The Holy Hip Hop Hullabaloo

In the midst of an uniformed and pejorative assessment of Christian Rap from members of a panel, I was encouraged by the bold and clear stance for truth from the Chancellor-Elect of Reformed Theological Seminary (where I go to school).  Dr. Ligon Duncan makes clear that there is freedom in the gospel for all kinds of genres of music as long as the motives and the content are godly.  Here’s an excerpt from the post which originally appeared on the Reformed African American Network (RAAN).

Photo Credit:
Photo Credit:

by J. Ligon Duncan, III

At the recent “Worship of God” conference sponsored by the National Center for Family-Integrated Churches a panel of speakers–some of whom are well known to the Reformed and Evangelical community–was asked a question about Christian Rap music (or “Holy Hip-Hop”). The moderator queried, “Any thoughts on Reformed Rap artists? Their musical style would be considered offensive to some but the doctrine contained in the songs is sound.”

A video of the ensuing discussion was posted on the NCFIC site on November 25th and a bit of a social media firestorm has broken out in response. In particular, given some of the serious allegations that were made by panelists about the character and motives of Reformed Rappers, and their denigrating comments about the deficiencies of the particular musical form, my friends who are part of the Reformed Rap scene have been defamed. And a number of my Reformed friends, colleagues and students (both African American and not) have been horrified, angered and embarrassed.

And after viewing the video myself, I share their reactions. Ignorance, carelessness and a lack of Christian love (to say no more) were on full display. I can only imagine how infuriating and disheartening it must be to be hit with these kinds of statements.

So, I want to say a few words in response. There are many who are more qualified to speak to this issue than I am–Dr. Carl Ellis, for instance, has previously shared some of his own thoughts and my friend Curtis Allen (aka “Voice”) has written a book about it Does God Listen to Rap?: Christians and the World’s Most Controversial Music–but I want my brethren to be encouraged and I want to speak a word of edification to all of us as we talk this through.

Read the rest here: The Holy Hip-Hop Hullabaloo

2 thoughts on “The Holy Hip Hop Hullabaloo

  1. Hey Jemar,
    Thanks for going the distance with the issue by providing Ligon’s article. Interestingly, Al Mohler, just communicated similar thoughts. This is good stuff and exactly what’s needed to bridge the feelings between us all. By the way, I have read your complete articles (Is Diversity Just a Cultural Issue? and A New Southern Presbyterianism) and have passed them along with the three audio links to my friends, black and white. We are hosting an informal “conversation” on Dec. 8.

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