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My Personal Tribute to Chuck


It was an honor and a blessing to work alongside my boss and mentor Chuck Colson. I was personally drawn to Chuck because of his personal connections to my personal hero, Ninoy Aquino (I think they also look alike).

According to Chuck, they were close friends when Ninoy was exiled in Boston. They met on an airplane and started a close friendship. Chuck said Ninoy considered him his spiritual mentor. In fact, Chuck was the first person Ninoy called when he decided to go back to the Philippines. One of Ninoy's final phone calls before boarding the plane back to the Philippines was with Chuck. Filipinos were never the same again when Ninoy returned.

Chuck was curious and delighted about my involvement in the Filipino Christian worldview outreach through Pag-Asa Ministries. I got a chance to talk to him about it while driving to an airport a few months ago. That was the last long conversation I had with him before his death last Saturday.

Along with my dad, Chuck Colson's teachings had a big impact in my life. Chuck taught me how to think. How to think biblically in everything and to view things through the lens of Christianity. Through Chuck's books, speeches and daily commentaries, I was introduced to the concept of Christian worldview. He believed that our faith in Jesus  Christ should inform and influence every aspect of our lives. Chuck often quotes the words of theologian Abraham Kuyper that sum up what Christian worldview is all about: “In the total expanse of human life there is not a single square inch of which the Christ, who alone is sovereign, does not declare, ‘That is mine!’”

One memorable quote from Chuck that best illustrates God's involvement in every area of life is, "Christians ought to wake up with the Bible in one hand and a newspaper in the other." For me it's a call that the dividing line between the secular and the spiritual compartments of my life should disappear. Everything I do should be influenced by my Christian worldview. Chuck's work on BreakPoint radio, commenting on various hot topics from a biblical perspective was my inspiration for developing the Filipino Christian blog, The Living Rice.

I realized that Christianity is more than just a personal relationship with God. Christianity is a worldview that answers life's basic questions and show us how we should live as a result of those answers. Many Christians have considered faith as simply going to a "born again" church or a personal relationship with Jesus. But the fact is our God is sovereign of all, and we must "take every thought captive" and articulate God's truth in every area of our life.

I never heard of the concept of "Cultural commission" until I heard it  from Chuck. It was an eye-opener that in addition to the Great Commission, Christians are also called to fulfill the cultural commission. Christians are agents of God's grace, to bring others to Christ. But we are also agents of His common grace: We're to sustain and renew His creation, defend the created institutions of family and society (Genesis 1:28).

There are so many things I learned and I hope to emulate in my own life as a professional and leader of my family. Excellence, personal sacrifice, virtues, government, appreciation of the classics, deeper understanding of the Imago Dei are just some of the teachings I picked up from him that I will value for the rest of my life.

At Chuck's eulogy, it was said that "heroes mattered to Chuck Colson" because the life and works of other people influence us to be great in what we do. I'm glad Chuck somehow brought me closer to my personal hero, Ninoy, and that in the course of my work at BreakPoint I gained a new personal hero, Chuck Colson.


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