Justin Taylor|3:03 pm CT

Charles Colson (1931-2012)

Charles Wendell (“Chuck”) Colson went home to be with the Lord this afternoon (April 21, 2012). He was 80 years old.

The announcement is here.

Some obituaries and reflections:

Sarah Pulliam Bailey at Christianity Today

Emily Belz at World

Jonathan Aitken at CT

Tom Gilson at The Gospel Coalition

Ed Stetzer

Rich Lowry

Mr. Colson’s 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 2005 Jonathan Aitken—himself a former politician turned prison turned convert to Christianity turned author—penned an authorized biography, Charles W. Colson: A Life Redeemed (WaterBrook Press).

On October 15, 2008, Mr. Colson gave his testimony at Columbia University during a Veritas Forum. It was entitled “How God Turned Around Nixon’s Hatchet Man,” and you can watch it below:

And here is Prison Fellowship’s video, “Remembering Chuck Colson”:


  1. Isn’t it a little early to post this kind of thing, since there hasn’t been any announcement about his passing?

  2. Elizabeth miller

    I agree. It’s too early for announcements remembering his life when he’s…well, still alive.

  3. I agree with the poster above. The timing of this story is in bad taste (at best). (Opportunistic, at worst…)

    • To judge the post as in bad taste is one thing. To suggest, beyond that, that it might have been opportunistic crosses a line, because that insinuates something about the motive behind the post. It is unfair to address motives. Love “believes all things,” that is, love always assumes the best.

      Especially in the case of Justin Taylor. A wonderful man.

  4. Justin is just posting an update from Prison Fellowship Ministries…

  5. The title of this blog post is the title of his authorized biography, which was the original point of the post. It expanded a bit beyond what I was originally going to post. I’ve dropped the subtitle. I wasn’t trying to be misleading or sensationalistic, just pointing people to some resources about his life.

  6. [...] It appears the end is near for Chuck Colson. God’s grace has been so wonderful in his life. More here. [...]

  7. [...] Justin Taylor has posted Colson’s testimony [...]

  8. What an edifying brother he has always been. And even now my heart finds strength in his love and faith for his Lord, and for the truth.
    I was thinking of how weak we all are really, when we compare ourselves to Jesus. Wow. No comparison. But as we compare ourselves in the Body of Christ, it’s good encouragement to have brothers like Chuck, who “fought the good fight; finished his course; kept the faith.”

    Thanks for the post. Chuck will be unbelievably happy in a short time. I shall pray for the sorrow his loved ones will have, and rejoice that my brother is seeing the Holy of Holies.

    “And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto His heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. A-men’.”-Paul, to Tim 2nd letter 4:18

  9. My, how critical we can become of late. Justin clearly stated, “Whenever a public figure dies, there is a renewed interest in his or her life—and this WILL be no exception.” (my emphasis on WILL as in the future).

    Nothing pre-mature or sensational about it. Simply providing information about a may who learned the lesson of repentance and helped others find the gift as well. God bless his soul.

  10. A tremendous mind for Christ and a life redeemed by Christ.
    May God welcome him with open arms.
    Thank you for all your work in the Kingdom!!!!

  11. Well, it’s official. Brother Chuck has now passed into glory. And to think that he temporarily gained back some ability to communicate with his loved ones in his final days. What a tremendous gift. Now I’m going to have the Nunc Dimittis replaying in my head…

  12. I remember when news of his conversion because public (perhaps in connection with his Born Again book, I don’t recall the exact timing), that I saw bumper stickers that said “Honk If You Believe Chuck Colson.” The bumper stickers took for granted that his newfound faith as a cynical pose. But he proved the doubters wrong.

  13. May God bless His family, friends and loved ones left behind…

  14. [...] Shortly after Chuck Colson professed his new faith people asked him how could they know if he was genuine. He stated quite simply that they couldn’t. “Wait 10 years and see what I’m doing.” Well, we had 35 years and what God did in his life was real and the church is the better for it. Last year Colson came to Grand Rapids and I had the pleasure of working the book table for his event. As he passed our table he stopped and shook each of our hands. We exchanged courtesies and he was off to his room. It was a privilege to meet him even if for only thirty seconds. Justin Taylor has a list of some early obituaries and reflections here. [...]

  15. [...] Justin Taylor: [...]

  16. [...] Charles Colson (1931-2012) – Justin Taylor. Share this:FacebookTwitterMorePrintEmailDiggLinkedInRedditStumbleUponTumblr [...]

  17. God has worked so many miracles in my life. I’m sorry to hear about a brother in Christ passing away.

  18. [...] the famous prison min­is­ter, has gone to be with the Lord. Justin Taylor ral­lied sev­eral arti­cles and videos around the blo­gos­phere that com­mem­o­rate his [...]

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