Nathan Tiemeyer

Author Archives: Nathan Tiemeyer

7 Tips to Help Your Kids Engage with Media/Entertainment

Apart from throwing our kids into solitary confinement and shoving them meals through a slot in the door, every parent eventually has to make decisions about how to guide their consumption of TV shows, movies, music, YouTube videos, websites, and other media and entertainment options. Even failing to adopt a strategy is, by default, adopting a strategy. But if we’re wanting to take a wise, biblically-shaped approach, we need to do think through some principles that will help us guide our kids as they navigate the sea of popular culture.

We should acknowledge that there’s no flow chart or set of “if/then” statements that we could list that could cover every situation, but the following points should at least steer us in the right direction.

The One Thing We Might Overlook in Someone Becoming a Christian

What does it take for a person to become a Christian? Certainly a recognition of one’s need for grace and forgiveness, and an understanding and acceptance of what Jesus accomplished. But we might overlook another ingredient that’s often necessary:

5 Good Reads

For the post-holiday rest of your week: a roundup of five articles worth reading and considering, with a sample quote from each. (Note that inclusion here means each piece is helpful, not that I agree with everything in every article!)

The United States of Ambivalence: Celebrating the Founding of Imperfect Freedom
Thomas Kidd, Desiring God
“Ambivalence” is not such a bad posture for Christians to adopt toward America, however. We have always had reasons to celebrate and reasons to lament America’s history.

This Pro-Life Talk at Google Headquarters Was a Hit
Catholic News Agency
A pro-life activist walks into Google’s headquarters and delivers a speech so compelling that within 24 hours, the online video of it surpassed a similar speech given by the head of Planned Parenthood. It may sound like the start to a far-fetched joke, but on April 20th, pro-life speaker and activist Stephanie Gray did just that.

Psychology Today Article Recognizes Crossing Member

Leigh Shaffer, a member here at The Crossing, was the subject of a recent article in Psychology Today. It begins this way:

Dr. Leigh Shaffer is a dear friend and colleague whose health has not been good lately. He has borne his illness as he has conducted himself throughout his life, with much grace, humility, and dignity. I wanted to take this opportunity to write a note of gratitude for my time with Leigh, as he has been an inspiration to me.

Leigh is an academic. He spent many years as a professor of psychology before moving to Columbia with his wife Barbara. He is also a committed Christian, having participated in various teaching and ministry roles throughout his life. Both of these aspects of Leigh’s life feature prominently in the article, which was authored by George Mason psychology professor Gregg Henriques. In reading Henriques’ “letter of deep appreciation” for his friend, I was struck by a handful of things that can teach and encourage us:

U.S. Senators Characterize a Central Christian Belief as “Indefensible” and “Violation of the Public Trust”

If you stated publically that believing in Jesus Christ is necessary for the true worship of God, do you think there would be any repercussions?

In the case of Russell Vought, it meant two U.S. senators questioning his fitness for a job in the federal government. Vought has been nominated for the deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, and during his recent confirmation hearing, he came under fire as a result of his role in a previous controversy at Wheaton College, an evangelical Christian institution and Vought’s alma mater.

In December of 2015, Wheaton political science professor Larycia Hawkins made news for a Facebook post in which she wrote, “I stand in religious solidarity with Muslims because they, like me, a Christian, are people of the book. And as Pope Francis stated last week, we worship the same God.” In response, Vought wrote an article in which he argued that “Muslims do not simply have a deficient theology. They do not know God because they have rejected Jesus Christ his Son, and they stand condemned.”

Those are undoubtedly strong words, but in terms of representing historic, orthodox Christian belief, Vought’s position is anything but controversial. Christians have held to this doctrine for nearly two millennia, based on the teaching of Jesus himself. For example, in John 14:6 Jesus famously states, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” And consider another famous passage, along with the verses that immediately follow:

5 Things to Keep in Mind When Christians Blow It

What are we supposed to think when Christians fail to live out their faith? Occasionally, those failures grab headlines—like nationally known pastors who have to step down from their leadership positions for various reasons, or politicians disgraced by morally compromising situations. More often, it’s the everyday sins of average Christians that never seem to be in short supply: being insensitive or selfish in a relationship, failing to carry out responsibilities at work, being harsh and impatient with kids, speaking poorly of others behind their backs, and so on.

Understandably, the gap between what we say we believe and what we actually do can make Christianity less credible to those on the outside looking in, and it can genuinely discourage the faith of others who are trying to follow Christ. Either way, we need to keep a few important truths in mind:

Is Following Jesus Really Worth It?

My eight-year-old daughter has many strengths, and I love her dearly. But when she needs to take some medicine that doesn’t taste good to her, I’ve come to suspect that something goes mysteriously wrong with her ability to communicate. I’ll say, “Hannah, you really need to take your medicine.” But judging from the look on her face, what she hears is something like, “Hannah, you need to swim with poisonous jellyfish.” And the high pitched, inarticulate sounds that escape her mouth seem to confirm this. It doesn’t really matter how badly she needs the medicine. She’s just not convinced that whatever benefit she’ll get from it is worth it.

I wonder if the same dynamic can be true of us when it comes to following Christ. Whether consciously or not, we all ask ourselves whether it’s really worth it.

But what does Jesus himself have to say about that question?