Upper Left Coast

Thoughts on politics, faith, sports and other random topics from a red state sympathizer in indigo-blue Portland, Oregon.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

A remarkable interview with Bono

A new book of interviews with rockstar Bono from U2 includes a remarkable conversation about the singer's faith. The book is called "Bono: In Conversation with Michka Assayas," and the interview in question is recounted in an article on the World Magazine website.

Here are a few morsels (any ellipses are from the World article):
"It's a mind-blowing concept that the God who created the Universe might be looking for company, a real relationship with people, but the thing that keeps me on my knees is the difference between Grace and Karma.

"At the center of all religions is the idea of Karma. You know, what you put out comes back to you: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, or in physics — in physical laws — every action is met by an equal or an opposite one. And yet, along comes this idea called Grace to upend all that . . . Love interrupts, if you like, the consequences of your actions, which in my case is very good news indeed, because I've done a lot of stupid stuff."

Those "stupid" things, Bono goes on to say, are "between me and God. But I'd be in big trouble if Karma was going to finally be my judge. It doesn't excuse my mistakes, but I'm holding out for Grace. I'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.

"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. It's not our own good works that get us through the gates of Heaven.

At this point, Assayas comments: "That's a great idea, no denying it. Such great hope is wonderful, even though it's close to lunacy, in my view. Christ has His rank among the world's great thinkers. But Son of God, isn't that farfetched?"

Bono's response:
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 am God incarnate.' . . . So what you're left with is either Christ was who He said He was — the Messiah — 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.


  • At 8/03/2005 1:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    He talks about his faith the whole book - he almost can't talk about anything else.

  • At 8/04/2005 10:03 AM, Blogger Ken said…

    And your point is?

  • At 8/07/2005 1:45 PM, Anonymous Lee said…

    I've seen this floating around the Internet for a while, but it certainly is interesting how people take this. Some people simply ignore it. Others lambaste him. Bono is after all just a rock star; what do musicians know about the nature of reality anyway?!? *winks* Still, it's the response from Christians that I find most remarkable. We're so used to the big stars being "progressive" in their views, that, when one of them utters something that is even slightly sympathetic to Biblical Christianity, we tend to jump on it. This of course is no criticism of you Ken (or anyone else who posts on this), rather it is a sad commentary on the state of the marketplace of ideas in our culture.


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