Following up on some Influential Christians

Chuck Colson passed away recently. For many young people today, that means very little. His is a name that isn’t as well known as, say, Barack Obama or Justin Bieber, but he was at one time one of America’s best-known and most influential Christians. He was a soldier and a lawyer. He hired an African American lawyer for his firm when that was a daring thing to do, which I find quite admirable. He got a job working in Richard Nixon’s White House. The spotlights that went on in the wake of the Watergate scandal focused on Colson, among others. As Colson’s career looked to be falling apart, he found comfort in a personal relationship with Jesus.

Colson went to prison, but he found his calling there.  Colson saw what a poor job our prisons were doing at rehabilitating criminals. He launched Prison Fellowship as a result. People were justifiably skeptical, but Colson followed the personal, spiritual, and financial road map of Billy Graham and created a Christian ministry that has changed lives and stayed free of reproach. In the end, Mr. Colson made America a better place, and he will be missed.

I wrote about Colson in my 2010 book, Influential Christians. His passing has prompted me to stop and think about some of the others I wrote about in that book and what they’ve done since then.

Over the last two years, Russ Taff has had two new albums, “Another Sentimental Christmas” and “Faroe Islands.”  He was recognized recently at the Dove Awards. Tori Taff is still a great and quite humorous writer. You can follow her on Twitter. Speaking of funny, Amy Grant is still making music and touring. I saw her in concert several months ago. It was a great show, which I expected, but what caught me off guard was how skilled she was at making us laugh.  She is a great performer.

Though I wrote about 16 influential Christians in all, in the interests of brevity I’ll only mention one more here. Ted Dekker continues to write stories about good and evil. Some of his novels are a little dark, though they all seem to be pretty popular. He writes in multiple genres but whatever the subject matter, he is an inventive and interesting storyteller.

We can learn a lot from such people as these.