If you are looking for theologically saturated Christian music that has the greatest potential for widespread appeal, your best option may be Christian hip-hop.

Because of its form–a high volume of words with little repetition–hip-hop may provide one of the best modes of music to convey propositional truths and doctrinal content that at the same time connects to a younger generation. Contrast that with Contemporary Christian Music (CCM), which is often criticized for being shallow, theologically light, and generally lacking content that inspires the mind and the heart.

It is important to keep in mind that Christian hip-hop, unlike other contemporary genres, generally is not intended for use during corporate worship, so rejecting its appropriateness for the liturgy is not relevant.

But even with the deep theological content found in much of Christian hip-hop, many evangelicals view it as an inappropriate medium for Christian music. This objection reveals some level of ignorance about the historical development of Christian music.

Dr. David Koyzis, in his book Political Visions and Illusions, highlights this ignorance by noting, “Many conservatives dislike ‘pop’ or ‘rock’ music and prefer, say, the baroque pieces of Bach or Telemann. . . . The very label ‘baroque’ was used in a derogatory fashion by conservatives of that day to describe what they felt to be ugly music.” Today many hail the “ugly” church music set to baroque as the height of Christian music and a form that should be normative today.

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Source: World Magazine | Anthony Bradley

(For more on Christian hip-hop, see “Holy hip-hop,” by Mark Bergin, WORLD, Feb. 3, 2007.)

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