Colson was regarded as “unredeemable long after he pleaded guilty” according to Thomasson.
Admitting to being cynical, he seems certain that Colson relished the comparison often made to Paul and the Damascus conversion. Since Colson’s death, others have joined those who, like Thomasson, have focused their attention on this man’s life as it was before his transformation, making him “hard to forgive.”
Charles Colson lived nearly 40 years, half of his lifetime, in service to a faction of our society that are at best ignored. His Prison Fellowship ministry has made possible the same kind of transformations that blessed the life of its founder. Colson’s other acts of mercy and service make him “forgivable” (as if it is our forgiveness he needs) and should be the focus of our remembrances of him.
Christianity is nothing if it is not about forgiveness and second chances. His life’s “extreme makeover” should serve as a model of what Christ can do with someone Dan Thomasson called “thoroughly despicable.”
William E. Brown