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Posts Tagged ‘inspiration’

Today, April 21, the man who taught me much about worldviews in conflict was called home.  I never had the privilege of meeting Chuck Colson, but I mourn his death as if he were a best friend.  I signed the Manhattan Declaration because I trusted Chuck’s perspective on this culture.  An entire shelf or more in my library holds books and Bible studies authored by Chuck.  I quoted Chuck regularly in a human care publication I write called Christian Citizenship. How blessed the people who worked beside Chuck must have been.

After being humbled by his own failings in political leadership, Chuck was “born again” in Christ in 1973.  I remember that year.  It was the year that Roe vs. Wade handed down a death sentence to any inconvenient boy or girl in the womb.  As a believer, Chuck became an ardent supporter of the sanctity of human life.  1973 was also the year I became engaged to my husband.  We married in 1974.  I gave little thought to Chuck at that time, knowing him only as someone sent to prison for his part in the Watergate scandal.  But, growing in my own faith as a wife, mother, and involved pro-life and family advocate, I began reading Chuck’s books.  I often carried one or two with me when speaking around the country, offering them as resources for men and women who wanted to make their faith real in action.

I became a modest supporter of Prison Fellowship, the ministry founded by Chuck.  He had promised to remember the incarcerated and share the transforming love of Jesus with them and their families.  He kept his promise.  “I could never, ever have left prison and accomplished what has been accomplished but for God doing it through me,” Chuck said.

In 1991, Chuck began broadcasting BreakPoint Radio, educating Christians not only to grow in faith but live it in the public square.  I’m not sure how many reams of paper I’ve used to print Chuck’s BreakPoint articles.  For a number of years, I kept Chuck’s articles in a three-ring binder.  One binder, two binders, three… .  Oh, the weight of Chuck’s words!  This saint and sinner helped me see that two worldviews — perspectives on life — are daily at odds.  There are only two: God’s and all others.

Chuck Colson was the set of working clothes the Spirit chose to wear for nearly 40 years.  He is proof that, no matter the circumstances and failures of life, God is faithful.

Robert P. George and Timothy George, co-authors with Chuck of the Manhattan Declaration, wrote, “The two of us are committed to devoting our lives to carrying forth the vision and advancing the cause to which Chuck gave himself with unstinted vigor.  His life stands as a testimony to God’s power to transform culture and make a difference.”

Together with literally millions of others, I celebrate the life of Chuck Colson — a man of true faith, integrity, and humble service.  Even as Chuck rejoices in the presence of God, I will continue to be encouraged by this man’s refusal to be silent.  To defend the rights of conscience.  To obey God rather than men.

Won’t you sign the Manhattan Declaration, in honor of God’s servant Chuck?

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Words matter, especially the words God chooses to speak to us.

So, I am thankful that the largest evangelical denomination in the nation — the Southern Baptist Convention  — voted recently not to commend the 2011 New International Version (NIV) Bible because of its gender-neutral language.  Why?  Because it alters the intended theological message.

For a long time, I have been appreciative of the work of The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW).  It has helped point me to a proper understanding of the uniqueness of male and female.  My respect for both only grows.  I hope I am passing on this respect through Titus 2 Retreats.  Dr. Randy Stinson is the president of CBMW.  He is also the dean of the School of Church Ministries at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.  He notes that Southern Baptists and other Christians “affirm what we call the ‘verbal, plenary inspiration’ of Scripture which means that we believe not just the broad thoughts of Scripture are inspired by God, but every word.  And so every word, when it is translated from Greek, Hebrew, or Aramaic, matters.”

Yes!  Amen!  Let it be so!

I, too, embrace a word-for-word translation philosophy.  And, to better help me understand the meaning of God’s carefully chosen words, I am also thankful for the Lutheran Study Bible (English Standard Version).

God really did say.  And He used specific words to say it!

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