this book was done in a subjective manner, and was based on his own opinions of those men whose lives he considers to be instructive for learning how to live out our own lives - including his close friend, Chuck Colson. And yet, when one examines the lives of each man who is included in this book, one is left with the impression that Metaxas has chosen well. There are two common threads that run through the lives of each man in this book: Each man exhibited courage through a sacrificial choice that many others would find difficult if not impossible to make themselves; and each man lived a Christian faith that gave each of them the strength to make the sacrifices each one made. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn from the good examples of other men how they, too, can live lives of courage and significance.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jessie

    Wow! This book was absolutely amazing!! So very inspiring! The stories of all these great Christian men throughout the ages is so cool! Loved this book so much and HIGHLY recommend to everyone! It is written very well!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Dave Engstrom

    Enjoyed reading about each person. A page-turner book. Love Metaxas writing. He makes it very easy to follow and gets the reader engaged in the material very quickly.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Melinda

    Very worthwhile. I'm especially appreciative for the chapter on George Washington, who is one of the greatest men in our history. Very recommended!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    Very fast and rich reading. A stellar cast of masculinity celebrated in all the best ways: integrity, strength, and selflessness.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Nathan Schneider

    Metaxas is a great writer, especially in the area of biography. His Seven Men provides an adequate survey of popular figures in history and Christianity. Anyone who enjoys this read would do well to pick up Metaxas' longer biographies, Bonhoeffer (Dietrich Bonhoeffer) and Amazing Grace (William Wilberforce).

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tom

    Worthwhile and inspirational, though I wish I’d read the book instead of listening to the Audible version. The narrator read as though he were reading to children. I especially liked the segments on George Washington, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Chuck Colson.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Reagan Ramsey

    Loved this book..basically a series of mini biographies. His premise is that there are a handful of men (7, in his opinion) whose lives reflected not only a great achievement but a strength of character, resolve, and faith that made them truly great : George Washington, William Wilberforce, Eric Liddell, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Jackie Robinson, Pope John Paul II and Chuck Colson. Some would disagree with his particular list but few would argue that these men demonstrated real heroism and greatness Loved this book..basically a series of mini biographies. His premise is that there are a handful of men (7, in his opinion) whose lives reflected not only a great achievement but a strength of character, resolve, and faith that made them truly great : George Washington, William Wilberforce, Eric Liddell, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Jackie Robinson, Pope John Paul II and Chuck Colson. Some would disagree with his particular list but few would argue that these men demonstrated real heroism and greatness among their contemporaries. I was particularly struck by the account of John Paul II, partly because I knew so little about him. I didn't realize that he went to seminary in Nazi occupied Poland--incredibly risky. I was also impressed with Chuck Colson’s story. It’s hard to imagine a truly repentant politician these days, but in Colson's case it was real and lasting. I’m glad Metaxas took on this project; he is such a compelling and eloquent writer. But more importantly, his accounts of these men remind me that there are oppressed people everywhere and there is always something we can do to help. It’s inspiring and hopeful to see examples of men who took on the cause of the downcast; they literally sacrificed their own lives to help out another. It takes a special kind of greatness—something more than intelligence or charisma—to humble oneself for the sake of a larger call.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    I just put 7 Men down and immediately picked up my keyboard to write this review. I don't know if 7 Men is just a timely book for me, or if in fact it is a timely book for the western world in general. I can only speak for myself -- 7 Men was a book that I needed to read! Several months ago I decided that I needed a few more heroes in my life. We live in a self absorbed world where we easily become our own hero. I had fallen into this deadly trap and I was desperately looking to get out of it. So, I just put 7 Men down and immediately picked up my keyboard to write this review. I don't know if 7 Men is just a timely book for me, or if in fact it is a timely book for the western world in general. I can only speak for myself -- 7 Men was a book that I needed to read! Several months ago I decided that I needed a few more heroes in my life. We live in a self absorbed world where we easily become our own hero. I had fallen into this deadly trap and I was desperately looking to get out of it. So, I set out to look for some heroes that didn't look anything like me. The best heroes are dead heroes -- they have proven themselves -- they have no more time in which they can screw things up and make a mess of their lives. The only way you can make a dead man your hero is by reading about him. And, the only way you can really learn about a dead man is by way of a biography. That's why I picked this book up in the first place. In 7 Men, Eric Metaxas tells a brief biographical story of seven different men (surprise, surprise!): George Washington, William Wilberforce, Eric Liddle, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Jackie Robinson, Pope John Paul II, and Charles Colson. I had something really important to learn from the lives of each of these men. I cannot recommend this book enough. If you haven't read it, read it!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Gail Welborn

    ***addresses what it means (or should mean) to be a man today*** Award winning author Eric Metaxas, features snapshot biographies of great heroes and role models of the past in Seven Men and the secret of their Greatness. These inspiring, trustworthy men modeled strength of character, authentic manhood and fatherhood for many generations. However, “that has changed in recent years,” writes Metaxas, “with troubling results.” Our culture today is in a “crisis of manhood in the absence of men of vi ***addresses what it means (or should mean) to be a man today*** Award winning author Eric Metaxas, features snapshot biographies of great heroes and role models of the past in Seven Men and the secret of their Greatness. These inspiring, trustworthy men modeled strength of character, authentic manhood and fatherhood for many generations. However, “that has changed in recent years,” writes Metaxas, “with troubling results.” Our culture today is in a “crisis of manhood in the absence of men of virtue and strength.” He believes Americans lost trust and began to question authority in the Vietnam War and Watergate era where they learned to distrust “the official version of things and of our leaders.” That’s when our nation moved from a “naïve” attitude to a “cynical” attitude, where “…no one is believed to be trustworthy.” He argues, when all authority is questioned appreciation of real leadership is destroyed with little of the heroic to model. That’s why he penned this book because it’s time to “reverse that trend.” The men he features are humble, selfless men of God, who “surrendered themselves to a higher purpose and gave away something they might have kept” for the greater good, which took self-sacrifice, courage and faith…Full Review: www.examiner.com/list/seven-men-and-t...

  29. 4 out of 5

    Banner

    Eric Metaxas can tell a good story and in this book he tells seven of them. The men are presented in chronological order beginning with George Washington coming to contemporary times of Chuck Colson. With the audio version dedicating roughly an hour to each story, so you don't get detailed autobiographies on each man. What does do is very insightful and makes an enjoyable read. He presents each man's background and demonstrates how his faith in God was an important (overwhelming really) factor i Eric Metaxas can tell a good story and in this book he tells seven of them. The men are presented in chronological order beginning with George Washington coming to contemporary times of Chuck Colson. With the audio version dedicating roughly an hour to each story, so you don't get detailed autobiographies on each man. What does do is very insightful and makes an enjoyable read. He presents each man's background and demonstrates how his faith in God was an important (overwhelming really) factor in his life. Then each man experiences conflict (as all men) in their live. But they responded to this conflict in a way that was consistent with their Christian worldview. As a result of acts of faith God used each man to greatly benefit society. A very inspiration read, that kindles a desire to learn more about each man's story.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Joshua

    Eric Metaxas does it again with another well written and well researched biography (Although it's about several men, not just one, mind you). The only disappointment in the book was the fact that the biographies about the seven individual men always seemed too short! Metaxes' message of patriotism, courage, and taking a stand for Christ, ring true. The seven men Metaxes choose are all true men to look up too. They are all flawed, but heroes nonetheless. Isn't it just like God to take the flaws o Eric Metaxas does it again with another well written and well researched biography (Although it's about several men, not just one, mind you). The only disappointment in the book was the fact that the biographies about the seven individual men always seemed too short! Metaxes' message of patriotism, courage, and taking a stand for Christ, ring true. The seven men Metaxes choose are all true men to look up too. They are all flawed, but heroes nonetheless. Isn't it just like God to take the flaws of men, and turn them around for His good? This book comes highly recommended.

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