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Kyle’s Mea Culpa

Readers of Gentle Reformation,

With the fear that this may be read as a bit of shameless self-promotion I want to respond to some criticism I have received over a previous article: “Tebow’s Mea ‘Culpo.’” That criticism has focused on two things I wrote in the article and has been offered with varying degrees of charity. The first was a concern over my comment regarding the Lord’s Day. A second concern, and the one that is the incentive for what I now write, has to do with the historical accuracy of news reports relating to Tim Tebow’s relationship with Olivia Culpo. A widely cited article originally appearing on TMZ claims that the two met at church, hung out with a group of friends, and were never involved in a relationship. As a result, a few have suggested to me that some of the critique I offered was not in accord with the facts.

First, let me offer thanks to those of you motivated by the noble desire for truth who graciously contacted me. I think it was John Owen who once said something to the effect that those who write subject themselves to the gauntlet and they must be content to bear […]

Daddy Notes

Recently I stumbled upon some unread notes from my youngest daughter written to me quite some time ago. In discovering them, my heart was touched by how much our children need our small acts of love.

She had typed them into the Notes App on my phone, presumably thinking I would see them but not realizing I use this app very infrequently. Written when she was age ten, here is the first of three excerpts.

December 12, 2012

I love you so much daddy!…Thank you also for reading the Hobbit with me! I’ve been having a great time snuggling and reading with you! <3 Well, I should stop now…….<3 you again,

Love, your daughter, Celia

I do not share these notes to impress you with my parenting skills.  Rather, these little emotional snapshots impress upon me, as I hope they may you, how young hearts cry out for attention from their parents and respond warmly when it is received.

Clearly snuggling to read The Hobbit was a theme, as was wanting just to do something with Daddy.

January 3, 2013

Hi daddy!  I love you so much! Maybe we’ll be able to read the Hobbit tonight and snuggle! We also need to have a snowball fight!

Love,

Celia Marie York

The next note reminded me that the dates […]

A Letter to the Doubting Christian

Dear Mr. Doubting,

Thank you for your last letter. It was honest and, I am sure, difficult to write. I myself have frequently been where you are–asking questions, doubtful about the truth, searching for certainty, unsure of my own belief. Doubt has many channels into the heart, and I too am familiar with the tidal wave of inquisitiveness that seems to fill them all. I have wondered at times if I would ever recover. Such is the tragic position many Christians find themselves in. They are, by all accounts, the unstable man, “like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind” (James 1:6).

Now, let me be clear. It isn’t the asking of questions that concerns me. By all means ask questions! If we’re to have an informed faith–which Christianity is in desperate need of today–we must have an inquisitive faith. Nor is it difficulty of mind that troubles me. After all, as one of Job’s friends asked, “Can you find out the deep things of God?” (Job 11:7), and, as Peter noted, even some of Paul’s writings are “hard to understand” (2 Peter 3:16). Neither is it ignorance concerning unrevealed things, “How unsearchable are his judgments […]

A Letter to the Anxious Christian

Dear Mr. Anxious,

Hello friend! I wanted to thank you for your letter. I must admit, however, that I was sorry to hear of your many burdensome anxieties. They are a load you were not meant to bear. You’re not alone. The world is full of anxious people. I don’t mean people who are anxious about the things of God–sin and temptation or the condition of their souls. If only we had more of that and less of worldly worry! No, we worry about all kinds of things—money and health, marriage and children, school and work, reputations and appearances, today and tomorrow; we worry about what we will eat and drink and wear—and on and on the list could go. In my own case, I must admit, every now and then anxiety hangs over my head like a dark shadow that seems all but impossible to escape.

Yet, Mr. Anxious, I feel strongly that a Christian has as much a right to worry as he does to steal, lie, or kill. That is, he doesn’t have a right–it’s illegal! Worry is unbelief, it’s being mastered by circumstances, it’s a distrust of God’s promises. We worry, and worry is sin. The command is […]