Bono in Conversation is a new book in which the U2 frontman waxes poetic about many topics, including Christianity. In one section, partially excerpted here by journalist Jeffrey Overstreet, Bono dons his Pope’s hat to talk about Karma and the importance of Grace:
It’s a mind-blowing concept that the God who created the Universe might be looking for company, a real relationship with people, but the thing that keeps me on my knees is the difference between Grace and Karma. . . .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 will you 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. . . .
I’d be in big trouble if Karma was going to finally be my judge. I’d be in deep sh-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 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.
Why is it that prominent pastors always stumble at the simplest Gospel presentation when given a large public audience (like on the Larry King show), but a foul-mouthed rock star can give an elaborate explanation of the scandal of Grace? Perhaps the question reveals the answer already.
Continue reading Overstreet’s excerpt. It’s obvious Bono has been reading his C.S. Lewis.