Back in 1987, Chuck Colson established an annual award to honor men and women who make a profound difference in the face of formidable societal problems and injustices. Chuck named the award after his hero William Wilberforce, the eighteenth-century British parliamentarian who stood against the prevailing culture and powerful economic interests in his campaign to abolish the slave trade.
Having written a biography of William Wilberforce myself, I can say without hesitation that winners of the Colson Center’s William Wilberforce Award have indeed embodied the spirit, compassion, and drive of that Christian statesmen. People like Philippine martyr Benigno S. Aquino, the Rev. Canon Andrew White, the vicar of Baghdad, and Professor Robert George of Princeton, a stalwart defender of religious freedom and the sanctity of human life.
One person who always got nominated for the Wilberforce Award was Chuck Colson. But he always refused to accept it. But this year is different. I can say in all love and in a way I hope would give Chuck a laugh, that he has no choice but to accept this year’s William Wilberforce Award.
After all, the time is right. 2016 is the 40th anniversary of Chuck’s founding of Prison Fellowship, the world’s largest Christian outreach to prisoners and their families. It’s also the 25th anniversary of this radio program, which Chuck first aired in the summer of 1991. Besides that, I can think of no one who better exhibits the spirit of Wilberforce than Chuck Colson.
Now here’s the fun part: I want you to consider attending the Wilberforce Award ceremony in our nation’s capital, April 8-10. It’s going to be a fantastic weekend.
And yes, that’s right—a weekend. In addition to honoring the life and ministry of Chuck Colson at the award ceremony and dinner, you’ll get to participate in what has become a premier conference to equip, unite, and mobilize believers to live out the Christian worldview and that spirit of cultural renewal.
We’ve built the weekend around three things every Christian can do: champion the good, confront evil, and restore brokenness.
On Friday night we’ll discuss the Church’s call to engage the culture. We’ll hear from Lifeway Research’s Ed Stetzer and from my friends Greg Thornbury of the Kings College and author Karen Swallow Prior. Steve Green of Hobby Lobby and the Museum of the Bible will speak to us about how Christians have been able to bring freedom and opportunity to the world and have been extremely effective in lifting people out of poverty.
And then we’re going to talk about how we confront the grave evils in the world today. We’ll hear from best-selling author Johnnie Moore, who has worked with genocide victims in the Middle East, Bosnia, and Rwanda; from former Wilberforce Award winner and Congressman Frank Wolf, a monumental defender of religious minorities, especially persecuted Christians; and from Reggie Littlejohn who is championing the cause of victims of forced abortions in China.
And when we talk about restoring brokenness, what better folks to learn from than Jim Daly of Focus on the Family and the Rev. Sammy Rodriguez, a leading advocate of racial reconciliation in the Church.
All that and throw in visits to the Holocaust Museum, the Library of Congress, and a pre-opening tour of the Museum of the Bible, and you’ve got a weekend experience you will never forget. I know I am really looking forward to being there—yes, of course, I will be there, and I look forward to meeting you.
Please visit WilberforceWeekend.org to find out more and to register today. For a special early-bird discount, you must register by January 29. Again, that’s at WilberforceWeekend.org. Or we can link you to it at BreakPoint.org.
I’ll see you in Washington.
BreakPoint is a Christian worldview ministry that seeks to build and resource a movement of Christians committed to living and defending Christian worldview in all areas of life. Begun by Chuck Colson in 1991 as a daily radio broadcast, BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today’s news and trends via radio, interactive media, and print. Today BreakPoint commentaries, co-hosted by Eric Metaxas and John Stonestreet, air daily on more than 1,200 outlets with an estimated weekly listening audience of eight million people. Feel free to contact us at BreakPoint.org where you can read and search answers to common questions.
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.
Publication date: January 21, 2016