College English professor who loves classic literature, psychology, neurology and hates pop trash like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey.
I have read most of Bonhoffer's work and many, many biographies, and this stands as the best and most comprehensive. Metaxas does a wonderful job of placing Bonhoeffer in his times, showing the many sides of him usually left out or lightly sketched in other books about the great Christian martyr. In the end, the life of Bonhoeffer, so well rendered here, stands as a clarion call to all of us to rise up in our lives and live our faith all the way out. Metaxas' rendering of this great life is a must read.
to Aitken's biography of John Newton. Much of the material in Newton's little autobiography is used in Aitken's expansive book, but it is interesting to read the "eight letters" telling Newton's story all in a piece. Newton's life runs the gamut from vile slave boat captain to deeply religious follower of Christianity and author of "Amazing Grace," probably the best known of Christian hymns. His humility and honesty concerning his youthful misdeeds is refreshing and allows the reader to see the true power of religion for deep change in someone who approaches it with the true desire to be a better man.
Metaxas' fine books on Bonhoeffer (my personal hero) and William Wilberforce, two men who really need to be known by just everyone. This book includes mini-biographies of seven great men, including these two, men who sacrificed personal grandeur and power for the greater good. This book is like an hor dorvers tray which should whet your appetite for more on all of these seven figures in history. Certainly do read Metaxas' books on Bonhoeffer and Wilberforce. If you have not come across them before, you will wonder that you hadn't heard of such forceful figures in the history of the world. (The two or three reviews here that scream about RELIGION! as though it were social kriptonite illustrate the exact reason why our society needs to know about great men like those in this book--sacrificing oneself for a great cause, and forbid! a religious one--is now considered stupid and passe. That is a sad truth about what we have become.)