Item description for One Step Closer: Why U2 Matters to Those Seeking God by Christian Scharen...
Overview In this thoughtful look at Bono, the driving force behind the Irish rock band U2, Scharen shows how the band members are marked by the Christian faith of their backgrounds, and explores the band's music's honest spiritual questioning.
Publishers Description U2 is widely hailed as the greatest rock and roll band in the world, and lead singer Bono is often seen in the media touting humanitarian goals. Now Christian Scharen provides a thoughtful look at the driving force behind the band. Bono and other band members are marked by the Christian faith of their Irish backgrounds. Scharen reflects on how U2 "fits within the longer Christian tradition of voices that point us to the cross, to Jesus, and to the power of God's ways in the world" as he explores the music's honest spiritual questioning. Music lovers, pastors, and anyone on the path to God will value this book.
Citations And Professional Reviews One Step Closer: Why U2 Matters to Those Seeking God by Christian Scharen has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Publishers Weekly - 12/19/2005 page 58
Library Journal - 07/01/2006 page 82
Christian Century - 08/08/2006 page 33
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Studio: Brazos Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.49" Width: 5.56" Height: 0.53" Weight: 0.56 lbs.
Release Date Apr 1, 2006
Publisher Baker Publishing Group
ISBN 1587431696 ISBN13 9781587431692
Availability 0 units.
More About Christian Scharen
Christian Scharen (PhD, Emory University) teaches worship and contemporary culture at Luther Seminary and leads the research project on Learning Pastoral Imagination at Luther's Center for Faith and Life. He has authored a number of books, including Public Worship and Public Work. An ordained pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Scharen has served congregations in California, Georgia, and Connecticut.
Christian Scharen has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about One Step Closer: Why U2 Matters to Those Seeking God?
A Great Discussion of Theology of the Cross Nov 26, 2008
In his book, One Step Closer, author Christian Scharen weaves two inter-related themes to teach a powerful lesson of theology. The foundational theme is that of the Theology of the Cross as opposed to the Theology of Glory. Built on this foundation is how the music of the Irish rock band, U2, illustrates this idea of God's interaction with the world and the human race.
The book is organized in two main parts with the first part giving examples of how the Biblical literary forms of Psalm, Wisdom, Prophecy, Parable and Apocalypse are woven into the lyrics of the band's music. The second part looks at how the Theology of Cross informs the band's view of the themes of Faith, Hope, Love and Eschatology. In each chapter there are examples from U2's songs that illustrate the points being made as well as additional references for further listening.
While the book does contain biographical information about the band, it is not a history of the band or their music. Rather it is an attempt to explain the perspective and theology that informs what the band does in it's songs and how this perspective, based on the Theology of the Cross, can be used to interpret the modern and postmodern experience.
I would strongly recommend this book to fans of the band's music, Christian leaders seeking to connect with the band's message and Bible study leaders looking for new and relevant material to teach or discuss.
Same title Aug 8, 2008
I am David edwards and had written and sold thousands of books and my Title was One Step Closer. In fact it is right under this one. I was surprised to see a book with the same title, usually publishers do not let that happern. A good book however. Dave
U2 matters to believers as well as seekers! Jan 9, 2007
Inspirational. Well-written. Informative. This book is a must-have for any U2 fan. This book is also a fantastic tool for evangelism. Highly recommended.
A Key to Understanding the Enigma of U2 Jun 23, 2006
Christianity, metaphorically, has many "keys." Many prominent voices play major keys, promising blessings and offering comfortable settings. Christian Scharen, the author of One Step Closer, introduces a minor key--the theology of the cross--that fits U2's voice.
"The theology of the cross fits U2 because it avoids the all too common proclamation of faith, hope, and love that ignores the present realities of doubt, despair, suffering and injustice. It is a tradition that looks at the world and speaks the truth about what it sees: the good, the bad, and the ugly. In the words of the church reformer Martin Luther, the theology of the cross `calls a thing what it really is.'"
This book helps "make sense of U2's style of talking about God, Jesus, the Spirit and the Christian life in a holistic way." It's an excellent resource for those wanting to understand the spirituality found in the band's lyrics.
It also serves as a mini-lesson in theology, especially as it pertains to the cross and the different forms of communication found in the Bible. The author provides keen insight into the psalms, the wisdom literature, the parables, prophecy, and apocalyptic writing in the first section of the book. In each chapter a different pattern of speech is examined with examples of how U2 mirrors the style and content of that particular form.
The second section focuses on the theology of the cross. With U2, it's a way of singing "truthfully and unflinchingly about God and the world God loves. It is a way of speaking that highlights faith over certainty, hope over despair, selfless love over the self-indulgent pursuits that tempt the church and its leaders to grab power and money for themselves." Once again the author provides specific examples from the band's music.
The last section introduces the idea of living the truth as a way to live the cross. It provides an account of how U2 lives out their faith. For U2, following God means doing the truth.
One can easily come away with a greater understanding and admiration for what U2 is all about. The band deserves credit for not succumbing to the popular self-fulfillment trends in the Church.
What's especially valuable is the author's ability to introduce readers to the Christian tradition by illustrating from U2. His thoughts on cross-centered theology are rewarding and worth more than one read.
This is a scholarly but easy to read work. The author displays a mastery of theology and U2. He more than adequately supports his contentions through Scripture (almost exclusively from The Message Bible) and an analysis of the band's lyrics and interviews. This book is a valuable edition to the growing volume of literature on U2.
It would have been helpful if the author would have elaborated more on some of the controversial elements of U2. Though it may be a minor thing, their seeming indifference about drinking, smoking and swearing is hard to understand. Their critical attitude toward the Church and some Christians is understandable but a little troubling.
Some Christians feel that U2 is not Christian enough. Ironically, you can see from reading this book that U2 follow in the tradition of the cross by speaking honestly and pointing toward sacrifice and service toward others. In so doing, they have turned it around and indirectly challenged the Church and individual Christians to be more Christian.
Great lay out for Group Study Jun 20, 2006
I thought the book was fun to read. A friend of mine used it as a guide for a church group study on the Theology of U2. It was a hit. We ended up discussing really important issues like Justice, and Money, etc. We would read a few chapters and watch the videos and then discuss. The way the book is structured is what positively differintiates it from other U2 books.