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The Good Life

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  348 ratings  ·  49 reviews
Sharing from his own life, as well as the stories of others, Chuck Colson exposes the counterfeits of the good life and leads readers to the only true source of meaning and purpose, Jesus Christ. But he does that in an unusual way, allowing powerful stories to illustrate how people have lived out their beliefs in ways that either satisfy or leave them empty. Colson address ...more
Hardcover, 394 pages
Published May 31st 2005 by Tyndale House Publishers (first published 2005)
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Community Reviews

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Chuck Colson, who served time in prison for his involvement with the Watergate Scandal, is now a converted Christian man and has written over 20 books, and is involved in prison ministry.
This book is about seeking meaning and purpose in life.

Favorite Quotes:

"The people we influence in a positive way constitute the real and lasting monuments of our lives." p 157

"Providence is the Christian's answer to fate, destiny, or chance. Christians believe that God has a purpose for history and that He wor
Really thought provoking. A rather philosophical book but full of stories - from movies, from books, from friends, from himself which makes it an interesting, fairly easy read.
I don't think I realized before just how brilliant Chuck Colson is though. For one illustration, he is talking about a friend of his and says "we could talk about the natural order, Aristotle, Anselm's proof of God and the medieval synthesis of Aquinas." He was trying to point out how bright his friend was, but anyone who
Lynn Joshua
Chuck Colson is a great storyteller, and he makes his point clearly on where truth and meaning are to be found through the use of stories and short biographies. He uses his skills as an apologist to draw you along in a gentle but powerful way, and makes his case through real life examples and interesting illustrations. You could share this book with anyone who is a "seeker" for truth.

This book is not at all difficult and would be good for someone who may not have the time to read a more technica
This is a peculiar little book. It is partially a memoir, but also partially a book to convince doubters of the Christian worldview. Colson might try to tackle too much in this book. He covers everything from evolution to euthanasia to homosexuality to forgiveness. It's full of illustrations, which are interesting and well-written.

I went through most of the book thinking, "This is pure moralism." He finally gets around to grounding things in the gospel in the last few chapters. It's set up this
OK, this is a must read for every one from an amazing, empathic and humble servant of the Almighty. I learn more history, vocabulary, wisdom and wonder with every Colson book I read. Bless you, man! Highly recommend to Christians and non-Christians alike. This book contains the most straightforward, simple account of Watergate in Ch. 2, A Shattered Life, for those who would like to really understand what happened and Colson's real role in it.

Miss the usual very extensive index that he usually in
So. This was a gift from someone else, and I was a bit dubious that the perspective would be from the "other" side of the Christian theological perspective than where I am. That being said, I did enjoy the first half of the book. I was true about the perspective -- but, always trying to be open, I did enjoy many of the things Mr. Colson had to say. It does get you to think about your faith, and I did carry away a few things about it.

..but then came the second half of the book. Once the author tr

Thirty five years ago a White House cover-up shook the nation. In the midst of the national controversy were the individual lives that would never be the same. One of those lives is that of Charles Colson. After serving time in prison for releasing confidential FBI information, Colson underwent a transformation, a conversion. He told about his conversion in his popular book Born Again. More than three decades later he's telling his story again, but from a more developed perspective, in his rece
Charles Colson was a major voice in support of the Christian worldview, though one of the major things I learned from his writing and radio programs was exsistance and impact of whatever your worldview is. I learned how your worldview colors how you interpret all information, and it helped me to understand the Bible's statement that people were ever seeing, but never understanding.

Along with that understanding, came the conviction to examine my own worldview and how it colored my understanding.
A wonderful book about what the good life is. Although it's a bit long, it covers every other worldview: arts, postmodernism, Atheism, pleasure, materialism, etc. and explains why a life lived without knowing the truth is not the good life. It talks about what the Christian principles of loving others, giving ourselves, knowing God, etc. are what leads to the good life. I enjoyed reading about real people like Jack Eckerd vs. Hugh Hefner (Playboy founder), Randy, Madalyn Murray O'Hair, Nien Chen ...more
Colson's The Good Life was one part apologetics (the rational defense of Christianity) Think: Paul E. Little's book, "Know What/Why You Believe" and also one part a historical account of the rise and fall of Western thought and culture. Think: Francis Schaeffer's, "How Should We Then Live" Colson draws upon some of the most compelling life stories(including his own!)to illustrate and explain why we are here...Some of his key existential questions are: How do we know what's true? Where did we com ...more
This book was excellent and one that I could share with a person who is searching for truth and meaning, but doesn't have a relationship with Jesus Christ. It reaffirmed my own faith. I liked this quote on p. 357, "There is no disparity between faith, on the one hand, and reason, or what we can discover about the natural order, on the other. Nothing in the one contradicts the other. What God reveals about Himself in the Bible enlarges the capacities of both reason and the imagination. Revelation ...more
Good chapters covering a multitude of how people can submit to convenient beliefs if you don't know what your own beliefs are.
This is a big picture view book and I admittedly enjoy the big picture. This should be a personal book if you've chosen to read. I do not agree with the Authors chapter "we all need to be committed to being evangelists ourselves".
Spirituality is something to heal and give from your heart not a soap box. Otherwise the book is a beautiful submission of courage in the most c
Bob Pierce
Most of the book is written like a text book, requiring the reader to go very slowly and think it through. It's not a book to entertain. It covers a multitude of topics relevant to the Christian worldview.
"What is the good life? What does it mean to live well? for ourselves brings only misery. The way to live successfully is to live for others. But in doing so, you must find the truth and live it, lest you bring destruction to yourself and those you are serving. Only a life lived in service of the truth can be a good life."

-Chuck Colson, The Good Life page 347

The truth, the only truth, is Jesus Christ and a life lived for Him. This book tells of Colson's life and experiences and how the
About half the book is good - but Chuck goes a bit over the top in a few of the chapters - to a place I couldn't follow him. I'd label him as pretty conservative and I think he sometimes loses touch with his sense of grace and mercy. Although at other times he's seems to be zeroed right in on the grace and mercy thing (his focus on prison ministry is really outstanding).

I do like many of the things he has to say in this book - but as a recommendation, I'd probably point you to something that sta
Jennifer Nelson
This is an excellent book! Charles Colson shows how what we humans think is good actually leads to disillusionment and ultimately destruction; and that the teachings of Jesus Christ and the living of them lead to a truly good life. He uses a lot of amazing stories from all different types of peoples' lives - criminals, entrepreneurs, pastors, missionaries, prisoners, politicians, poor and rich, young and old - to demonstrate the truths presented. It is clear, hard-hitting, and very well written. ...more
Charles Colson is an ex-con, born-again Christian. He had worked as the right hand of President Nixon, and he was imprisoned during the Watergate scandal. In prison, Colson's perspective changed. He began to understand what it means to have a good life, and he spent his remaining years outside the prison walls, trying to share his revelation with others. This book is inspirational, motivational, and will change a reader's life, no matter where the reader is in his or her spiritual journey.
It just barely got five stars from me. But this is a book by a "notorious" 20th century American that's a mixture of autobiography and life philosophy based on a darned interesting life. His chapters sync up with a bunch of milestone events in American politics during the 80s, 90s and 00s. And his conclusions are worth pondering by anyone who considers herself/himself a "seeker". I'm so glad I read this book, which was given to me by someone clearing out their bookshelf.
Jan 25, 2008 Jennifer rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who is seeking the truly good life.
Colson presents some great examples of ways that people look in the wrong direction to find peace and fleeting happiness in life--only to find themselves even more unhappy and unfulfilled--and offers some insight and evidence for how having a relationship with Christ can provide that peace, joy, and fulfillment. The only reason I give it 4 instead of 5 stars is that I wanted more examples and discussion when I was done...but I guess I'll have to read some of his other books!
Aug 15, 2011 John added it
I participated in a bible study in our church that presented the "Wide Angle" video series by Rick Warren and Charles Colson that also used his book as a companion. I have great respect for Charles Colson the man, and his writing style has also gained my respect. Every human has a worldview, including Christians. What is a Christian worldview, and does it match your worldview. Read this book to find out. Whether you agree or not, you'll be glad you read the book.
I think this book needs to be read slowly, more like several studies than one complete book. I loved it in the beginning, but then, started to become overwhelmed by the spiritual giants in Colson's story. I may have done better with a shorter version of this book. All of Colson's stories hit so close to home that it is demanding on your emotional resources. I appload his writing and his life, just need some room to think the stories over before moving on.
Garland Vance
This book is designed as a seeker's introduction to the good life. Rather than making a case for the biblical view of the good life, Colson uses reason and autobiography to demonstrate that the Christian worldview makes the most sense among competing worldviews. The good life must be based on truth and lead to reality, and, because the Christian worldview does these things best, it will ultimately lead us to the good life.
So I finally finished this book!
The general principles and ideals of this book spoke to me in a very loud and clear way. However, based on the writing style alone left me completely and totally uninspired and I continuously found myself thinking about other things as I was reading. If you can get passed the ho hum quality of this book and focus on what he is trying to convey it may be just worthwhile.
Easy to read in the sense of vocabulary and topic; but it took me several weeks of reading and re-reading about many of the interesting people who were featured to fully understand their significance in the book. Kind of a how to, without being preachy or condescending. Probably best suited to those who already understand the Christian worldview, though the book could be a wonderful evangelism tool.
Roy Taylor
Incredible book. Great philosophical treatise by Colson on purpose, truth, post-modernism and Christianity. The man has an incredible insight and is great with the pen. 400 pages and I never lost interest for once. He makes use of many examples from real life as well as film with many comparison/contrasts.

Well worth the read for any seeker of truth, purpose and meaning!
Poses answers to the question "What makes a good life?" and gives examples of men and women who have lived good lives and those who have not. Got detailed at times. Helped me clarify some of the whys for what I think are characteristics of a life well lived. I thought it was well worth reading and expect to read parts again.
Kaye brook
Wonderful book. His easiest to read, very personal. He is calling us to look for the Truth that God has made visible in all of His creation, as well as in our own hearts. This one stays on my bookshelf as reference for maintaining a biblical worldview.
Colson uses powerful biographical sketches to illustrate opposing world views. I have always liked Colson's direct and personal style and this book is no exception. He passed away as I finished the book having lived, by his own defenition, the good life.
The real life stories in this book are wonderful. I give the book a 3 rating because it was like the author had a need to tell us everything he knows or thinks on every social issue there is. It became real laborious to read.
This book was amazing on so many different levels. It's simply written with many great illustrative stories and yet incredibly deep and thought-provoking.

Mr. Colson, once again, has created an awesome book. Highly recommend it.
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Almost 40 years ago, Charles W. Colson was not thinking about reaching out to prison inmates or reforming the U.S. penal system. In fact, this aide to President Richard Nixon was "incapable of humanitarian thought," according to the media of the mid-1970s. Colson was known as the White House "hatchet man," a man feared by even the most powerful politicos during his four years of service to Nixon.

More about Charles W. Colson...
Born Again How Now Shall We Live? Loving God The Body The Faith: What Christians Believe, Why They Believe It, and Why It Matters

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