"Van Diemen's Land" is a U2 song I've thought very little about, although I still remember a truly awful sermon using it (and I do mean "using") that was submitted in our book's call for papers. The video that has been circulating of its recent performance in an empty O2 arena brought the piece back to mind for the first time in some years, and out of nowhere it struck me how extremely N.T. Wright-like in its eschatology this couplet is:

A day will come in this dawning age
When an honest man earns an honest wage.

(Wait, you mean in the life of the age to come we'll still have to work? We'll find meaning and reward in our labor? We won't be sitting around on clouds playing harps?)

It almost sounds like one of those "corrected versions" of hymns N.T. Wright so often proffers from the pulpit, after the congregation has sung something like "When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation/and take me home, such joy shall fill my heart." Whereupon Wright cheerfully tells them they really ought instead to be singing "When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation/and heal this world...."

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