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This blog grows out of my conviction that every aspect of our lives is sacred and is to be nurtured and celebrated as a good gift of God. Most of the posts will be the sorts of things you would expect from a historian and worldview teacher, but some are likely to be a bit surprising. Since God created all things good, including all aspects of human life, everything is interesting and important from the perspective of a biblical worldview. Everything under the Sun and under Heaven is thus fair game here. I hope you find it interesting and enjoyable.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

In Memoriam: Charles W. Colson (1931-2012)

Chuck Colson died one year ago today.

Chuck was a man who made an enormous difference to me personally, who quite literally changed the direction of my life. I came to his attention due to a cassette that someone who had not even heard it gave to him, which he happened to put into the stereo in the car he was riding in on his way home from the conference at which I spoke. After hearing it, he invited me onto the faculty of the Centurions program.

I loved (and still love) working with the Centurions. I consider it one of the most important things that I do, and Chuck saw to it that I was integrated tightly into the program.

Things quickly escalated from there. Chuck brought me on as the content consultant for Wide Angle and had me work on the study guide for it; I did the same for Walk the Talk. Chuck informed me that he needed me in Princeton on a particular date, and suddenly I was on the panel for Doing the Right Thing; I soon drafted multiple versions of the study guide as well.

Chuck then asked me to write a short book on worldviews; that turned into Portals. As T. M. Moore once commented to me, “Glenn, God loves you and Chuck has a wonderful plan for your life!”

In the midst of all this, Chuck was invariably encouraging, a friend and mentor to me as I moved from focusing on early modern European history to worldview. He told me that he wanted to spend his last years promoting the ministry of people like me, and in my case, he certainly did.

Even more important to me in many ways was his welcome to my family at Centurions conferences. He always was encouraging to them, especially to my children, and spoke good things into their lives. And when he saw them again, he called them by name and greeted them with hugs. For that, I will be eternally grateful to him.
 
But all this is only the beginning of the impact Chuck had on my life. The connections I made through Chuck and the Centurions have expanded the range of my writing, teaching and ministry far beyond anything I could have imagined.

Through the Centurions, I found out about the Acton Book Grant, which I won. That led to my book, Why You Think the Way You Do and to appearing in Acton Media’s The Birth of Freedom.  I was also asked to be a regular columnist for the Colson Center for Christian Worldview by T. M. Moore, which would never have happened without the connection made through the Centurions.

Centurion graduates got me speaking engagements in California, Michigan, Texas, Maine, Kansas, Massachusetts, …. My trip to China this March was arranged by a Centurion. I got invited to speak in Shanghai this summer and to teach and do research in Mongolia as well, both through Centurions. My daughter is working in Taiwan with ORTV because of a connection formed by a Centurion. And I strongly suspect that the ripples started by the Centurions in my life will continue expanding.

Chuck changed the direction of my life and opened up opportunities that I would never have had otherwise. And I am grateful to him for that. But mostly, I am grateful that this great, well-known Christian leader took the initiative to reach out to me, to believe in my abilities, to plug me into his own ministry, and to treat me as a friend and colleague. That is more than I could have asked for, more than I deserve, and one of the finest examples of grace that I have experienced in this life.