Chuck Colson was an incredible story of religious redemption—and political rebound.
Late in life, Colson was an advisor to the George W. Bush administration. Karl Rove, who grew up as a Presbyterian in Utah, recently spoke with Christianity Today about “Colson’s impact politically, culturally, and spiritually.”
He is the ultimate story of redemption. In all of my dealings with him in the last 15–20 years, I found him to be one of the most kind and gentle and thoughtful human beings I’ve ever met. His life was a witness to his deep faith, and he nurtured the faith of others in deep and profound ways. We can talk about all the things he did to influence our culture and stand for principles of faith. To me, as remarkable as they are, [it’s more remarkable] that he mixed that with a life in which he took a personal interest in the salvation of so many people he came in contact with and did so in a thoughtful, compassionate, and caring way. I personally benefited from it in the status of my faith and the condition of my soul. It was deeply moving to me and he made a profound difference in my life. What I saw was a profound influence in so many lives he came into contact with.
He was more concerned about the policy. What could be done to broaden the role of faith-based institutions in the public square? What efforts was the President willing to make, whether it was children of prisoners or to help ensure faith-based groups had a bigger role in anti-recidivism efforts. His attitude was, “You have bright, young people involved in the politics. Can I talk to you about substantive questions of policy?”
Chuck was willing to talk politics, but he was more interested in policy. Chuck was interested in Sudan, Chuck was interested in faith-based institutions, Chuck played a role in encouraging the White House to adopt a program of mentors and support for children of prisoners. Chuck’s influence was not limited to, “What are evangelicals thinking?” He was willing to provide guidance on that, but he was more interested in, “Here’s what an evangelically-minded President ought to be concerned about in fulfillment of the admonition that ‘To whom much is given, from him much is expected.’”