Brad: What would you tell someone who is afraid of questions? Let's say they are beginning to have questions and are worried about where they lead. Is questioning safe?
Brad: Near the beginning of the book, you cite Wendell Berry regarding the awkward element of growing publicly -- talking or drawing about what you discover. You seem aware of the problem of coming across "in tones that imply you know what other people ought to do." How do you deal with that, especially when you know silence is not an option? When critiquing spiritual abuse has even led you to call out offenders by name?
Brad: I love how the book ties together the questions your cartoons ask and your own personal relationship to questions themselves. That triggers several questions of my own: first, what are the questions you are personally asking these days? And second, what do you see as the big questions that those who claim Christian faith are currently asking? And third, what are are the questions that we might be failing to ask but you see as crucial.
Brad: It's obviously that you are into faithful questioning and necessary deconstruction. A lot of the questions you ask through your cartoons relate to dysfunctions in what we sometimes call 'the institutional church' and its frequent misuse of the Bible. Yet you're not simply a mudslinger; there's something more prophetic going on. Is that fair?
Brad: I have been particularly thankful for your strong stand as an advocate for those downtrodden by toxic religion--and especially on behalf of women and 'the other' (notably Dr. Larycia Hawkins). What questions would you see as the answer for those who've been marginalized by the institution?
Brad: While you come across as an ex-pastor who has walked away from the institution, let's face it--you're the naked pastor, not the naked ex-pastor. There's still appears to be an impulse in you to gather a healthy faith community. Is the Lasting Supper a 'church' under another name? How does it face and overcome the usual church shenanigans you tend to critique?
Brad: Satirical critiques aside, your work also quite consistently affirms a trinitarian God, the person of Christ and the image of the Cross as love. Is that a fair assessment? That's not everyone's cup of tea, but I ask because when I personally see that, it assures me that my questions won't finally leave me entirely bereft. Or that you are forbidding me from believing anything at all. We've seen those who, like kites whose lines have been entirely cut, end up swallowed by the biggest tree on the block. I guess the question behind my question is this: your book allows believers to question. But would you also allow questioners to believe?