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... Continue Reading →

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... Continue Reading →

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... Continue Reading →

Why Creeds?

That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9) Going Creedal       I grew up in a wonderful church that was self-consciously ‘non-creedal.’ No creed but Christ, no book but the Bible. This was the church where I... Continue Reading →

Searching for “Home”

I recently heard a sermon on Exodus 40 and it got me to thinking. There is so much that happens in this chapter: God speaks to Moses, giving final instructions for the tabernacle; the tabernacle is set up; each piece of liturgical furniture is given its place; the glory of the LORD fills the tabernacle;... Continue Reading →

I’m glad I’m not the Chief

It was 1:30 in the morning when my pager went off. There was a house fire about eight miles from town. My first real, serious fire. As I struggled out of bed and into enough clothes to head over to the fire station, a part of me regretted having joined the local fire department. I... Continue Reading →

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