Writing with Purpose

We do not write because we want to; we write because we have to.
~William Somerset Maugham

In Writing for the Soul, Jerry Jenkins asked: Can you still be moved? He found that he writes about things that move him.

Years ago, I began to journal when God moved me about a passage of Scripture or an event. The organizing of words enabled me to grasp a better understanding of how God’s Spirit guided me. Even now, I learn more from the process of jotting down words than many might. You could say that I write because I wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t.

None of us are at peace unless we do what we are called to do, using the gifts God has given to us as His stewards. Writing has become this for me.

Writing allows me to express myself in a way that a naturally-inclined introvert would not otherwise be capable of.

Dean Koontz has said: the purpose of writing is communication, and if what we write is not read, that purpose is not fulfilled. Thus, if I do not share with others the words that God has used to teach me, then I would only possess a secret diary, leaving unfulfilled God’s purpose for my life.

Scripture provides a direction for what I pen:

Publish his glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things he does.

—Psalm 96:3, NLT

All Christians are to proclaim God’s glorious deeds to our world. We don’t exist on this earth for our own pleasures. We’re here to worship Him.
If God uses a poor communicator to move others, then God truly has done an amazing thing. As Ignatius of Antioch once wrote: my soul be for yours and theirs. Thus, I write for all our souls because God wants to move us.

Thank you for staying the course. May He alone be glorified in it,


Written Books

The Fish Tale of Ichthys

The heart of Christianity is a myth which is also a fact.

~C. S. Lewis

C. S. Lewis argued that the great myths share a common theme–a heroic struggle known to all men. If we search the origin and the meaning of those epics, we find they point us to truth.

Some of the most famous stories of all time were fish tales. Whether the plots included clown fish, killer whales, or deadly sharks, they appealed to something within us. Whether horrifying or cartoonish, comical or inspirational, historic or science-fiction, they hooked our souls.

Still, the most incredible fish tale is the story of Jonah being swallowed by a large sea creature. Skeptics deny its plausibility. Others accept it on faith.

Even Jesus had an opinion on it. He went so far as to stake His whole reputation on its occurrence. Jesus said that the sign of Jonah was the most important verification that any unbeliever could receive to prove His identity and work. And Christ proved it.

Yet Jonah’s saga was not the most important fish story ever told. Another has outlived its legend-the one chronicle that’s greater than all the rest. It is as ancient as our world-even older than that. It is the greatest fish tale ever told. Even more, it’s all true.

And we are in it. We call this epic The Fish Tale of Ichthys–a factual story of mythic proportions.

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What People Are Saying

After reading Dr. Young’s book, The Fish Tale of Ichthys: the Never-ending Story of Jonah, Jesus, and the Human Epic, I have a new appreciation of two of the greatest stories in God’s Word. It’s proven to be timely, thought-provoking, and inspirational. The way he navigates through the stories of Jonah and Jesus [from a physical sufferings perspective] inextricably binds the two. Not since the viewing of The Passion of the Christ have I fully appreciated the price of our sins for which Christ sacrificed Himself.

Though I’ve read the story of Jonah many times and have heard many Spirit-filled sermons regarding Jonah – I’ve never thought about what Jonah went through physically while in the digestive tract of his captor. I cannot say for sure that I had previously put together the significance of both stories. (Jonah held in the Fish’s belly for three days and returned to finish his commission; Jesus’ death by crucifixion and resurrection on the third day.) All of these things are brought to light directly, or indirectly, in the pages of Dr. Young’s book, The Fish Tale of Ichthys.

One of the most significant treasures I found in Dr. Young’s writing is that of the discernment of Truth. He engages the reader with a fascinating and comprehensive understanding of the different facets of Truth.

I look forward to sharing this book with those who believe in the greatest story ever told, as well as those who do not believe. This story is truly Epic!
—Randy Cortez, RRT – Hokes Bluff, AL


As Christians we believe that Christ died on the Cross and then rose in three days. But we do not consciously think how He truly suffered and died. Dr. Young gives a physician’s detailed account of how Christ physically suffered – what His body went through during those agonizing hours as He hung on the cross. You walk away with a much deeper emotional perspective of what Christ did for us on that day. I give Dr. Young my highest recommendation.
—Dr. Roland Thornburg, Professor of Sports Pedagogy – Jacksonville State University


Crushed: a Physician’s Analysis of Jesus’ Agony (Yet-to-be published)


I have been studying crucifixion for forty years, and Dr. Young’s Crushed: A Physician’s Analysis of Jesus’ Agony is the most thorough coverage I have found. I wish that every believer could read this book. It will elevate their perception both of Jesus’ strength and of His glory. Dr. Young brings a physician’s skill and firm historical research to his work. It certainly ought to be in the library of every Christian church. I thank God that I read this book.
—Dr. T. W. Hunt, Consultant for Lifeway Christian Resources; Author, The Mind of Christ

I’ve read many accounts and studies of our Lord’s crucifixion; Dr. Young’s is by far the most thorough and substantial I’ve perused … a tremendous, well-thought, documented study … a text for teachers, professors, pastors, students; a most helpful text and tool.

I would consider it a privilege to write a letter of commendation. Personally, I was deeply moved and blessed. Thanks for deepening my understanding and growing my love for our Savior.
-Dr. Jim Henry, Pastor Emeritus of First Baptist Church of Orlando,FL; Past President of the Southern Baptist Convention


The book Crushed is a must-read for every believer. In a way I have never experienced, Dr. Young describes the unspeakable agony suffered by our Lord on our behalf. As little else could do, this book brings a deepened sense of both the seriousness of sin and the depth of our Savior’s love to take our punishment upon Himself. Dr. Young not only highlights the physical suffering, but brings deep spiritual meaning onto every page. In a day when sin is treated so lightly, nothing could be more important than to remember the cost of our Savior’s sacrifice. I whole-heartedly encourage every believer and Christian leader to prayerfully read this book. I do not see how anyone could read this resource without a life-changing encounter with God.
Towards the Great Awakening,
—Dr. Greg Frizzell, Author, Speaker
Dr. Gregory Frizzell Prayer & Renewal Ministries, OK


Medical Doctor J. Shan Young’s book is a stellar presentation of the most gripping event of mankind. It is a scholarly rendering for the serious Bible reader. Dr. Young sheds new insights into the Passion of Christ, presenting every aspect of the Savior’s agony on the Cross; His blood, sweat, tears, the terrible scourging, His staggering to the slaughter, and the stabbing crown of thorns. This medical doctor documents every word as he goes into the depths of the meaning of the Passion based upon Greek and Hebrew renderings of the Bible, advanced medical science, and detailed secular history. You will never look at the cross the same.
—Dr. John R. Bisagno, Pastor Emeritus, First Baptist Church of Houston, TX


I am impressed at the level of scholarship and disciplined study you have demonstrated. In my time, I have read several doctoral theses and this rises to that level. You have used your obvious keen intellect, love for the Lord and thirst for Biblical study to good use. From your unique position as a physician, you have helped us to better understand the agony of our Lord and His redemptive purpose. Thanks again for sharing this with me. I know you have the ability write and do it well. I sense you have a feel for theological and Biblical stewardship.
—Dr. Rick Lance, Executive Director, Alabama State Board of Missions, Montgomery, AL


Crushed is moving and has a tremendous amount of research and detail to inform the believer or unbeliever.  Section six on “The Promise” is exceptional.  Reading this book is a spiritual experience.
—Ben Kirkland, Retired Comptroller – Darlington, SC


Crushed was pretty intense and very well documented. One can’t really say they “enjoyed” reading it because of the subject matter but Dr. Young has methodically laid a strong case for Christ… It is truly an outstanding work.
—Scott Farhart, MD, Author, Intimate & Unashamed, San Antonio, TX


I read Dr. Shan Young’s Crushed. As a physician and surgeon myself, I was interested in reading about Christ’s suffering from an obstetrician’s viewpoint. What I got was unexpected. Dr. Young accurately describes the physiology and anatomy associated with the physical act of crucifixion, but over the course of the book he does so much more. The historian reading this book will get a taste of the living conditions and rituals in ancient Hebrew and Roman occupied Jewish Palestine … seeing the many prophesies that predict the Christ, His life and death. The reader will find familiar Old Testament stories foreshadowing, predating and anticipating the crucifixion. The Christian will feel a profound sense of awe at the suffering Christ endured for our sins. Perhaps most of all, he will feel a deep need to repent for unintentionally underestimating the suffering of our Lord and King. Upon several occasions I had to put the book down to repent for taking for granted the sacrifice of Christ. The non-Christian will find interesting vignettes both based in Scripture that enticingly leads to the end point of salvation offered because of Jesus Christ’s death. I have known Dr. Young for over 11 years now and know he lives his faith. What a wonderful way to express his faith. Excellent work.
—DeWayne Clark, MD, FACS – Anniston, AL


It has truly been my pleasure and privilege to read this amazing book and make suggestions on it, and I can’t over emphasize what a fine job you’ve done on such a sacred and noble effort.  The book as a whole touched me in a real way, and there are a couple of spots where you wrote about things that I simply can’t get out of my mind — which is a good thing, for constant nearness to God is something we should strive for.
—Dan Langford, Author, Brooks, GA

As a fellow researcher I appreciate Dr. Young’s research depth, thoroughness and rigor.  As a brother in Christ and friend I admire Shan’s use of his God-given talents of caring for the health of not only our bodies as a talented physician, but also for our minds and souls as a talented writer.

—Brent J. Cunningham, Ph.D., Professor of Business Administration, College of Commerce and Business Administration – Jacksonville State University