Monday, November 15, 2010
David Murray: Is "Holy Hip Hop" holy?
David Murray had an intriguing article on his blog last week titled, "Is 'Holy Hip Hop' holy?" reflecting on his meeting some New Calvinist rappers at a recent Desiring God conference. Here is an excerpt:
But can't we redeem it for the Lord? Can't we take the beat, the clothes, the postures, the culture, and simply change the words from violent, rebellious, proud, disrespectful, vain, self-worshiping, woman-hating, rape-glorifying, crude, perverse, and sex-obsessed to Christ-like and cross-centered preaching and/or worshipping? (It's difficult to know if "Holy Hip Hop" is preaching or praise. I'm assuming that as most - even its supporters - find it almost impossible to join in with it and "sing" along with it, it is more a form of preaching than praise).
The Church is always at risk of slipping slowly and imperceptibly away from the "foolishness of preaching" to the seemingly reasonable and persuasive "wisdom of this world." In ancient culture, worldly wisdom said to Gospel preachers, "Use philosophy!" or "Use miracles!" but Paul stuck by the seemingly foolish method of a single, unaccompanied human voice authoritatively declaring the Truth. He did not use the common Greek Socratic method or the accepted Jewish Rabbinic model. He used God's method and model of preaching - culturally unacceptable then as now.
Through the years, the Church has been continually tempted to use various cultural fads and trends to reach the lost - Christian punk rock, Christian glam rock, Christian death metal - usually with little lasting fruit. The temptations take different forms in different cultures, but God has designed and designated preaching to be the universal means of gathering in His elect, no matter what culture or age we live in.