Theology, Humor Must Co-exist

I once heard Dr. Stanley Hauerwas, esteemed professor at Duke University, say the following: “I think it’s probably true that you shouldn’t trust a theologian who doesn’t have a good sense of humor. Theology and humor must co-exist.”

In that light I decided to sit down with my friend and colleague in ministry, the Rev. Aaron Billard, a minister in the United Church of Canada who runs a Twitter and Facebook presence like none other. Unvirtuous Abbey has over 44,000 likes on its Facebook page, and over 32,000 followers on Twitter. Aaron is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to theological humor.

Screen Shot 2015-10-23 at 11.53.56 AMRight out of the gate I asked Billard about the intersection of theological thought, humor, and why he created the successful presence on social media.

“The reason for creating the Twitter account and Facebook page was precisely because the prayers I saw on social media were so heavy, prayer book kind of prayers: ‘Have mercy on us, O Lord, as we rise to greet thee.’ In my reality, when I’m on social media, I’m stressed out because my kids won’t cooperate when I’m trying to get them dressed for the day. Which leads to a prayer like this one: ‘For parents trying to dress a toddler but instead feel like they are landing a twenty pound marlin, then putting pants on it while it’s flopping around in the boat, we pray,'” he said.

The rest of the interview is available through the Statesville Record & Landmark.

The Rev. Rob Lee is a Statesville native and student at Duke Divinity School.

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