Communion on the Moon: July 20th, 1969

Tags: , , , , , ,
Published by Eric Metaxas on 07/19/14 under Blog
-->

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.”

END

*     *     *

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:

*    *    *

PHOTO:

Buzz Aldrin, Eric Metaxas, and Dick Cavett

 

Ann B. Davis Loves My Book!

Tags: , , , , , ,
Published by Eric Metaxas on 06/11/10 under Blog

Ann B Davis_slideshow_604x500It’s hard for me not to brag about that…  Click here to read the quote.  By the way, I’m talking about the EVERYTHING YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT GOD (but were afraid to ask) books!  I was recently on Canadian tv talking about them.

If you didn’t realize I speak Canadian, please click here!

For Part Deux, click here!

For Part Trois, click here!

My new book has arrived!!!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Published by Eric Metaxas on 01/04/10 under Blog

Everything You Alway#13A911I just got my own copy in the mail and BOY does it look good.  It’s a hardcover and it’s super orange! 

ORANGE YOU GLAD?

To order your copy, click on the ORDER NOW link at the top of this screen!  Please post this on facebook and tell your friends.

It’s go time!

The National Herald, Sept. 5, 2009

Tags: , , , , ,
Published by Eric Metaxas on 10/04/09 under Media Press

The National Herald, Sept. 5, 2009.  A Weekly Greek American publication.    (Click here to see “In the Spotlight” featuring Eric Metaxas on page two. By Eleni Kostopoulos.)

Rick Warren Wants You to Buy My Books!

Tags: , , , , , ,
Published by Eric Metaxas on 12/22/08 under Blog Media

Here’s Rick Warren doing his best to convey his huge affection — in a kind of non-verbal blurb — for my two books Amazing Grace and Everything You Always Wanted to Know About God (but were afraid to ask). I know if he had more hands he’d be holding up Everything ELSE You Always Wanted to Know About God (but were afraid to ask) and Squanto and It’s Time to Sleep, My Love, but the Lord only gave Rick the two hands you see, and he’s having to make do. I appreciate it! Rick did say he would aggressively push my books during his Inauguration Prayer on January 20th. I don’t know how he’ll work them in, but I know he will!! You may have to listen carefully, but I know he’ll mention them somehow. It’s something to look forward to!

GREEKNEWSONLINE / Eric Metaxas and the God Question

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Published by Eric Metaxas on 11/01/08 under Blog Media Press

“Eric Metaxas and the God Question” by Vicki J. Yiannias. http://www.greeknewsonline.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=7233

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About God (but were afraid to ask)

Tags:
Published by Eric Metaxas on 09/20/06 under Books

“How anyone writes a book on God — and now Jesus — that reads like a can’t-put-it-down thriller is a miracle itself.  Metaxas doesn’t just know my socks off — he knocks my robe off!”
– Judge Jeanine Pirro, former Westchester County D.A. and host of the nationally-syndicated “Judge Jeanine Pirro” tv program.

We all have questions about God. But very few of us get the answers we’re looking for–if those answers even exist! Do they? Where (in heaven’s name) do you go to find out?  Eric Metaxas understands. That’s why he’s written this refreshingly down-to-earth take on the big questions everyone asks (but not always out loud)…

READ WHAT THE CRITICS ARE SAYING ABOUT Everything You Always Wanted to Know About God (but were afraid to ask)

For his stylish and entertaining treatment of this subject, Metaxas deserves a prize. —Dick Cavett

“I am absolutely smitten with this book! Easy (in the sense of moving right along) and fun to read, but packed with good stuff to chew on. I wanted to put every question and answer on file cards, so I could whip out the appropriate response when asked. And all with a wonderful sense of humor. Thank you, Eric, Thank you for writing this book! Every question in it I have asked, have heard asked, or want to ask! And the answers are so good humored and easy to read that you almost forget how profound they are.”
—Ann B. Davis,  Alice of “The Brady Bunch”

“The difficulty is not to gush. Eric has written a wise, funny, and disarming book, one which will, I’m sure, be handed around dorms, churches, and anywhere smart, curious people (both believers and unbelievers) can get their hands on it. We have had a tugging match with our own 21-year-old college student to see who gets to read it first in our house. We plan use it at Redeemer everywhere we can.”
—Tim Keller, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, NYC

“Quick, witty, engaging, and often profound are words I use to describe my old friend and one-time colleague Eric Metaxas. This little book, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About God (But were Afraid to Ask) is vintage Metaxas. Good and profitable reading. —Chuck Colson

“An excellent primer on the most important questions of life, engagingly presented in question-and answer format. A timely and useful book for a searching, spiritually hungry America.”
—George Gallup, Jr., Founding Chairman of the George H. Gallup International Institute

“Rarely do a humorist, a logician and an orthodox theological popularizer inhabit the same skin, so — quick now! — join Eric Metaxas in this dialogue with skeptics and let him deftly disabuse you of your vexing bewilderments.”
—McCandlish Phillips, author and former New York Times reporter.

“Curious about God — even a little doubtful? Read this book, you’ll like it!”
—Dr. Paul C.Vitz, Professor of Psychology Emeritus, NYU

“Very theologically coherent and academically robust answers, written in a readable, informal and often witty style.  Brilliant!”
—The Baroness Cox, House of Lords, Westminster, London.

“It is a pleasure to recommend this book. It is written simply. It’s direct. It’s a book that doesn’t intend to impress the reader, but speaks to the reader, as a person would in a conversation. I’ve never encountered this subject dealt with so beautifully as it is dealt with in this book.”?—Bob Grant, host of The Bob Grant Show, WOR-Radio, and author of Let’s Be Heard

“Finally, a book of apologetics you can give your friends without cringing!”
—Lauren Winner, author of Girl Meets God
…[A] cheeky question-and-answer book addressing the most common questions people have about God. …Without a doubt, Metaxas is a clever and straightforward writer, fielding jokes right and left before hitting the reader with the hard stuff. (“Q: What happens when you die? A: Well it depends, but typically the lawn goes unmowed for a while…”) He then more seriously replies that we are either welcomed into God’s presence in heaven or banished for eternity to hell. …high marks for wit…  — Publisher’s Weekly

“I have never seen a book like Everything You Always Wanted To Know About God (but were afraid to ask). This is said as one who has been in the ministry for over 40 years. What Eric Metaxas has set before us is an extraordinary compendium of questions that people, inside and outside the Christian experience, find themselves asking. They are real questions – that are really asked – by real everyday people. The answers are concise and to the point. This is huge, because the temptation always, with any question, is to give such a lengthy answer that people get lost in the maze of words and ideas.”

“I love the way the book is organized. The questions are grouped together along certain themes. Example; Chapter 12: What About Heaven? With sub titles: What Happens When You Die; What Heaven Is; and Who Ends Up there. Not only are the questions grouped together around certain main themes, but it is great that each question naturally follows the preceding question and answer. It is almost as if the question and the following answer gets inside the mind of the reader and creates a running conversation. John R. W. Stott, the famous English Anglican christian leader and scholar, has said that preaching is thinking along with the person who is listening, anticipating the questions that you are raising as you speak, and then answering those questions. This is exactly what Everything You Always Wanted To Know About God does in the way the questions and answers follow along in a conversational sequence. Rather than it’s coming across as a monologue – it creates a dialogue.”

Everything You Always Wanted To Know About God is an evangelist’s dream!  I have a heart for evangelism. Indeed, God has made me a gifted evangelist! Therefore, I would say that the one thing I am sorry about in reading this book is that I did not write it. It touches on the cultural issues that divide Christians and non-christians such as homosexuality, but in such a way as to draw the reader to the main issue – their relationship to God. It delves into “the paranormal” on the one hand and “intelligent design” on the other. It looks into “comparative religions,” like “where does Allah fit into anything,” and the “uniqueness of Christ” and the amazing claims He makes about Himself.  Everything You Always Wanted To Know About God is a must for any serious Christian’s arsenal in the evangelistic task.?—The Rev’d John Guest, Christ Church at Grove Farm, Sweickley, Pennsylvania

Wacky Witness: Using Humor to Save Souls

Tags: ,
Published by Chuck Colson on 11/21/05 under Press

The spiritual seeker was asking lots of questions about Christianity — which was good. He was asking them of a friend of mine who’s a mature Christian — also good. But some of my friend’s answers were — how shall I put it — a bit off the wall.

For instance, the seeker asked about necromancy — the practice of trying to contact the dead through witchcraft or sorcery. What did the Bible say about talking to the dead? My friend’s answer: “It says you should speak very loudly because the first thing that goes when you’re dead is your hearing.”

It wasn’t the kind of answer this man expected — but it certainly got his attention. And after he stopped laughing, he stuck around to hear why the Bible condemns this evil practice.

Humor: It’s an unusual witnessing tool. But my friend and former “BreakPoint” colleague, Eric Metaxas, believes it’s a terrific way to reach modern Americans. And that’s why he’s written a delightful new book called Everything You Always Wanted to Know About God (But Were Afraid to Ask). It’s an imaginary conversation between Eric and a somewhat antagonistic seeker who wants to know more about the Christian faith. Eric — who put many of his own real-life talks with non-Christians into the book — says he “wanted to make the idea of a conversation on the subject of God inviting and, dare I say it, even fun.”

Introducing an element of fun is especially important in a culture in which many people are wary of Christians. They think we’re dour and unpleasant people to be around. Humor helps put them at ease, and makes them more willing to listen than they might otherwise be.

Second, Eric says, humor and irony “have become part of the lingua franca of our culture.” Think about popular TV programs like Seinfeld and David Letterman, who brought irony and sarcasm into the mainstream. If Christians want to speak to people who love that kind of humor, we have to be willing to put our tongues in our cheeks now and then.

Eric is right. Every generation has to find ways to make the Good News understandable to those around them. In this we can take a lesson from the early Church. For example, the ancient Athenians, unlike the Jews, had no prior knowledge of Scripture, so the Apostle Paul looked for a starting point familiar to them. He struck on using a religious site in the city: an altar to an unknown god. Then he quoted a Greek poet. He appealed to the Athenians’ experience in order to create common ground for presenting the Gospel.

Modern America used to resemble Jerusalem, but it has becoming increasingly like Athens. It’s our task to find ways — including humor — to reach our unsaved neighbors with the Gospel. That’s a good reason for reading Eric’s book, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About God (But Were Afraid to Ask). And once you’ve finished it, pass it on to an unsaved friend to read. I’ve known many people who were turned off by Christians who were just too serious and dour — but I’ve never known one who refused to listen to someone who first made him laugh.