Transformed By Grace: Charles Colson 1931–2012

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“Behold I make all things new.“—Revelation 21:5

The gospel message is one of rebirth and renewal; God reconciling the world through Christ. Sometimes this reconciliation is dramatic and powerful, such as when a high-profile and unlikely figure is touched by God, responds in repentance, and is reborn.

Chuck Colson is a perfect example of this kind of electrifying transformation.

Colson, known as Richard Nixon’s most ruthless White House aide, was famous for saying he’d “walk over my own grandmother” to get Nixon a second term. Nixon’s “hatchet man” was responsible for many of the malicious tactics leading to the implosion of the president’s administration. Colson was the first of the administration incarcerated for the Watergate scandal, serving seven months in an Alabama federal prison.

Critics were skeptical when, prior to his incarceration, Colson had a sudden conversion to Christianity, but many were eventually silenced. His integrity and tireless work with Prison Fellowship in the following 39 years proved his faith genuine. Even those most critical of Colson’s politics, never questioned his life-changing transformation in 1973.

Evangelical Christianity lost one of its most dynamic voices on April 21, 2012. Colson, the winner of many humanitarian and civic awards, will be remembered as an insightful and influential man mightily changed by Christ’s redeeming work.

Here are 5 of my favorite Charles Colson quotes:

1. “And so early that Friday morning, while I sat alone staring at the sea I love, words I had not been certain I could understand or say fell naturally from my lips: ‘Lord Jesus, I believe You. I accept You. Please come into my life. I commit it to You.’ ”—from Born Again

2. “ . . . the Christian worldview is more consistent, more rational, and more workable than any other belief system. It beats out all other contenders in giving credible answers to the great questions that any worldview must answer: Where did we come from? (creation); What is the human dilemma? (fall); and What can we do to solve the dilemma? (redemption). And the way we see the world guides the way we work to change the world (restoration).”— from How Now Shall We Live?

3. “As we give away our lives in service—as we lose our lives in order to save them—we discover the true meaning of our lives in the midst of fellowship and community.”—from The Good Life

4. “If faith is at war with fear, if catastrophe can turn from death to resurrection, if hope can triumph over despair . . . if there was ever a time for the church to be the church, it is now.”—from Being the Body

5. “We will not always proclaim the gospel in words. Usually, in order to be heard, we must first be seen. We must be his witnesses, right where we live.”—from Being the Body

From all of us at Vyrso, thank you Mr. Colson.

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