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Shai Linne, doing a song from his latest album, Storiez, at the WorshipGod conference.

Here are the lyrics:

It’s the greatest story ever told.
A God pursues foes whose hearts turned cold.
The greatest story ever told.
Restoring all that the enemy stole.
The greatest story ever told.
The glory of Christ is the goal, behold.
The greatest story ever told.
It’s the greatest.

Alright check it: let's go back in time, brethren. Divine lessons always keep your mind guessing. The glory of the Triune God is what I'm stressing. The origin of humankind was fine. Blessings were plenteous. God is amazingly generous. Crazy benefits in a state of innocence. God told the man what he could taste was limited. Not long after came our nemesis in Genesis. He scammed well, man fell, damned to hell. The whole human race--he represented it. Fooled by the serpent, man through his work, woman through birth--even the earth ruled by the curses. But instead of a wake immediately. God said her Seed would be the One to crush the head of the snake. Yo, wait what is this? Whoa, a gracious gift! In Jehovah's faithfulness He clothed their nakedness. This was so they would know their Savior's kiss and bliss. But first, many growing pains exist suffering in the worst form, ugly deeds. Eve's firstborn seed made his brother bleed. Indeed things got progressively worse. Every section of the earth is been affected by the curse. And though God's judgments against sin were gory, praise the Lord! It's not the end of the story.

Next scene: man's sin was extreme. God gets steamed, man gets creamed. The Lord is so Holy that He drowned them in the water. Fire in the valley of slaughter – Sodom and Gomorrah. But at the same time, He's so gracious and patient that from one man He created a whole nation. Eventually enslaved by the mentally depraved, they cried out to the only One with the strength that He could save. He brought them out with signs and wonders – satisfied their hunger. Then He appeared on Mount Sinai in thunder. Where He laid down the law for God-ruled government. Commonly referred to as the Mosaic covenant. Sin was imputed. So for man to know he's unrighteous, God instituted animal sacrifices. This was to show our constant need for atonement. And when it came to sin, the Lord would never condone it. And when His people disobeyed and went astray, He raised up prophets and kings to lead them in the way. But they would get foul with their idolatry--wet and wild prophecy--send them into exile. To take their punishment like a grown man. Then with His own hand He placed them back in their homeland. And while in their forefather's land they dwelt, they awaited the arrival of Emmanuel.

After 400 silent years filled with sighs and tears. In Bethlehem the Messiah appears. God in the flesh--Second Person of the Trinity. At thirty begins His earthly ministry. Baffling cats with accurate, exact facts and back-to-back miraculous acts. A stumbling block to the self righteous. But the humbled--His flock, said “There’s no one else like this.” He came from heaven to awake the numb. Demonstrated His power over nature, son. A foretaste of the Kingdom and the age to come. But the reason He came was to pay the sum for the depths of our wickedness, our wretched sinfulness. Bless His magnificence! He is perfect and innocent. Yet He was wrecked and His death. He predicted it. Next He was stretched, paid a debt that was infinite. He said that He finished it. Resurrected so the elect would be the recipients of its benefits. Through faith and penitence we get to be intimate. His grace is heaven sent, it never diminishes. Now the Holy Spirit indwelling is the evidence for heaven’s future residents who truly represent Jesus, the Author, Producer, Director, and Star of a story that will never, ever end!


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38 thoughts on “The Story of the Bible in Four Minutes”

  1. This is just awesome.

    So many Christians struggle to proclaim the Gospel in the depth and breadth that Shai presents in. And he makes it rhyme! Some folks take issue with the whole Christian rap thing. All I can say is that the man is preaching the Gospel. We can always use more of that.

  2. Tony Romano says:

    This is fantastic. I thank God for these brothers (Shai Linne, other Lampmode artists, 116, Cross Movement Records) that bring the Gospel so clearly through hip hop. It has been a great pointer for me to Christ in times of struggle. It has genuinely helped me find a deeper hope in Christ by driving me to Truth and the Word. I love these guys.

  3. John says:

    Shai is such a gift to the church. What a blessing to hear such deep truth proclaimed through the medium of hip-hop.

  4. T.C. R says:

    Soli Deo Gloria.

  5. Bob Exentaur says:

    Can you say soul feast?

  6. Truth Unites... and Divides says:

    Regulative Principle of Worship or Normative Principle of Worship?

  7. clyde says:

    Very good song. Thanks for posting this. The white people in the audience (seems like a majority) are reservedly enjoying it as well. :)

  8. Mike Neglia says:

    Glorious! Bob Kauflin seems to be enjoying it the most out of the whole crowd.

  9. Ken says:

    Truth in relevant form. I love it.

    (TUAD, your forgot to include a verb)

  10. Truth Unites... and Divides says:

    Does this song come under the Regulative Principle of Worship or the Normative Principle of Worship?

    Does it matter?

    1. CR says:

      TUaD,

      It was D. Martin Lloyd-Jones who said what is important about worship is: is it true? We put to much emphasis on form. We’ll say things like, wasn’t that sermon beautiful or wasn’t that worship music beautiful. But what we really need to be concerned with is: is it true. And I believe what Shai Linne did qualifies as true.

      1. Truth Unites... and Divides says:

        CR,

        I agree.

        Suppose Shai Linne’s song was sung in a church as part of worship service. Does the question of Regulative Principle of Worship or Normative Principle of Worship have bearing?

        1. CR says:

          As I said, TUaD, what is important about worship is that it is true. Form is not important as whether it is true. The Lord is concerned about truth and proper worship must be true.

          Those who have authored RPW or NPW, when it comes to singing, (most of the RPW or NPW is pretty good) are sadly, more interested in form. They say that Jesus used the Psalms as worship so we should use the Psalms as worship. The Psalms are beautiful – I love the Psalms and I can go into a very traditional church and sing the traditional hymns from the Psalter.

          The problem though is that many if not all of those who put forth the RPW don’t realize they are putting forth form before truth. In other words, they say, we should only be singing from the Psalter and any other form of singing (and Heavens forbid if we play certain instruments) even if it contains truth, biblical truth, is wrong.

          The fact is,the greater the emphasis you put on form or “beauty” instead of truth, the less spirituality you are likely to have.

          So, to answer your question, the man made system of RPW of putting form over truth, I suppose it does have bearing if Shai Linne’s song was sung in a church as part of worship service. It would be rejected outright. But to answer the more important question would it satisfy the Lord’s concern for proper worship? As long as one can understand it and it is biblically true, then yes, it is accepted by God.

  11. Phil Long says:

    Spoken Word poetry is Mars Hill 2009. The content gets a free ride in the format. Here is a bit of my own for your listening pleasure.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/MadAtAMyth

  12. matt morales says:

    Truth divides…and unites:

    what do you think?

    1. Truth Unites... and Divides says:

      I asked first!

  13. donsands says:

    Wonderful young Christian man. Lord bless him. I’m not on Rap, but I love all the diversity the Lord has in His Body.

    Here’s a Rap spiritual song that is good as well: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nf6EUKPHQMU&feature=player_embedded

  14. Eric Davis says:

    Shai has the wordsmith gift like a Puritan writer. Good stuff.

  15. Roberto G says:

    This is a song performed for the edification and encouragement of believers gathered together at a conference on worship. So, the context isn’t a local body assembled to worship God on the Lord’s day in the Lord’s way. The regulative principle is not impinged upon here. The song is to be commended for it’s artistic expression of the Biblical message of God’s work of salvation.

    1. Well-put, brother. That would be my answer too.

  16. This video is amaising! It feels like a tonic to me and just what I needed to boost my faith! I shall email it to as many as I can, so others can experience it too!
    May God Bless everyone involved with this!

  17. Rachael Starke says:

    In two hundred years, should Jesus not return first, people will be talking about Shai Linne like people today talk about Donne and Herbert.

  18. jim hale says:

    The man raps about Spurgeon, and smacks down prosperity preaching…..What can you say? I’m blown away ever time I listen to him. My whole family loves this guy!

  19. j.e. bennett says:

    my wife and i have known bro. shai for a few years now. the man lives what he preaches. very godly, very humble, and a pleasure to talk to. we keep trying to get him to move to louisville to attend SBTS. no success so far, haha.

    1. Stan Ermshar says:

      I am sure the words are very good, I just can’t understand them through the loud rap music.

      1. ptl00 says:

        did the “loud rap music” affect your READING of the half page of lyrics that Justin posted beneath the video?

        I love how theologically rich the content of his lyrics are. praise the Lord.

    2. CR says:

      I believe Shai Linne wants to attend the Masters Seminary.

  20. mjvt says:

    I really don’t care for rap/hip-hop. But what a blessing to read the words! Wow! They’re rich and deep and worship-inspiring. Thanks for posting this.

  21. Interesting Perspective says:

    Justin thank you for posting this video. I think that it would be helpful for readers of this blog to read through the various comments that have been posted on this post. What the observant reader will find is that there is a general tendency for the readers of this blog to represent only a small portion of the body of Christ. I would venture to say that it seems like that small portion is acceptable of the “rap” because of the lyrics, which is definitely a step in the right direction. I think though that at its root this statement expresses a cultural (not race) but cultural bias. Rap has been a powerful medium for years in the urban centers of America and it is sad that we have to be “apologetic” about it and say “I am not sure about the rap, but the lyrics are great.” This is a fine statement. Just remember that this works both ways. If your church is looking to draw members of the urban culture into their midst and really sing in their heart language 16th century piano sonnets or 21st century U2 inspired music may not be the best thing.

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Justin Taylor, PhD


Justin Taylor is executive vice president of book publishing and book publisher for Crossway and blogs at Between Two Worlds. You can follow him on Twitter.

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