Bono on the Cover of the New Rolling Stone

Thanks to Josh Hurst for bringing THIS to my attention.

As is so often the case, Bono gets in some quotable stuff about his faith.

Do you pray or have any religious practices?

I try to take time out of every day, in prayer and meditation. I feel as at home in a Catholic cathedral as in a revival tent. I also have enormous respect for my friends who are atheists, most of whom are, and the courage it takes not to believe.

How big an influence is the Bible on your songwriting? How much do you draw on its imagery, its ideas?

It sustains me.

As a belief, or as a literary thing?

As a belief. These are hard subjects to talk about because you can sound like such a dickhead. I’m the sort of character who’s got to have an anchor. I want to be around immovable objects. I want to build my house on a rock, because even if the waters are not high around the house, I’m going to bring back a storm. I have that in me. So it’s sort of underpinning for me.

I don’t read it as a historical book. I don’t read it as, “Well, that’s good advice.” I let it speak to me in other ways. They call it the rhema. It’s a hard word to translate from Greek, but it sort of means it changes in the moment you’re in. It seems to do that for me.

You’re saying it’s a living thing?

It’s a plumb line for me. In the Scriptures, it is self-described as a clear pool that you can see yourself in, to see where you’re at, if you’re still enough. I’m writing a poem at the moment called “The Pilgrim and His Lack of Progress.” I’m not sure I’m the best advertisement for this stuff.

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet has two passions: writing fiction, and celebrating art — music, cinema, photography, literature — through writing and teaching. He is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” — Through a Screen Darkly. And his four-novel fantasy series, The Auralia Thread, which begins with Auralia's Colors, was published by Random House. He speaks at universities and conferences around the world about understanding art through eyes of faith. He is earning his MFA in Creative Writing at Seattle Pacific University, where he has worked for 11 years as an editor, writer, and communications project manager. His work has been recognized in The New Yorker, TIME, The Seattle Times, IMAGE, Ravi Zacharias International — and Christianity Today, where he served as a film journalist for more than a decade. He recently began a weekly column called "Listening Closer" for Christ and Pop Culture.

  • LifeAfterChurch

    “and the courage it takes not to believe”

    What? You don’t believe in God? Wow… you’re pretty cool in my book.

    Now I’m taking it that way because he’s saying the respect he has for him and other things in the interview. Otherwise it could totally be something like, “It must take a lot of courage to not care if you’re going to somewhere like hell, some plain darkness, turn in to a cat and to take some sort of action about it.”

  • mark

    I’m sure I am just too dense to get it, but it sounds like he is saying the Bible is necessary for him however it might not be for everyone?

  • Beth

    As usual since sometime after ATYCLB, even more revealing than the “official religious section” of the interview is how he can’t stop theologizing and citing Scripture in response to topics that most people would assume have nothing to do with God. I love his section in the Achtung Baby discussion on not compartmentalizing your faith, and his description of pestering God until God gives in and says “OK, you can have the anointing.” Reading an interview with Bono these days reminds me of some of my favorite parts of life as a pastor — just getting to admire the lifelong work of God in an ordinary, messy human soul who nevertheless, somewhere back there, left the door open to grace. (And speaking of grace, also love Jann Wenner’s closing coup, getting Bono to answer “have you found what you’re looking for?”

  • The Cubicle Reverend

    I am beginning to think more and more that I have taken Bono for granted. There is definately a lot more to him than meets the eye. He isn’t the usual musician / actor or whatever constantly blathering stupidly on a political that they do not know what they are talking about. It seems he has actually put a lot of thought and time into what he believes.