By Leslie Lindsay
You may be thinking red, white, and blue this time of year in light of American Independence Day (better known by the familiar moniker, 4th of July). But, have you ever stopped to think about the qualities within Americans that make the USA truly great?
In New York Times Bestselling author’s Eric Metaxas’s recent book, we delve right into that. While there are gads of influential women, this one focuses on seven widely known–but not well understood men. Each exquisitely crafted short portraits of these men showcase a commitment to live by certain
virtues found in the gospel.
Of course you are curious–just who are these great men and what can I learn from them?
Within the covers of this beautifully written, highly engageable book is seven men from all walks of life–politicians, founding fathers, baseball all-stars, athletes, and men of faith…George Washington, William Wilberforce, Eric Liddell, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Jackie Robinson, Pope John Paul II, and Charles W. Colson.
While not all of these individuals are American, we can certaintly see how their impact on the world also affected the overall democracy and spirit of the American nation.
Within Metaxas’s introduction, he answers the question, “Why these seven men?” His answer, “Of course this list is not definitive. There is a great subjectivity in these choices…I was looking for seven men who had all evidenced one particular quality: that of surrendering themselves to a higher purpose, of giving something away that they might have kept…nobable and admirable, and it takes courage…and usually faith. Each of these seven men have that quality.”
A wonderful family teaching guide, or one which youth directors and church groups could benefit, SEVEN GREAT MEN, is a an indispensible look at what makes a man of virtue, an everyday–everyman hero. Discussion points may include:
- What does it mean to stand for honesty, courage, and charity?
- How can a man (or woman!) still be a person of integrity, even when the world around us depicts other desires?
- What does it mean to be a man or woman in today’s world? Do you think there is a difference now, versus historically? In what ways are men and women alike in their values?
- Who is your hero and why?
- Have you ever considered being a role model or mentor to someone? In what areas do you carry an inherent knowledge or skill you would like to impart for the greater good?
- What about fallen or false idols? Can you identify some? What qualities or characteristics did they proport to have, yet somehow failed?
- What does it take to be a true leader in today’s policical, religious, and social climate?
As you sit back this holiday to enjoy the fireworks, the family gatherings and delicious summer harvest this holiday, I challenge you think of these great men–those who can serve as heroes and men of virtue for our nation’s children.
Who Wrote it: Eric Metaxas is the author of NYT #1 bestseller, BONHOEFFER: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy which was named Book of the Year by EPCA in 20111. He has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Publisher’s Weekly, The New Republic, Harper’s, Kirkus, NPR, FoxNews, Christianity Today, and others. He was also the keynote speaker at the 2012 National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C. He currently resides in New York with his wife and daughter.(author photo retrieved from the author’s website, www.ericmetaxas on 7.2.13)
Interested in a complimentary hardback copy of SEVEN GREAT MEN? Here’s all you have to do: Tell us–either in comment here on the blog or by sending me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org why you’d like a copy. A name will be selected at random on Friday, July 5th by 5pm CST. Open to US residents only. You will be contacted via email if your name is selected. Please remember to check your junk mail for notification. Your prompt response to the winning email is appreciated, otherwise another name will be drawn. Thanks and good luck!
For more information, please see the author’s website, http://www.ericmetaxas.com/