Metaxas addresses pre-Convocation audience

Metaxas and his book

By Page Forrest
Managing Editor

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Author Eric Metaxas, the most recent recipient of an honorary degree from Sewanee, was offered the opportunity to speak to a more intimate audience in Gailor Auditorium before his speech at Convocation on January 16. After the introduction, Metaxas told the story of how he came to be such a passionate member of the Christian faith. Growing up, church was more of a cultural than a spiritual experience. “I didn’t know what I believed because I hadn’t been taught much about the faith.” Metaxas also claimed much of his earlier views that he now rejects were shaped by his college education. “It’s not a great idea to be open-minded if you go to a place like [Yale]. You’ll be fed a diet of secular humanism. It’s not enforced, but it’s the environment. You go to a place like that, and they’re not going to answer the question of questions, the meaning of life.”

A few years after graduation, he moved back in with his parents, unsure of what he was doing with his life. It wasn’t until the summer of 1988 that he dreamed he was communicating with God. “I woke up. Game over. I now believe. Before I wasn’t sure, but I woke up knowing. I experienced over the next few years what I would describe as bonafide miracles.” This quote proved to be a convenient segue into a discussion of Metaxas’ newest book, Miracles. Previously, Metaxas has published two works: Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery and Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy. Rather than focusing on historical figures, Miracles addresses the title subject in our modern lives, addressing everything from personal miracles Metaxas’ friends have undergone,to miracles in the Bible. According to Metaxas, Miracles came to be one fateful day in Manhattan, when he was having lunch with an editor. Metaxas told a “miracle story,” and the editor was hooked. He convinced Metaxas to write a book on the subject. Metaxas had stuck with biographies before as he believes strongly that the best way of teaching is through storytelling. Miracles also follows a storytelling format, albeit a more modern, condensed version. The book was published in the fall of 2014, receiving 4.5/5 stars on both Amazon and Barnes & Noble.When asked whether he had any advice for budding authors, Metaxas said “If anyone asks me how to be a writer, I have no idea. Just pray and read the classics.”