Matt Lewis

The day Eric Metaxas challenged President Obama to read ‘Bonhoeffer’

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Matt K. Lewis
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      Matt K. Lewis

      Matt K. Lewis is a senior contributor to The Daily Caller, and a contributing editor for The Week. He is a respected commentator on politics and cultural issues, and has been cited by major publications such as The Washington Post and The New York Times. Matt is from Myersville, MD and currently resides in Alexandria, VA. Follow Matt K. Lewis on Twitter <a>@mattklewis</a>.

After writing a book a book about Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a courageous German pastor whose faith led him to stand up to Adolf Hitler (and pay the ultimate price), Eric Metaxas got the surprise of his life: He would be speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, DC.

What is more, President Obama would be on stage with him — as a captive audience — so to speak.

Given this tremendous opportunity, Metaxas delivered a stirring speech about faith and courage and the right to life.

“I had a very keen sense that God had put me in this position,” Metaxas told me during a recent interview. “And I thought, if God had put me there, then he has something he wants to say to President Obama — to the assembled leadership there — and by his grace, I will say it.”

“It ultimately ended up that I spoke about Bonhoeffer and [William] Wilberforce,” he continued, “because these are the figures that, to me, represent what I call real faith — as opposed to dead religion.”

Metaxas then gave President Obama a copy of “Bonhoeffer,” and challenged him to read it, adding, “No pressure, Mr. President.

His new book (coincidentally titled, “No Pressure, Mr. President!”) includes the text of his speech — as well as the behind-the-scenes story of how it all came about.

Listen to my full conversation with Eric Metaxas here