If you’re a Christian of my age, or if you’re a long-time BreakPoint listener, you know all about Chuck Colson—and what a towering figure he was in American Christianity. You know about his fall from power during Watergate, his conversion to Christ, and how he became a powerful force for good in the Church and in American life.
But your average millennial Christian probably has no idea who Chuck Colson was. Professor Owen Strachan has decided to do something about that. His fantastic—and I mean fantastic—new book, “The Colson Way,” re-tells the tale of Chuck Colson’s life specifically for the next generation of evangelicals.
But “The Colson Way” is a re-telling with a purpose. Writing from his own perspective as a millennial, Strachan observes that his generation lacks a modern Christian role model for witnessing in the public square—someone who can show them how to live out a solidly biblical faith in an increasingly secularized culture.
“I want this book to wake up a generation,” Strachan writes. “There are thousands of young believers who are struggling to find their voice in the contested American public square.”
And Strachan knows that young evangelicals, young people in general, don’t want lectures. They want pictures, they want examples. And what makes Chuck the perfect model for young people, as Strachan shows, is that Chuck’s impact and legacy were created not just by what Chuck taught, but by the way Chuck lived. Strachan never lets us forget that Chuck walked the talk.
No young Christian, nor any of us older Christians, can fail to be moved and inspired by Strachan’s account of Chuck’s extraordinary drive and work ethic, how he put himself through school, joined the Marines, and navigated treacherous political waters to place himself in an office next to the President of the United States. And who wouldn’t be inspired by accounts of the Ivy League man in a suit and tie stepping out of prison, only to return, visiting the world’s darkest places to embrace and love men and women whom society had discarded?
But Strachan isn’t aiming merely to inspire. His intent is to motivate. The best thing about this book is how Strachan uses Chuck’s story to challenge readers to get involved in the public square. To, as Chuck would say, get out of the pews, to play our part in the bigger story—the story that Strachan describes as “a story God has authored, and that God is bringing to rightful conclusion.”
“I want Colson to catalyze you to live with bold faith in a fractured age,” Strachan writes. “Whether you counsel a young woman who feels abortion is the only way out of her personal nightmare, raise support to stop the sex trafficking of women . . . or tell a classmate about the liberating gospel of Jesus. I want you to be like Colson and to be ready . . . to speak—but not only this. Like Colson, I want you to be ready to put steel in your words by acting courageously on them. This will mean, like Christ himself, that you must not expect applause for your witness, but that you be ready to sacrifice everything you have for the glory of God and the good of your neighbor.”
Now that’s a call that all of our young believers—and the rest of us, too—desperately need to hear and take to heart. So I heartily recommend “The Colson Way” for those young people in your life who are looking for a way to activate their faith. But even if you’re a long-time Colson follower, this book is more than worth the read—trust me. It’s a refreshing new look at a man I was privileged to call my friend and mentor.
Please come to BreakPoint.org, click on this commentary, and we’ll tell you how to get a copy of “The Colson Way.”
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: July 27, 2015