My Debt to Chuck Colson

Charles Colson, who went to prison as "Nixon's hatchet man" in the Watergate scandal and later became one of the most compelling witnesses in our time for the power of Jesus Christ to transform lives, died five years ago this weekend. Here's a brief account of what happened to him.

I heard much the same account firsthand in a Washington DC law office where Colson was temporarily working after leaving the White House in disgrace and before entering his guilty plea.  After knowing him as a fellow Nixon staffer, then hearing of his religious rebirth, I paid a call to learn more.  

It was December 1973. I was a spiritually serious young guy at the time, but I didn't know Jesus as Lord and Savior.  Chuck urged me down that road, but I wasn't ready.  It was another seven years before the gift he sent home with me -- Mere Christianity by CS Lewis, a book and author I had never even heard of -- found its way off my shelf and into my heart.

The example of Charles Colson and the writings of CS Lewis were two important links in the chain of encounters that God used to draw me from an unbiblical church toward the Cross of Christ. I'll always be grateful for Chuck, and I was glad to have a chance to tell him so personally, near the end of his life on a speaking date in Denver.  

His story is told in full in the powerful book Born Again. Mine is in a brief spiritual autobiography I wrote last year, entitled Jesus in Pursuit.  Learn more here.