Eric Metaxas

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Eric Metaxas
Metaxas in 2012
Metaxas in 2012
Born (1963-06-27) June 27, 1963 (age 57)
Astoria, Queens, New York City, U.S.
OccupationAuthor, talk show host
Alma materYale University
Genre
Website
ericmetaxas.com Edit this at Wikidata

Eric Metaxas (born 1963) is an American author, speaker, conservative radio host, and conspiracy theorist. He has written three biographies, Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery about William Wilberforce (2007), Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy about Dietrich Bonhoeffer (2011), and Martin Luther: The Man Who Rediscovered God and Changed the World about Martin Luther (2017). He has also written humor, children's books, and scripts for VeggieTales. Metaxas is the host of the NYC-based event series "Socrates in the City: Conversations on the Examined Life" and the radio program The Eric Metaxas Show.[1]

Biography[edit]

Metaxas was born in the New York City neighborhood of Astoria, Queens and grew up in Danbury, Connecticut. He graduated from Yale University (1984, B.A., English).[2][3] While there, he edited the Yale Record, the nation's oldest college humor magazine. Metaxas lives in Manhattan with his wife and daughter.[4] He is Greek on his father's side and German on his mother's; he was raised in a Greek Orthodox environment.[5]

Metaxas was raised in the Greek Orthodox Church and while he has not formally left it (saying he has "great respect" for it) he attended Calvary-St. George's Episcopal Church.[6][7] He now attends Central Presbyterian Church.[8] Metaxas describes himself as a "Mere Christian" after the words of C.S. Lewis. In 2007 he said his books "don't touch upon anything at all where Protestants, Catholics, and Orthodox Christians differ. They express just the basics of the faith, from a basic, ecumenical Christian viewpoint. They only talk about the Christian faith that they have agreement on."[6] However, in his book Martin Luther,[9] he criticized the political power structures that had emerged from the medieval Catholic Church, writing that it was only with Luther that the true Gospel was rescued "from under its crushing welter of ecclesiastical and political medieval structures."[9]

Writing[edit]

Metaxas's works If You Can Keep It: The Forgotten Promise of American Liberty and Miracles: What They Are, Why They Happen, and How They Can Change Your Life are both New York Times best-selling books.[10][11]

Metaxas's biography of Wilberforce, Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery, was the companion book to the 2006 film.[12]

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy was named the 2010 Evangelical Christian Publishers Association Christian Book of the Year.[13] Bonhoeffer is a New York Times best seller, climbing to #1 in the e-book category.[14] It also won the 2011 John C. Pollock Award for Christian Biography awarded by Beeson Divinity School and a 2011 Christopher Award.[15][16] Although the book is popular in the United States among evangelical Christians, Bonhoeffer scholars have criticized Metaxas's book as unhistorical, theologically weak, and philosophically naive.[17] Professor of German history and Bonhoeffer scholar Richard Weikart, for example, credits his "engaging writing style," but claims Metaxas has a lack of intellectual background to interpret Bonhoeffer properly.[18] The biography has also been criticized by Bonhoeffer scholars Victoria Barnett[19] and Clifford Green.[20] Despite these widespread and substantial criticisms of his work by experts on Bonhoeffer, Metaxas' book has been praised by popular magazines as a "weighty, riveting analysis of the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer" which "bring[s] Bonhoeffer and other characters to vivid life".[21][22]

Martin Luther: The Man Who Rediscovered God and Changed the World claimed a New York Times Editor's Pick in December 2017[23] and became a best-selling book in January 2019.[24] Like his book on Bonhoeffer, Metaxas' Martin Luther has not been received positively by historians. Carlos Eire wrote that the book was "full of overblown claims" and accused Metaxas of doing naive Whig history, portraying Luther as "a titanic figure who single-handedly slays the dragon of the Dark Ages, rescues God from an interpretive dungeon, invents individual freedom and ushers in modernity."[25] Catholic church historian John Vidmar writes that Metaxas ignored more than a century of scholarship on Luther in order to write a "sweeping and largely uncritical endorsement for Martin Luther." In order to reach his conclusions, Vidmar writes, "Metaxas needs to misunderstand, denigrate, and then caricature centuries of human effort and achievement in language that is colloquial, casual, and often flippant."[26]

Seven More Men, released in April 2020, is the sequel to Seven Men[27].

Other writing has been published in the Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal.[28][29]

Political views[edit]

Metaxas is a prominent supporter of Donald Trump.[30][31] In 2019, Metaxas published two children's books called Donald Builds the Wall and Donald Drains the Swamp in a series called "Donald the Caveman". Other characters in the book include those Metaxas has called "an angry little girl who looks a little bit like AOC" and "an angry, crazy old man who looks a little bit like a guy named Bernie."[32] In a November 2019 interview with Franklin Graham, Metaxas said that “screaming protesters” to Trump were “almost demonic".[33][34]

2020 assault accusation[edit]

Leaving a speech at the White House in August 2020, Metaxas punched an unarmed protester in the back of the head. Metaxas claimed the protester had been "very menacing for a long time." The protester disputed this characterization, saying that he had been "talking [profanity]" but gave Metaxas no reason to attack. The protester stated his intent to press charges against Metaxas.[35][36]

Endorsement of Trump's claims of voter fraud[edit]

After the 2020 presidential election, Metaxas endorsed Donald Trump's claim that the election was tainted by voter fraud, predicting on Twitter: "Trump will be inaugurated. For the high crimes of trying to throw a U.S. presidential election, many will go to jail." Metaxas also told Trump on Metaxas's radio show that "Jesus is with us in this fight" to overturn the 2020 election. "I'd be happy to die in this fight," Metaxas added.[37][38]

Radio show[edit]

In April 2015, Metaxas began hosting the two-hour, daily nationally syndicated radio program broadcast from the Empire State Building in New York called The Eric Metaxas Show. The show is syndicated by the Salem Radio Network.[39] Recent notable guests include Dick Cavett, David Brooks, Kirsten Powers, Kathie Lee Gifford, N. T. Wright, Peter Hitchens (brother of Christopher Hitchens), Jimmie "J.J." Walker, Andrew Garfield,[40] Maria Butina,[41] Milo Yiannopoulos,[42] Ross Douthat, Tony Shalhoub, Morgan Freeman, Jeff Allen, Senator Rand Paul, Joseph Fiennes, Darryl Strawberry, and Suzy Welch.[43]

Other activities[edit]

Metaxas speaking at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference

Metaxas is the founder and host of a New York City event series called "Socrates in the City: Conversations on the Examined Life," where he interviews thinkers and writers, and is labeled as a forum on "life, God, and other small topics" in Metaxas' book about the series.[44] Francis Collins, Malcolm Gladwell, Sir John Polkinghorne, Kathleen Norris, Richard John Neuhaus, Dick Cavett, N. T. Wright, Jean Bethke Elshtain, Dame Alice von Hildebrand, Peter Hitchens, Sir Jonathan Sacks, and Caroline Kennedy have all been guests.[45][46]

In the late 1990s Metaxas wrote BreakPoint radio commentaries for former Nixon aide and Prison Fellowship founder Charles "Chuck" Colson. Upon Colson's death in 2012, Metaxas, along with John Stonestreet, became the voice of BreakPoint, which now airs weekdays on 1350 outlets across the country.[47]

Metaxas speaking at Ocean Grove, New Jersey (2018)

On February 2, 2012, Metaxas was the keynote speaker for the 2012 National Prayer Breakfast.[48] Metaxas has testified before Congress about the rise of anti-Semitism in the U.S. and abroad, and he spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2013 and 2014 on the issue of Religious Freedom.[49][50][51]

Metaxas was awarded the Becket Fund's Canterbury Medal in 2011 and the Human Life Review's Defender of Life Award in 2013.[52][53] Metaxas has received honorary doctorate degrees from Hillsdale College, Liberty University, Sewanee: The University of the South, Ohio Christian University, and Colorado Christian University.[54][55][56][57]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Eric Metaxas Show". Retrieved July 9, 2015.
  2. ^ Stanley, Paul (March 4, 2013). "Eric Metaxas to Christian CEOs: Have You Lost the Joy of Serving God?" The Christian Post. Retrieved January 8, 2020.
  3. ^ Metaxis, Eric (May 27, 2013). "Palm Beach Atlantic University" (commencement address). Retrieved January 8, 2020
  4. ^ "Author Biography: HarperCollins Publishers". harpercollins.com.
  5. ^ "Deep thrills". ericmetaxas.com. June 19, 2006. Archived from the original on September 22, 2012. Retrieved August 27, 2012.
  6. ^ a b Vicki J. Yiannias (August 1, 2007). "Eric Metaxas and the God Question". Greek News.
  7. ^ Sarah Pulliam Bailey (July 29, 2013). "Is Eric Metaxas the next Chuck Colson? _ UPDATED". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 13, 2017.
  8. ^ "https://twitter.com/ericmetaxas/status/1251866545279680514". Twitter. Retrieved July 29, 2020. External link in |title= (help)
  9. ^ a b Metaxas, Eric (2017). Martin Luther: The Man who Rediscovered God and Changed the World. Viking. p. 249.
  10. ^ "Hardcover Nonfiction Books - Best Sellers - July 17, 2016 - The New York Times".
  11. ^ "Hardcover Nonfiction Books - Best Sellers - November 16, 2014 - The New York Times".
  12. ^ Metaxas, Eric. "Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery by Eric Metaxas". Harpercollins.com. Archived from the original on January 25, 2013. Retrieved July 6, 2012.
  13. ^ "Christian Book Expo 2009: Christian Book Award". Christianbookexpo.com. Retrieved July 6, 2012.
  14. ^ "The New York Times Best Sellers". The New York Times. Retrieved March 23, 2014.
  15. ^ "John C. Pollock Award for Christian Biography". Beeson Divinity School Samford University. Retrieved March 23, 2014.
  16. ^ "The Christophers". The Christophers. Archived from the original on July 4, 2014. Retrieved March 23, 2014.
  17. ^ "Hijacking Bonhoeffer". christiancentury.org. Retrieved June 5, 2020.
  18. ^ Richard Weikart, "Metaxas' Counterfeit Bonhoeffer: An Evangelical Critique: Review of Eric Metaxas, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy", California State University. [1]
  19. ^ "Review of Eric Metaxas, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy: A Righteous Gentile vs. the Third Reich". Journal.ambrose.edu. September 3, 2010. Archived from the original on July 20, 2012. Retrieved July 6, 2012.
  20. ^ Green, Clifford (October 5, 2010). "Hijacking Bonhoeffer". The Christian Century. Retrieved September 8, 2012.
  21. ^ "Nonfiction Book Review: Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy: A Righteous Gentile vs. the Third Reich by Eric Metaxas, Author". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved October 2, 2015.
  22. ^ "BONHOEFFER by Eric Metaxas". Kirkus Reviews. Retrieved October 2, 2015.
  23. ^ "10 New Books We Recommend This Week - The New York Times".
  24. ^ "Best-Selling Books Week Ended Jan. 12 - WSJ".
  25. ^ Eire, Carlos (December 24, 2017). "The Year of Luther". The New York Times Book Review. p. 9.CS1 maint: location (link)
  26. ^ Vidmar, John (2018). "Review of Martin Luther: The Man Who Rediscovered God and Changed the World". Historian. 80 (3): 617–619. doi:10.1111/hisn.12984. S2CID 149937948.
  27. ^ "SEVEN MEN". Eric Metaxas. Retrieved April 15, 2020.
  28. ^ Eric, Metaxas (February 16, 2001). "No More Pluto, No More ++Taupe". NYTimes.com. The New York Times. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  29. ^ Eric, Metaxas (December 25, 2014). "Science Increasingly Makes the Case for God". WSJ. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  30. ^ "Eric Metaxas, evangelical intellectual, chose Trump, and he's sticking with him". History News Network. February 23, 2018. Retrieved December 21, 2019.
  31. ^ News, Deseret (October 12, 2016). "Popular Christian author Eric Metaxas stands by Donald Trump". Deseret News. Retrieved December 3, 2020.
  32. ^ Wishon, Jennifer (September 20, 2019). "'Donald Builds the Wall': Eric Metaxas Offers Humorous Look at Trump vs. 'The MSNBC-13 Gang'". CBN News. Retrieved December 21, 2019.
  33. ^ Fry, Madeline (December 20, 2019). "How evangelical leaders conflate religion and politics". Washington Examiner. Retrieved December 21, 2019.
  34. ^ Wehner, Peter (November 25, 2019). "Are Trump's Critics Demonically Possessed?". The Atlantic. Retrieved December 21, 2019.
  35. ^ Jenkins, Jack (September 1, 2020). "Eric Metaxas confirms he punched protester, says protester was to blame". Religion News Service. Retrieved December 12, 2020.
  36. ^ Dean, Jamie (August 31, 2020). "Protester disputes Metaxas account of RNC altercation". World Magazine. Retrieved December 12, 2020.
  37. ^ https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/prominent-evangelicals-are-directing-trumps-sinking-ship-that-feeds-doubts-about-religion/2020/12/07/5ad8eb0c-38c3-11eb-9276-ae0ca72729be_story.html
  38. ^ https://religionnews.com/2020/11/30/eric-metaxas-christian-radio-host-offers-to-lay-down-his-life-for-trump-election-triumph/
  39. ^ "Salem Media Group and Eric Metaxas Join Forces with a New Daily Show". PR News Wire. CAMARILLO, Calif. Retrieved March 1, 2015.
  40. ^ "Have you heard the Eric Metaxas Show? Highlights Ahead!". ericmetaxas.com. June 13, 2015. Retrieved December 10, 2015.
  41. ^ "Maria Butina". The Eric Metaxas Show. July 15, 2015. Retrieved August 6, 2018 – via SoundCloud.
  42. ^ The Eric Metaxas Show, Milo Yiannopoulos Interview with Eric Metaxas, retrieved January 13, 2019
  43. ^ "Featured Guests". The Eric Metaxas Show.
  44. ^ Metaxas, Eric (October 13, 2011). Life, God, and Other Small Topics: Conversations from Socrates in the City. ISBN 9781101550403. Retrieved August 18, 2015.
  45. ^ "Socrates in the City". Retrieved April 14, 2014.
  46. ^ "The World Leaders Forum | Judson University". judsonu.edu. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  47. ^ "About BreakPoint". Prison Fellowship. Archived from the original on October 16, 2014. Retrieved November 17, 2014.
  48. ^ "Obama says faith mandates him to care for the poor". The Washington Post. May 23, 2012. Retrieved July 6, 2012.
  49. ^ "Rise of Anti-Semitism in Europe, Threat to other Faiths & Democracy Addressed at Hearing". Chris Smith. February 27, 2013. Retrieved July 22, 2014.
  50. ^ "Eric Metaxas CPAC 2013". YouTube. March 16, 2013. Retrieved July 22, 2014.
  51. ^ "CPAC 2014 - Eric Metaxas, Author". YouTube. March 7, 2014. Retrieved July 22, 2014.
  52. ^ "The Canterbury Medal Dinner". The Becket Fund. 2014. Archived from the original on July 4, 2014. Retrieved June 16, 2014.
  53. ^ "Great Defender of Life Dinner". The Human Life Review. 2014. Archived from the original on May 30, 2014. Retrieved June 16, 2014.
  54. ^ "Hillsdale". Hillsdale. 2014. Retrieved June 27, 2014.
  55. ^ "Liberty University Baccalaureate Speaker Eric Metaxas Fortifies Graduates for a Life of Faith, Receives Honorary Doctorate". PRWeb. 2014. Retrieved June 27, 2014.
  56. ^ "Easter Convocation Will Bestow Doctor of Divinity Degrees". Sewanee: The University of the South. 2015. Archived from the original on September 7, 2015. Retrieved August 18, 2015.
  57. ^ "Eric Metaxas on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved July 5, 2018.

External links[edit]