In an interview recounted in Tim Keller’s book The Reason for God, U2’s Bono was asked the following: “Christ has his rank among the world’s great thinkers. But Son of God isn’t that far-fetched?”
The Irishman didn’t miss a beat, quickly rattling off a long answer:
No, it’s not far-fetched to me. Look, the secular response to the Christ story always goes like this: He was a great prophet, obviously a very interesting guy, had a lot to say along the lines of other great prophets, be they Elijah, Muhammad, Buddha, or Confucius. But actually Christ doesn’t allow you that. He doesn’t let you off that hook. Christ says, No. I’m not saying I’m a teacher, don’t call me teacher. I’m not saying I’m a prophet. I’m saying: “I’m the Messiah.” I’m saying: “I am God incarnate.” And people say: No, no, please, just be a prophet. A prophet we can take. You’re a bit eccentric. We’ve had John the Baptist eating locusts and wild honey, we can handle that. But don’t mention the “M” word! Because, you know, we’re gonna have to crucify you. And he goes: No, no, I know you’re expecting me to come back with an army and set you free from those creeps, but actually, I am the Messiah. At this point, everyone starts staring at their shoes, and says: Oh, my God, he’s gonna keep saying this. So what you’re left with is either Christ was who He said He was–the Messiah–or a complete nutcase. I mean, we’re talking nutcase on the level of Charles Manson . . . I’m not joking here. The idea that the entire course of civilization for over half of the globe could have its fate changed and turned upside-down by a nutcase, for me that’s far-fetched . . .
Maybe it is far-fetched. But no more far-fetched than the alternative view. One view, though, has hope and life and meaning at its heart–there is a future in it. The other has a life that is lived along each day and then with death fades into nothingness . . . So if there is a choice either way–and there seems to be–I’ll side with hope.