Nate Larkin is the author of a book that I recently read, and loved, called Samson and the Pirate Monks. It is a call for men to enter authentic brotherhood together. Nate’s own story is fascinating (he realized he was a sex addict while he was a pastor) and he tells it with such honesty and passion. I would recommend this book to all guys out there that are reading this (and I’ve been told by a trustworthy source, who happens to be a woman, that women can also get a lot out of this book). Nate has started the Samson Society, which has blossomed up all over the place and creates an environment for guys to connect.
Jeremy: Tell us something odd/unique about you.
Nate: The older I get, the more I like hats.Â My wife says itâ€™s a sign of dementia, and Iâ€™m beginning to think she might be right.
Jeremy: Do you think people are born leaders or develop into leaders?
Nate: I think God gives each of us at least one leadership-related skill, and under certain circumstances our leadership is needed. Unfortunately, the systemic insanity of this fallen world causes a few of us to conclude that we are omnipotent, and the rest of us to lapse into passivity.
Jeremy: How can people put themselves into a position to influence culture?
Nate: Show up in the culture as a friend, not a critic. Love people. Appreciate beauty. Commit to excellence. Serve others well, regardless of their religious pedigree.
Jeremy: Why are you a follower of Jesus Christ?
Nate: It feels like Jesus keeps tracking me down. I follow him, but poorly. Most of the time He follows me. Sometimes I wish heâ€™d leave me alone.
Jeremy: What do you do personally to fuel your spiritual life?
Nate: Some people thrive on solitude, but I tend to daydream (or worse) when Iâ€™m alone. What really fuels my spiritual life is getting together with other Christian guys and telling the truth about my life.
Jeremy: What is your hope for the future of the Church in America?
Nate: Iâ€™m encouraged by the declining political power of the Church, and the disinterest that younger believers are showing in seizing control of society for Christ.Â Jesus himself refused to seek or accept political control during his earthly ministry, choosing instead to launch a revolution of a radically different kind.Â In some parts of the American church, at least, I think the revolution is getting back on track.
Jeremy: Should we abandon the use of the word “Christian” for a better term? If so, what?
Nate: Changing our name feels like a superficial solution to me â€” kind of like a floundering restaurant deciding to change its name but not its menu. Christians certainly have a serious PR problem, but I think the better way for us to tackle it is to: 1) admit that itâ€™s mostly our own fault, and 2) starting acting more like Christ and less like the Taliban.
Jeremy: What blogs/websites do you regularly check?
Nate: Only yours. (wink wink)
Jeremy: Which books have shaped your thinking?
Nate: Mmmmm. Iâ€™m always reading, and my thinking is always in flux. Looking back, the books that stand out at this moment are: The Pursuit of Excellence (Peters and Waterman) Compassion and Self-Hate (Rubin), The Road Less Traveled (Peck), Les Miserables (Hugo), The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions (Wilson), Blue Like Jazz (Miller), Memoir from Antproof Case (Helprin), and The Safest Place on Earth (Crabb).
Jeremy: What music moves you?
Nate: Iâ€™m a fan of old-school country: Cash, Kristofferson, Willie, and Tom T. Hall.
Jeremy: Any other thoughts or advice?
Nate: I think itâ€™s time for me to meet a guy for coffee.
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