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Recently a panel answered a question on reformed rap. Brent Hobbs has offered a transcript of the answers offered, along with a nice response to each of the arguments. (See also the responses from Owen Strachan and Mike Cosper.)

For those wanting to explore these issues further—and in my opinion, in a more biblically faithful way than the panelists offered—should consider picking up Curt Allen’s new book, Does God Listen to Rap? Christians and the World’s Most Controversial Music (Cruciform, 2013).

You can read the first chapter here.

And here’s a little video introduction for why you should consider this book:


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Comments:


47 thoughts on “Does God Listen to Rap?”

  1. Brian says:

    I watched the video. I assume you are using the word “arguments” loosely.

  2. Andy says:

    Lol, just watching the video of the panel and that doesn’t seem to have been received very well by those commenting on it. Panelist number 3 opens with not conforming yourself to the world, he’d rather you conformed yourself to what he’s conformed to. Nothing wrong with that mind you but just an observation. Personally, I can’t stand rap christian or otherwise. For all we know though God could be asking for a little more cowbell with our music as long as it worships Him.

  3. Ryan says:

    I don’t understand. Who are these people saying that Christians shouldn’t listen to rap music? Do these people actually exist?

  4. David says:

    Most everyone defends a position. And, you generally can find some who leave the minority position for the majority position and will now defend the majority against the minority. It’s far more difficult to find those who leave the majority position for the minority and defend it against the majority. Even rarer are those who leave either position to examine the Scriptures from a vantage point that says, if position X is flawed, then I won’t embrace it, but neither does that mean I will embrace position Y. It too must be weighed for worth.

    There are many nuances in this discussion, and though rap is seemingly a newer genre, this debate is not. We have to bear with one another for that goal of unified maturity in this rather than striving for personal comfort. Let’s be eager to move in the right direction together.

    1. Ryan says:

      “There are many nuances in this discussion”

      Would you be able to elucidate on what those are? It seems pretty cut and dry to me. There is nothing in Scripture that could even be remotely considered to argue that a particular genre of music is inherently sinful or holy. A street corner is a street corner, and using it for proclaiming the Gospel or selling prostitutes does not make it good or evil.

      1. David says:

        Ryan, the goal we should be aiming at is not “not sinning,” but rather maximizing God-oriented satisfaction. If you thought I was, then you had me pegged wrong – which I’ll take credit for, as I wasn’t clearer in my comment. We should be pressing forward into highest forms, not having to discuss whether some foods are clean and others are not. But, just because all food is clean doesn’t mean you should eat all food. It just means it’s clean; it says nothing of its quality or best use.

        Peace

        1. Kenton says:

          Except that this inevitably comes down to the level of personal tastes, not forms that are more or less God-oriented. Or should we just stick to gregorian chants and Hebrew hymns? The Bible doesn’t speak of higher forms, though it does speak of instruments that many in Reforned circles would consider to be of lesser spiritual value: or haven’t you read the words of Scripture?

          Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals! (Psalm 150:3-5 ESV)

          Now I know that such things would NEVER be allowed in the morning service of the church I attend (though guitars and piano are fine). But I’ve also been to churches where guitars are out of place, and where liturgical services are the only acceptable form. Which is highest? Whatever higher forms you have in mind are culturally determined, not biblically determined. And that is the issue here.

        2. Ryan says:

          No, I understand that, and I don’t disagree with you on that particular point.

          The issue I have is that there is no reason, neither Biblical nor logical, to suggest that rap is not as effective at “maximizing God-oriented satisfaction” as other sorts of music. As far as I can tell, the “Christians shouldn’t listen to rap music” is unsubstantiated nonsense, and shouldn’t be taken seriously any more than the “Christians shouldn’t listen to rock music” of a few years ago, or the “Christians shouldn’t listen to jazz and/or blues music” of a few decades ago, or the early Reformers and the “Christians shouldn’t listen to organ music” of a few centuries ago.

          As far as I can tell, all of it is nothing more than a collection of hyper-spiritual nonsense designed to (quite literally) demonize music that people don’t like. If you can provide a Scriptural and logical argument as to why rap music is inherently less edifying than other sorts of music, I’m all ears.

          Oh, and don’t insult the both of us by automatically appealing to the filth that comes from some rappers. All creation can be used for good or evil, and the fact that it is used for the latter does not negate its power for the former.

  5. Martin says:

    Thumbs down on the NCFIC Panel.

    Be not conformed to the reformed ‘culture’!

  6. John says:

    I’m not sure how rap qualifies as the “world’s most controversial music.” It’s mostly accepted by evangelicals. Metal/hardcore rock? Let’s just say we’ll never see August Burns Red at Together for the Gospel.

  7. Mark says:

    The second guy in the video argue that we should use the art forms of Scripture to express Scriptural truth. I wonder if he delivers a lot of apocalyptic sermons in his church? I don’t mean sermons on apocalyptic literature, but sermons delivered in that style. I doubt it. The biblical writers used culturally relevant forms of literature to deliver the message. If we use Scripture as a guide, we will also use culturally relevant forms of literature to deliver the message. I personally don’t enjoy rap but find the lyrical content of much Reformed rap to be excellent and I am very thankful that those who enjoy this style of music have the opportunity to be informed doctrinally through a medium they understand.

  8. David says:

    Quick! Someone tell Carl Trueman to respond.

  9. The men on the panel brought up some good points, but also verbalized some logical problems. For example, it’s a good thing for music to glorify God. However, just as much as God’s Word cannot be separated from its cultural context, no form of music can be separated from its cultural context. I wouldn’t expect most churches to be able to embrace all cultural forms. In fact, I’m suspicious of most churches who try. When I attend a church of a different culture, I don’t appropriate the worship there on the basis of my own cultural sensibilities. I think the comments of the panelists were largely an attempt to analyze one culture’s expressions from the sensibilities of another culture.

    The tension in Western Culture is that the great Melting Pot has had too many cultures added. Some cultures don’t mix well and we are reaping the sour fruits of it as our churches try to be all things to all men all the time. I happen to like Reformed rap music. It’s not my cultural background, but I appreciate it’s subcultural influence. However, I don’t expect it to be added to my church’s worship service; it’s not suitable for the predominant culture of my church.

  10. Mark says:

    Wonder if you might consider linking to Douglas Wilson’s thoughts on this imbroglio?

    Or ask Ken Myers to respond?

    The gentlemen on the panel weren’t terrible well-spoken and, on a couple of counts, were just flat wrong, imo.

    However, the cultural egalitarianism of Cosper and Strachen isn’t the only alternative for evangelical Christians.

    I wonder if Cosper believes I could do a version of ACDC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long” and simply substitute in Christian lyrics – but keep everything else the same – and make it edifying for private Christian experience and, perhaps, even a worship service?

    And is the cultural moment that produced YSMANL or Eminem or SNL sex-laced discourse really no less faithful than the one that gave us the ‘explosion’ of hymnody like Watts, Wesley, Toplady, etc.?

    There’s no golden age… but neither are all cultures equally conducive to the cultivation of Christian truth, beauty, and goodness.

    1. Wayne Roberts says:

      I attend Sojourn Community Church where Mike Cosper is one of the elders. I can assure you after having attended for about 5 years, we have not done any AC/DC songs with Christian lyrics glued on. : )

      1. Mark says:

        Hi, Wayne. I’m sure you haven’t… and that’s my point (perhaps poorly done). The medium means something. It’s not merely about having ‘orthodox’ lyrics and then saying that the musical form doesn’t matter. Of course the form matters. And rap/hip-hop has a very distinctive ‘form’ or genre that MIGHT be appropriate to some elements of the Christian message, but much less appropriate (or not at all appropriate) to other elements. These brothers are convinced it’s all a wash; I’m not. But I do think the blanket ‘who’s to judge’ reaction to Christian hip-hop is naive. Lecrae seems like a wonderfully sincere and orthodox fellow. I’ll have to take it on others’ recommendation that he’s talented, since I’m not particularly well-suited to judge. Still, it appears to me to be the same old arguments I heard in the 80’s about “Christian” heavy metal: the key is the lyric (and I’d rate hip-hop’s lyrical expression better than Christian metal) – who cares about the musical form. God doesn’t! The defense of hip-hop has the added dimension of potentially bringing a “Eurocentric” criticism to a “Afrocentric” expression – something very few are willing to do without the charge of racism following right behind. I, for example, disagree strongly that all cultures (and their musical expressions) are equal ontologically or even in their appropriateness to a given occasion all the while I maintain that all races ARE equal. The latter is God-given; the former is the product of God’s common grace working against EVERY culture’s propensity to sin.

        1. Kenton says:

          I’m assuming that you mean that not all cultural music expressions are equal in every cultural setting? “Afrocentric” musical expressions aren’t appropriate in Eurocentric settings? We aren’t talking about violent or sexualized dances. We’re talking about a highly rhythmic and beat-supplemented form of musical expression. Whatever inequality you perceive has nothing to do with the amount of restraining grace present but everything to do with your own sensibilities and preferences. The dominant Eurocentric musical forms would be just as inappropriate to the ancient Israelite worship setting.

    2. Ryan says:

      “And is the cultural moment that produced YSMANL or Eminem or SNL sex-laced discourse really no less faithful than the one that gave us the ‘explosion’ of hymnody like Watts, Wesley, Toplady, etc.?”

      And yet this movement of hymnody came under similar fire in its day, from Christians who were concerned about the degree to which hymnists borrowed from folk music and drinking songs, as well as Christians who felt that integrating the organ into worship music was to have the secular invade the sacred.

      Indeed, the controversy surrounding hymns at the time isn’t really all that different from today. At the time people would say “Newton’s hymn uses the German national anthem, based on a melody written by a secular composer! We can’t sing this in church! It glorifies the world rather than God!”

      Of course, today “Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken” is considered by many to be a classic and essential hymn, and ironically has become a refuge for those trying to escape the modern contextualization of worship music.

  11. Roberto G says:

    So many angles from which to respond. I watched the video and read Ligon Duncan’s written response. Let me use that as my vantage point. The panelists response as a whole clearly lacked both charity and humility. If I were on the panel I would have asked clarification questions. “Are you asking if I think reformed rap is appropriate and can be adapted for congregational use on the Lord’s day for corporate worship?”
    “Are you asking if I think holy hip hop is a legitimate art form?”
    “Are you asking if I think this reformed rap is a permissable form of entertainment for believers?”
    The panelists just responded to the question and let their prejudices spew out in a reactionary way. Not all the panelists were equally ignorant of the musical genre or to at least some acknowledgment that there is a strong appeal for it among some believers. But it was assumed without much valid consideration that such appeal should and must be purged from from their culture and tastes. They threw the baby out with the bath water.

  12. Miller says:

    I think that this thread, like so many things in life, could use a little bit of good ol’ fashioned country wisdom!

    Now, I had a preacher a while ago called Pastor Duke.

    Pastor Duke wasn’t a man with a Phd nor a DD nor a ThD. Heck, he might not even have known what those terms mean!

    Now, he hadn’t read the latest book by Dr. D.A. Carson and he didn’t know J.I. Packer from a sow’s ear!

    But he used to resolve disputes like these with a bit of simple and humble wisdom. It might be too simple for you all but give a listen!

    One time a man asked him if it is a sin for a sister in Christ to wear perfume. We had a lady, Loretta, in our congregation who used to wear enough perfume to make a pigpen smell clean!
    Now, good ol’ Pastor Duke wriggled his nose and said, “Well, I reckon you mean Loretta. And I ain’t ever read a sin about perfume in the Lord’s book. But boy I tell you – every time she walked by I thought a pig farted!”

    Boy, I tell you what, we laughed our heads off with that one! But guess what! Loretta never wore no more perfume to church!

    Now, what good ol’ Pastor Duke was trying to say was the following: Sometimes if something is a little fishy, it is best not to mess with it, even if it doesn’t seem sinful.

    I think the same principle applies here. This whole hip hop thing might smell sweet to others…but to some it might smell like a pig’s fart! And either way – it smells. So that doesn’t mean that it is a sin but just something we should probably avoid for its own sake.

    – Miller

    1. Adam says:

      So we should have our pastor make fun of them and then all laugh at them until they stop rapping? I’m not a theologian either but I’m pretty sure The Bible is against that form of rebuke/correction.

      1. Zeke says:

        Adam,

        I count myself as a country boy for Christ. Sometimes that homespun country humor, like Miller’s, is often misunderstood by those who grew up in the suburbs.

        What Miller is actually doing is a humble call to seek the Lord. You see it more often in country churches and families where we use humor as a gentle rebuke. Afterall, a joke can convey a message more powerfully and do so without a direct confrontation!

        1. Adam says:

          Zeke,

          I understand what you’re saying and I’m sure that’s how it was meant. But I still wonder if Loretta received it that way or if she was as humiliated as I would bet she was. Only God and she knows. And again, I believe the Bible advocates for direct confrontation over a humiliating joke in front of the entire congregation. Just because people are cowards and are too afraid to tell someone something to their face, doesn’t make it Godly. In fact, it’s usually the opposite. God calls us to do the harder thing, whether you’re in the country or the suburbs or wherever you are.

          Either way, this conversation was about reformed rap, and I wonder how many of the people on that panel have even heard any of this rap. They should have put someone on that panel who’s actually heard some so there could be at least some form of debate. Another example of taking the easy way out.

    2. Kenton says:

      I could use the same argument with guitars or organs or jeans or any other thing that offends my particular sensibilities. These things should not be forbidden just because some take offense to it. Otherwise, what you say is that God only accepts one culture, and to do this is to deny the gospel. That IS sin.

    3. Ryan says:

      I should say the internet “smells” more than rap music does, and yet you seem to have no issue with using that.

  13. Christos2Christus says:

    Amen!

  14. We are to prove was is the good, acceptable and perfect or complete will of God per Romans 12. This means, ultimately, not expecting everything to be stated directly as a child must have but as a spiritually mature believer discovering principles contained within texts from which the highest divine order is constructed for our conduct individually and corporately.

    When issues like this are discussed I find that much of the appeal of its proponents is based in the arguments of the spiritually adolescent which usually argue that no direct statements can be found on the matter, thus the matter is settled or no substantive argument against it may be made.

    Which, again, speaks to undeveloped consideration because where no direct statements are in Scripture we are compelled, then, to discover what principles are within Scripture, assumed, implied and active in a text though not directly stated, which must guide such cases.

    Thus, to even have a discussion on a matter like this requires those discussing it to be willing to recognize such principles in Scripture may be foundnd, and be willing to a copy their merit which speaks of mature Christians. And to this one sign of the immature will be, “What principles”?

    1. Kenton says:

      The defenders of Christian hip-hop are not spiritually adolescent. Rather humbly, we recognize one simple fact: the Scriptures, particularly the New Testament, offers no judgment one way or another on musical forms. That is a fact. And so yes, as you state, we are obligated to approve what is good and acceptable and perfect, what is in accord with God’s will, on the basis of much prayer and study of the Word. That being said, it is remarkable how many of the above arguments against hip-hop as a form are never supported by Scripture. Rather, assumptions are made about the content and posture of hip-hop, assumptions made without knowledge and with a high level of cultural elitism. Certainly principles regarding music can be found in Scripture, but such principles are geared towards content and posture, and not form, unless you consider the Psalms, which as I noted above do not square nicely with the rather reserved character of most white evangelical churches. And as mentioned in a number of the rebuttals, the panelists dismiss the form by making erroneous assumptions about the content and posture of Christian hip-hop, so-called precisely because its content and form are distinctly Chrisfian, in contrast with mainstream, secular hip-hop.

      1. You have degraded the conversation by injecting race and worse, with a form of racialism towards what you call white evangelical churches and painting them with a broad brush. The matter, while somewhat attached to racial considerations can and should be discussed without suspicion of motives and blinding assumptions but more importantly, without emphasis on race, rather on merit.

        Secondly, principles on the matter far exceed form. Thirdly, I said many, not all.

        I suggest part of your struggle in this matter begins with your own bias and limited range of consideration.

        1. Curtis Sheidler says:

          Alex,

          Neither in his response to you, nor in any of his other contributions to this thread has Kenton “injected racialism” into the discussion. It’s wholly absent from each of his posts within this thread (with the possible exception of where he’s used another poster’s words strictly confined to a response to that particular poster). So if anyone here is “injecting racialism” into the conversation, it’s actually you.

          Furthermore, Kenton pointed out (correctly) how none of the men in the video bothered to make his argument about the inherent inferiority of rap as a musical genre, and you yourself have neither responded to that glaring difficulty nor offered any biblical warrant for your own position. I respectfully suggest, therefore, that YOU are the one here who is hindered by bias and limited personal consideration.

          Furthermore, you also deliberately prejudice the discussion in your favor by insisting that only the immature will ask “What principles?” in regard to your fiat statement that the Bible will lay down specific principles governing appropriate musical genre. As I’m not particularly intimidated by this (and really don’t give a fig whether you happen to consider me immature or not), I’ll go ahead and call your bluff.

          The challenge to you, then, is this:

          Demonstrate unequivocally from Scripture those principles that you say exist that identify rap as a musical genre inherently unsuitable to the proclamation of sound biblical doctrine. Furthermore, you must do so in a way that DOESN’T condemn EVERY musical genre altogether–that is, you must frame your argument in such a way that it’s apparent to everyone that you aren’t engaging in special pleading.

          I’m eager to hear your response.

          1. Curtis,
            You stated:
            “Neither in his response to you, nor in any of his other contributions to this thread has Kenton “injected racialism” into the discussion

            I disagree, he did by stating”

            “which as I noted above do not square nicely with the rather reserved character of most white evangelical churches”

            And it does not matter the earlier use or reference, he affirmed this language which includes a unnecessary racialism. My view remains.

            Then you stated:

            “Furthermore, you also deliberately prejudice the discussion in your favor by insisting that only the immature will ask “What principles?” in regard to your fiat statement that the Bible will lay down specific principles governing appropriate musical genre.”

            Nope I didn’t say all the above or the equivalent. It contains part of what I said but you added to it thus, disqualified your objection.

            I said:

            “Which, again, speaks to undeveloped consideration because where no direct statements are in Scripture we are compelled, then, to discover what principles are within Scripture, assumed, implied and active in a text though not directly stated, which must guide such cases”

            Thus, I made no claim about”specific principles governing appropriate musical genre”

            As far as the prejudice, it is a correct one, one based in principle and I suggest if one states there are no guiding principles then they are, at best, a novice with the Scriptures. Even in the most basic form a matter of liberty, if we accept it as such, is initially led by discretion with regard to expediency (Paul 1 Cor 6:12) and that is just the beginning, so yes, I say it is a very principled prejudice when one asks “What principles?” as if none exist.

            Now, here is the clincher for you Curtis. Both you and Kenton have made the gravest of errors, namely not paying attention and secondly, importing your reactionary assumptions into the argument.

            What you failed to notice is that I have said nothing, absolutely nothing, about what genre is right or wrong nor showed my hand on the matter and you might be surprised.

            I was arguing only on principle and did not even suggest a certain position in error, only that to do so without Biblical principle is and to appeal to unprincipled liberty is. You missed the boat on this rather significantly and became the very assumptive crusader against which you protest.

            1. Curtis Sheidler says:

              Your deliberate obfuscation and evasiveness are most unbecoming, Alex. Do try to keep on point and actually answer the challenge. Once more:

              Demonstrate unequivocally from Scripture those principles you say exist that would render a musical genre (ANY musical genre) unsuitable to the proclamation of sound biblical doctrine.

              1. First, slow down with all the hostility, I am not the enemy nor are you. The enemy in this case is an absence of truth and fair treatment of the matter. I answered your claims and demonstrated your lack of faithfulness in framing what I said, as well your posturing isn’t achieving a dialog. I responded, now show me where I erred in my response. I would say if anyone is obfuscating it is you by refusing to respond and demanding dialog on your terms. As well, you have yet to recognize Biblical principles can and should guide us on the matter so moving beyond that isn’t warranted. And to that I gave a principle, a most elementary one to which you did not respond and you want more?

                Finally, you don’t appear to be able to wrap your head your head around the reality that I did not assert “unequivocally from Scripture” I believe and could prove that a “musical genre (ANY musical genre) unsuitable to the proclamation of sound doctrine” thus, demands that I support what I did not assert are not very rational and I am certainly not bound to do do seeing, again, I never made this claim. I do have views but have not stated them and you certainly are not free to make assumptions. You seem to be allowing your being upset to derail what could be a better spirited debate.

        2. Kenton says:

          My usage of white evangelical churches was deliberate, because most black churches that I know employ the use of instruments, such as the tambourine and drum, that I simply haven’t seen in most of the white evangelical churches that I have been to. When I use these racial terms, I only do so because the standard American discourse is to map racial descriptors on to cultural features. I am referring to traditional churches that do not use such instruments (and oppose their use based on their perceived inappropriateness). Regardless, this isn’t an issue of skin color but of culture (which is included in and tied to ethnicity). My point remains the same. What is considered appropriate by Reformed types (Al Mohler’s own comments about Bach being an example) does not necessarily represent a biblical vision of music, especially considering Psalm 150, which appeals to the use of a wide range of instruments that are considered distracting and some times jarring.

          So when I ask, “What principles?” I am asking you to give me the specific principles in specific scriptures that govern musical forms. Otherwise, your argument is empty. Scott Aniol strongly disagrees with certain expressions in rap that he considers to be inextricable: for example, the assertive and direct nature of rap, the aggressive nature of many songs, the association between beats and sensuality. Clearly, anger, malice, pride, and sensuality are contrary to Scripture, and he outlined exactly those instructions that opposed these. While I disagree that these are inherent in the rap form (a listen to Shai Linne’s Attributes of God or Trip Lee’s The Good Life will dispel this assumption), Aniol at least backs up what he says with more than just cultural tastes. Can you do the same?

    2. Ryan says:

      “When issues like this are discussed I find that much of the appeal of its proponents is based in the arguments of the spiritually adolescent which usually argue that no direct statements can be found on the matter, thus the matter is settled or no substantive argument against it may be made.”

      In case anyone is wrestling with Alex’s needlessly grandiose vocabulary, I have provided a rough translation:

      “The burden of proof is only on people who disagree with me. If you feel otherwise, you are spiritually immature.”

      1. I am sorry you have issues with a broad vocabulary. It won’t be forever I hope.

        And I do think to claim that Biblical principles do not exist to guide us is immature but not because I formulated this truth but that it us taught in Scripture. Matters of liberty are still guided by principles from God’s Word. I am sorry that is a sore spot for you as well.

  15. Curt Day says:

    No doubt that the panel discussion was rather lame because of the cultural bias expressed. For not only did they oppose rap music for worship, they opposed Christians listening to it at all and they did that from a culturally homogenous perspective.

    The rule for worship music I think should be installed is whether the music distracts from the words. And the music first distracts from the words when the music leads us to worship ourselves and our own culture and then when the cultural difference between the music and members of the congregation are too different second. But that first kind of distraction applies to all forms of music.

    So whether rap music should be used in worship seems to me should be decided on a church by church basis. But we should also note that just because a musical style should not be used in church does not mean that we should not or cannot listen to it. Music is an art form and thus expresses what is inside. So for the sake of self-expression, then it should be good for some to listen to rap. Then how about those who don’t like rap but want to understand one’s culture? At this point, we might want to ask whether we must listen to at least some rap if we are to more fully understand the culture of the people we are interacting with.

  16. For those interested, Dr. Mohler weighed in on this subject yesterday.

  17. Thomas Clay says:

    Typical cultural elitism. No scriptural reference whatsoever Aniol, et al, need to find a deserted island somewhere and enjoy their arrogance

  18. Bruce Russell says:

    Is this the kind of music that can sustain Christian cultural transformation? I doubt it, but it is authentic worship music for those who are smitten with it. I have a feeling that this kind of music jangles the sensitivities of those who cherish Bach more than Bach jangles the rappers. When believers unite to seek the New Song together, the product will be even more authentic and personal. In the mean time, you can’t impose “taste”, you cultivate taste.

    1. Kenton says:

      Do tell what kind of music can sustain “Christian cultural transformation”. Bach? What is it about classical music that is inherently godly or cultivated, especially when stacked up against Psalm 150? When we level the charge of cultural elitism, this is why: the gross misidentification of classical European culture with Christian culture.

  19. Dan Glover says:

    Russell Moore offers wise and balanced comments over at Christianity Today: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2013/may/ww-jay-z.html?paging=off
    Douglas Wilson’s comments, with particular attention to worship, can be found below. He is partially interacting with Moore, so best read Moore first: http://dougwils.com/s7-engaging-the-culture/rap-tide.html

    1. Kenton says:

      Both Moore and Wilson make some great points, but I think both of them are still tending to over-generalize Christian hip-hop. It isn’t all imprecation. Take, for example, Flame’s “Joyful Noise” track. In fact, I have never heard Christian hip-hop engage in this at all, which is an indication that it can be redeemed and separated from its original usage. The panel missed this as well, and I think if they became more familiar with Christian hip-hop, and not just hip-hop in general, they’d come to different conclusions. Moore is good, but to his detriment he focuses his energies on defending hip-hop in its secular cultural setting, rather than focusing on the ways in which hip-hop can address a broad range of subjects, including pure theology.

  20. Dan Glover says:

    Here’s an excellent open letter from Doug Wilson to reformed rappers (much of which also applies very broadly to any Christian artistic or ministry endeavor): http://dougwils.com/s7-engaging-the-culture/dear-xyz.html

    Note the very positive response by Carl Ellis Jr. in the comments! This is the kind of discussion we should be striving for.

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