As I was browsing in the Cathedral bookstore last week, Raewynne Whiteley brought to my attention a new book she has co-edited, Get Up Off Your Knees; Preaching the U2 Catalogue. I bought a copy (and got Raewynne to sign it, of course!).
Here's an excerpt from the foreword by Eugene Peterson, Professor Emeritus, Regent College, Vancouver;
...it comes as no surprise that substantial elements of the Christian church have responded to U2 with something less than enthusiasm, responses ranging from wary detachment to condenscension to outright rejection. For even though three members of the band are candid and unqualified in their witness as followers of Jesus Christ, they have little patience with media-driven aspects of the Christian religion and a church and culture that shows little concern for justice and poverty and sickness, especially the out of control epidemic of AIDS in Africa. In every age, religion has served as a convenient cover among an astonishing number of people for cozy self-righteousness and a judgmental rejection of suffering sinners. Prophetic voices that challenge the people of God to live "in accordance with the scriptures," scriptures that are especially vocal about care for the poor, the suffering, and the disreputable, have never received cordial treatment from people who use religion to cocoon themselves from reality.
Royalties go to The AIDS Support Organization (TASO) in Uganda.
I went out and got their older Best Of album to play on the way home today. Great stuff...and indeed a prophetic voice . Buy the book!