Thanks to my sister and F. Bil (future brother in-law), my wife and I got to go to the U2 concert in Philly on July 14. I have many thoughts, pictures, and reflections to share, and this post will be the first.
The show was great and, in a good way, exhausting. There was so much content beyond the music, and I found myself analyzing every bit of video, every factoid on the massive screen before the show, every partnering of song-choice, faith, hope, and activism. It was really, really great.
I’ll offer the cartoon below as my first bit of commentary.
I feel like I should say more, but I won’t. We can do that in the comments. Or when I get around to writing about the thin line between (oops, there I go. I said I wouldn’t say any more!)
3 thoughts on “Recovering Pietists In Good Company: One of Many Lessons from the U2 Concert”
First, I very much appreciated your latest post about giving. We need to confront the tension bound up in our preoccupation with our own “lifeSTYLE” at the expense of another’s “life.” Anyway, I also found this post about U2 and would very much like to hear more of your thoughts and see the conversation continue. I caught three shows from this last tour and still believe God has an anointing on this band, using them to kick up some the dust from the cute coffee table of popular culture.
Thanks so much for reading and sharing/engaging.
People look at me funny when I say this, but “No Line on the Horizon” is one of my absolute favorite albums. U2’s music and public life and activism are, for me, models of Christian engagement. From and artistic perspective, they’re like Sufjan Stevens and Flannery O’Connor: the art exists because the faith or the longing or the journey does, and we’re all blessed by sharing it.
The album does move with the weight of a planet spinning on an axis of faith. It’s interesting to behold how tides swell into new horizons. The lyricism and sonic-scapes make for a richly diverse place. And here the band invites an audience of cohabitants to explore our shared ecosystem’s political, social and spiritual extremes with an honesty and resolution which rivals the telescopic power of much of today’s popular Christian technology and theology. And maybe that’s the secret of how they move us toward engagement: seeing enough room for personal exploration, they also allow it. Perhaps this isn’t so different from the way Jesus sang to the masses, too. New songs typically begin with long-suffering and patience. At least on this planet.