It's been over 30 years since the events of Watergate started making history. A whole generation has grown up largely unaware, I suspect, of the signi...moreIt's been over 30 years since the events of Watergate started making history. A whole generation has grown up largely unaware, I suspect, of the significance of those events. I've followed Chuck Colson's work and writing almost since the beginning of Prison Fellowship and have developed a tremendous respect for the man. But only recently have I bothered to go back and read this book which tells how it all got started. I should not have waited so long.
This is the very inspiring and honest story of Colson's early career as chief counsel, confidant and friend to President Richard Nixon. As an insider, he gives his own account of the Watergate scandal and an honest confession of his own wrongdoings. This is also the story about how God can change the life of a man caught up in the corrupting influence of political power and bring great good out of evil. Since he was not directly involved in the Watergate doings, Colson probably could have easily avoided being convicted and sent to prison. But his encounter with Jesus Christ and conversion to Christianity strengthened his conscience and led him to plead guilty to an unrelated crime that he did commit. He went to prison and saw a different side of the "law and order" society that the Nixon Administration sought to promote. Even through the fear and despair of those times, the power of God became even more evident to Chuck Colson while in prison.
This is an amazing account of how a life submitted to Jesus Christ can reconcile enemies, create strong bonds of friendship, and heal terrible wounds in the hearts of both the rich and powerful and the poor and helpless. It's wonderful to read. If this book has an impact on you, then you will also want to read its sequel, "Life Sentence". (less)
Given a fair reading, this book will be an eye-opener for some, and an encouragement to others. I hope there's no cause for cynicism or gloating. Keep...moreGiven a fair reading, this book will be an eye-opener for some, and an encouragement to others. I hope there's no cause for cynicism or gloating. Keep in mind that this is a broad brush, "big picture" kind of book. Brooks is careful to point out that his study is not predictive of individual behavior, but measures influential factors on a large scale. Subtitled America's Charity Divide: Who Gives, Who Doesn't, and Why It Matters, this is fascinating and well documented study of correlations between charitable giving and things like religion, sociopolitical and economic views, family structure and work ethic. Brooks finds a very strong correlation between religion and giving; not just giving to religious charities but to secular ones as well, giving time and money to help others. Conservatives were much more charitable as a group than Liberals owing largely to a difference in philosophy on who is responsible for caring for those in need. Those who place less responsibility on government are more generous with their own time and money. The working poor tend to give a much larger percentage of their time and money for helping others than any other group. Charitable values are largely passed on by example from parents to children in intact healthy families. Brooks also draws some interesting comparisons of charitable activity in the USA and Europe. He finds that where government becomes more of a caretaker, people become less charitable and less prosperous. Brooks finds a strong correlation between charitable activity and the economic prosperity of a country, seeing trends that discourage personal giving as worrisome. Many commonly held stereotypes are contradicted in this book. Brooks was very surprised to see his own findings contradict the assumptions he had going into the study. I came away from the book feeling encouraged that there are a lot of good people in this country who ought to get to know one another better. I highly recommend it.(less)
Dr. Bevere was one of my professors in seminary. I enjoyed his classes very much. This short book of discussion starters on the various topics in the...moreDr. Bevere was one of my professors in seminary. I enjoyed his classes very much. This short book of discussion starters on the various topics in the subtitle is characteristic of his reasonable, articulate, accommodating and committed pursuit of truth on these matters. It should be an enjoyable and thought provoking read for just about anyone. Best read with a group to get good discussions started.(less)