The Colson Center for Christian Worldview presented its 2016 Wilberforce Award posthumously to Chuck Colson — the man who established the award nearly three decades ago to honor men and women who make a profound difference in the face of formidable societal problems and injustices.
"One person who always got nominated for the Wilberforce Award was Chuck Colson. But he always refused to accept it," remarked Eric Metaxas, Co-Host of the BreakPoint radio program, which Colson founded. "But this year is different. I can say in all love and in a way I hope would give Chuck a laugh, that he has no choice but to accept this year’s William Wilberforce Award."
According to Metaxas, the timing of Colson's selection for this year's award is fitting, as 2016 marks the 40th anniversary of Colson's founding of Prison Fellowship, the world’s largest Christian outreach to prisoners and their families. It’s also the 25th anniversary of BreakPoint, which Colson first aired in the summer of 1991.
"No one can count the untold thousands of prisoners, their families, and children, who can trace their own salvation back to Chuck’s decision to remember those in prison," commented BreakPoint Co-Host John Stonestreet.
And BreakPoint, he added, "challenged millions to take seriously the lordship of Jesus as the grounding of a truly Christian worldview."
"[W]e’re honored to bestow upon Chuck this year’s Wilberforce Award," Stonestreet added.
In 1987, Colson named the award after his hero, the 18th-century British parliamentarian who stood against the prevailing culture and powerful economic interests in his campaign to abolish the slave trade.
The William Wilberforce Award is presented each year to the person that the Colson Center's board feels has best exemplified the passion and principles of William Wilberforce as a witness of real Christianity in society.
Past winners of the award include Philippine martyr Benigno S. Aquino; the Rev. Canon Andrew White, the vicar of Baghdad; and Professor Robert George of Princeton, a stalwart defender of religious freedom and the sanctity of human life.
By NRB Staff
Published: April 21, 2016