Why So Much Anger?: #YesAllWomen and Psalm 137

In response to the recent shootings in Santa Barbara, the hashtag #YesAllWomen has swarmed social media sites. Millions of tweets have begun or ended with #YesAllWomen – signaling their intended support of the movement. Originally, I noticed a few friends of ours using the hashtag on twitter to share stories and statements supporting women and…

First Glance: Acts 27-28

The next day we landed at Sidon, and Julius, in kindness to Paul, allowed him to go to his friends, so they might provide for his needs. (Acts 27:3) Paul is headed to Rome. He has appealed for trial before Caesar and has begun his long journey to the capital of the empire. It is…

We Are All Hobbits

Summer time is reading time in the Shaffer household. For most of the last decade, the majority of my reading has taken place in school, between September and May. Now that I have graduated and moved into a full-time pastoral call, my schedule has shifted. I now read most between May and September. When the…

First Glance: Acts 16:16-40

  About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. – Acts 16:25 Paul and Silas have found themselves in quite a conundrum. They spent the last several days being followed around by a young girl who had a spirit in her. She kept shouting about their status as servants…

Deny Yourself and Compromise

If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. (Mt 16:24) Growing up in the church, Jesus’ call to deny yourself was a deeply personal challenge. I was being called to put aside my own interests, my own ego, and my own desires in favor of…

First Glance: Acts 15:1-35

For Moses has been preached in every city since the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath. (Acts 15:21) Acts 15 begins with the church in conflict about entrance in the community. The members of the party of the Pharisees believed that the Jewish rite of circumcision should be required of…

On Manhood and Womanhood

The controversy surrounding gender and women in leadership seems only to be heating up instead of cooling down. In many ways, the Christian community is more polarized than it was even two decades ago. Christians in leadership and in the pews are feeling forced to choose between being a complementarian (those who argue that men…

First Glance: Acts 9:1-22

But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.” (Acts 9:15-16) Jesus never said it would be easy to follow him. He said…