Bono on Law and Gospel

Well, actually, Karma vs. Gospel, which in Bono’s telling, basically amounts to the same thing:

The thing that keeps me on my knees is the difference between Grace and Karma. … 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. And yet, along comes this idea called Grace to upend all that. . . . 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. 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. … 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. It’s not our own good works that get us through the gates of Heaven.

This from an interview with rock journalist Michka Assayas, and collected in his book Bono in Conversation. If you google “bono grace karma” you’ll find a number of Christian media takes on this quote.

This entry was posted in Culture, Gospel, Law/Gospel Distinction, Quotes, The gospel. Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Bono on Law and Gospel

  1. stephy says:

    This is so beautiful I can hardly breathe.

  2. RubeRad says:

    If I were more clever, I’m sure I could come up with a witty response made out of a U2 lyric.

    Thanks for dropping in though!

  3. Zrim says:


    Did you ever think you’d say that about the waftings of an Outhouse?

    Stuff Christians Like is absolutely top drawer. You go, girl.

  4. Todd says:

    Can’t wait for his systematic theology to come out

  5. stephy says:

    Haha! Yes I adore this particular outhouse.

    Stuff Christian Culture Likes is quite different than Stuff Christians Like, or so I like to think! 🙂

  6. "Michael Mann" says:

    Rock stars shouldn’t do theology. Neither should “worship leaders.” I realize, of course, that I am comparing apples and oranges; rock stars typically do less harm than worship leaders.

    On another note, a Confessional Outhouse seems like a perfect place to hide from “Stuff Christian Culture Likes,” don’t you think? You’ve got some funny stuff there, Stephy.

  7. RubeRad says:

    Usually yes, but it’s nice when a rock star gets theology right. It doesn’t happen often!

  8. Bruce Settergren says:

    He, like almost all evangys, gets it half right. Where’s the active obedience? Just saying.

  9. Alex Garleb says:

    I’m stealing this for Fb…

  10. RubeRad says:

    Don’t get greedy — that’s probably as good as you’re gonna get from a catholic (and probably better than from most catholic theologians!)

  11. stephy says:

    I agree, it’s nice to hear that from anyone, even Bono.

  12. Zrim says:

    Stephy, I want to know what Bono thinks about purity rings/balls. I am hoping he agrees with me and that he’d no sooner take his daughter to a purity ball to prove her womanhood than his son to a cathouse to prove his malehood.

  13. stephy says:

    I’m pretty sure we know what Bono thinks about purity rings/balls, eh?
    I like to think I know what evangelicals think of Bono and also Catholics, see here if you’re bored.

  14. Zrim says:

    So if I have a man-crush on Bono does that make me an evangelical? But I am as skeptical about Catholicism as I am about evangelicalism, so probably not.

    And I suppose since we’re both not wild about purity balls he won’t be taking me to one anytime soon. Sigh.

  15. stephy says:

    One factor doesn’t damn you to evangelicalism or purity fanaticism or anything…heh. Almost everything I blog about is something I’ve willingly participated in at one time or another, except I can’t really have a man-crush, but I still have a crush on circa-1987 Bono.

  16. Zrim says:

    Fun fact: 1987 was the year “The Joshua Tree” was released. He spent so much time in the studio putting that album together he forget his wife’s birthday. He made up for it by writing “The Sweetest Thing” for her. It was originally the B-side track to “Where the Streets…” and was re-mixed for the for the U2 compilation album, “The Best of 1980-1990, in 1998.” I happen to think the original was much better and the re-mix is sort of gay. Still, writing a cool pop song is better than a purity ball.

    I can’t be sure, but I think that’s Ali Hewson in the video.

  17. stephy says:

    Yeah, it’s Ali in the video. I used to watch it just for the tiny momentary flashes of her because people said I looked like her and my little heart would damn near burst with longing.

  18. Zrim says:

    All my peeps say I resemble Jerry Seinfeld, in demeanor not in looks. (It’s probably true because George Costanza is my favorite character.) I wonder if Robin Williams could pull off Bono? Talk about hearts bursting, Lisa Hannigan causes mine to flutter. What isit about Irish musicians?

    What were we talking about in this thread?

  19. stephy says:

    I think we were talking about Bono’s balls or something.

  20. Rana says:

    if you ever do a re-run on comments the Bono and purity balls getz my vote.

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