Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Q & A Fridays



In working out my new schedule recently, one of the things I've committed to is posting a blog at least once a week. If I can do more, great. But one is definitely reasonable. In addition to that, I want to provide the opportunity for questions. If any of you have questions that relate to Christian hip-hop, culture, music, theology or any combination of the above, post them in the comments section here. I'll choose from the questions submitted. On Fridays, I'll post the question and attempt to answer.

grace and peace,
shai

25 comments:

Purple Soapbox Admin said...

Should a Christian artiste go to a church of a heretic to minister?

Anonymous said...

Just a note to say, we dig your stuff. Our 2.5-yr-old loves it too! He's always asking for your Atonement cd while we cruise around Seattle. May God water those seeds you are planting!

Keep it coming...

Israel Sandoval said...

Shai,

Thank you for doing a Q&A, I have so many questions that I've wanted to ask someone like you or Lecrae or Flame over the years. But here's the one I've had on my mind most recently. Have you heard of a cat named Greydon Square? He is an atheist rapper. In his songs he takes on Christian hip hoppers and Christianity in general. Do you think it is necessary for the holy hip hop community to address him and people like him in song? Not in a manner so that we have our own "Beef" video series but in a manner that many Christians have done throughout history. I think it's important and it's something that the holy hip hop community should not ignore; people like Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Sam Harris were responded to swiftly from Christians who understood this was a challenge we had to address. Please, I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

markG said...

hey Shai,
I love your music. Although I really am not a fan of hip hop at all I find myself blasting it on my way home from work.

2 questions: Do you have a pastor or elder review your lyrics?
What advice do you have for other Christian bands or rappers regarding their lyrics? I think they should almost treat it like giving a sermon, do you agree?
thanks

Elizabeth Townsend said...

Hey Shai,
I'm Elizabeth a biblical studies major at Liberty University. I first off would like to say thank you for glorifying God. My question (As well as MANY others here) is... COULD YOU PLEASE COME TO LIBERTY UNIVERSITY OR NEARBY VIRGINIA?!! PLEASE!!! we're dying to see you live and thirsting for a wave of TRUE LYRICAL THEOLOGY!!

Jacob Hantla said...

How did God save you? What was the process that God used to take you from that to one who is passionate about the truth about God found in his Word?

DJLIVSTRONG said...

Can you name all of the different types of rhyme schemes that can be used in a hip hop song?

I would really love to know them so that I can look out for them when I listen to Holy Hip Hop. It fascinates me.....

Berry said...

Well... lame question...

Saw that you like Spurgeon...
What's your favorite writing of his and why?

((My top 3, in no order:
* Gethsemane (#493)
First one I read

*The Bible (#15)
Just good preaching!

*Sermons In Candles
Taught me that while Scripture is the ultimate, everyday objects tip their hat to it, so be watching.))

doxa said...

Where is the state of rap heading, more specifically, rap that is drenched with reformed theology as its premise?

I think we have seen some signs of rejoicing (John Piper inviting Voice, saying he watched you on youtube, Phil Johnson (Macarthurs right hand man made the following comment "I dont listen to rap, but I liked what I heard. New attitude, allowing you preform.

Where exactly is rap that is reformed heading? And how has the general public taken attune to its message?

WGJake said...

Sounds good bro.

I don't know if you will remember me but I was at CCC this past saturday. And I talked with you for a couple minutes. I was the big dude who is going to LIberty University. I just want to say, I greatly appreciate your advice.

Thank you. I have a blog on here as well.

its, http://theologystudent-wgjake.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

There have been some rumors circulating that you have enrolled/are planning to enroll in seminary. Are they true? If so, what does this all mean for your future involvement with Lampmode?

Howie said...

Hey Shai, Love your work and your sermons from Epiphany fellowship.
My question is related to culture. To what extent is ‘culture’ allowed within church? I think culture has a huge influence wherever a Church is. Culture basically creates the way the Church worships. I see that even in our Church we are praising God less and less through Hymns, modern Christian worships songs have practically taken over because us younger generations are culturally different to the 'oldies'. Does it matter whether we are praising though Hymns or CCM? Cause from what I see is that hymns will practically be ancient scrolls no one digs into in say 20 years time. I know that Hymns can be a bit boring and less exciting, but lyrically can be very beasty, which is one of the reasons I don’t want it to disappear. Worship is not that much written about in the bible which I guess leaves us to think for ourselves… Also how do you derived whether a song is a Psalm (must be based through the book of Psalms right?), Spiritual song, Hymn.?

Geez. I think I have confused you… if you don’t understand my question I fully understand. :)
Howie.

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a wonderful opportunity to gain wisdom & insight. Thank you Shai!

My question is one that I have been contemplating for some time now, and it actually goes back to the article you wrote on advice for Christian artists which I read a couple times (so if my question is answered in that blog, just tell me to refer back to that).

My question is this: I feel as though I have been gifted with ability in rap & music production. Not only that, but I have a passion for both of them. Toward the end of my college career, I’ve been able to do a few performances and openings, mainly in the area of college ministry. At this point, I am a recent graduate of college and working a full-time job to become financially stable and pay off student loans. I would have no problem just making songs as a hobby on my own time to the glory of God, and for my own enjoyment. However, I do have strong passion for them, and feel like I could use my gifts to the glory of God (which I know is of most importance), to reach the lost, and to edify the body of Christ. Also, I wrestle with thoughts of my responsibility to use my areas of strength to the glory of God and to the encouragement of the body. I guess my question is, am I thinking correctly in that I have a responsibility to use my abilities, therefore knowing I should pursue furthering them for God’s glory, whether it be part time or full time? Or is it okay to have gifting and strong passion in an area, but never really use it fully?

Mike

WGJake said...

Sounds good man.

I don't know if you will remember me. But I was at CCC saturday. I got to talk with you for a few minutes. I was the big dude who talked to you outside the lampmode table. I go to Liberty University.

I just wanted to thank you for the advice brother. Stand strong in the Lord.

claude said...

How can we get young Christians in hip-hop culture to realize how dangerous a lot of secular rap is and how detrimental it is to their walk with God?

mphillips said...

shai, i was wondering when you or other lamp mode artists collaborate with other Christian artists outside of lamp mode does that mean you believe in the same things as Christians? for example you appear on Flame's album Rewind, and on Flame's Rewind album he has a song called Wars of the Mind, which talks about mental illness and taking psych meds if needed. I work in the mental health field and I am a Christian, and often I hear that Christians are not supposed to take psych meds that Jesus can heal your mental illness. I have seen first hand on more occasions than i can count what stopping your medication can do to people who have mental illness. On the other hand I belive 100% that Jesus can heal you if it is His will. Simply i believe this; if a dr feels you can benefit from a psych med how is that different from a diabetes med? I feel stigma is attached to people who take psych meds in the church, and i was curious as to where you stood on this and if you had to believe what another Christian artist believes in order to make a special appearance on their album or for a Christian artists to be featured on your album. thanks shai, looking forward to storiez
marc phillips

Nathan said...

Hey Shai,

Big fan here :)

Question:
What have you found challenging in your walk as a Christian artist in writing lyrics? There seems to be a sort of trade-off mentality that can occur between writing sick rhymes and staying to the truth of the Gospel and sound theology. Do you have any ideas for how rappers/songwriters can look to achieve excellence without losing the vital essence of their message?

thanks in advance!

smoke said...

How and when did you start rapping?

Julius Mickel said...

praise God, I hope more people utilize this.
Too much individualism going on--perhaps a natural defense that has come by lack of good leadership. I ws just metioning to a friend who's at seminary, that you stop growing the minute you stop asking questions.
Could you address, when the culture becomes idolatry- isn't it possible in our defence of our stylez n all that, that we have a tendency to want to "floss" with our fitteds, white nikes and the like?
Had to paste some of your lyrics to my blog, you are a prime exmple of the good fruit of HHH www.constrainedbygrace.com (a week old)

Derek said...

In of the potential Christian Rap has to convey large amounts of teaching within smaller context than your average song (because of the word count)...do you think Christian Rap will ever have as rich a heritage as the hymnody of the past?

Essentially I'm for you to make a forecast of Christian Rap based on where it is presently and where it seems to be going.

Anonymous said...

Shai,

I have downloaded several of your Atonement albums off the internet. But where can I find hard copies of the CD to give as gifts to my friends?

I've been rescued by the Lamb
I'm convinced that He's risen
And blessed is the man
Whose sins are forgiven!

Jim L.

Gabriel said...

I agree with the post on the greydon square atheist artist. I spent some time on his myspace page and listened to what he rapped about and also would like to know how Lampmode feels about this; response or not to people like square. Either way we should pray for him and people he is leading away from Christ.

msshaylaj said...

hello Shai,
i appreciate how some of your music really confronts the listener with truth that is especially critical for believers.

i realize most eyes are on Storiez at the moment (btw i am lovin' what i hear so far), however Solus Christus is always in my playlist and as i listen to 'My Portion'--the chorus line in particular, "And earth has nothing I desire but You",...i couldn't help but be totally arrested.

the idea of 'need' isn't as heavy in a country like ours where we are fairly comfortable and personal gratification/reward/entitlement is an expectation. in other words, most of us don't think twice about our desires because they are typically met fairly easily (and quickly). given that, even the most modest person may find it quite difficult to make the statement above and mean it.

how can a modern believer living in this country with all its (relative) liberties and comforts walk this out in all sincerity?

msshaylaj said...

so i realized after much pondering and discussion with my local brothers and sisters, that i may not have read the song in the way it was intended.

perhaps, we should consider Christ to be our 'portion' with an understanding that we truly do desire earthly things. though not above Him, these things should be considered an extension of Him and His work. Then i am able to reconcile my heartfelt desire to seek 'Christ alone' with the realities of my human experience ---(Psa 37:4-6) "Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart".

i assume my question had a slight chance of making it into 2009, but feel free to take it off of the pile. :)

bless you brother,

shayla

Anonymous said...

Hey Shai,
I notice you have Charles Spurgeon as one of your top authors! Praise God! He is also one of my top authors. Did you know he preached to 10,000 plus members for over 20 yrs without the use of musical instruments in his church? My question is:
Do you think he would approve of this "holy" hip-hop thing you're doing?