Bono & CS Lewis

Since this is all promotional I do not think Bruce Edwards will mind my reposting this. From Further Up & Further In.

U2 - The hype and the feedback

Coming May 13-15, 2009, NYC will be the grand venue for a terrific academic conference sponsored by Cedarville University focused on the music, work and influence of U2: U2: The Hype and the Feedback. (You may have noticed the info box on the right menu that has been posted since October.) Registration info may be found at the site.

Many readers of this blog will be aware of Bono’s affection for C. S. Lewis, and how Lewis has influenced his theological commitments. You hear the echo of Lewis’s trilemma here from the book, Bono in Conversation, distinguishing “karma” from “grace,”

which, Bono declares, is a “mind blowing concept…that keeps me on my knees.” “At the center of all religions” Bono tells his skeptical interviewer, “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,” he says, “along comes this idea called Grace to upend all that…. 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.”

Later in the interview, Bono says, “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”, he says, “Christ doesn’t allow you that. He doesn’t let you off that hook.”

“Christ says, No,” Bono continues. “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.”

Join hundreds of U2 fans, academics, culture bearers and culture critics, at what seems to me to be the perfect marriage of scholarship, spiritual devotion, and hard-headed analysis. And it may just be a fun place to meet and talk about “mere Christian” topics of all sorts. I hope to attend, and, if selected for a panel, would plan to address the topic of Bono’s transformative Christian rhetoric about Africa and Africans.

U2, Bono, C. S. Lewis, NYC — May 13-15, 2009

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