Communion on the Moon: July 20th, 1969

Jul 19, 2014

Forty-five years ago today two human beings changed history by walking on the surface of the moon.   But what happened before Buzz Aldrin (pictured in the LM, left) and Neil Armstrong exited the Lunar Module is perhaps even more amazing, if only because so few people know about it.

I’m talking about the fact that Buzz Aldrin took communion on the surface of the moon.  Some months after his return, he wrote about it in Guideposts magazine.  And a few years ago I had the privilege of meeting him myself.  (See photo below.)   I asked him about it and he confirmed the story to me, and I wrote about in my book Everything You Always Wanted to Know About God (But Were Afraid to Ask).

The background to the story is that Aldrin was an elder at his Presbyterian Church in Texas during this period in his life, and knowing that he would soon be doing something unprecedented in human history, he felt he should mark the occasion somehow, and he asked his pastor to help him.  And so the pastor consecrated a communion wafer and a small vial of communion wine.  And Buzz Aldrin took them with him out of the Earth’s orbit and on to the surface of the moon.

He and Armstrong had only been on the lunar surface for a few minutes when Aldrin made the following public statement:  “This is the LM pilot. I’d like to take this opportunity to ask every person listening in, whoever and wherever they may be, to pause for a moment and contemplate the events of the past few hours and to give thanks in his or her own way.”  He then ended radio communication and there, on the silent surface of the moon, 250,000 miles from home, he read a verse from the Gospel of John, and he took communion.  Here is his own account of what happened:

“In the radio blackout, I opened the little plastic packages which contained the bread and the wine. I poured the wine into the chalice our church had given me. In the one-sixth gravity of the moon, the wine slowly curled and gracefully came up the side of the cup. Then I read the Scripture, ‘I am the vine, you are the branches. Whosoever abides in me will bring forth much fruit.  Apart from me you can do nothing.’  I had intended to read my communion passage back to earth, but at the last minute [they] had requested that I not do this. NASA was already embroiled in a legal battle with Madelyn Murray O’Hare, the celebrated opponent of religion, over the Apollo 8 crew reading from Genesis while orbiting the moon at Christmas.  I agreed reluctantly.   …I ate the tiny Host and swallowed the wine. I gave thanks for the intelligence and spirit that had brought two young pilots to the Sea of Tranquility. It was interesting for me to think: the very first liquid ever poured on the moon, and the very first food eaten there, were the communion elements.”

And of course, it’s interesting to think that some of the first words spoken on the moon were the words of Jesus Christ, who made the Earth and the moon — and Who, in the immortal words of Dante, is Himself the “Love that moves the Sun and other stars.”


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FOR A VIDEO of me talking about this on the FoxNewsChannel’s Strategy Room, click here.

And for the full text of Buzz Aldrin’s article (“Communion in Space”) from the October 1970 issue of Guideposts magazine, click here.

Related Podcasts:

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Buzz Aldrin, Eric Metaxas, and Dick Cavett


“What the Bird Said Early in the Year”

Jul 17, 2014

This week I’ve had the tremendous privilege of being in Oxford to shoot a small-group dvd series about C.S.Lewis, due out early next year. You can see photos here. I’ll be adding more each day. Today we shot behind Magdalen College, on Addison’s walk, where late one September night in 1931 J.R.R. Tolkien, Hugo Dyson, and Lewis took a walk. Tolkien got Lewis to consider the idea that Jesus’s incarnation, death, and resurrection were a myth that was also historically true. Nine days later, after a motorcycle ride to the Whipsnade Z00, Lewis assented to that idea, and became a Christian.

The following plaque of a Lewis poem was put up on Addison’s Walk in 1998, commemorating the Centenary of Lewis’s birth. I was there at that time and the poem remains one of my absolute favorites. IMG_4687



I heard in Addison’s Walk a bird sing clear:
This year the summer will come true. This year. This year.

Winds will not strip the blossom from the apple trees
This year, nor want of rain destroy the peas.

This year time’s nature will no more defeat you,
Nor all the promised moments in their passing cheat you.

This time they will not lead you round and back
To Autumn, one year older, by the well-worn track.

This year, this year, as all these flowers foretell,
We shall escape the circle and undo the spell.

Often deceived, yet open once again your heart,
Quick, quick, quick, quick! – the gates are drawn apart.


Holy Talkshow, Batman! It’s Dick Cavett!!!

Jul 01, 2014

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One of the true privileges of my life has been to befriend the great Dick Cavett, whose Emmy-winning tv show has been a major inspiration for Socrates in the City. I recently had the honor of speaking at a gala celebration of his career at the Museum of Broadcasting in Chicago — and was able to reprise Red Buttons’ famous “Never got a dinner!” routine. “Why!? WHY are we giving this man a dinner?!


So how terrific that this master interviewer (pictured interviewing Groucho) has agreed to be the first-ever guest host on Oct. 28th to interview yours truly on the subject of my new MIRACLES book! To whet your appetite for that event — which WILL be simulcast around the country — you’ve just GOT to watch my Socrates in the City interview of him from three years ago. His brilliance and talent shine in a way they cannot when he’s the interviewer. For the love of Pete, Mike, and Christmas,  CLICK HERE FOR THAT LINK!!!

Don’t forget to pre-order your copy of Miracles now at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million| Or wherever books are sold.

My new book is finished! It’s a Miracle!

Jun 27, 2014

9780525954422_p0_v1_s600Have you ever wondered what a miracle is, or why miracles happen — or how miracles can change your life? What a coincidence — or is it a miracle? — because I’ve written a NEW book titled Miracles: What They Are, Why They Happen, and How They Can Change Your Life! The book will be launched on Oct. 28th at a special Socrates in the City event with our first ever guest host, none other than TV legend and Emmy Award-winning talk show host, Mr. Dick Cavett! He will interview me on the subject of miracles — but the event will be simulcast so anyone can watch it. Stay tuned to this space for more information. In the meantime, PLEASE PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY!

Miracles can be pre-ordered now at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million| Or wherever books are sold.

Bonhoeffer Never Said That!

Jun 10, 2014

Bonhoeffer CoverThis is how these things happen. AMAZING. What am I talking about? I’m talking about the fact that Dietrich Bonhoeffer NEVER said “Being a Christian is less about cautiously avoiding sin than about courageously and actively doing God’s will.” But it’s EVERYWHERE on the internet that he said that. But he didn’t. Who said it? Eric Metaxas. On page 486 of my Bonhoeffer book I sum up a theme of his and put it in those words. It is what I believe, but I came to put it in those words while writing my book on Bonhoeffer because it’s a theme of his. I was trying to help the reader understand Bonhoeffer’s thinking.

But Bonhoeffer NEVER EVER actually said it himself.

But the toothpaste is out of the tube and the quote is EVERYWHERE on the internet. The number of places you will find that he said that is practically infinite. Click here to see. It’s mind-blowing. So if YOU put it out there and can put your tiny piece of toothpaste back in the tube, you will be doing a service to history. Let’s see if it is POSSIBLE to correct this error immediately. Such mistakes really do a terrible disservice to history. But can you imagine how far this mistake has gone already? Let’s try and correct it as an experiment… If you put it out there, please fix it. On behalf of history and accuracy, I thank you.

Hillsdale College 2014 Commencement

May 18, 2014

BnS4x3aCQAActGF-1I was the 2014 Commencement Speaker at Hillsdale College in Michigan. To view the video of my speech, “The Role of Faith in the Story of Freedom,” click here. I end the speech with an extraordinary quote from Abraham Lincoln.

For more information on Hillsdale, or to get copies of Imprimis, click here.

To read the text of my speech, click here.

Liberty University 2014 Baccaulaureate Address

May 18, 2014

Liberty-Baccalaureate-2014-Commencement12-1I had the honor of giving the 2014 Baccalaureate Address at Liberty University. To see the video, click here.

I quoted from Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” and exhorted the graduates to retweet this lyric to help remember what’s important in life. I exhort you to do the same by clicking here!


Have We Forgotten the Story of America?

Mar 17, 2014

UnknownHere’s a link to the video of my speech at CPAC 2014. The title of my speech is “Have We Forgotten the Story of America?” The blasting KEI$HA music is obviously an unintentionally super-sad and grimly ironic commentary on the words that follow.  Here’s the Christian Post article…

Malcolm Gladwell at Socrates in the City

Mar 17, 2014

460057284_640You’ve GOT to check out the video of our evening with Malcolm Gladwell at Socrates in the City! We also have video of the amazing evening with Dr. Stephen Meyer, not to mention the boffo evening with Dick Cavett! We’ll post video of our recent evenings with Hugh Hewitt and Dame Alice von Hildebrand very soon — and guess who is coming May 7th? Sign up to get the email invitation!

Bonhoeffer Small Group Videos Are Here!

Feb 18, 2014

IMG_2930I’m so proud of what we were able to do in these four videos, which we shot on location in Germany and Poland. I talk about Bonhoeffer while sitting at his desk in the very bedroom in Berlin where he lived and was arrested. I visit the site of Finkenwalde, which is now just over the border in Poland, and I visit the Igel Fraternity in Tübingen where he was a member, and I even go inside Tegel prison, which is still operating as a prison, virtually unchanged from Bonhoeffer’s time there. It will be demolished later this year. These four videos and study guide are designed for small group study, whether at home or in church, and I hope they deepen your understanding of both Bonhoeffer and his work. Here is a link to the first video, which you can watch in it’s entirety, to get a taste of the whole. And here’s a short trailer.

To purchase the DVDs & Study Guide from, click here. To purchase from Amazon, click here. To purchase from, click here.