U2: Rock ‘n’ Roll to Change the World

U2: Rock ’n’ Roll to Change the World is a comprehensive exploration of how one of the most successful bands in the history of rock music has both influenced culture and, conversely, been shaped by the milieu it inhabits, revealing an exciting interplay of artistic expression and social engagement. The book tracks the youthful idealism of four adolescents barely able …

DACA and FPU: an ongoing conversation

The following is a recap of posts related to a request I helped co-auther asking Fresno Pacific University to become a sanctuary campus for our undocumented students.   Published December 11 on Facebook There’s been a lot of talk about undocumented students, immigration and a request to become a sanctuary campus at FPU. Though the request was denied by administration …

Bono endorses a book, Edge buddies up with dolphins: the Richard Rohr conncetion

It wasn’t too long ago that we saw Bono sitting down with author, pastor and Bible translator Eugene Peterson. In that interview we heard of the lead singer’s love for Psalms and listened in as he and the seasoned theologian discussed the intersection of faith and art. Bono has praised Peterson publicly and used his version of the Bible, The …

Reflecting on October: 35 years of hope and faith

Five years ago, I wrote a piece for www.atu2.com about the 30th anniversary of U2’s album October. Upon its release, the record wasn’t received well by critics, but it has been meaningful and enduring for many fans. It’s spiritual themes, reflecting the Christian commune that Bono, Edge and Larry were a part of, convey a hopeful, optimistic message, demonstrating the “anti-cynic” …

U2 vs Trump: five things to consider

U2 have certainly been making news the last couple of weeks. Check out just a few of the headlines: U2’s Bono says Trump threat to ‘American Dream’ –Washington Examiner U2 Blast Donald Trump During San Francisco Show –RollingStone.com Bono conducts angry ‘face-off’ with Donald Trump during U2 show –Irish Examiner Bono: Trump ‘hijacked’ the Republican Party, could ‘destroy’ America – …

Happy Anniversary to Bono and Ali! (With a New Song)

It’s infectious. The joy. The celebration. I tried to sleep last night, but the new lyric only got louder in my tired brain. Evidently, the crowd in Bergen, Norway, felt the same on August 20 when DJ Kygo premiered the new song, introducing it as a collaboration between him and U2, and calling it “You’re the Best Thing About Me.” …

Bono’s Message To Willow Creek

In a brief recorded message, Bono made an appearance at Willow Creek Community Church near the end of the 5:30 p.m. worship service on Saturday. The church, located in the south suburbs of Chicago, was wrapping up its “Celebration of Hope,” an annual series challenging members to think theologically and practically about social justice issues. Earlier in the service, filmmaker Richard …

The Cross in Prince and U2

March 1987. That was the month two pop records were released—albums that eventually gained iconic 1980s status. It might have been a well-timed conspiracy, or it was more likely a reaction to the era, but both reflected an unsettled view of America. Prince’s Sign ☮ the Times (intended to read “Sign ‘O The Times” using a peace sign) came out …

Reflections on Charleston: the example of Armenian reconciliation

“We have come here to apologize for what our ancestors did, to ask for your forgiveness.” “We plead with you, if you can, to forgive us and the crimes of our forefathers.” These are just two of the acknowledgments made by Turk representatives last April at the Armenian Genocide Memorial in Yerevan, Armenia, marking the 100th anniversary of the genocide …

U2 and Social Justice: a non-traditional witness

On June 5, 2015, I delivered the closing address for a gathering of the North American Association of Christians in Social Work (California chapter) at Fresno Pacific University. In my talk, “Social Justice and Pop Culture: U2 as a non-traditional Christian voice,” I suggest the thesis that “U2 models a non-traditional Christian witness by engaging the world — especially in …