Following the extraordinary success of the New York Times best seller Bonhoeffer, Eric Metaxas’ latest book offers inspirational and intellectually rigorous thoughts about the great questions surrounding us all today.
The Greek philosopher Socrates famously said that “the unexamined life is not worth living.” Taking this as a starting point, Eric Metaxas founded a speaking series that encouraged busy and successful professionals to attend forums and think actively about the bigger questions in life; thus Socrates in the City: Conversations on “Life, God, and Other Small Topics” was born.
This book is for the seeker in all of us, the collector of wisdom, and the person who asks, “What if?” Within this collection of original essays that were first given to standing-room-only crowds in New York City are serious thinkers taking on Life, God, Evil, Redemption, and other small topics. Luminaries such as Dr. Francis Collins, Sir John Polkinghorne, N. T. Wright, Os Guinness, and Peter Kreeft have written about extraordinary topics vital to both secular and Christian thinking, such as “Making Sense out of Suffering,” “Can an Atheist Be a Good Citizen?,” and “How Good Confronts Evil: Lessons from the Life and Death of Dietrich Bonhoeffer.” No question is too big—in fact, the bigger, the harder, the more complex the better. These essays are both thoughtprovoking and entertaining, because nowhere is it written that finding answers to life’s biggest questions shouldn’t be exciting and even, perhaps, fun.
©2011 Eric Metaxas (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
I counted it a joy to be listening to this series of lectures. It is a unique blend of humor, scholarship, and spiritual quest. I applaud this audiobook for presenting the actual recordings, and not a narrated transcript. Price these sold separately at the Socrates in the City website, and you'll discover what a fabulous bargain this collection actually is.
This is a compilation of lectures that have taken place in NYC over 10 years, kind of the 'best of'. Socrates in the City was started to give New Yorkers an opportunity to reflect on the big questions that they may not get around to in their busy lives. To me, it's more about seeing the intellectual underpinnings to a life of faith which I have not always realized were there. After listening to a series like this, one learns that exactly the opposite is true and I was the one misinformed. This book for sure is best heard in audio, as it is the actual speakers, not a narrator, so it is ideal for an audiobook. I've read books by Eric Metaxas and found them a tad long, but he's incredibly funny introducing each speaker. There is a forward by him as well. One of the few audiobooks I may easily keep around.
I would encourage anyone who would like a brief respite from our shallow modern discourse to devour this book like the nourishing meal that it certainly is.
Socrates in the city is a great concept. Bring in excellent minds on the topics of their excellence and let them expose you to ideas you may not even have thought about. And certainly not at the intellectual level presented.
There were plenty of doctorates present in fields that vary widely. Yet all considered themselves Christians addressing people who were giving them a fair hearing. And many in the audience disagreed with the speakers and made this clear in the question and answer session. The original speech and the Q&A each lasted about 35-40 minutes so there is enough time to make a case and to stand up to disagreements. Without being disagreeable.
The introductions got a little long and it is not as easy to skim over an audiobook as it is a paper book. But I plan to listen again to increase my knowledge in the various topics presented.
This is a must listen for any Christian weary from swimming upstream in a secular, self-consumed world. The "small topics" addressed in Socrates in the City are timely, relevant and inspirational. Can't say how crucial it is for serious believers to delve into these topics and come up breathing fresh, invigorating hope and renewal. Such a blessing!
Loved Paul Vitz' speech on Fatherhood and Chuck Colson's talk - incredibly important.
These are actual recording from Socrates in the City events. Eric Metaxas' introductions are really fun and the speakers are intellectual pwerhouses. My thinking and life have been influenced by this book and I am thankful for it.
I cannot think of an adequate comparison. This was a delicious and unique experience.
Examine, Think, Laugh
Absolutely! I very much enjoyed the thought provoking topics and rationale that was presented by most of the speakers. Unlike a print version of this "book," the audio version is actually digital recordings of guest speakers and short Q & A sessions that followed. I would love to hear additional speakers in a sequel. I would suggest that Eric edit his introductions. I very much have enjoyed Eric's books and have learned a lot about great leaders (I would recommend any of his books to you). However, before each speaker Eric spends nearly TEN full minutes introducing them and telling jokes. I appreciate a brief introduction so that I know the background of the speaker. A joke or two would be fine. However after the first few introductions I started skipping the intro all together (saving myself 10 minutes per speaker) and jumping right to the meat of the topic.
Excellent book! I highly recommend the audio version as it will absorb you into the atmosphere of the New York City event, as well as having the plus of hearing each speaker present his essay in his or her own voice.
I found the book very though-provoking, and so I took some of the chapters slowly. Some I chose to return back and re-read, so I could mentally chew on the points that were being made. I did not agree with everything that each speaker presented -- for example, Peter Kreeft’s belief that Socrates may be in heaven, or Francis Collins’ theistic evolutionary views. However, that’s the point of the essays and Socrates in the City: to take the time to think about these topics and examine them for yourself.
I did see a review or two with comments that the debates in the work were slanted to include more Christian rather than secular thinkers. First, these are not supposed to be debates! There is a difference between a debate format and an essay presented to a gathering with Q&A following it. Second, while most (if not all) speakers were Christian, I thought they were very thorough and they covered the secular perspective fairly and sufficiently. Actually, they presented the secular viewpoints far better than I usually see of secular thinkers who attempt to present the Christian perspective.
Definitely recommended for anyone who wants to expand their thinking on a few major topics of our time. You’ll come back to read this one again.
This is a fantastic collection of talks with great questions and famously funny introductions. I'm sure I will be reading books mentioned in these talks for a long time.
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