Tag Archives: christianity

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Stop Columbusing. Lecrae Didn’t Invent Christian Rap.

Okay, so this piece may sound like I’m trying to criticize Lecrae, so before I go any further, let me offer a few disclaimers.

 

I like Lecrae.

 

I really, really like Lecrae.

 

As an artist, as a person — as far as I can tell — he seems to be the real deal.

 

I have defended him in my writing plenty of times, most recently for collaborating with — *** GASP *** — secular artists, mostly because the sacred vs. secular dichotomy is generally unhelpful and really no longer exists, anyway.

But generally, I like his music, and I think he’s taking a great approach to his music career in general, which, by all accounts is growing to incredible heights. It is not at all an exaggeration to say that Lecrae appears to be enjoying a level of critical acclaim and professional exposure that most Christian rappers can only dream about. He’s appearing in a feature film, his new album Anomaly just shot to the top of the Billboard charts, and just this very evening (it’s probably airing as I type this), Lecrae is making an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, performing his new single “All I Need Is You” with The Roots.

This is all a Really Big Deal.

However, there is a shadow side to all of this attention.

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Black Jesus Modest Proposal: Watch It At Church

(Editor’s Note: If you don’t know the history behind the term “modest proposal,” you won’t understand unless you read the whole thing.)

 

Well, last night happened and, as far as I can tell, the four horsemen of the apocalypse have yet to appear.

Which world-shattering event am I referring to? A new development in the Israel-Palestine conflict? A new executive order signed by President Obama? Another Mark Driscoll scandal? No, no… I’m talking about something important. 

Last night was the premiere of the new Aaron McGruder comedy, “Black Jesus.” For the uninitiated, here’s a trailer:

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Flame & Lecrae sued Katy Perry… Wait, Really?

I hate to beat an old comedy trope to death, but in this case, I couldn’t muster any other appropriate response. I just saw the story by Robert Patrick of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Flame, Lecrae and Da TRUTH have filed suit against Katy Perry and Capitol Records for copyright infringement. In a stunning reversal of musical tradition, these Christian emcees are claiming that someone else took their style — specifically alleging that Perry’s 2013 single “Dark Horse” bears a more-than-coincidental resemblance to their 2008 hit “Joyful Noise.”

REALLY?!?

This lawsuit is a ridiculous embarrassment, not only for these emcees specifically, but for all of Christian hip-hop.

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Tomorrow’s Lesson: Dying Is the Way to Live


“Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.'”
— Matthew 16:24-25, New International Version 
And why should we ourselves risk our lives hour by hour? For I swear, dear brothers and sisters, that I face death daily. This is as certain as my pride in what Christ Jesus our Lord has done in you. And what value was there in fighting wild beasts—those people of Ephesus—if there will be no resurrection from the dead? And if there is no resurrection, ‘Let’s feast and drink, for tomorrow we die!'”
1 Corinthians 15:30-32, New Living Translation
“I hope tomorrow will bring / a better you, a better me”
— Siedah Garrett (lyricist), Tomorrow (A Better You, Better Me)

Thanks to the good people at Klout, I attended an advance screening of the Tom Cruise / Emily Blunt sci-fi action film “Edge of Tomorrow,”  and what I found surprised me.

First, it was good. Like, really good. Plenty of good old-fashioned action, but smartly paced and edited, moderated by a delicious time-travel premise, and magnified by two AAA-grade performances by Blunt and Cruise. If “Groundhog Day” and “District 9″* ever hooked up, had a child, and then hired F. Gary Gray’s “Italian Job” remake to babysit on the weekends, that film would grow up to be “Edge of Tomorrow.”

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Believing Without Seeing

This post is, of course, inspired mostly by the annual celebration of Easter, the day that Christians celebrate the resurrection of Christ. A small part of it was probably, on a subconscious level, influenced by the ABC freshman drama “Resurrection,” which is either based on or tangentially related to a really confusing number of TV serials and movies, all related to the phenomenon of people returning from the dead.
But mostly it’s me just doing what I do most and best… dwelling on the most trivial and arcane portion of a really important topic, mostly just because I can, and seeing where it leads me creatively.
So without further ado, I give you a brief two-scene play that attempts to partially answer the question, “what might the resurrection have looked like if it happened in our time?”