If I step on and smash an acorn, have I killed an oak tree? If I answer yes, I’m implying that the acorn has the full capacity and possesses all of the attributes necessary to one day become an oak tree. In its present form, it would be correct to say that the acorn is in a latent (not fully realized) capacity status. The human heart also has (admittedly metaphysical) latent capacities – capacities for both God-shaped goodness and unspeakable evil. Usually, much of this unrealized potential stays unrealized. Few of us act on every good or evil impulse. However,…
This is a clip from a longer interview on The Meaning of Life with Gay Byrne, an Irish program on RTÉ Television (ht, AP). Much of what Bono says here overlaps portions of the book Bono: In Conversation With Michka Assayas that we’ve highlighted in the past. Bono seems to be in something of a league of his own as such a huge rockstar who is so open with his (solid) Christian faith, and he is articulate about it to boot. Watch the whole interview here.
By the way, did you happen to catch the amazing/dizzying U2 performance of “Invisible” on the roof of 30 Rock on the premier episode of The Tonight Show Staring Jimmy Fallon? Their acoustic set of “Ordinary Love” was pretty mesmerizing, too. Some worthy lyrics here:
‘Cause we can’t fall any further
If we can’t feel ordinary love
And we cannot reach any higher
If we can’t deal with ordinary love
Are we tough enough
For ordinary love
Reviewing Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark without having seen the production is a bit like reviewing The Pale King. There are plenty of comments you can make, but nothing you can really say. It’s all conjecture. You can talk about the creators, their significance and ambition, but that’s about it. Song lyrics probably shouldn’t be considered outside of their musical settings, and showtunes can’t be evaluated (or even experienced) apart from their choreography. Yet here we are.
Doubtless you’re aware that the score for the show was written by Bono and The Edge – as they themselves have joked, “We used…
Lest all the anti-New-Years-resolutions sentiment come across as pure party-poopery, I give you four songs in keeping with the holiday, two of which are downright joyful:
1. The best of all-time, without question – sorry, Bono – is The Zombies’ “This Will Be Our Year”, covered here by The Avett Brothers:
2. I didn’t think it was possible, but Slaid Cleaves’ prayerful (and considerably more Mbird-friendly) “One Good Year” gives The Zombies a run for their money, sort of the peccator to their justus:
3. Let’s face it though – the aforementioned “New Years Day” from U2 is pretty darn great. Great…
A moving editorial by Bono in yesterday’s NY Times about the remarkable events that took place in Ireland last week. I’m not sure ‘grace’ is the right word, but Cameron’s humility was certainly disarming, in the most important sense. From all appearances it was one of those all-too-rare moments of public life, an instance of genuine surrender and supplication that borders on repentance. And though I would be interested to hear from the Ulstermen themselves, Bono’s note of hard-won optimism strikes me as appropriate and even a little resurrection-like (ht SN):
“What happened should never ever have happened,” said the new…
Talk about jealousy – our friend Nathan was among those fortunate enough to score tickets to U2′s much-anticipated gig in NYC last night, and he sent us the following report. [To read Aaron Zimmerman's excellent 4-part series on the spiritual history of the band, click here, here, here and here.]
“We’ve got a spaceship,” Bono said in reference to the massive staging above his head in the center of the stadium, “but we’re not going anywhere without you.”
He didn’t just invite the audience on his otherworldly journey, he also invited Someone Else: at the end of the first song, “Breathe”, he…
PART 4: SAVED BY GRACE
Back in May, Mockingbird began a series examining the intersection of the lives, the faith, and the music of the members of U2. You can read the earlier posts here, here, and here.
The series was born out of the observation that the personal journey of the band—in particular that of Bono, and to a lesser extent, The Edge—traces a narrative arc that is mirrored in the lives of so many Christians. That is, some crisis in our lives turns us into seekers, people looking for love or mercy (ultimately, a quest for a gracious God). Then,…
Part 3: Sinners
Our four-part series on U2′s spiritual journey continues with a look at how the band dealt with the failure of their early aggressive form of Christianity. As we saw last time, their spiritual seeking had led them to a deep faith in Jesus. But it was in the context of an extremely legalistic community. They could not reconcile the grace they saw in Jesus with the rules-based living this community sought to enforce.
You can hear a lot of the ensuing doubt in the 1987 classic album, The Joshua Tree, especially in the super-obviously-titled, “I Still Haven’t Found What…
Part 2: Saints
Our look at U2′s spiritual journey continues. In the first installment, I looked at the pain Bono suffered as a young man desperate for his father’s approval. This need for acceptance, along with the death of his mother, made Bono a spiritual seeker from an early age. In 1976, Bono–along with Edge and Larry Mullen–became a born-again Christian.
These three members of U2 became part of a Christian community called Shalom. It was a serious group. That’s why I call these guys “saints” during this phase. Shalom had weekly Bible studies, prayer meetings, and the like. They were working…
Part 1: Seekers
Everyone knows that Bono, lead singer for U2, is an outspoken Christian. But do you know the story behind the band’s faith? Bono, Larry Mullen (drums), and Edge (guitar), were all members of a Christian community in Dublin called Shalom in the late 1970s and early 1980s. While in high school, they had all had deep conversion experiences of the “born again” variety. (Bob Dylan was doing the same thing in LA at the time, by the way.) Their faith deeply informed their early work—songs like “Gloria,” “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and “40″ (see an amazing 1983 live performance…