Hi! I'm Nathan!
Personal History: I live in Colorado, sometimes alone, and sometimes with my adventurous wife, Heather, and my son, Malachi. Heather is the newest addition to the family. Malachi and I agree she is also the best (and most likely to let Malachi roast s'mores). I grew up in Fort Collins, Colorado with a brief intermission in Belgium. I attended Oklahoma Christian University to pursue a career in politics and left with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering to pursue a life of not working as an engineer. My favorite color is grey and I refuse to throw out socks with holes in them.
Faith history: "Let me esplain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up." I am equal parts prodigal son and "other brother." I somehow manage to struggle with self-righteousness AND enough soundly-lodged eye-planks to build a porch. I facebook-stalk God. But I'm trying to have a relationship now so it isn't so creepy how much I know about him, and be more of a "follower" than a "believer".
My deconstruction happened a decade ago, when I was angry with God for not bestowing-unto-me a wife (after all, I didn't drink, swear, ogle, OR cuss, what the heck God?!). I struggled alone for years with lies I had accidentally learned about purity, about God, about relationships. I caused a lot of people a lot of pain. I hit rock bottom, and finally experienced the joy that humiliation can bring. Grace that is amazing. Righteousness that is not from me. Support and love from God's people. And I ended up with an awesome son out of the deal.
I inherited a multi-generational legacy of genuine faith: Stories and memories of my grandparents make it clear they made following Jesus their priority. My mom's love for and knowledge of scripture is inspiring. My dad has a heart for the underdog and speaks up when others are afraid to. My parents are the same people at church as they are at home and everywhere else. Their example of authentic faith is one of the best gifts they have given me. I strive to follow their example, and the example of Christ. I'm a work in progress, as you'll definitely hear as you listen along!
Nathan has hosted 65 Episodes.
47: Data > Dogma: A conversation with biblical scholar Dan McClellan
March 23rd, 2022 | 1 hr 14 mins
Bible nerds unite! Nathan & Steve got to have a wonderful conversation with TikTok-famous Bible scholar Dan McClellan. Topics include the cognitive science of religion, the problem with univocality, the development of inerrancy, and… does God look like a cow?
46: The In-Between: How Daniel Wheat's music is entwined with his faith
March 16th, 2022 | 1 hr 43 mins
Daniel Wheat has been the official Following the Fire troubadour since day one. He's working on a new album and talks to Nathan and Steve about how the progression of his music and the development of his faith are so closely bound together.
45: Book Club: Heavy Burdens - Bridget Eileen Rivera
March 9th, 2022 | 57 mins 33 secs
Author Bridget Eileen Rivera joins us to talk about her new book "Heavy Burdens: Seven Ways LGBTQ Christians Experience Harm in the Church"
44: Not a White Man: Discussion Group Q&R pt2
March 2nd, 2022 | 1 hr 5 mins
In which Nathan & Steve discuss Gen Z lingo and more questions posed in the Following the Fire Facebook discussion group. Topics include: Why does God allow us to relive trauma? Can we get rid of institutional racism? Where's the Mother in all this!? Is it "XKCD" or "SMBC"? And more!
43: Twist Ending: Discussion Group Q&R pt1
February 23rd, 2022 | 1 hr 3 mins
In which Nathan & Steve respond to (because actual "Answers" are lacking) questions posed in the Following the Fire Facebook discussion group. Topics include: the goal of deconstruction, God’s role in it, untangling culture and faith, and more.
42: J. Crum: the man, his music, his faith, and his journey
February 16th, 2022 | 1 hr 6 mins
J. Crum is a legend. His song "Clarity" struck a nerve last year with so many people going through deconstruction, and his path has taken him to some unexpected places. We were honored to get to spend time talking with J. Crum about his music, his faith, how they intersect, and where he's going from here.
41: Deconstruction Everywhere: Disney+ shows and films with themes of deconstruction
February 12th, 2022 | 49 mins 43 secs
Nathan and Steve catch up after a month off and they discuss the theme of deconstruction in tons of shows and movies (mostly) on Disney+. Seems like it's absolutely everywhere!
Rebroadcast: "Why We Can't Wait" by Martin Luther King, Jr.
January 17th, 2022 | 1 hr 27 mins
We're joined by Nicole Magliore to discuss the book "Why We Can't Wait" by Martin Luther King, Jr. – Not only do we discuss the book, but what white Christians can do to make a difference in a country that is still so stuck in white supremacy and systemic racism. This, my friends, is a fantastic episode.
Bonus Episode: 2021 in Books - Happy New Year!
December 29th, 2021 | 24 mins 58 secs
The Problem: Nathan is judgmental but hopes the books help...
40: Book Club: Faith After Doubt - by Brian McLaren
December 22nd, 2021 | 1 hr 34 mins
39: Spiritual Nomads: When deconstruction leads to wandering, where do we find comfort and safety?
December 15th, 2021 | 1 hr 20 mins
Rethinking your faith often leads to leaving your faith community to look for something else. Something more. Something real. And while that move was probably for the best, there’s still a loss of the comfort that the old group gave you, and a loss of certainty that came with it. Either way, it doesn’t make wandering the spiritual wilderness any easier. So, among the questions we won’t properly answer today: Should we try to replace the comfort we lost? Should we go back to the certainty group we left? And, how can gratitude help us find something more ultimate than certainty?
38: Embracing Discomfort: How cognitive biases contribute to church problems and deconstruction
December 8th, 2021 | 1 hr 44 mins
37: Hidden Gems: How deconstruction can help us find deeper meaning
November 17th, 2021 | 1 hr 17 mins
For most churches these days, the Old Testament is a collection of exciting and shocking stories for kids’ Bible class. When we’re older, we assume we’ve learned what the stories have to teach us and we hardly ever revisit them from an adult perspective! An unexpected upside of deconstruction can be that, when we DO re-think these OT stories, there are layers upon layers of meaning.
36: Breaking the Belief Box: How the protective walls we’ve built can hurt more than help
November 10th, 2021 | 1 hr 20 mins
35: Sermons We Hear: What are American Christians hearing from the pulpit?
November 3rd, 2021 | 1 hr 12 mins
We discuss a recent study about the content, length, and focus of sermons preached in American churches these days. Which churches talk about what? What does that say about them? What can we learn from the various types of sermon?
34: Who Wrote It?: Digging into false claims of authorship in the Bible with Trevor Thompson
October 27th, 2021 | 1 hr 10 mins
New Testament scholar Trevor Thompson joins us to discuss pseudepigraphic texts in the Bible. We talk about what they are, how they're determined, and we talk a lot about what that means for our faith in scripture and in God.