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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A theology of rap

This is a podcast of a lecture givin by Dr William Edgar. He is a professor at Westminister.

He is Protestant, so the context is going to be from that perspective, maybe even from a Reformed protestant one. But I thought he did a decent job in regards to the topic at hand. (and if anyone asks, I wasn't offended by his use of the "N" word. I thought it was kinda funny, was completely academic and besides, I don't expect Europeans to be P.C. in the North American sense)

The title of his lecture is called "rapping the Gospel".

One of the oldest missiological questions we
can ask is, how to contextualize the message without compromising its truth and
its power? Rap was born in the streets of New York. It’s full of self-assertion
and anger. Think of the names of the artists: Public Enemy, Ice T... What does
this have to do with the gospel of Jesus Christ? Isn’t hip hop culture simply
the “world?” Aren’t rap artists just anarchists we need to address with the
opposite message of God’s love? Some rap is indeed anarchistic. But there is a
surprising variety within this genre, and so it is unfair to make such a broad
generalization. Besides, a closer look reveals analogies with the gospel. If we
look for ways to contextualize the gospel message into the hip hop world, we
will find them, sometimes in surprising sources.

1. How does
the gospel rap?
1.1 Defining the hip hop culture
1.2 Worldview and
missions issues

2. The trickster personality in rap
2.1 From
survival to creative reemergence
2.2 Being “bad”
2.3 Railroad Bill
2.4 The good subversive
2.5 Jesus, the truly good subversive
Jesus the story-telling “bad” guy

3. The truth about the blues and rap
3.1 Inventing Robert Johnson
3.2 Stagolee shot Billy
3.3 Jim Crow
and Shakespeare
3.4 Imitation for redemption
3.5 Theodicy in the blues
3.6 Hip-hop and protest
3.7 Toasting the story
3.8 The Word is
4. Good theology and good rap
4.1 Jesus loves us so
Rapping on our way to heaven"

This is the podcast link:



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