Bill Murchison

The possibility that Colson grasped and extolled is that of victory over our deeds and misdeeds through repentance and amendment of life. Forgiveness obtained through the mercy of Christ would blot out the obstruction of justice -- Colson's Watergate-connected offense -- not to mention sins far grosser.

The man who would have walked over his grandmother realized the narrowness of his escape. "I shudder to think of what I'd been if I'd not gone to prison," he said in 1993. He would have missed not just the experience of prison but the prison-induced necessity, as he saw it, of putting before -- even the worst of prisoners -- the possibility of salvation through the Son of God.

Yeah, yeah, sure, we know. Unicorns, pillars of fire, sons of God, curious figures closed to a world self-sealed from the intrusions of science and reason! Against Colson, much of the practical world of "diversity" and secularism closed intellectual ranks -- glad enough to acknowledge his good deeds, reluctant to attribute his source of inspiration to anything higher than the human desire for a good press.

The modern era's attempts to expel religion from public life, by prohibition or ridicule, seem to the modern era sheer necessity. Chuck Colson saw that necessity as folly. He plowed a straight furrow, caring nothing for scoffs and uncharitable views of his motives. He served neither the networks nor the pundits nor the wiseacres of either political party. Prison bars failed utterly to block the light that flooded the cell where God spoke and a humble, fallen man listened humbly.

Bill Murchison

Bill Murchison is the former senior columns writer for The Dallas Morning News and author of There's More to Life Than Politics.
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