One Step Closer: Why U2 Matters to Those Seeking God

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Overview

U2 is widely hailed as the greatest rock and roll band in the world, and lead singer Bono is often seen in the media touting humanitarian goals. Now Christian Scharen provides a thoughtful look at the driving force behind the band.

Bono and other band members are marked by the Christian faith of their Irish backgrounds. Scharen reflects on how U2 "fits within the longer Christian tradition of voices that point us to the cross, to Jesus, and to ...

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One Step Closer: Why U2 Matters to Those Seeking God

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Overview

U2 is widely hailed as the greatest rock and roll band in the world, and lead singer Bono is often seen in the media touting humanitarian goals. Now Christian Scharen provides a thoughtful look at the driving force behind the band.

Bono and other band members are marked by the Christian faith of their Irish backgrounds. Scharen reflects on how U2 "fits within the longer Christian tradition of voices that point us to the cross, to Jesus, and to the power of God's ways in the world" as he explores the music's honest spiritual questioning.

Music lovers, pastors, and anyone on the path to God will value this book.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Perhaps the most popular and influential rock group to espouse Christian ideals without getting sidelined as "Christian rock" is the Irish band U2. Scharen (a Lutheran pastor and instructor of practical theology at Yale) points to the many biblical, theological and spiritual themes found in U2's lyrics to explain why this band "matters to those seeking God." And he does so elegantly, offering the heartfelt and intelligent musings of a fan while also acknowledging the band's wild and worldly bent. He admits U2's lyrics are multivalent, helping the band to attract both religious and nonreligious fans. Scharen is most impressed with U2's emphasis on "the theology of the cross," a theology that accepts both doubts and faith while emphasizing the victory of God's love over the reality of earthly powers. "Despite worldly trappings of wealth and power, in U2 love does get a chance to speak," says Scharen, who calls on Christians to ask themselves what is keeping U2's "God-hungry" fans outside the church's edges. This book will no doubt appeal to the Christian who is a U2 fan, but its higher purpose is to bring the church and U2 fans from a variety of backgrounds closer together. (Apr.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Scharen (associate director, Yale Ctr. for Faith and Culture; Public Worship and Public Work) has written an engaging treatment of the spiritual truths to be found in the music and life of the popular rock group U2. The practice of digging spirituality out of popular culture has a rather long history, stretching back at least to The Gospel According to Peanuts, and U2's heterodox Christianity should come as no surprise to the band's more careful listeners. But Scharen spells out the implicit rather gracefully, finding in U2 "powerful and moving and truthful music, sung in a way that both admits the limits of life and yet in word and deed gives a vision of something more." For most collections. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781587431692
  • Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/1/2006
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 1,043,490
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.44 (d)

Meet the Author

Christian Scharen (PhD, Emory University) teaches worship and contemporary culture at Luther Seminary and leads the research project on Learning Pastoral Imagination at Luther's Center for Faith and Life. He has authored a number of books, including Public Worship and Public Work. An ordained pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Scharen has served congregations in California, Georgia, and Connecticut.
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Table of Contents

Introduction : one step closer ... 9
1 Singing scripture 23
2 Psalms as thanksgiving and lament 29
3 Wisdom as desire and illusion 43
4 Prophecy as judgment and hope 57
5 Parables as offense and mercy 75
6 Apocalypse as ecstasy and healing 89
7 Singing the cross 107
8 Faith (not sight) 117
9 Hope (not possession) 129
10 Love (not power) 143
11 Now (not yet) 157
12 Singing the truth 173
Epilogue ... to knowing 191
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2006

    A must read for U2 fans and up and coming fans

    I couldn't put it down. I enjoyed this book very much. Much talk about the Bible and its stories. I listen to U2 songs in still another dimension after reading this book. I was driving down the highway with one of my Greatest Hits CD on, BAD came on and I cried, Streets came on and I cried more...fabulous book.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2010

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    Posted August 27, 2013

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