Reza Aslan, author of "Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth," became an Internet hero last week for his deadpan demeanor and nerves of steel while responding to a Fox News anchor's barrage of questions about why he, a practicing Muslim, would be interested in writing a book about Jesus. The anchor was seemingly unaware of his status as a top religious scholar, as Aslan has degrees in Religions from three universities, including Harvard, and is a New Testament expert.
In addition to his religious credentials, he also has a great sense of humor, as we all saw during his cringe-inducing interview, where he had to repeatedly explain his expertise to Fox News religion correspondent Lauren Green.
All the controversy seems to be helping as Zealot has reached No. 1 on Amazon.
The author further endeared himself to the Internet during a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" on Monday, where he provided the punchline for a joke about what happens when Jesus and Muhammad walk into a bar.
Aslan also shared his thoughts on Pope Francis, recently in the news for his open-minded remarks about gay priests, which have been hailed by many as indicative of a sea change in the Church's attitude towards homosexuality.
Aslan had the opportunity to address the topic of his own personal faith in a more nuanced way on Reddit, talking about the truths that are available in all religions.
The level of discussion was far more enlightened and informative on the popular Internet forum than it was on Fox News, which Aslan also addressed.
Aslan 1, Fox News 0.