The Gospel in One Minute

Reformed (and slightly charismatic?) ministry Desiring God led by John Piper put this video on their front page under the heading “The Gospel In One Minute.” I think the message is theologically correct overall but a bit skewed.  While there is an overemphasis on God’s love… repentance, obedience and sanctification are notably absent.  To Lecrae’s defense, this may have been a spontaneous recital. 🙂

What do Delight in Truth readers think?  Does rap have a place in spreading the gospel?

12 comments on “The Gospel in One Minute

  1. …”overemphasis on love”… glad I am not the lone ranger in seeing that.

    I wonder if poetry is making a resurgence in the American evangelical world, what with the “spoken word” conferences, and if some people will change their musical style and turn to poetry, which can be an impactful way of conveying the Gospel.

    • I once send a conservative/reformed leaning friend of mine a ‘copy and paste’ of Lecrae’s track “Background” and asked the friend what do you think of the lyrics…

      He really liked them.

      Then I send him the official video. Of course it is rap mixed in with singing. He changed his positive opinion rather quickly because of that 🙂

  2. When sanctification, repentance and obedience are absent, then I would have to say it’s not a presentation of the gospel.

    With regard to your friend who is conservative…If an unsaved friend had sent you the lyrics to…say…Amazing Grace, you’d probably think they weren’t bad. If he told you that he’d taken them off the back of a Vodka bottle the church was handing out during street evangelism, you might not be so positive about it. Packaging matters. It matters because we aren’t called to just deliver a message, we are called to live a life of obedience, humility, love, sanctification, etc.

    So, I would ask, if someone were watching the above video, or the video of Lecrae’s song “Background”, without the benefit of understanding the words, would it present to an image of the Gospel. Would the feelings it brings to your heart and mind be those of a Christian life? Would it bring the same feelings as simply reading the words as poetry in church? Would you look at the performer and say, here is a man who is humble beyond human comprehension before an Almighty God? Or would you say, this looks and sounds alot like the world? These are some of the questions that should be asked before some ‘vehicle’ of conveying the Gospel is considered.

    • Excellent points Matt. Many Christians disagree with the packaging of biblical messages into rap songs and rap videos or modern music videos for that matter. The argument makes sense if you consider the origin of hip-hop or rock ‘n roll.

      I personally do not follow Christian hip-hop, it just so happens that Lecrae is promoted by John Piper and I am intrigued by the biblical message of the raps. I have never encountered such reformed lyrics in a rap before like those of the song “Background.”

      So now… we have to discern. How do we discern if the music style is acceptable for a Christian to listen to?

      First, I think you look at the author. In the case of Lecrae, his testimony and life I think show evidence of the new birth. You can never be 100% sure of this but his spoken word lyrics are biblical and theologically correct.

      Second, I think we have to look for signs that the music is infiltrated by worldly and demonic elements. Some artistic expression which I think is OK for videos may not be OK for church worship not because it may be worldly, it is just not fit for church due to aesthetic reasons.

      So I think that artists like Lecrae may have a place artistically in Christianity as long as as the line from biblical ‘rap’ is not crossed into hip-hop or rock ‘n roll, and most importantly the artist is born again.

    • Manuela, I watched those clips from Gabe, I think they are right on. But I ask you: is there any room in the presentation of the Gospel by born again people like Lecrae and their spoken word which is 180 degrees different from hip-hop?

        • I am merely asking some questions. To generate discussion. Don’t get me wrong, I hold critical views on vast majority of Christian hip hop. But do you think rap type of spoken word has no place in Christian music at all?

      • The videos discuss a number of things, but to summarize. When Ivor Myers attempted to put a Christian message (i.e. lyrics) into his music, the response of people to the music did not change because they weren’t responding to his words about Jesus, but rather to the music and performance. As he matured, he found that performing this style music was not compatible with maintaining a spirit of meekness and humility. He also determined that God’s Word is not compatible with and should not be mixed with this type of vehicle.

        So, if you believe the video is right on, then I assume I should interpret your question as. “do you think there’s a place for born again, but immature Christians to deliver God’s Word in a manner that is both prideful and incompatible with God’s Word?”

        There will always be immature Christians attempting to spread God’s Word in immature and/or inappropriate ways. This does not mean that Christians should embrace this or promote it. We should encourage those brothers and sisters to grow and mature.

  3. I guess John Piper found a rapper that has the “right” theology .. so now his methods are suppose to be ok

    I had the same feeling when he gave a platform to Driscoll years ago…

    Having the right theology does not make your methods right …

  4. Hip Hop can’t be used, our music is to match that of heavens’ not of earths’ and if we choose to reflect the music of earth we will become like earth and want the fame and glory of earth

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