For you rabid U2 fans, I thought you might be interested in an interview with Bono appearing on the Christianity Today website. The interview appears under the title â€œBono: Grace over Karma.â€ Among other things, Bono is able to articulate a fairly clear profession of faith in Christ.
â€œI’m holding out that Jesus took my sins onto the Cross, because I know who I am, and I hope I don’t have to depend on my own religiosity . . . I love the idea of the Sacrificial Lamb. I love the idea that God says: Look, you cretins, there are certain results to the way we are, to selfishness, and there’s a mortality as part of your very sinful nature, and, let’s face it, you’re not living a very good life, are you? There are consequences to actions. The point of the death of Christ is that Christ took on the sins of the world, so that what we put out did not come back to us, and that our sinful nature does not reap the obvious death. That’s the point. It should keep us humbledâ€¦ . It’s not our own good works that get us through the gates of heaven.â€
I donâ€™t know much about Bonoâ€™s religious commitments or how his definition of terms may vary from that of the typical North American Evangelical. But at first blush, this isnâ€™t too shabby.
The interviewer (who is a skeptic, to say the least) goes on to ask: â€œChrist has his rank among the world’s great thinkers. But Son of God, isn’t that farfetched?â€ Bono responds:
â€œNo, 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: â€˜I’m the Messiah.â€™ I’m saying: â€˜I am God incarnate.â€™ . . . So what you’re left with is: either Christ was who He said He wasâ€”the Messiahâ€”or a complete nutcase . . . The idea that the entire course of civilization for over half of the globe could have its fate changed and turned upside-down by a nutcase, for me, that’s farfetched . . .â€
Here, Bono sounds as if heâ€™s been reading C. S. Lewisâ€™ â€œLord, Liar, or Lunaticâ€ trilemma. Whatever the case, I have to give Bono credit for giving such a thoughtful answer.
Notwithstanding his apparent misunderstanding of the relationship of the Old Testament to the New, the entire interview was a pleasant surprise.
Great response from a world-known celebrity.
Glad to see an orthodox response. My next question would be, “What role does faith/repentance play in salvation?”
Sounds like Bono has “found what he’s looking for….”
“As you enter this life,
I pray you’ll depart
with a wrinkled face
and a brand new heart…”
(Bono, “Love and Peace,” on “How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb”)
And I get to see them in October!!!
I am impressed, that is the most directly I have ever heard him speak to the gospel and describe who he knows Christ to be. But to fully assuage my suspitions, I would like to hear what he has to say about the exclusivity of the gospel.
Lewis’ quote was exactly what popped into my head when I read him say lunatic…very nice.
There is plenty of ambiguity in trying to interpret Bono’s various lyrics over the years, so take this with a grain of salt.
Some friends who are seminary-trained theological studs, evangelical in their commitments and huge Bono fans tell me that this song, “Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” is about the kingdom of God come in its fullness. Because he is a Christ-follower he can sing all those things about the blessings of faith, and then say, “You know I believe it…but I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.” In this interpretation, Bono has been found by Jesus but Bono correctly waits the coming of the Kingdom in its fullness. Now the world groans and Bono CAN’T have found what God has planned for us when He finally makes all things new.
Thanks for your comments….I actually was being sarcastically funny….odd how that humor falls short sometimes….