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

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
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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

Matt K. Lewis