I don’t use that phrase lightly. I truly believe Chuck was one of the great men among us.
I have had deep personal affection for Chuck, since his first book, “Born Again,” was instrumental in my own salvation. I’ll never forget the day I read his account of his intellectual struggle with belief. He quotes C.S. Lewis saying that Jesus didn’t give us the option to consider him as just a great teacher. That took away my last doubts.
I had the privilege of telling Chuck this story many years later.
As my company, Masterworks, went to work for Prison Fellowship, I had the greater privilege of actually helping further the work of Prison Fellowship and BreakPoint.
Chuck Colson had a greater impact on the evangelical movement than most will ever know. He gave important counsel to Christian leaders, behind the scenes, including people whom you’d think didn’t need anyone’s counsel. And it was wise, godly counsel.
One memory stands out when I think of Chuck’s character. He must have been in his late 60s, still involved at Prison Fellowship on a monthly basis. My team was there in a planning meeting with Chuck’s marketing team. Chuck came in to meet with us. Rather than just a perfunctory greeting, Chuck engaged us in a lively discussion about the future of mail in fundraising. He did it with the attitude of a student, still learning, still interested in a wide range of things. I felt in awe of his intellectual curiosity and his humility in learning from me, a college kid who had been deeply influenced by him and read many of his books through the years.
We will all miss Chuck. I suspect his influence on the church was much greater than any of us know. I trust God will raise up one or more others to fill the vacuum left by this great man of God.