Did Bono become a Calvinist?

U2 360° tour by Massygo

U2 360° tour by Massygo
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I show my age when I say I’m a U2 fan.  I like their biblical imagery, but their tunes got me well before I detected any Christian underpinning to their lyric.

I only just got around to their last album, ‘No Line on the Horizon’.  My favourite song at the moment is ‘Moment of Surrender’.  It’s on repeat whenever Ally’s not around.  I love the tune.  But I also like the lyric, and a couple of the lines got me thinking.

One of the lines is ‘It’s not if I believe in Love … If love believes in me’.  It sounds pretty Calvinist to me – God at the centre, rather than us at the centre.

In U2 lyrics, you can often replace ‘Love’ with ‘God’ or with ‘Jesus’ and it makes good sense.  ’Love rescue me’, ‘I have a lover, a lover like no other’  (from The First Time), ‘When love comes to town’, etc.

So I wonder if this line is as close as you’ll get to hearing a mainstream artist making a Calvinist profession.  It’s quite similar to this from the apostle Paul: ‘But now that you know God – or rather are known by God…..’  God’s knowledge and beliefs about us are more important and fundamental than ours about him.

The other line that caught my attention from the song was ‘At the moment of surrender of vision over visibility’.  It reminds me of the biblical descriptions of hope and faith: ‘But hope that is seen is no hope at all’ and ‘faith is being certain of what we do not see’.

Any others out there who contemplate U2 lyrics from time to time?

3 Comments to “Did Bono become a Calvinist?”

  1. Phillip Zamagias says:

    Definitely with you on that one Mike. I often fear that critics of U2 have not actually listened carefully to what is said. Having been to three U2 concerts now, I am convinced that their faith is real and a blessing to many. Finishing off a concert with everyone singing the refrain (How long?) from Psalm 40 is deeply moving experience. But for me, some of the most powerful lyrics are in ‘Walk On’; You’re packing a suitcase for a place none of us has been, A place that has to be believed to be seen’.
    Follow that up with ‘One’ and then ‘Where the streets have no name’ and who needs drugs?

  2. Manley Beasley says:

    I’ve been thinking the same thing. Look at the 2nd verse from the song Magnificent from the same album.

    I was born I was born to sing for you 

    I didn’t have a choice but to lift you up 
    And sing whatever song you wanted me to
    I give you back my voice 
    From the womb my first cry,
    it was a joyful noise …

  3. Hi Manley, Nice example. I’ve been listening to the album a lot lately

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