Tag Archives: Eric Metaxas

Is it hard to be a Christian actor? This Two and a Half Men star thinks it may often be.

Modesty!, etching, published by G. Humphrey , ...

Modesty!, etching, published by G. Humphrey , London, 7th June 1821, (Caroline of Brunswick, wife of King George IV, at a theatre in Genoa, with her secretary and constant companion Bartolomeo Pergami) Victoria and Albert Museum, London, Museum number: S.51-2008 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“What I would say to a person who is firm in their faith and wants to go into an acting career: It is such a difficult thing to do without compromising your beliefs. Even though you are just pretending, if you sign the contract and agree to do what they are doing, even if your character is not evil or doesn’t compromise your belief, you are in a world similar to that of Alexander the Great. Everything the Greeks did was to promote their own worldview, their schools, their theater, their religion, and their sports. You are either in the world or with God. Committing yourself to some kind of job that isn’t committed to God is going to bring so much trouble into your life. It’s not good and not something I would suggest that someone seek.”

So says Angus T. Jones, the 19-yr-old star of Two and a Half Men. Now, I would have to agree with Jones that this particular show, which has for years made Jones himself one of the wealthiest child star on television, has few if any redeeming qualities. “Filth” may not be too strong a word. But he is raising a larger question here: Is it possible to be an actor and a Christian?

The 3rd-century Roman Christian Tertullian thought not. And he had some good reasons: “The Shows” of his time included nudity, sexual acts, and violence–including gladiatorial contests and the public execution-by-wild-animals of many Christians. They also took place in settings explicitly dedicated to idols. Here is Tertullian, in his de spectaculis (“The Shows”): Continue reading

Eric Miller on intellectual history’s attempt to revive itself

Intellectual historian Eric Miller

A couple of years ago, I was sorting through the annual pile of books that comes to my door as a judge in the Christianity Today Book Awards (history and biography category). It was The Year of the Erics. A little giddy with the “new book smell,” I ploughed through Eric Metaxas‘s Big Bonhoeffer Book–critiqued at last week’s Wheaton Bonhoeffer conference, I understand, for being “not scholarly enough.” Then I turned to Eric Miller‘s biography of Christopher Lasch, Hope in a Scattering Time, with a thrill of anticipation.

You see, during my graduate studies, Lasch’s own Culture of Narcissism had struck me with all the force of revelation. This was history as moral crusade, and an acute analysis of American culture to boot. The sort of thing that might even convince a reader that the history of ideas, though hoary with age and encrusted with the critiques of modern “social historians” and “cultural historians,” still carries great power and usefulness. Continue reading

Check out this Harpers interview of Eric Metaxas, author of a bestelling new Dietrich Bonhoeffer biography

Cover of "Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Pro...

Among the books I was privileged to read for the Christianity Today book awards this year was Eric Metaxas‘s excellent new biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Metaxas has gotten a lot of well-deserved buzz for this book, including the following interview in Harpers. I’m reproducing here the first two questions and answers out of six included in the interview. For now you can still link here for the whole article.

By Scott Horton

Eric Metaxas, whose best-selling biography of William Wilberforce, Amazing Grace, provided the framework for an important motion picture, is now out with a thick review of the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German pastor and theologian who played a key role in one of the attempts to kill Adolf Hitler. I put six questions to Metaxas about Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy:

1. You dedicate your book, in German no less, to your grandfather. Tell us the significance of that dedication, and how in the course of your own life you were drawn to Dietrich Bonhoeffer.


Eric Metaxas

My grandfather was a genuinely reluctant German soldier who was killed in the war in 1944, at the age of 31. My mother was nine. The tragedy of my mother’s losing her father at that age has been a big part of my life. My grandfather didn’t want to fight in Hitler’s war. My grandmother said that he used to listen to the BBC with his ear literally pressed against the radio speaker, because if you were caught listening to the BBC you could be sent to a concentration camp. Continue reading

Ah, the crisp fall air, the hope of a World Series, sweaty men in tight pants fighting over a pigskin, and the smell of newly printed pages . . .

Randy Moss #81 of the New England Patriots bef...

Look who'll be catching Brett's passes now!

The Twins are headed into the first round of the World Series tonight. Randy Moss is back in Minnesota (though some wits say “OK, now all you’ve got to do is find someone to throw to him.” Yeah, yeah, Brett Favre is looking all too like the Brett Favre of the Jets years. I still can’t wait to see Moss in purple.) And four new & notable church-historical books are about to hit my mailbox, as it’s time again for the judging in the history/biography category of the Christianity Today Book Awards. This year’s finalists: Continue reading