In my church study sits a coffee cup, the contents of which looks like about a dozen Silly Putty eggs were cracked open and plopped in there.  The big wad of putty was given to me years ago by my brother, who told me squeezing it while I worked would relieve tension and build hand strength.  I cannot say I use it much for that, but it does get used most every week.  Trying to occupy children while I’m speaking to their parents in my study, I often ask them if they would like to play with it.  They love flattening it out on the table in my study or rolling it into balls.  Some even come in now and ask, “Pastor York, can I play with your putty?”

The putty does serve another purpose.  It reminds me of human plasticity.

Thank God for women


Many preachers–myself included–have lamented the loss of men and manliness in the American true. While this loss is true and lamenting it appropriate, it’s helpful to know it isn’t a new problem. In studying Acts 16 and the conversion of Lydia, I came across the following quote from John Dick’s Lectures on the Acts of the Apostles: 

Musings on Gentleness

Jared’s confession about his journey to gentleness got me thinking, but before I follow that path let me just say:  the Jared I know is a big softie and wouldn’t be harsh to a flea♥  And this: I’m delighted to be a part of this blog and share some space with guys who I think truly live up to the title of gentle reformers.

TGC Los Angeles Conference Q and A – D.A. Carson

I think it’s safe to say that nearly everyone has weighed in on N.T. Wright.  There are those who adore the man.  And there are, of course, those who always carry on their person a long coil of rope, so that in the event of a random encounter with the man, they would be prepared to conduct a lynching. 

D.A. Carson’s opinion of Wright’s theology falls somewhere between the extremes.

A Pastoral Letter to Ted Williams

Dear Ted,

Though you do not know me, I hope you do not mind me addressing you by name.  Besides, I feel like I do know you as I join the millions of others in congratulating you on your recent good fortune.  In a matter of days your rocket ride  from begging on the streets of Columbus, Ohio,  to being an internet and TV sensation has captivated us.  It has made us glad to hear some good news amidst all the bad.  What has happened to you is incredible.  You do have an amazing voice!  It is good that you recognize it as a gift from God.

Gentleness, a confession

I have the password now, so Barry can’t kick me off the blog. Thus it’s a fine time to come clean: I am not gentle. In fact, I’m pretty sure Barry meant to sign up some other, kinder Italian pastor. Surely there’s been a clerical error or oversight of judgment.

Should Abortion Be Illegal? – Alan Shlemon vs. Cicili Chadwick

I never cease to be amazed at what I hear from the mouths of pro-choice advocates. 

Never wavering from calling the unborn baby a fetus, Professor Chadwick, the pro-choicer, nevertheless concedes that the fetus is a human life.  This is chilling.  For here you have an educated woman advancing, nay, trumpeting the belief that a woman has the right to end a human life, essentially because that life temporarily lives inside her.  Scary. 

And why does she cling to this idea?

Book Review: Addictions

Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave

Edward T. Welch

Ed Welch is a long-time counselor and faculty member with CCEF (Christian Counseling & Education Foundation). Like many, I have benefited greatly from his writings and lectures. This book is no exception.

Welch dives skillfully into a topic that has touched all of our lives, if only indirectly. All of us have fought a sin so long that it could be labeled an

Why the Fifth Point Matters

I had lunch recently with a four-point Calvinist. He knew I was a five-pointer and asked why I believed in “Limited Atonement”—the one point of the five with which he disagreed. It was a sincere question, and I appreciated the opportunity to talk about such an important doctrine.

Limited Atonement (the teaching that Jesus died for specific people, not for everyone) is often the hardest to embrace of the so-called “five points of Calvinism.” (The five points, for review, are Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresistible Grace, and

Depressing Research

10% of Americans (27 million people) are on antidepressants, a number that doubled in the decade from 1996-2005.  Before I comment further, please take the following quiz, answering the statements TRUE or FALSE:

1) Those who took Flintstone Vitamins as a child are more likely to get a divorce than those who did not.