Thabiti Anyabwile did his own “Round-Up of the Holy Hip Hop Squabble” then gave his reactions:
- As I tweeted
- It’s good to see our white brothers take up arms so decisively against fellow white men in defense and confirmation of the truth.
- I’m glad for the restraint shown by the men who were the target of these comments.
- Finally, we need to be careful about extending labels in conversations like this.
Read [6 min. listen]
Nicolas Alford, over at The Decablog, gave his own little roundup then wrote a parody entitled The NCFIC Boldly Speaks Out Against Reformed Country-Western: A Parody with a Point
I applaud the recent bold stance taken by the NCFIC against the growing popularity of a certain so-called “musical form” in the church. For too long, we have looked the other way as Reformed country-western has gained steam. Look around. Our young men have hats with ridiculously large brims pulled down low over their eyes, their headphones in, slowing strumming the air as though they were out riding the countryside looking for stray steer. Country-western “music” cannot be disassociated with the culture from which it originated- a culture rampant with the abuse of alcohol and spouses, where the jeans are too tight and every one is cryptically told to “cowboy up”- whatever that means. The crooners of this so-called “art form” think they are serving God. They’re not. What these cowards don’t know is the hand which picks up the Bible must first lay down the lasso…
Read [12 min. readout]
Scott T. Brown put up An Apology on the NCFIC Blog:
A few days ago I released a video clip from a panel discussion at our conference on The Worship of God. One of the panelists, Geoff Botkin, referred to the people driving Christian rap as “disobedient cowards.” I interpreted his statement to mean that, in every culture, Christians are often cowards in the face of various elements of their cultures that are infected with worldliness. Geoff has explained to me that he did not intend to impugn the work of sincere men, and that he would like to apologize for any confusion caused by his statement. Here is his apology…
Please Forgive Me via Scott Brown Online [added Dec. 3, 2013]
During the panel discussion on rap I should have engaged such a controversial subject as this with greater discernment, explicit scriptural grounding, clarity, definition of terms (like “rap”) and precision that comes from a full grasp of the subject. These were lacking in the rap discussion. The very question itself lacked clarity and nuance which opened the door to the misrepresentations common to the broad brush. In framing the question, I failed to distinguish between the use of music in worship compared to simply listening to music. We failed to distinguish between the various expressions of the artists. I failed to correct a panelist who made an unsavory comment. Panel discussions, off the cuff are useful for certain things, but to use a surprise question to a panel to engage a broader audience on such a complex controversial topic as musical genres they may not have been knowledgeable of was unwise. I did not engage this topic with the required care. There were moments where it lacked the brotherly tone that is essential for our critiques within the body of Christ. In at least these senses, it was unworthy of our Lord. Please forgive me…
Three Dividing Lines This Week by James White via Alpha and Omega Ministries [added Dec. 3, 2013]
Thursday at 5pm EST I will be joined by Dr. Voddie Baucham, Shai Linne and Ivey Conerly to discuss the recent explosion of discussion regarding “Christian rap.”
Reformed Rap Ruckus: Comments from the Empty Chair by Sam Waldron via Midwest Center for Theological Studies: Owensboro, KY [added Dec. 4, 2013]
…Being old (Well 62!) and not particularly “Facebook and blog aware,” I was alerted to this controversy first by a much younger member of my church. After viewing the video and reading Ligon Duncan’s related comments, I wrote the following email to the to my younger, but like-minded, brother in the Lord. It is slightly edited for this blog.
It is pretty well known–at least I have made no secret of it–that I enjoy Shai Linne’s doctrinally solid raps. I have played them for college students in college classes with a good conscience and with gladness that they present the Christian religion in a different and contemporary cultural form. I think that as an art form and performance this may give them a helpfulness that other art forms and performance styles may not possess for today’s generation.
I certainly do not agree with many of the things the panelists said. . . . I am glad that Botkin apologized for the unfortunate things he said. I certainly do not agree with the very negative tone of the video as a whole about Reformed rap…
Since I wrote the above email both Scott Brown and Joel Beeke have issued apologies for aspects of their comments. I think their apologies show wisdom and humility. Both emphasize the distinction I am insisting on in this blog. Let me only add that my ministry at the NCFIC conference emphasized the crucial distinction I was making at the Worship of God conference between the corporate worship of the church and other situations. The question of whether Reformed rap may be a good and useful kind of performance art and thus evangelistic tool is very different from the question of whether any such performance art has any place in the formal worship of Christ’s church. These questions should be separated for a more fruitful discussion.
Read [4 min. listen]
Asking the right questions by Jeremy Walker via Reformation21 Blog
At the risk of being trampled by the ireful in the latest slanging match over rap and hip-hop, I wonder if I might interject? It seems to me, watching from a distance and not trying to read every contribution, that the debate quickly escalates into absolute and swingeing declarations that fail to take account of the various issues that ought to come into play. I may be wrong, but I hope I can lob a few thoughts into the debate.
I suggest that there are at least three questions that ought to be asked in assessing not just rap and hip-hop but other musical genres and forms.
First, and most generically, in what ways can a Christian appreciate, enjoy and embrace either a form or genre of music in and of itself, or a particular instance of that form?
Second, and a little more narrowly, to what extent is a certain form or genre an appropriate vehicle for the communication of distinctively Christian truth?
But third, and most specifically, is this question: is a certain form or genre a legitimate and appropriate means for the corporate worship of the gathered church? This brings us into a whole new realm, for it raises the issue of the artist and his or her audience and the distinctive dynamics of the saints of God gathered in one place for the purpose of worshipping God. The answers to these questions are sometimes assumed in the debate, but often they have been neither raised nor addressed. I have offered some thoughts on these matters [15 min. readout]before…
Read [9 min. readout]
We’ll continue to add more from fellow 1689rs as/if they come out.