Bono on Jesus

Bono often surprises me. Sometimes he surprises me by being humble, or being sincere, or being candid.  But here he surprised me by being well-read.  In an interview with Michka Assays (his usual interviewer for book-length projects), he said this:

Assayas: 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: No, it’s not farfetched to me. 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.” And people say: No, no, please, just be a prophet. A prophet, we can take. You’re a bit eccentric. We’ve had John the Baptist eating locusts and wild honey, we can handle that. But don’t mention the “M” word! Because, you know, we’re gonna have to crucify you. And he goes: No, no. I know you’re expecting me to come back with an army, and set you free from these creeps, but actually I am the Messiah. At this point, everyone starts staring at their shoes, and says: Oh, my God, he’s gonna keep saying this. So what you’re left with is: either Christ was who He said He was the Messiah or a complete nutcase. I mean, we’re talking nutcase on the level of Charles Manson. This man was like some of the people we’ve been talking about earlier. This man was strapping himself to a bomb, and had “King of the Jews” on his head, and, as they were putting him up on the Cross, was going: OK, martyrdom, here we go. Bring on the pain! I can take it. I’m not joking here. 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.

Bono is clearly channeling C. S. Lewis here.  Some of Lewis’s own structure remains intact.  “But actually Christ doesn’t allow you that” is not so far off from Lewis’s “He hasn’t left us that option.”  But Bono has also made the old argument clearly his own, in the same way I heard him give a vulgar paraphrase of the Exodus at the G8 Summit in 2005.  Bono believes what he’s preaching.


8 responses to “Bono on Jesus

  1. Jesus does call Himself the teacher in Mathew 23:10 “And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ.” Jesus is a Prophet, Teacher, and the Messiah (the Annointed One – Filled with the Holy Spirit of God) and Savior. Jesus saves everyone that come to God through Him. He is the Son of God. Read Hebrews chapter 1.

  2. John 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the Resurrection, and the life: he that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.

  3. Right on Bono!

  4. Yes, Jesus said He was/is a teacher but He claims to be God also! And by the way, the empty tomb proves the resurrection and that all that He said about Himself is true.

  5. An empty tomb does not prove a resurrection. It shows that the body made it’s way out of there in one manner or another. We may never know how, but maybe his followers just stole it, or somebody else got rid of the body in secret.

    Humanity, in all our centuries of scientific observation, has accumulated literally no evidence of the supernatural from anywhere on earth. None. It has never been verified, but supernatural claims have been refuted countless times.

    The claim that an empty tomb proves Jesus rose from the dead is just indefensible. It’s much more reasonable to assume a naturalistic scenario.

    • Most apologists don’t find the empty tomb at all compelling by itself. Neither would the claims of many individuals to have seen and interacted with a resurrected Jesus. But if we grant each of those facts and have to come up with a single explanation to cover both, an actual resurrection is not an inelegant solution.

  6. Pingback: Bono, Jesus and Nutcases | Rescuing Jesus

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