Chuck Colson is a hugely important figure in the late 20th to early 21st century. His influence was felt in the political arena, the public square, as well as in American Evangelicalism. Colson’s ministry extends well beyond his ministries BreakPoint and Prison Fellowship. His influence is felt today through contemporaries like Eric Metaxas and many others who carry forth the vision of Colson of loving God with all of our hearts, mind, and strength as Jesus instructed us to do in the Great Commandment. This is why as I read The Colson Way: Loving Your Neighbor and Living with Faith in a Hostile World by Owen Strachan, I was helped, instructed, and reminded again of our great need today for men like Colson who love the Lord with all of their heart, mind, and strength.
The book is only eight chapter longs but packs a big punch. In the introduction Owen sets forth his goal for this book to help us to “live with bold faith in a fractured age” (xxx). He wants us to understand that we have “God at our side, and faithful examples who have gone ahead of us in his name. Their words and their examples still speak. And one of those most fruitful of those witnesses is Charles Wendell Colson” (xxx). The book considers Colson’s ascent in the public square and the political ranks, his conversion, prison, the roots and expansion of his ministry, his witness, and the end of his life.
Dr. Strachan does a brilliant job of telling the story of Colson. Owen tells Colson’s story for a purpose. Make no mistake this is not a biography but rather the author’s attempt to help his readers understand the significance of Colson’s life for our own times. As the author tells the story of Colson, he helps his readers understand how to speak the truth in love marinated in God’s grace. Our own unique time in history requires God’s people to have the courage to speak up against the status quo on topics such as marriage, abortion, etc. Our own time in history also requires the humility to learn from the great teachers of our day. Colson models for us both excellence in intellectual pursuit of God and loving our neighbors. This is why we should consider Colson’s life and study his thought today. Colson’s life and thought provides a model for Christians of a life lived excellently to the glory of God.
Maybe you’re a political science major studying at the undergraduate level, or a future lawyer, or businessman/woman. Maybe you’re studying to become a pastor, biblical counselor, or some other field. Colson has much to teach us about how to interact in the public square. The Apostle Paul in Acts 17:22-34 spoke up and reasoned with the people in the public square. As Christians, we’re called to be in the world but not of the world. We’re called to be salt and light to our neighbors and friends. This excellent book is a great starting point for Christian students of all types in undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate studies to learn from the life of Chuck Colson on how to engage in the public square in a way that glorifies God and spread the joy of God to the nations.
Whether you’re a new Christian or a seasoned apologist, The Colson Way has something for you. This book will put gospel steel to your convictions and help you to engage the great issues of our day. Learn from Colson and seek out godly teachers and mentors. Learn all you can from them and then use your voice to speak out for the unborn, for marriage, and most importantly for the gospel. Use whatever the influence and platform the Lord has given you and raise up your voice unto the Lord.
As Christian’s let’s go out into the harvest fields of our Lord. There is much work to be done. Let’s speak the truth in love as Colson did and as Owen instructs us to do in this book. I highly recommend The Colson Way. It is a thoughtful, engaging and helpful book that will help you to engage in the public square for the purpose of loving your God with all of your heart, mind, and strength, and your neighbor with the love of Jesus Christ.
I received this book for free from Thomas Nelson for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”