you give yourself away

To me, there is something startlingly moving about this 60-voice Belgian girls choir (scroll down a bit) performing U2's "With Or Without You." You would think it would be a novelty act, but it leaves me feeling sort of like I do when a child reads the role of Pilate, or Peter's betrayal, in the Passion on Palm Sunday.


book stuff

A notice has come my way that resonate in Scarborough Ontario will offer an evening on "U2 in Theological Perspective" tomorrow March 31, featuring Robert Vagacs, author of Religious Nuts Political Fanatics. While we're on the topic of books, I'm looking forward to seeing the final version of the other new U2 'n' God book, One Step Closer by Christian Scharen, within the next few days. [Edit: ...of which you can read an excerpt here.]


Daily Life in a Homeless Shelter - Dylan

As someone who used to work in a homeless shelter, I have a soft spot for the blog Today at the Mission, whom I found because they link here. (I wish our Mission had had a cat named Impossible.) The host, [rhymes with kerouac], is working on a book of reflections using Bob Dylan and posts here on Slow Train Coming.


Make it three times stuck

Thanks to Lynne for pointing out to me in a comment her sermon using "Stuck in a Moment," linked here (it's a PDF).


Colorado Christian University - Ethos

Blog readers anywhere near Colorado Christian University might be interested in their late-March event "Ethos, a dialogue on faith and culture." I note Jeff Mallinson of CCU is speaking on the "How should Christians engage culture?" panel; he did one of the few thoroughly realistic reviews of Get Up Off Your Knees for the Journal of Religion and Popular Culture. (I was, at the time, so pleased to see a reviewer do anything other than gush merely because the book was about U2 that I wrote and thanked him.) The featured speaker is Barry Taylor, whose (co-authored) faith and pop culture book A Matrix of Meanings I found somewhat helpful if a bit uncritical and sweeping.


Occasio: In the City of Blinding Lights, part 1

Tim Neufeld weaves "City of Blinding Lights" into three reflections on a recent urban ministry immersion experience he led. Creative use of the song's images. (The link is to the first; follow along by clicking the navigation text at the top.)


Finding God in unexpected places | csmonitor.com

For folks who've been wondering what it's like, here's a fairly thorough review, or more of a profile of the contents, of Cathleen Falsani's The God Factor. In the interest of full disclosure, she was kind enough to send me a copy after I mentioned her book here. It's a unique window into a lot of well-known people's outlooks on religion; for people like me who can't help but do our theological thinking within a highly-developed structure that much greater minds than our own have spent centuries forming, it's interesting to see how many of the interviewees have sort of constructed their own theories. Bono, one of the obvious exceptions to that comment, has a chapter based on Falsani's well-known CT piece, but it does incorporate new material (including, to my surprise, some specific stuff about being raised Anglican -- which will, I guarantee any Anglicans reading this, make you flinch with knowing embarrassment.)


twice Stuck

Thanks to the person who got here searching for a sermon on "Stuck in a Moment," I found this 2003 effort from Lakeview Church -- it has quite brief citations of both "Stuck" and "Beautiful Day," with an overall theme of "moments." I also happened upon this more sustained reflection on the whole notion of stuckness in a "Single Minded" column at StudyLight.org.


Isaiah 58 stuff

There are a number of U2 sites covering the tour postponement, so as with most general news, I'm not going to do that here. Prayers are obviously in order. And while you're focusing outward, for any readers who may be interested, Jubilee USA offers a way to email World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz prior to the upcoming World Bank Board meeting. The hope is that they can be persuaded not to make all but 17 of the 42 countries promised debt cancellation at the G-8 in Gleneagles wait till mid-2007 for it.


Definitely somewhat off topic

So, in the spirituality and culture department, any Matisyahu fans out there? Anybody seen him live? I think "King Without a Crown" is pretty persuasive.



A U2 Sermons reader emailed a few months back to talk about social justice, the church, and the search for God. Now he writes to make a request that with his permission I'd like to share with you all:

In no small way your book, website, Steve Stockman and "Walk On," and the words and music of Paul Hewson, David Evans, Larry Mullen Jr. and Adam Clayton have brought me "home" to Jesus. I felt u2 were worshipful, "in this world, but not of it" and I found through your website a community of likeminded people who have essentially encouraged me to catalyze my faith through committing my life to Jesus. I am getting baptised soon and I wondered if you could keep me in your prayers.

Can we? I think we can.


Talk on U2 from last weekend

My U2 presentation on the 27th was recorded. I've put up an MP3 for download rather than strain the church's little server, in case anyone wants to hear it.

Pursuing God with U2 group in Winnipeg

Willowlake Baptist Church in Winnipeg, Manitoba will offer the 6-session U2 Bible study found in the back of Get Up Off Your Knees beginning March 5. PDF of the flyer is here.


a dog's life: Christians and Culture...

Gotta sympathize with this guy's reaction to parts of his recent "Attractive Apologetics: the points of contact with today's culture" workshop in Sydney.