Sometimes I think I take for granted what a huge, huge impact Chuck Colson had on me.
I mean, he influenced almost every area of my life: my career, my walk with Jesus, and certainly the way I see and think about the world; my Christian worldview.
I’d come to faith in Christ in 1988, four years out of Yale. I was excited about Jesus, and I wanted to meet and get to know people who knew Him well. I’ll never forget talking with a brilliant Hungarian Christian friend of mine named Tibor Lengyel. Tibor gave me a list of books he said I absolutely had to read. And two of the books were by Chuck Colson, of course.
So I read them, and I was off to the races. I’ll tell you more about the books in a minute.
In 1994, a few years later I think it was, Chuck was scheduled to speak at the Yale Law School auditorium. I just had to hear him. So I drove from New Canaan, Conn., to New Haven, and once I heard Chuck speak, I just had to meet him. And of course that meeting changed my life.
After that speech I buttonholed Chuck just as he was walking out of the auditorium and I introduced myself. I told him how much I loved BreakPoint and that, frankly, the world needed to hear a whole lot more from him. Of course he was gracious. And I knew that he had a grandson, so I handed him a copy of a children’s book I had written titled Uncle Mugsy and the Terrible Twins of Christmas. I had also stuck a letter to him, to Chuck, between the covers.
He actually wrote me back a week or so later saying he hoped our paths would cross again. All I could think at the time was, “Wow, Chuck Colson wrote me a letter!”
Well, about a year and a half after that, I was writing for an advertising agency in New York City, and it was awful work. The only thing I ever wrote for this agency that made it to TV was an Ex-Lax commercial! That’s not a joke. So when someone from BreakPoint called me and asked if I wanted to write for Chuck Colson, after almost passing out, I said absolutely yes.
Today I cannot possibly tell you how grateful and humbled I am to follow in Chuck’s footsteps here on BreakPoint. And I know my colleague John Stonestreet feels the same way.
Now let me tell you about two of those books. They so shaped the way that I understand the Christian faith and the world, I almost can’t conceive that any believer has not read them. They really are MUST reads.
The first book is Loving God. To this day I have people tell me that Loving God is their favorite Chuck Colson book. Chuck was such a great storyteller, and Loving God was vintage Chuck. He used powerful stories to teach us about obedience, holiness, repentance, suffering and love. Please, read Loving God.
The other book that really impacted me was Kingdoms in Conflict. Chuck updated it just a few years ago, and now it’s called God and Government. It could not be more prophetic or timely today. In fact, you’ve still got time before the elections to read it. Chuck so clearly lays out a profoundly Christian vision for engaging in politics and public life. Again, through storytelling, he shows us how Christians, banded together in those “little platoons,” can and must make a difference.
Of course, we have Loving God and God and Government available at our online bookstore at BreakPoint.org.
Before I leave you today on Chuck’s birthday, I just want to send my love to Patty Colson. Patty, thank you so much for all those years you shared Chuck with us and the world. God bless you, sister.
And to all the rest of you, thanks for listening. And thanks for supporting BreakPoint. Now, get reading.
Eric Metaxas is a co-host of BreakPoint Radio and a best-selling author whose biographies, children's books, and popular apologetics have been translated into more than a dozen languages.
BreakPoint commentary airs each weekday on more than one thousand outlets with an estimated listening audience of one million people. BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today's news and trends via radio, interactive media, and print.
Publication date: October 16, 2012