Ten years ago, at the age of 80, Charles Wendell (“Chuck”) Colson (1931–2012) died.
Nearly 50 years ago, Chuck Colson was born again.
His memoir Born Again was published in 1975. Earlier that year he had been released from a seven-month stint in federal prison after pleading guilty of obstructing justice in the Watergate investigation.
He had converted to Christianity in 1973 after serving four years as Special Counsel for President Richard Nixon. C.S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity was pivotal in his spiritual repentance and awakening. The memoir was made into a 1978 film starring Dean Jones.
In 1976, Colson founded Prison Fellowship to serve prisoners, former prisoners, and their families, advocating for reform of the justice system.
His most controversial post-Watergate endeavor, especially among Reformed Protestants, was co-signing with Richard John Neuhaus an ecumenical document entitled “Evangelicals and Catholics Together.” This work led to a rupturing of his relationships, the most prominent of which was R. C. Sproul.
The Colson Center has just released a 12-minute documentary about Colson’s life and legacy focusing on his conversion, prison-reform work, and worldview teaching.