"The one who is coming after me is stronger than I am. I’m not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire."
Ministry of John the Baptist
3 In those days John the Baptist appeared in the desert of Judea announcing, 2 “ Change your hearts and lives! Here comes the kingdom of heaven! ” 3 He was the one of whom Isaiah the prophet spoke when he said:
4 John wore clothes made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist. He ate locusts and wild honey.
5 People from Jerusalem, throughout Judea, and all around the Jordan River came to him. 6 As they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River. 7 Many Pharisees and Sadducees came to be baptized by John. He said to them, “ You children of snakes! Who warned you to escape from the angry judgment that is coming soon? 8 Produce fruit that shows you have changed your hearts and lives. 9 And don’t even think about saying to yourselves, Abraham is our father. I tell you that God is able to raise up Abraham’s children from these stones. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees. Therefore, every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be chopped down and tossed into the fire. 11 I baptize with water those of you who have changed your hearts and lives. The one who is coming after me is stronger than I am. I’m not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 12 The shovel he uses to sift the wheat from the husks is in his hands. He will clean out his threshing area and bring the wheat into his barn. But he will burn the husks with a fire that can’t be put out. ”
The author, who interviewed the fledgling band on their second U.S. tour, takes us from their upbringing in Ireland, to their dominance over the music scene in the early 1990s, and then to their role as spiritual ambassadors to post-9/11 America. Throughout we get a picture of the spirituality that flows out of U2's music and how their influence has spread beyond music into issues such as AIDS activism, debt relief for developing nations, and the crisis in Darfur.
"U2's private practice and public presentation of Jesus' good news are often discussed, but almost never are they subject to sound critical and theological analysis. In this book, Greg Garrett has corrected that situation handsomely. Bringing to his task the tools of both musical and ecclesiological scholarship, Garrett also writes with the humility of genuine affection and gratitude. If you care at all about the role of music in western Christianity today, you'll want to read this book." - Phyllis Tickle, author of the Great Emergence: How Christianity is Changing and Why