Nathan Tiemeyer

Category Archives: Nathan Tiemeyer

Convert, Pay for “Protection,” Leave, or Die

Imagine yourself having what amounts to four options. You can (1) convert from your chosen faith, (2) pay a tax to be “protected” as a minority, (3) leave your home, surrendering almost all your worldly belongings in the process, or (4) be killed. Which will you choose?

For many ascribing to Christianity in Iraq this is not a thought exercise. It’s the last few weeks of their lives. Having gained control over the Iraqi City of Mosul, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has cracked down hard on its Christian community. So much so, in fact, that one recent report sadly states “there are now no Christians in Mosul for the first time in 2,000 years.”

Another account related the tragedy this way:

Guest Post: Building to Change Lives

Thanks to Emily Pilkington for the following post, which she originally contributed to Leaving a Legacy, the blog of Crossing Kids.

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Last Sunday as I pulled into the parking lot, I took notice of the construction site around the building in a new way.  This is because a large chunk of my last week was spent in a remote village in the mountains of Guatemala working with a team of people from The Crossing and Guatemala to build a new church.  When you sit down to have a conversation with their pastor, Miguel Anjel, it would be easy to focus on the ways his job is different from ours.

Welcome to the New Every Square Inch

Welcome to the newly redesigned Every Square Inch!

In addition to the visual update, the new site is intended to give you more and better options to read and share posts that will help you grow in your understanding the gospel and its relationship to every area of life. To that end, we’ll keep writing about culture, theology, family, apologetics, devotional matters, and more.

So take a few minutes to explore the new set-up. A few things to keep in mind as you do:

1. If you’d like to subscribe to ESI over email or by RSS feed, you can do so by hitting the feeds icon on the far right of the menu bar or simply clicking here.

2. You’ll find easy ways to share content by clicking the “share this” icon in the column to the left or by using the icons at the end of each post.

3. All the previous posts have been imported to the new site. You can browse through older posts simply by scrolling down (which will continually load earlier pages), or through the archives, categories, and authors pages. Some of the formatting in individual posts may have suffered a bit from the changeover—the price we pay for progress….

Finally, our apologies in advance for any hiccups over the next few days as we try to make sure everything works the way it should.

PepsiCo CEO Says She Doesn’t Think Women Can Have It All

In many respects, Indra K. Nooyi is an enormously successful woman. The 58 year-old CEO of PepsiCo, the second largest food and beverage business on the planet, often ranks highly on list of the world’s most powerful women and top executives in general. She reportedly earned a salary of over $13 million in 2013.

She is also the married mother of two daughters, and her attempts to balance this aspect of her life with her role as the leader of PespiCo led her to offer some provocative comments at the recent Aspen Ideas Festival. David Bradley, owner of The Atlantic, asked Nooyi the following question: “What’s your opinion about whether women can have it all?” The following are excerpts from her answer:

Seven Things You Might Not Know About the “War” Between Science and Faith

If you pay much attention to how our culture views the relationship between science and faith, the following story might sound familiar.

Once upon a time in the ancient world, Greek philosophers and thinkers began to usher in a golden age of learning and knowledge. Unfortunately for everyone, the rise of Christianity eclipsed this good work, bringing about the several centuries known as the Dark Ages, in which the church repressed learning through superstitious dogma. Thankfully, classical learning was rediscovered and courageous individuals were willing to shake off the shackles of Christianity. Their efforts launched the impressive flowering of knowledge and advancement we now know as the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. Science is therefore the natural enemy of faith, and scientific advancement will steadily make religious belief increasingly implausible.

It’s a compelling story, but it’s almost entirely wrong. In the book, For the Glory of God, sociologist/historian Rodney Stark points out a number of things you might not know about the “war” between science and faith:

Does Space Argue Against God?

What comes to mind when you stare into the starry skies? What do you think about when you hear descriptions about the enormity of the universe, or the billions and billions of stars that reside within it? Do you ever wonder how all of it got here, or maybe even where its “going”? And of course the big one: how does all of this relate to the question of God?

No doubt different people will offer different answers to the above questions. But we can count Tim Maudlin, professor of philosophy at New York University, as someone who believes modern cosmology has “refuted” the traditional biblical account of the origin of the cosmos. Though after reading an interview with him in the New York Times I’m not sure that his case is as persuasive as he suggests. Going point by point is beyond the scope here, but I’ll mention a few things.

Does It Pay to Believe?

Can faith in God/Jesus lead to material prosperity? This is one of the central ideas of the “health and wealth gospel.” And needless to say, this kind of message has an obvious attraction. Most of us would rather be rich than poor. And if we can get more money by essentially believing that God wants to open up his heavenly storehouse and bless us in that way, well, why wouldn’t we?

Perhaps because this kind of thinking has several problems associated with it, at least if we take the Bible seriously. To mention just one of the most significant, we have to figure out what to do with any number of passages that underscore God intentionally using, not prosperity, but rather privation for the good of his people. Paul, no stranger to hunger, thirst, and exposure, can even say that such things are “preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison” (2 Cor. 4:17). Nor did Jesus exactly cash in on his Father’s supernatural favor. His road included “nowhere to lay his head” (Mat. 8:20), not to mention even greater suffering and, eventually, his execution.

No, the Bible is clear that God’s greatest gift to us is not a house on the water or luxury SUV or simply a comfortable life. It’s himself. And so his purposes for his people are often more complex and, ultimately, much more glorious than the “faith equals wealth” message would have us believe.

Still, we can perhaps make another error if we believe that a biblically shaped Christian faith has no relationship with economic flourishing in this world. Or at least that’s the contention of theologian Wayne Grudem and economist Barry Asmus in their book, The Poverty of Nations.