Well it’s done and posted. After much dilly-dallying and prevarication (see 7th Feb post), I’ve at last managed to get the Theology Network Introduction to the Cross written and rather extraordinarily, it has proved acceptable. So I hope it will be of some use to folks. If you would prefer a more printable version, here is the pdf.


It was a very good discipline for me to write – it forced me to shake off a few cobwebs and get something presentable. But most thrillingly, it gave me an opportunity (a.k.a. excuse) to quote (a.k.a. indulge in) one of my favourite theologians (a.k.a. idols):

I’d be in big trouble if Karma was going to finally be my judge. I’d be in deep s**t. 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 love the idea of the Sacrificial Lamb. I love the idea that God says, ‘Look, you cretins, there are certain results to the way we are, to selfishness, and there’s mortality as part of your very sinful nature, and let’s face it, you’re not living a very good life, are you? There are consequences to actions.’ The point of the death of Christ is that Christ took on the sins of the world, so that what we put out did not come back to us, and that our sinful nature does not reap the obvious death. That’s the point. It should keep us humbled. It’s not our own good works that get us through the gates of heaven.

That was of course Bono, from his conversations with Michka Assayas (Bono on Bono, Hodder & Stoughton, London, 2005, p204)


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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Emma

    Hi Mark

    Interesting quote from Bono, I was quite suprised by it’s Christ-centredness given his statements about Judaism, Christianinty and Islam being one at the Vertigo tour concerts (or maybe I got the wrong end of the stick). Does he ever go so far as to say explicitly Christ is the only way? Perhaps I should read the book…

  2. markmeynell

    I know, Emma – I have wondered about precisely the same thing. His ‘Coexist’ thing is interesting – at one level, it is simply saying what is true – in that all 3 are the Abrahamic, monotheistic faiths – and that it is a terrible indictment on all that there is so much violence between them, in the name of religion. As Bono is so committed to a pacificism that would find that abhorrent (and rightly so), i suspect that that is the primary motivation behind his statements. It’s hard to know how much further he wants or expects it to be taken – but then, it is ambiguous which is probably the point. If he weren’t, the message perhaps wouldn’t be heard by anyone (not that it necessarily can or would make that big an impact on the Middle East anyway). Does that help?

  3. Emma

    Yes I think so, it would fit with stuff I’ve read in the past about him wanting U2 to be a band with christians in rather than a Christian band, and with the pacificism as you say.

    After all I suppose the co-exist stuff sits well with his comments on the Northern ireland situation. In the speech in Rattle and Hum about the remembrance day bomb, again he was making the bigger point about catholicism and protestantism living peacefully together rather than them both being the same thing, or at least he wasn’t commenting on the rights or wrongs of the religions, more on the wrongs of the situation. Which given his position as a musician is probably a safe way to go-I know they got targeted by republican terrorists for the Rattle and Hum stuff.

    Also I’d forgotten this, but he is the product of a mixed marriage, so maybe that tension forms part of his ambivalence.

    Thank you- at any rate it made me think!!

  4. Emma

    Ooh but overall cool that he gets it and explains it pretty well too!!

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