Picture this: the pastor at his pulpit confesses to his parishioners, “I’m sorry people, but in my faith journey, I’m afraid I’m entering the ‘I just don’t know!’ stage.” They shout back, “Welcome!”
It’s one of almost 100 of David Hayward’s Nakedpastor cartoons in this autobiographical book. Together with his text, they tell of his story into and out of the church—ordained a Presbyterian minister in 1986, he bowed out of ministry in 2010. Four years before, he’d launched his Nakedpastor blog, complete with what faithmeetsworld.com calls “irreverent, but piercingly insightful cartoons.” These allow him, layanglicana.org explains, to show what might be “too subtle, deeply felt, revealing, or mysterious to be expressed in words.” As one New Testament scholar exhorts, “Come for the laughs, stay for the brutal honesty about matters of religion.”
Hayward, who styles himself a “graffiti artist on the walls of religion,” and who has been called [by faithmeetsworld.com] “unofficial agent provocateur and commentator on all things related to Western religion and its shortcomings,” has since launched thelastingsupper.com, which he describes as “an online community of spiritually independent people”. A Canadian, he lives with his wife, Lisa, on the Kennebecais River near Saint John, New Brunswick.
Questions are the Answer: Nakedpastor and the Search for Understanding, by David Hayward
Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd., 2015