Bono on religion

bono-07I’ve seen this in several places on the web, being talked about by several people. But in the unlikely event you haven’t seen it already, I present it here for your edification. This excerpt and all the ones I’ve seen online are from the book Bono: In Conversation with Michka Assayas. I assume that talk of belief and religion make up a fairly small part of the book. Nevertheless, it is an interesting part.

Here’s one exchange that I find particularly interesting (but you really need to read the whole thing):

Assayas: I think I am beginning to understand religion because I have started acting and thinking like a father. What do you make of that?

Bono: Yes, I think that’s normal. 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.

Assayas: I haven’t heard you talk about that.

Bono: I really believe we’ve moved out of the realm of Karma into one of Grace.

Assayas: Well, that doesn’t make it clearer for me.

Bono: You see, 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. It’s clear to me that Karma is at the very heart of the universe. I’m absolutely sure of it. And yet, along comes this idea called Grace to upend all that "as you reap, so you will sow" stuff. Grace defies reason and logic. 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.

Assayas: I’d be interested to hear that.

Bono: That’s between me and God. But I’d be in big trouble if Karma was going to finally be my judge. I’d be in deep s—. 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.

There’s plenty here, even in this little exchange not to mention the rest of the excerpt, to provoke thought about Bono’s personal faith and where he fits in the continuum of Christian belief (and isn’t that the whole point of reading other people talking about faith – to judge them based on how closely they mimic your own faith/walk?). I’m sure there are some evangelicals thrilled to hear that Bono is one of them (after all, he quotes C.S. Lewis, and what’s more evangelical than that? (I’m being ironic, by the way)), but I’m pretty sure he doesn’t fall into any easy category. But to his credit, whatever the details of his theology, he gives a clear defense of the basics of the gospel: that Jesus is the Son of God – God incarnate – and that he died to take the sins of the world, without bending or hedging.

August 1, 2013  Tags: , , , , ,   Posted in: culture, stuff to think about, theology

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