BU welcomes bestseller

Eric Metaxas (Courtesy Photo)
Eric Metaxas (Courtesy Photo)
By Josh Day

Eric Metaxas, host of Breakpoint broadcasts, New York Times bestselling author and noted Christian speaker, will visit Baylor today.

The Baylor Institute of Religion is hosting “An Evening with Eric Metaxas” at 7 p.m. in the Powell Chapel, where Metaxas will discuss his career, work and best-selling biography, “Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy.”

Although the event is free, the online registration list is already filled, with a limited number of overflow seats available in the Great Hall at Truett, outside of the Chapel.
Byron Johnson, director of the Institute for Studies of Religion, said the registration for the event already closed last Thursday.

“We have a bit of a problem,” Johnson said. “We’re close to 550, but there is overflow. It’s a good problem to have.”

Metaxas is known for his varied, wide-ranging career, having published children’s books within the same year as releasing his most recent New York Times bestseller.

Johnson said he thinks Metaxas is different from previous speakers.

“I think he’s a very brilliant guy,” Johnson said. “He’s not your typical person. Not many people can tackle Bonhoeffer and Veggie Tales, and he has.”

The book examines the life, imprisonment and death of the German pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer during World War II. Bonhoeffer was a Lutheran pastor who wrote “The Cost of Discipleship” and other works while imprisoned during his plots to assassinate Adolf Hitler.

“You have a person who takes a stand at a difficult time and dies what you might call a martyr’s death and also leaves a legacy of teaching, training and education with things like ‘The Cost of Discipleship,’” said Dr. Eric Holleyman, senior lecturer of religion. “That might tell you why this many years later, you have someone like Metaxas coming do something on Bonhoeffer.”

Johnson said that Metaxas will be releasing copies of his newest book, “Seven Men: And the Secret of Their Greatness,” to Baylor attendees weeks before its scheduled release. Metaxas has appeared on CNN, FOX news and NPR and was the keynote speaker at last year’s National Prayer Breakfast. The National Prayer Breakfast is a yearly religious event that has been attended by the president, members of the cabinet and international dignitaries since 1953.

“That prayer breakfast really put him on the map, so his bell’s been ringing off the hook to get talks all across the country,” said Johnson.

Despite Metaxas’ busy schedule, Johnson said Metaxas’ choice to visit a university was both intentional and rare.

“I think that Eric is really anxious to make connections to college students and college campuses,” Johnson said. “I don’t think that he’s done a lot of that.”