Bono and Fanny Crosby

Patheos has an excerpt of a book featuring some of U2 lead-singer Bono’s reflections on Jesus and Christianity. I found this passage interesting.

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

Michka: 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.

Michka: 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.

I find this interesting because I’m a United Methodist who reads John Wesley and sings “Blessed Assurance” on a fairly regular basis. In those last few lines above, Bono appears to be hoping for assurance that what he believes about Jesus is in fact true. The old Methodist response would have been to seek, and ye shall find. Assurance will be given to any who ask for it and seek it with persistence.

I don’t think we really teach that any more. I am much more likely to hear a variation on Bono’s hope than Wesley’s assurance. I wonder if Bono has ever heard of Fanny Crosby.

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4 thoughts on “Bono and Fanny Crosby

  1. I don’t think he’s expressing a genuine lack of assurance so much as being pious in a postmodern way (well, I’m hoping it’s this way but you never can be sure…).

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