How Now Shall We Live? – By Charles Colson and Nancy Pearcey

The late Charles Colson established himself as a pillar of wisdom and insight within the Christian community. The struggles of his fall from grace in the public eye during the Watergate scandal, his subsequent conversion to Christianity, and his ministry through Prison Fellowship, were used by God to conform his heart and worldview to God’s Word. If Mr. Colson were only able to leave us with one book from his heart, I suspect that How Now Shall We Live? may be the one he would choose. This book is truly a foundational book in terms of dealing with a comprehensive look at the Christian faith. With this book Mr. Colson has placed himself in the ranks of the truly great works from apologists like C.S. Lewis, Francis Schaeffer and Dr. David Noebel’s book, Understanding the Times. Colson shares that any worldview must address the following questions: Where Did We Come From? (Origins: Naturalism vs. Divine Creation) Who Are We? (Ontological issues, Sociology) What Has Gone Wrong With the World? (The Fall, The Problem of Evil and Suffering) What Can We Do To Fix It? (Redemption: Salvation vs. Humanism) One of the key premises of the book is stated in the introduction: “Evangelism and cultural renewal are both divinely ordained duties. God exercises his sovereignty in two ways: through saving grace and common grace.” Much of the book is dedicated to the practical application of how we can, as Christians, be part of redeeming culture, not merely souls. For those who may feel that this is a misguided approach, and that only the preaching of the gospel is important (we should avoid being involved in social activity), you may be disappointed that Mr. Colson doesn’t really prove this point Biblically, he merely presupposes it based on a long line of Christian thought from Augustine to Aquinas to Calvin, Luther, Kuyper, etc. While Mr. Colson certainly believes that the Gospel is the only thing that can transform culture, he also believes, probably based in large part on his numerous experiences working in prisons, that there is a practical, human work to do. God has redeemed work (it is not a curse) and humanness. Giving a cup of cold water in the name of Jesus has an eternal reward. It would be rare to find someone who agrees entirely with Mr. Colson on all points (particularly his alliance with some ecumenical movements), but one thing we hopefully can all agree upon is...

© Israel Wayne.