Posted by Sumair Mirza in Reflections

Lyrical Theology


This past weekend I was at my church summer conference and we had a great series of sessions on the topic of “The Journey of Salvation: Justification, Sanctification, Glorification”. I will blog on these learnings in the near future.

I wanted to dedicate this post to a form of musical worship that was newly introduced to me during our conference by a fellow brother (Thanks Jermaine). The term for this developing genre is “reformed rap”. It features select artists with a passion for the Scriptures and meaningful lyrics that are based on the Truth.

One such artist, is Shai Linne (his MySpace page is here and blogger page is here). I listened to a couple of his tracks and immediately was taken aback with the quality of the music and the lyrics. It was indeed “Lyrical Theology” – what a concept! Such dedication to the Word and such focus on the art/medium of rap and what has been generated is a deeply meaningful, educational, challenging, inspiring form of musical worship. It is even more inspiring to hear that some of these labels will not present an artist until they have finished seminary – what a testimony to their dedication to handle the word of God as carefully as the prophets and apostles did.

I immediately logged onto iTunes and downloaded 2 albums of Shai and am making my way through each track. After using 2 of the songs (Mission Accomplished and Atonement Q&A – see below) to close out our series of talks at our conference that dealt with the same theological topic of salvation each of us left impressed. I reflected on why I was so excited about this “discovery” and I realized it was because I find it so amazing to discover new ways of worshiping our Lord that are so entrenched in the uncompromising truth. Some of these tracks are so deep that I like to call them “micro-sermons” – It really does challenge me to shorten my Sunday School lessons 😛

One of the songs even goes through a full series of brief musical sketches of the various Christian martyrs (see third song below). The passion and emotion felt when listening to these tracks is remarkably moving and taking on such a topic in a musical worship to praise God for His martyred saints is truly setting a stage for this unique new genre.

Some of my favourite lyrics (and there are many that you need to listen to the track entirely to get the proper message and appreciation for its presentation):
1) “He’s not in the limelight – He IS the limelight” – From Jesus is Alive.
2) “I got the hottest Poppa and by the Spirit holler Abba” – From Atonement Q&A.
3) “Because His tomb is empty like most secular rap lyrics – From Jesus is Alive.
4) “If you would have scratched him, he would bleed Bible” – From Spurgeon referencing the faithful preacher Charles Spurgeon.

All I can say is “Amen!” 🙂 I hope you enjoy the below three songs and you give it a try.

This is me sharing about what is running through my mind…
Click here for “Mission Accomplished” lyrics.

Click here for “Atonement Q&A” lyrics.

Click here for “Martyrs” lyrics.