Intellectual Horsepower

Recently at a dinner party, a friend said he couldn't understand why I recommended a certain movie on BreakPoint.   He was surprised when I told him I hadn't seen the film. "I can't possibly see all the films and read all books I talk about in BreakPoint," I told him. "That's why I rely on a team of people. Their intellectual horsepower is why BreakPoint is so good."   Over the years I've assembled a wonderful team of bright, worldview thinkers who assist me in putting out a daily radio program, two monthly columns, op-ed pieces, letters to supporters, speeches, and books.   BreakPoint's managing editor is Jim Tonkowich, whose doctorate is from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Jim coordinates this enormous flow of work. Then there's Roberto Rivera, who has degrees in both law and theology, and has worked with me for ten years. He's our film expert. He's also a single dad raising an autistic son -- making him a hero in my book.   My other staff writer is Anne Morse, who drafts scripts on marriage, family, and faith-based ministries. She's an eight-year veteran also. Anne can take complicated subjects and explain them in plain language.   Ever since I came into ministry without formal seminary training, I've wanted to be certain of my theology. So the Rev. T. M. Moore, former president of Chesapeake Seminary, serves as a theological consultant, along with Wilberforce Forum fellows Dr. Timothy George and Dr. David Dockery.   Other Wilberforce fellows pitch in, including bioethicist Dr. Nigel Cameron, philosophers Dr. Robert George, Dr. Russell Hittinger, and Dr. Michael Novak.   These are some of today's finest Christian thinkers. They help give BreakPoint listeners the best possible worldview insight. No one person, after all, can be expert on art, and science, and music, and law, and politics, and culture.   Some BreakPoint listeners ask how we come up with the subjects for the program. Well, every month, my writers and I get together to brainstorm ideas and the best ways to approach them.   When something urgent arises -- like an upcoming vote on a vital piece of legislation -- I call a writer, share my viewpoint -- often dictate it, and ask to have a script ready in just a few hours. That's tough on the writers, but their skill makes BreakPoint timely.   The process for columns is more complicated. Sometimes I'll do the first draft; sometimes a writer does. The drafts are circulated and edited, illustrations added, and experts consulted. The last stage is for me to work the piece through carefully. As one of my writers joked, this job would be much easier if I simply stayed out of the whole process, but I never let a script or an editorial go until it's my point of view as well said as I can say it.   This past weekend, the Los Angeles Times published an unfortunate and inaccurate article suggesting that I didn't write my own columns. Well, I do, exactly as I've described, but I work with a team. If I didn't, you would not be getting the thoughtful worldview messages you receive every day because we draw on wise counselors. If you're receiving this commentary by e-mail, you can scroll down to the end and find the names of everyone who helps me put BreakPoint together. We've always given credit, as I've done when I've written my books, because I'm proud of the team that works with us.         For further reading:   David Neff, "Who Writes Charles Colson's Columns?" Christianity Today, 27 March 2002.


Chuck Colson



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