Monday, May 09, 2005


Bono Rocks

I’ve often wondered about the spiritual beliefs of the charismatic lead singer of U2. Well, it now seems much of that mystery has been cleared up by the superstar himself in the new book, Bono: In Conversation with Michka Assayas.

I stumbled upon several excerpts from the book posted by Michael from Kicking at the Darkness. (Hat tip: U2 Sermons)

Now, I know there are some haters out there, and I too have grown weary at times of Bono's self indulgent attitude and in-your-face political rants. But he also has a whole lot of smart and interesting things to say. And, as I suspected, Bono gets it right on the things that matter most. Here’s a sampling:

Assayas: Christ has his rank among the world’s great thinkers. But Son of God, isn’t that farfetched?

Bono: No, it’s not farfetched to me. Look the secular response to the Christ story always goes like this: he was a great prophet, obviously a very interesting guy, had a lot to say along the lines of other great prophets, be they Elijah, Muhammad, Buddha, or Confucius. But actually Christ doesn’t allow you that. He doesn’t let you off that hook.

Christ says: No. I’m not saying I’m a teacher, don’t call me teacher. I’m not saying I’m a prophet. I’m saying: “I’m the Messiah.” I’m saying: “I’m God incarnate.” And people say: No, no please, just be a prophet. A prophet we can take. You’re a bit eccentric. We’ve had John the baptist eating locusts and wild honey, we can handle that. But don’t mention the “M” word! Because, you know, we’re gonna have to crucify you.

And He goes: No, no. I know you’re expecting me to come back with an army, and set you free from these creeps, but actually I’m the Messiah. At this point, everyone starts staring at their shoes, and says: Oh, my God, he’s gonna keep saying this. So what you’re left with is: either Christ was who He said He is- the Messiah- or a complete nutcase. I mean, we’re talking nutcase on the level of Charles Manson. This man was like some of the people we’ve been talking about earlier (Islamic fundamentalists).

This man was strapping himself to a bomb, and had “King of the Jews” on his head, and, as they were putting him up on the Cross, was going: Ok, martyrdom, here we go. Bring on the pain! I can take it. I’m not joking here. The idea that the entire course of civilization for over a half of the globe could have its fate changed and turned upside-down by a nut case, for me, that’s farfetched… (204-205)

Did you catch that? Bono is co-opting C.S. Lewis’s "Liar, Lunatic, or Lord" argument from Mere Christianity. This is truly music to my ears. Preach on, Bono. I Will Follow.

He loves that argument. (and Lewis in general: MacPhisto and the Screwtape letters, e.g.) He uses it in interviews way back, and also in a 1995 book caled Race of Angels which , until this one came out, was the most explicitly revealing about U2's Christian foundations.
Thanks for the link man. Rock On!
Chad - great post.
On a more personal note - could you email me as I want to contact you. My email addy is at the top of my blog. Thanks.
Sorry - I should have explained - I don't have your email address anymore.
I'm interested to read more of this book. The completely unexpected alliance of my favorite author and one of my favorite bands is really cool.
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