Christian hip-hop: “Jesus, save the world from me”

I’m pushing the envelope regarding my Lenten blog fast, but I’m going to cheat and call this a sermon-related podcast (which I had decided to make exceptions for) because it’s a song that might be connected to a future sermon series. God has given me this word: we should not be asking Jesus to save us from the world, but rather to save the world from us. Hence this song is called “Jesus, save the world from me.” Lyrics are below. Are you subscribed to the podcast?

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Danceable Homiletics #4: Ruach (featuring Amanda Garber)

I made a track on January 4th, 2010 that’s kind of playful in a fairyland sort of way. I was experimenting with some special effects that make hissing and swirling sounds. I didn’t realize that it was a song about Pentecost until I heard Amanda Garber’s beautiful sermon about Pentecost from last summer. So I put Amanda’s words on top of the track and I’m really excited about the result. I’m calling it “Ruach” (the Hebrew word for spirit, wind, and breath) since Amanda says the word several times in the course of the sermon.

Danceable Homiletics #3: The Sting (featuring Greg Boyd)

On June 18, 2007, I made a track that I originally called “Ignore me; I’m building an army.” It has been through half a dozen modifications since then. When I discovered in seminary that the word Satan in Hebrew means “the accuser,” I put some of my words over the track and called it Satan, which is actually on this site. But I think I’ve found a better application for the track by coupling it with a sermon Greg Boyd preached almost exactly 5 years after I made my track. On June 10th, 2012, he preached “The Sting,” in which he laid out a compelling Christus Victor vision of the cross as a “sting” operation against Satan. So here then is “The Sting,” track 3 of Danceable Homiletics featuring Greg Boyd:

Danceable Homiletics #2: “Don’t Stand Up For Jesus” (featuring Jonathan Martin)

All right here’s the second one. I just kind of got in the zone tonight. This is from Jonathan Martin’s sermon “Don’t Stand Up For Jesus” which he preached at the height of the Chik-Fil-A drama last summer. Jonathan’s point is that we should stand with Jesus as He stands up for sinners against the people who want to stone them. So here it is:

Danceable Homiletics #1: Ring Them Bells (featuring Brian Zahnd)

My friend Bram gave me an epiphany today. I asked him what I should do to a trance track I made last night since he’s from Europe and they actually listen to trance over there. He said why don’t you overlay it with vocals from a Pentecostal preacher’s sermon. And that was how the new genre of danceable homiletics was born. We’ll see if it goes anywhere. Let me know if you have any favorite sermons you’d like me to trance-late into danceable form. Track #1 was created from an awesome sermon by one of my favorite preachers Brian Zahnd of Word of Life Church in St. Joseph, Missouri. It’s called “Ring Them Bells.”

Kayal ta-arog (Psalm 42 in hip-hop)

Kayal ta-arog al afike mayim is how you write “As the deer panteth for the water” phonetically in Hebrew. That familiar heartwarming hymn has its place to be sure, but if you read the remainder of Psalm 42 from which it draws the first line, then you see that its tone is off. The psalmist says tears have been his food and his enemies’ taunts are crushing his bones. Those sorts of images call for a hip-hop song rather than a churchy sounding hymn. I’m preaching on this psalm this weekend. I will be rapping my own adaptation of it too. Lyrics are below. Here’s the recording: Continue reading