How Colson Shaped the Religious Right
Colson’s bestselling 1999 opus, How Now Shall We Live?, co-authored with Nancy Pearcey, was envisioned as a complete philosophical defense of Christianity against its modern opponents, Darwinism chief among them. Following Schaeffer’s efforts to catalogue Western history as the rise and fall of ideas, Colson saw the world as a battleground of “great ideas” that shape civilizations and determine the path of events.
Sociologist James Davison Hunter described Colson’s notion of a worldview as “not just a set of doctrines and beliefs and the values based on them, but a wide-ranging and inclusive understanding of the world; a worldview in competition with other worldviews.” This thinking defined a generation of Christian culture warriors to see their struggle against secularism as an ideological struggle, a war of good ideas against bad ideas. To the increasingly influential Christian right of the 1980s, the idea of worldviews in conflict was transformative, a call not just to political activism, but to the life of the mind—all for the purpose of understanding and refuting the ideas underlying modern evils such as abortion and secularism.