Friday, August 14, 2015

7 "Great" Men

Recently I have been following an author and radio host named Eric Metaxas. I started listening to "The Eric Metaxas Show while I was living in New York for the summer. It blew me away that there was someone who was willing to get on the airwaves in one of the most wicked cities in the country and talk about truth. He was very appealing in the way he approached the topic of his faith and his worldview. It wasn't long before I found out that this was the man who wrote the book Bonhoeffer and Amazing Grace. (Hopefully I will be writing reviews for each of those fairly soon.) I became intrigued with his work and made it a quest to read his works. The first book I engaged in was 7 Men and it is the one I will be reviewing today. It has impacted me greatly and I hope that this will give you a bit of a glimpse into this amazing work.

Today's culture is seriously lacking the courage and compassion that have been present in past leaders. Part of this is due to a departure from Biblical principles. Metaxas answers two very important questions laying a foundation for this work. First what is a man and second what makes a man great? Giving a Biblical perspective Metaxas defines clearly what manhood should be about. This is important because without a strong foundation the discussion of these seven men would be futile. And this is all just in the introduction!

Mentioned in the title this book is about Seven Men. These men from first to last are George Washington, William Willberforce, Eric Liddell, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Jackie Robinson, Pope John Paul II, and Charles W. Colson. I had heard a few of these names before, yet I had no idea of many of their personal commitments to Christ. Each of their stories are given in concise, chronological form. The major events are highlighted and a number of unique stories are given about each of the men. After reading 7 Men I feel I could give a brief synopsis and at the least talk about each of these men with some confidence. This book ignited my desire to learn and read more about each of these men. The chapter about Wilberforce was particularly challenging to me as we are in an era where more than ever Christians must stand and fight for those who have no voice and cannot defend themselves.

As I said this was the first book that I've read by Eric Metaxas and it most definitely will not be the last. Seven Men is a classic that must be read in every household, especially to every young man as he grows up. We need a new generation of leaders in the Christian faith and in America and Seven Men will help to groom those leaders.

Seven Men gets 10 out of 10 inkwells for being a spectacular work.

Until Again,
Lance Fillmore PSEUD

Eric Metaxas Home

Buy 7 Men on Amazon

Friday, August 7, 2015

A Seal's Story

There are a few jobs that are glamorized yet hardly any ordinary citizens would want. Becoming a Navy Seal is one of those jobs. Many boys want to become a navy seal yet very few men ever make it. This book is the story of one of those men. Steve Watson grew up during the Vietnam era where there were many exciting developments in the armed forces. As a boy watching footage and reading about the elite Navy SEAL's a desire welled up within him to embark on the quest to become a SEAL. Little did he know he would be Meeting God Behind Enemy Lines.

It was through the experience, challenges, and uncertainty of the special forces life that Steve decided to trust Jesus as his Savior. It is a powerful testimony of the sovereignty of how God uses simple humans to bring others to him. Throughout the book Steve gives us stories from his adventures that illustrate God's sovereignty and grace. It is also filled with lessons on discipline and trusting God and following his will.

Personally this book helped me a lot. This summer was hard and hearing about the discipline, integrity and strength needed in a navy seal encouraged me to keep going, because nothing I was doing was as rough as Hell week. If you enjoy military books or biography this is definitely a good read for you. Have your heart open and be prepared for a wild ride!

Lance Fillmore

Monday, January 5, 2015

Is God Dead

"My God's not dead He's surely alive he's living on the inside roaring like a lion."
God's Not Dead
The Newsboys

It was a Christian film that grabbed the attention of people, believers and skeptics, alike. It challenged the modern teachings that come from many of today's secular universities. Opening at over eight million dollars on its first weekend, God's Not Dead struck a chord in our nation during its run in the theater. Whether people believed or rejected the ideas set forth in the movie no one can deny that this movie has touched many lives, but I wonder how many people have read the book on which it was based?

Rice Broocks is a pastor, speaker, and author. In God's Not Dead, the most well known of his works, Rice clearly presents the evidence for a real, personal, loving, Creator. This book is not long, only about 240 pages of reading, but it is packed with a great foundation for anyone wanting to learn how to better articulate their faith. There are three elements I specifically enjoyed about this book that I would like to share.

First. Every chapter ends with a summery of what you have learned in the previous pages. Sometimes it's easy to become bogged down with scientific details and sort of gloss over what you are reading, but ending each chapter with a summary really helped recap and cement what had been said in the chapter. By the way Mr. Broocks masterfully avoids becoming dry or dull. Even in the details he explains terms very well.

Second. Citing his sources. Many people are surprised  to find out that this book is not a novel. It is a compilation of nine proofs for the evidence of God. As such many quotes are from such leading figures in the God debate such as Richard Dawkins, John Lennox, C.S. Lewis, and many others. The author cites practically every source with footnotes, which makes more research on the subject very easy.

Third. My final and perhaps most favorite part of the book is the presentation of the gospel. This book is not written exclusively to "Christianity" it is for anyone who has had doubts or perhaps doesn't even believe in a god. Because of this Mr. Broocks doesn't gloss over salvation, but makes sure the audience knows that salvation is faith and dependance in Jesus Christ's death, burial, and Resurrection for the atonement of our sins.

In an age where Creationists and Christians are looked down upon and ridiculed, Rice Broocks has inspired a generation of young Christians to know what they believe and to be able to defend the faith. If you have not read this book, I say you definitely need pick up a copy!