Bono's advice to young Christian artists: 'I want to hear raw honesty'
The rock icon and U2 front man Bono has urged young Christian artists to be 'brutally honest' as he reflected on the spiritual wisdom of the psalms.
In an extended conversation with Fuller studio, a branch of Fuller Theological Seminary, Bono reflected on how the psalms of the Old Testament have influenced his life.
In five videos that record Bono's conversation with Fuller Texas professor of theology and culture David O Taylor, he offers advice to young Christian artists.
'I would really like this conversation to unlock some artists,' he said. 'Because I think there are trapped artists and I'd like them to be untrapped.'
Bono urges raw honesty from Christian artists: 'I want to hear a song about the breakdown in your marriage, I want to hear songs of justice, I want to hear rage at injustice and I want to hear a song so good that it makes people want to do something about the subject.'
Bono has historically been open about his Christian faith and has woven personal and theological themes into much of his music.
He said he wanted to encourage artists who are 'not giving expression to what's really going on in their lives because they feel it will give the wrong impression of them.
'We don't have to please God in any other way than to be brutally honest. That is the root. Not just to a relationship with God, but it's the root to a great song. That's the only place you can find a great song. The only place you can find any work of art, of merit.'
Bono spoke about how his own art was born through a 'portal of grief' when he sought solace after his mother died. He said the Church should be more concerned with prophetic 'art' than 'advertising', or obsessing about what parts of culture are 'Christian' or not.
'Creation screams God's name. So you don't have to stick a sign on every tree,' he said.
The videos are a follow-up to a conversation Bono began on the psalms last year, when he conversed with the theologian Eugene Peterson about the psalms and the comparative limits of contemporary Christian music.
Taylor asked Bono for one thing he'd learned about God through reading the psalms.
'He listens', Bono replied.
'One thing you've learned about yourself?'
Bono responded: 'I don't listen enough.'
Lastly Taylor asked, 'What is the one difficult or troubling thing the psalms have required of you?'
'Honesty,' Bono replied.