Do you think we'll find the droids? 

What makes a man?

There has been a lot of ink spilt over that very question lately within Christian circles.  There have been books, blog posts, and conferences centered on this question.  Eric Metaxas grappled with this same question in his excellent book Seven Men and the Secret of their Greatness and comes away with a concise answer- strong, sacrificial love.

To help demonstrate his points, Metaxas decided to tell stories about great men.  In Seven Men, he highlighted the lives of George Washington, William Wilberforce, Eric Liddell, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Jackie Robinson, Pope John Paul II, and Charles W. Colson.  Metaxas’ storytelling skills are on high display in this book and he really could not get any better.  Metaxas has a nice way of weaving together the narrative with life lessons that can be extracted from the situation.  He could inform his readers without becoming too preachy.

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Metaxas provided a much needed framework over the questions of masculinity within Christian circles.  He advocated the need to identify manliness not with macho men who repair their own cars, but with men who loved sacrificially.  He advocated that true manhood comes from sacrificial love and protecting the weak.  After delineating what manliness looks like, Metaxas then provided seven examples of what this looks like.  Using some familiar and some not so familiar, Metaxas provided a strong description of masculinity steeped in sacrificial love.

One of the aspects that I particularly enjoyed in his work is that he treated each character with a quality biography while also drawing out worthwhile character traits to admire.  I walked away understanding each figure in his book a little bit better and have even picked up several new personal heroes.  A great read for men and women alike!

Photo: Kristina Alexanderson via Compfight

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