Billy Hybels Interviews Bono

Part 1

* * *

Part 2

Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

23 thoughts on “Billy Hybels Interviews Bono”

  1. Sorry, but I cannot finish this interview … getting a bit sick to my stomach … SINCE when is Bono an expert or source of knowledge on “Why the Church … ” or “Why the church leaders … ” ?

    Since when is Bono a spokesman for the churches or Church of God ?

    His message has some traction and reality, but where is there Christ in all this. The message of the Gospel (in word and deed) ?!? Has the Gospel become just helping your neighbor and social justice, forgetting that God-man who died of our sins on the tree ??!??

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have no idea what created this reaction of yours. Bono is kind of like a modern prophet, but certainly not a theologian, not does he pretend to be one. And, to me, he makes much more sense than most of those that proudly call themselves Christians.
      Where is Christ in all this? I think this is not a fair question.I bet I could find in anyone’s speeches 10 minutes of talk where they don’t mention Christ. That proves nothing.
      My impression is that, for a reason that I ignore, you are simply allergic to Bono, which makes you judge him unfairly. I may be wrong, but that is my impression. I hope I am wrong. And I do not pretend that we have to agree on this one.

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      1. I have to confess … “I have no idea what created this reaction of yours.” … MY reaction indeed, has been “off the cuff,” “knee-jerk” and much unprocessed.

        I guess I dispise or am dubious of the Growth Church Movement Bill Hybels is behind, and when someone comes across as not including the WHOLE GOSPEL (aka Word and Sacrament, with Word = Law & Gospel) I get … reactionary. Case in point … all the neo-Protestants on this board who forget or chose to ignore the 2nd half of the Gospel … the holy Sacraments (who have “razalit Credinta Crestina la minimum”) … Okay, I better stop here, before I vent out more “lozinci si porecle.”

        I totally agree with the Social Justice and Liberation Theology only when it is balanced by also pointing sinners to Jesus. Jesus did both: heal/help the needy and forgive their sins.

        Bono is write to say that the Church stood by during Apartheid and Segregated Deep South in the USA. BUT, if you look at the evidence, you will notice a few, or more than a few WHITE clergy and members standing side by side with their “colored” brothers and sisters in the fight for injustice.

        Maybe, I should stop here. Don’t want to bark on the wrong tree … since I do not know much about this tree (Bono).

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I agree with you to a large extend, yet, something makes me feel a bit unconfortable. I will explain in response to the other comment.

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    2. Gabriel,

      your reaction is so typical of this “theological” generation: ” but where is there Christ in all this ?”.

      Let me submit to you that first and foremost Christ is in Bono’s deeds.

      Well, he does mention Christ by name in this interview, he says Math 25 is the only place where Christ talks about judgment and that is a very correct, astute and relevant observation, but even that is besides the point whether or not he mentions Christ by name.

      Because in the words of my favorite Orthodox priest (and he is a full fledged “theologian” with PhD, professorship, many books and many students/disciples — I mention just to make you feel comfortable receiving his message) :

      “My dear friends, it’s not a matter of correct credal formulae. It’s not the Orthodox who will be saved because he knows the Nicene creed. It’s the Orthodox who does the will of God, the Catholic who does the will of God, the Evangelical who does the will of God, the Muslim who does the will of God, the Hindu who does the will of God, those will be saved BECAUSE — he shouts this connective — they do the will of God. ”

      And he adds “don’t be pumped up that you are Orthodox, because if you are the first in honor, you will be the first in judgment. Because you are Orthodox so much more is demanded of you.” (he also says that about the jews, those being the people who received the Word first)

      So coming back to Bono, he might be rebel and might be not pro “institutionalized churches”, and of course, this is an attitude that is not necessarily commendable or recommendable to other people, but the reality is that Bono DOES the will of God .

      And the other reality is that most insitutionalized churches, qua human institutions, may have trouble justifying that they indeed do the will of god in an adequate measure (and by that I mean that if their budget goes 1% to helping those in need and 50% to paying the phd in theology pastors or priests, then there is some doubt right there).

      That’s why Bono’s example ought to humble us, not infuriate us – no matter what we think of Bono’s theological qualifications.

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      1. @Costin,

        While I have to acknowledge that I did not finish or even reach the half point of the interview, I will only respond to your early notes.

        “Christ is in Bono’s deeds.”

        I TOTALLY disagree with this. As a lutheran (lay not theologian/clergy/schooled) this statement sounds too much like “works righteousness.” Maybe it is a bit simplistic for me to say this, but it is important to realize that WE are NOT able to do good in this world (active righteousness but not passive righteousness … two righteousness distinctions in Lutheran theological thought … http://www.lcms.org/pages/wPage.asp?ContentID=393&IssueID=26http://builtontruth.blogspot.com/2006/09/passive-vs-active-righteousness.html)

        We should be careful when making such assertions. I like the analogy, of God being the hand, and we are the glove on the hand. We walk in the works already prepared for us (Eph 2:5), but are not in any case by our works justified, or are able to convince others of their need for Christ (the work of the Holy Spirit). The Gospels tell us that men may glorify the Father as a result of our works. Humility is a major key in this arena, I suppose.

        I would recommend you Costin, to look into the wonderful
        # Theology of the Cross vs. Theology of Glory distinctions
        # Two Kingdoms distinctions
        # The Christian VOCATION (as developed by Dr. Luther).

        A good place to start is LCMS.org (and its rich database), Issues Etc., WorldviewEverlasting, or any other confessional lutheran sites.

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      2. What makes me feel uncomfortable is the feeling that you are using a sort of ideological filler (be that Luther’s filter) to interpret Bono.
        That is where I, as an Anglican differ from Lutherans. Ideological interpretations seem to me like straight jackets and I cannot stand them. That is why I refuse so vehemently fundamentalism.
        Anyway, I hope we can stay friends, even if we differ on these matters.

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    3. Since when does Bono speak for the Church or the church leaders ? was one of my questions.

      Check out this review of a new book “Everything You Know About Evangelicals Is Wrong (Well, Almost Everything); An Insider’s Look at Myths & Realities” (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2010), 224pp.

      QUOTE (to show how much of an ASS Bono just made of himself and his knowledge of Church leaders and Church involvement in society):

      “For instance, I learned that in the nineteenth century and earlier, before the modernist challenges to Christian orthodoxy, evangelicals were the main players in the struggles for equality and social justice. Anti-slavery movements, equal rights for women, education for blacks, and caring for the needy in your neighborhood were as much the evangelical norm as telling people about Jesus and the Good News. Did you know that:

      “…evangelicals founded Oberlin College in 1834, the first college in America that admitted both blacks and females as full students. Its first and foremost commitment was decidedly evangelical, ‘to make the conversion of sinners and the sanctification of Christians the paramount work.’ However, as the outgrowth of this commitment, the college was dedicated also to the cause of abolitionism and equality.” (p. 175)

      I find it interesting that evangelicals of that day and age found that their faith necessitated action consistent with it; the two forming a consistent whole. ”

      Bono´s two examples (segregated Deep South and apartheid South Africa) are but two examples that are not balanced by other examples, as shown in the quote above.

      Short-sighted vision/knowledge or ignorance of a larger picture, Mr. Bono?

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      1. I am afraid, Gabriel, you are expecting too much from a short discussion and you are unjust with Bono. It is your right not to like him, but at least you could try to be fair. Bono does not pretend to speak’ for the Church’ but ‘to the church’, which is a totally different matter. Anybody, including atheists, can speak TO the Church and the Church should better listen to these voices. It is he duty to do that, as a servant of all.

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      2. @Danut

        If this is correct, “Bono does not pretend to speak’ for the Church’ but ‘to the church’, which is a totally different matter.”
        than I stand corrected.

        To me Hybel came off, at the beginning, as asking Bono to speak ‘for’ the Church. My bad!

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  2. I am not an expert on who & what Bono believes, or what it means for him to be a Christian, and not my place ot judge him. But I cannot understand why he seems to push and promote “COEXIST” (symbol and message) … when the CROSS of Christ cannot Coexist with the Crescant moon of Mohamed, the New Age trends, and other world religions. Truth and Light destroys (spiritual sense) darkness, not mingles with it !!!

    Jesus Saves! We are sinners in need of His Grace and Mercy!

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    1. This talk is not about soteriology.
      The opposite to ‘coexistence’ is George Bush’s ‘crusading’. I hope you don;t want to get there. I don;t, enyway.
      Coexistence is good enough for me, to begin with.

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      1. I do not agree with Bush’s “crusading” philosophy also.

        WHen it comes to Coexistance, we may be talking about two different things:

        1) MY meaning/reading: the postmodern ethos that truth and morality is relevant.

        2) I get the feeling from your responses Danut (and this is not an attack or any ill will), that you are using the word “coexist” in the sense of … live peacefully side by side, don’t kill/exterminate each other.

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      2. I disagree with mainline postmodern idea that truth and morality does not matter, yet, I have a lot of sympathy to the utter suspicion towards grand narratives, because of their inherent oppressive potential.
        I also agree with postmodernity on the fact that we cannot pretend to be the dominant voice in society (Christendom is dead, thank goodness), but a voice among others of the market of idea. We cannot demand to be heard, but have to earn the right to be heard by sincere and selfless service.
        And, yes, by coexistence I mean total freedom to exist side by side. NOT TOLERANCE. This is a sub-Christian concept. rather, respect and appreciation, including the right to differ respectfully.

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      3. I disagree with mainline postmodern idea that truth and morality does not matter, yet, I have a lot of sympathy to the utter suspicion towards grand narratives, because of their inherent oppressive potential.
        I also agree with postmodernity on the fact that we cannot pretend to be the dominant voice in society (Christendom is dead, thank goodness), but a voice among others of the market of idea. We cannot demand to be heard, but have to earn the right to be heard by sincere and selfless service.
        And, yes, by coexistence I mean total freedom to exist side by side. NOT TOLERANCE. This is a sub-Christian concept. rather, respect and appreciation, including the right to differ respectfully.

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  3. What I get from these clips is that someone who is not a theologian can make more sense of what Imitatio Christi could be in the life of a Christian if he/she is not blinded by his/her own fears of loosing it in contact with others.

    PS. Sorry Dănuț for my late spamming. You can delete my links.

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  4. *Response for Gabriel, with apologies for not replying inline, it appears that wordpress website has a bug.

    On a general note, I welcome your trying to be helpful and pointing me to various theological resources 🙂

    Long time ago, I had a presbyterian friend who kindly confronted me with all the glorious doctrines of sovereignty, total depravity, the doctrines of justification and many “jocuri si jucarii pline de hazul si farmecul copilaresc”. For conformity let me badly translate “games and toys full of childish charm and candor” 🙂 In any case, I outgrew my “theological” phase, and certainly I have no desire to go back there. I try not to do polemics anymore, therefore I affirm only what (I perceive) is plain and obvious. Of course, I may be wrong more or less often.

    When I say that “Christ is in Bono’s work”, or even a pagan’s work for that matter, take Gandhi for example — blessed are the peacemaker (even when they are pagan ?) –, I do not imply what you have read, i.e. that somehow Bono’s making Christ (or the Holy spirit or what have you) a subordinate or some kind of tool, therefore denting the majesty or the sovereignty of God, the concepts that reformed people are so fond of.

    The phrase simply means that the glory of God is recognizable (i.e. it can be seen) in their works, they are doing the work of God. If it so pleases God to do his wondrous works through such unworthy instruments that we cannot possibly approve of, on a theological plane, then who are we to make comments about it ?

    Maybe this is on purpose, because we, the righteous believers, got so much puffed up, to the extent that God will show us His great and rich mercy by humbling us appropriately.

    So, please forgive me for the long blah, blah, blah, and have a blessed joyous advent season

    Costin

    P.S.
    “justification by works” is a non-subject. I never implied it in any way shape or form.

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