Feb. 22, 2017
Christian leader Chuck Colson lived a life of biblical conviction with the courage to advocate for truth even when it was difficult or unfashionable. Biola University’s new Charles W. Colson Conviction and Courage Award honors Colson’s legacy and will celebrate Christian leaders who live in the same fashion.
The inaugural award was presented to Colson’s son, Christian Colson, on his father’s behalf at the university’s spring 2014 commencement ceremonies in May.
“My father was extremely uncomfortable accepting accolades,” Christian said. “And if he were standing here today, he would immediately give all the honor to Jesus Christ, and to the thousands of men and women whom he inspired to bring the gospel to the least, the last and the lost. In that spirit, I and the Colson family gladly accept this inaugural award on his behalf.”
Colson’s calling was to serve and lead others to Christ, and to challenge Christians to understand biblical faith as an entire worldview that informs all areas of life.
“Christianity cannot be limited to only one component of our lives, a mere religious practice or observance, or even a salvation experience,” Colson wrote in his book, How Now Shall We Live? “We are compelled to see Christianity as the all-encompassing truth, the root of everything else.”
Colson served under former President Richard Nixon for four years and, in 1973, became a follower of Jesus Christ shortly before pleading guilty to Watergate-related charges. In 1976, he founded Prison Fellowship, which has become the world’s largest outreach to prisoners, ex-prisoners and their families. He also founded the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview, a research, study and networking center for the cultivation of a Christian worldview. In his lifetime, Colson authored more than 30 books and founded a daily radio show, Breakpoint, which today airs on 1,400 radio networks. He passed away in April 2012.
Biola established the new award — in consultation with the Colson family — to honor the legacy of the Christian leader, whose convictions align with Biola’s mission to equip men and women in mind and character to impact the world for Christ by living lives of conviction and courage.
“Clearly, the leadership at Biola knew Chuck very well,” said Alan Terwilleger, president of The Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview. “The criteria they have established for this award so exemplify everything Chuck wanted to be as servant of Jesus Christ: someone with the conviction of his biblical worldview, someone with courage to face and overcome resistance; someone who pours himself out for religious freedom, for the least, the last and the lost. Someone who sees the need for visionary leadership in the church. An evangelist. A disciple. A commitment to advancing the Kingdom of God.”
Future recipients of the award will be individuals who demonstrate commitment to the unshakable truths of a biblical worldview, as well as a willingness to act on biblical convictions, however risky or challenging it may be.
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