Eric Metaxas fires on a lot of creative pistons. He writes like a dream, has a knack for distilling a thousand historical facts and personal details both in his fine books (see below) and on his popular nationally syndicated radio show The Eric Metaxas Show, and also has a rapier-like wit. He also spoke with amiable confidence about his now famous biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer at the National Prayer Breakfast a few steps away from President Obama. A strange but impressive mashup if there ever was one.
I hate him.
Okay, back to my show notes. I had interviewed Eric a few years back about his book Seven Women and the Secret of Their Greatness, and remembered vividly his considerable raconteur skills.
Then he caught my attention again with an embarrassingly glowing tweet about my Really Controversial Interview with Milo Yiannopoulos the other week. That was it. With a weakness for public praise by intelligent people, I had to hear more. Within hours, the interview you are about to enjoy was set.
We talked about the way his new book Donald Drains the Swamp fuses adult non-fiction with children’s fiction, and about the knack with which both Mr. Trump and Mr. Yiannopoulos force onlookers to drop their masks—fast.
Pound for pound, I’d say this is the most eclectic of the 103 episodes of The Patrick Coffin Show so far. Per my other Really Controversial Interview with Jordan Peterson, I went Full Metal Catholic and asked the Greek Orthodox cum Evangelical Christian Eric to finish the sentence, “I’m not Catholic, because…”
Let me guess. Hopefully, this good humored exchange of ideas about cultural restoration won’t be tagged as Controversial. But you know how people are these days.
Enjoy and share!
What does this maxim of Peter Kreeft mean to you: “Feuding brothers reconcile when a maniac is at the door.”
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This is Phil’s second appearance on the show, after talking about his book Lost Shepherd: How Pope Francis is Misleading His Flock. This time, the veteran journalist doubles down and broads his analysis to include the widespread corruption and complicity of the bishops with a brand new book, The Smoke of Satan: How Corrupt and Cowardly Bishops Betrayed Christ, His Church, and the Faithful . . . and What Can Be Done About It. A daring book (the publisher explains that they didn’t particularly want to publish it) and badly needed. Heavy sigh.
As ever, it’s the uncomfortable truths that need to be told.
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It’s been over a year since professional polemicist Milo Yiannopoulos more or left public life after losing three gigs in a row: his Breitbart editor position, his Simon & Schuster publishing deal (for his book Dangerous), and his plum CPAC speaker slot.
A massive plummet from the heights of internet fame (infamy?)
So what really happened? What did he say on those 2015 and 2016 podcasts that surfaced last February? More importantly, what did he mean? And does he have any regrets?
Milo, like probably 99% of the population, Catholic or otherwise, has gaps between what he professes and what he lives. St. Paul describes the phenomenon well in Romans 7:19, “For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.” Certainly, going ahead with an attempted marriage to his boyfriend puts him at odds with the teaching of the Catholic Church.
He has a new book out titled, Diabolical: How Pope Francis Has Betrayed Clerical Abuse Victims Like Me—and Why He Has To Go. Many of his followers, and obviously his enemies, want to know why someone who is Openly Gay [™] and civilly married to his boyfriend is qualified to criticize the Pope. They also want a close look at the man himself, in his own words, as distinct from the hysterical rumor mill about him.
In what ways do you make the perfect the enemy of the good?
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It’s a curious fact that a movie that is literally not about abortion would be so effective as a pro-life story. Gosnell: The Trial of America's Biggest Serial Killer has caused a media splash by portraying the media in the film as too chicken to cover the trial of Kermit Gosnell, the Philadelphia abortionist who was ultimately convicted of multiple counts of murder.
By “media” I mean largely social media, and word of mouth. Stories roll in from across the country of theater owners playing games with show times (this happened to me in Southern California), seemingly suggesting that moviegoers not watch it, despite high viewer rating (Google users rate it at 97%) and the fact that it opened against much bigger budgeted films.
Scribe Andrew Klavan (crime writer, and screenwriter of Don’t Say a Word and True Crimes, directed by Clint Eastwood) describes how the harrowing subject matter ot translated to the big screen, and how husband-wife producer team Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney faced on uphill battle after another. And still so, in terms of fighting those forces that want this movie to die.
I can sort of see why. I just read of two moral conversions by influencers with large audiences who walked into the theater as pro-choice and walked out as pro-life. One is Florida political blogger Kathy Zhu. The other is Federalist writer Adam Mill.This is not a preachy movie, as Klavan makes clear–and as any objective viewer will conclude.
Gosnell is a rare blend of Christian premise, serious writing chops, and a CSI-like narrative of the facts as they are, able directed by Nick Searcy (who also plays Gosnell’s attorney Mike Cohan).