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Thank You, Chuck

The Next Chapter



Loss is difficult and even disorienting, but we can be certain of a few things. I’m John Stonestreet. Stay tuned to BreakPoint.

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John Stonestreet

Even as I record this, our friend and leader Chuck Colson is near death. After early hopeful news about his recovery from surgery, we now face the reality that short of a miracle, Chuck will soon enter the presence of the Lord. Please pray for Chuck and his family.

Quantifying his impact would be impossible, but you know I meet those who have been impacted by him all the time – they read his books, or they listen to BreakPoint, or maybe their children were loved by Angel Tree volunteers while they were incarcerated, or they found Jesus Christ after hearing his story of redemption.

My friend Greg launched an internationally recognized public policy think tank in New Zealand after reading the book How Now Shall We Live? that Chuck wrote with Nancy Pearcey.

And it’s fitting that this weekend’s “BreakPoint this Week” broadcast features Gabe Lyons, an innovative Christian thinker and collaborator. Like Greg, Gabe points How Now Shall We Live? as the book that changed his understanding of Christianity and led to the work of cultural restoration that he’s leading today. I’ll be talking with Gabe this weekend on “BreakPoint This Week.” I hope you can tune in or catch it at our website, BreakPoint.org.

I’ve been impacted by Chuck, too. For years I heard him on this daily broadcast BreakPoint, but I’ve gotten to know Chuck personally, and worked with him on projects like the Doing the Right Thing tour, the Manhattan Declaration, and I’ve co-hosted with him on “BreakPoint this Week.”

I first met Chuck just before speaking on worldview to a class of Centurions. Chuck launched the Centurions Program to train adults around the country in Biblical worldview, and I was honored just to have the invitation to be a part of the teaching faculty. I’ll be honest: I didn’t expect Chuck to stay in the room when I spoke! My knees were knocking so loudly, I was just hoping people could still hear my words.

These last two weeks, I’ve been honored to host BreakPoint along with Eric Metaxas, another person whose life was impacted by Chuck.

You know, Chuck spoke often recently about the next generation and what he hoped to see from those of us who follow his lead. In an age when so many young Christians find their passion in causes of social justice and are skeptical of Truth, it’s worth mentioning that Chuck was doing social justice before it was cool. He went from prisoner, to prison minister, to prison reformer.

And yet Chuck taught us that social justice, and any cultural work, must be undergirded by Truth, Truth with a capital T – something he learned from the late Francis Schaeffer. For Chuck, biblical worldview is more than theoretical posturing, it’s embracing and living out Truth with courage. And that Truth sets us free.

Chuck knew that personally.

Of course, what set Chuck’s life apart was that it was not his own. It had been bought, by Christ, and returned to Chuck, redeemed.

You know once in a sermon, Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “Death is hell and night and cold, if it is not transformed by our faith. But that is just what is so marvelous, that we can transform death.”

What transformed Chuck’s life is now what transforms his death. I’m reminded of what C. S. Lewis wrote to close the Narnia adventures. I think it applies here: “now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before."

For BreakPoint and my friend Chuck Colson, this is John Stonestreet.

Further Reading and Information

How Now Shall I Live?

Chuck Colson & Nancy Pearcey | Tyndale | 1999

BreakPoint This Week: Gabe Lyons
John Stonestreet | BreakPoint.org | April 21, 2012

Doing the Right Thing

Centurions Program

ManhattanDeclaration.org

 


Comments:

John, you were right on!
As John said, loss is never easy to deal with, and in this column, he was preparing us for the news that came to us all this afternoon.

So many of us were touched, in one way or the other, by the life and ministry of Chuck Colson, myself included. We have all lost a brother and a good friend.

With regards to Eric's post, I must respectfully point out that sometimes you know something is coming, and you have that insight in order to prepare others for the moment. That is what John did, and I think Chuck would have done the same thing if the roles had been reversed.

One of the greatest honors of my life was the time I spent as a customer service volunteer back when the transcripts of Breakpoint were emailed by a listserv around the year 2000. What really blew me away was Christmas time, when I received an autographed copy of one of Chuck's books. Knowing that a man as busy as he was had time to so something so simple as that for a volunteer was incredible.

Now, Chuck is with the Lord, his race is run, and the finish line has been crossed. I truly mourn his physical lost, but rejoice for two things: (1) Chuck is with the Lord now, and (2) this is not goodbye, but is really, till we meet again.

Vaya con Dios, Chuck! See you in that morning!
different opinion
We can all be happy for the fact that God has the ultimate best plan for Chuck. Our prayers are heard and the healing will come whether it is for our comfort in grief or Chuck receiving a whole and healthy new body and receiving his reward as a good and faithful servant and in the presence of Christ himself. Either way, God has the best answer and he is using his servant messengers in many ways to share Chuck with the world.
Beautiful Tribute
Thanks for your beautiful tribute to Mr. Colson. Whether in life or in death, he is a great inspiration!
We revere God first
Eric, you are entitled to your opinion, but the Chuck I know would not be offended as you were. I remind you that John's comments were prefaced "reverently": "...we now face the reality that short of a miracle, Chuck will soon enter the presence of the Lord. Please pray for Chuck and his family...." NOONE I am sure wants this miracle more than John and all the others close to him. I applaud the work of so many that have loved and DO still love Chuck. In the past, PRESENT, and FUTURE.

Mike
Anything but reverant!
What an irreverant thing to do, writing farewell message to beloved brother Colson and published it over the world wide web and facebook BEFORE the Lord takes brother Colson home to heaven. What is God will is to heal him via a miracle? what if God is calling his people to pray for brother Colson at this decisive moment for the God of impossibility to step in and intervene and turn the situation around? this is so un-christ like and not acceptable. Christians: dont stop praying for brother Colson! who knows? God might part heaven and come down and touch Chuck and restore him! - a fellow christian.




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