Letter to the American Church
ERIC METAXAS is the author of four New York Times Bestsellers, including the #1 Bestseller, BONHOEFFER: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, which was named “Book of the Year” by the ECPA and sold over one million copies in 19 languages. Called a “biography of uncommon power,” it appeared on numerous 2010 “Best of the Year” lists and was ranked #21 on the Amazon.com listing of Most Highlighted Books of all time.
He is host of the Eric Metaxas Show, a nationally-syndicated daily radio program in 120 cities. (MetaxasTalk.com) ABC News has called Metaxas a “photogenic, witty ambassador for faith in public life,” and The Indianapolis Star described him as “a Protestant version of William F. Buckley.” Metaxas is also the host of Socrates in the City: Conversations on the Examined Life, broadcast on the NRB network and www.Socratesinthecity.com.
Metaxas was the keynote speaker at the 2012 National Prayer Breakfast in Washington DC, an event attended by the President and First Lady, the Vice President, members of Congress, and other U.S. and world leaders. Previous keynote speakers have included Mother Theresa, Bono, and Tony Blair. That speech and Eric’s essay on the experience, were put into a book, No Pressure, Mr. President: The Power of True Belief in a Time of Crisis.
Along with his colleague John Stonestreet, Metaxas is the voice of BreakPoint, a radio commentary that is broadcast on 1,400 radio outlets with an audience of eight million.
In 2011, Metaxas was the 17th recipient of the Canterbury Medal awarded by the Becket Fund for Religious Freedom. He has testified before Congress about the rise of anti-Semitism in the U.S. and abroad, and spoke at CPAC2013 on the issue of Religious Freedom. In September 2013, Eric and his wife Susanne were jointly awarded the Human Life Review’s “Great Defender of Life Award.” Metaxas has honorary Doctorates from Sewanee College, Hillsdale College, and Liberty University.
Eric’s book (November 2014) MIRACLES: What They Are, Why They Happen, and How They Can Change Your Life hit #12 on the New York Times Best Seller list and is being translated into German, Polish, Greek, Portuguese, Hungarian, Romanian, Russian, Estonian, Slovak, Korean, Swedish, Finnish, and Croatian.
His Dec. 25th, 2014 op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, titled “Science Increasingly Makes the Case for God,” is unofficially the most popular and shared piece in the history of the Journal, garnering over 450,000 Facebook Likes and 8,000 comments.
Eric Metaxas’s Letter to the American Church calls upon pastors – and all of us who claim the name of Christ – to speak out courageously against the evils afflicting our culture, something most of the pastors of Nazi Germany failed to do. Of course, they could not have imagined what was coming in the years ahead – who would have dreamt that something like the holocaust could have happened in such an advanced, enlightened, well-educated nation as Germany? But we in 21st century America know what happened, and we are therefore without excuse if we fail to heed the warning issued by Dietrich Bonhoeffer to the pastors of his day, and re-issued by Eric in this book. If we fail, can we imagine what horrors may lay ahead for us?
Eric notes that of the 18,000 Protestant pastors in Germany, only 3000 became part of the Confessing Church – that is, the “true “church, that declared allegiance to God alone, and resisted Nazi interference. Another 3000 stood with the Nazis (and against the Confessing Church). What of the remaining 12,000? They believed they could remain neutral, although many were willing to hang swastika flags on their churches (the virtue signaling of the time?) How many of those pastors were privately against the Nazis, but were too afraid to speak against them? The vast majority of the 66,000,000 German citizens were affiliated with Christian churches. If even half of those “neutral” pastors had stood with the Confessing pastors, and in so doing emboldened their millions of congregants to speak out as well, might things have gone differently? While we can’t know the answer to that question, we can know the answer to the questions Eric poses:
Are we not to bring our faith to bear on all the issues of life? If we remain silent because we fear the repercussions of speaking out, are we really living out our faith? Are we trusting in God?
If Christians remain silent so as not to “be political”, believing that because we are called to preach the gospel, politics is excluded (leaving it to those without a biblical worldview, I suppose?) then perhaps we don’t truly understand the gospel.
As Elizabeth Rundle Charles put it in another timely book (Fault-lines by Voddie Baucham):
“It is the truth which is assailed in any age which tests our fidelity. It is to confess we are called, not merely to profess. If I profess, with the loudest voice and the clearest exposition, every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christianity. Where the battle rages the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battlefield besides is mere flight and disgrace to him if he flinches at that one point.”
I highly recommend Letter to the American Church. But then, I highly recommend everything written by Eric Metaxas. His book If You Can Keep It ought to be required reading in every high school in America.
I have bought it four times because I kept giving it away (and once because I needed a copy for Eric to sign !) And if you have children, you owe it to them to read Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving with them every November.
Please read Letter to the American Church, and share it with every pastor and Christian you know. Then pray that we all might use our God-given freedom to speak out and speak truth. All of us alive today were born for such a time as this.
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