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.
33: Multiple Heresies: Exploring some challenges to biblical inerrancy
October 20th, 2021 | 1 hr 26 mins
Yay! Nathan is back! In this episode we follow up with some explanation behind the claims Steve made in the previous episode about how the Bible is not as “inerrant” as we think, although we just scratch the surface. Unfortunately, Steve breaks the rule of only one heresy per episode.
Book Club Announcement - "Faith After Doubt" by Brian McLaren
September 29th, 2021 | 58 secs
We're taking the week off, but we wanted to announce our next book for the book club: "Faith After Doubt" by Brian McLaren
31: Doppelgänger: The faith journey of ANOTHER Steve Martin
September 22nd, 2021 | 1 hr 4 mins
Steve couldn’t believe it when he came across ANOTHER guy named Steven D. Martin who is ALSO a podcaster, a paster, is passionate about social justice, and the similarities keep going. We just had to have him on the show to tell his faith story. It starts in small town Tennessee, goes through his time as a pastor, how he ended up at the Charlottesville race protests, and now running an institute for training churches to deal with our new reality.
30: Book Club: “The Making of Biblical Womanhood” by Beth Allison Barr
September 15th, 2021 | 1 hr 11 mins
29: Know Thyself: How the Enneagram can help you grow in your faith
September 8th, 2021 | 1 hr 5 mins
Enneagram trainer and life coach Krista Cannon joins us today to talk all things enneagram. She clears up a lot for us, like: What it is, what it isn't, how to use it, and how not to. We also talk about how understanding who YOU are can really help you in your faith journey.
28: Don't Do It Alone: The spiritual impact of life-changing diseases
September 1st, 2021 | 1 hr 29 mins
In this episode Steve shares his story of being diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson's Disease at 41 and then being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis at age 43. He talks about how dealing with those 2 diseases has impacted his faith and spiritual life.
27: Imaginary Other: Surviving arguments with relationships intact
August 25th, 2021 | 1 hr 12 mins
Probably none of you need to hear this episode, since none of you have ever had an argument, but in case you do find yourself in an argument, this episode is for you. Nathan, a self-appointed expert on arguing, gives us the ABC’s of arguments. How to approach them, how to diffuse them, and how to know when to stop pushing and let go. We also talk about true Scotsmen, belief vs. faith, and when losing on purpose is Christ-like.
26: Hippie Church: More adventures in the new and the different
August 18th, 2021 | 57 mins 59 secs
Today we’re celebrating a new milestone in Following the Fire history - we’ve passed 25 episodes! And it’s Steve’s turn to tell about his family’s first foray into the “other churches” world.
25: Book Club: "A Church Called TOV" by Scot McKnight and Laura Barringer
August 11th, 2021 | 57 mins 18 secs
Today we have with us Laura Barringer, co-author of “A Church Called Tov”. We had a fabulous conversation with her and learned so much. If you haven’t read the book yet, don’t worry - Nathan gives a great summary before we get in to the discussion. Do be sure to grab a copy for yourself, though! Links are in the show notes.
24: Pushing Past the Weird: Getting back out there and visiting new churches
August 4th, 2021 | 52 mins 43 secs
Looking for a new faith community is gonna be weird at first, but that’s just part of the process, like it or not. Nathan decided to be an overachiever and visited two churches in one day and he tells us all about his experiences. We also start off the episode with some long overdue shout-outs.
23: NakedPastor: Artist David Hayward discusses his cartoons & his faith journey
July 28th, 2021 | 1 hr 3 mins
Nathan and Steve got to sit down with David Hayward, aka, “NakedPastor” for a fabulous conversation. David is an author, artist, cartoonist, and all-around super nice guy (not just because he’s Canadian). We got to hear of his journey from being a pastor for 30 years to being the cartoonist for deconstructing Christians, we talked about his motivations for doing what he does, and much more!
22: Trans-Christian: A conversation with Natalie Drew about following God as a trans woman
July 21st, 2021 | 1 hr 31 mins
Today we’re talking to Natalie Drew. Natalie is a devout Christian, pacifist, and kind of a theology nerd who also happens to be a trans woman. She shares her story with us of struggling with life before beginning her transition after having a wife and 2 kids, how her marriage weathered the storm, and she gives some great advice to other LGBTQ people in the church, as well as for the rest of the church. I do want to let you know that suicide does come up a few times in this episode.
21: Good Tomatoes: When taking things seriously just means “Love”
July 14th, 2021 | 1 hr 20 mins
On today’s podcast we’re discussing a variety of topics including how our deconstruction’s going, what relationships look like when they’re not connected to a church, the Bible and being “right” and, unsurprisingly, it all ends up pointing to love.
20: Book Club: "Jesus & John Wayne" by Kristen Kobes Du Mez
July 7th, 2021 | 1 hr 33 mins
We've invited Valerie Quirey (American, Canadian, former Brazilian, & church planter) to discuss possibly the most unsettling (yet important!) book any of us have read this year.
19: Affirming: LGBTQ+ acceptance & the church - a conversation with Sally Gary
June 30th, 2021 | 1 hr 4 mins
Today we’re going to be discussing the book Affirming: A Memoir of Faith, Sexuality, and Staying in the Church by Sally Gary. This is Sally’s second memoir, and it’s about her journey from her youth growing up in the church of Christ, coming to terms with her sexuality as a gay woman, and moving from a stance of not approving of same sex marriage herself to marrying her wife Karen just this past year — all while remaining devoted to God. It’s a deeply touching story, and I believe a very important one that all Christians should check out.
17: It’s Complicated: Taking a new look at the Trinity
June 16th, 2021 | 1 hr 27 mins
Today we dive in to a deep and mysterious and complicated and confusing topic. We tend to just say this word and accept it and move on, but we're going to take some time to discuss the doctrine of the Trinity. The idea that 3 is 1 and 1 is 3. And we dive in to whether or not that's what we believe, and what does that mean for our lives, and what does it mean for how I treat my neighbor, or what I should do today?