on the furore over Piper and rap

The fundie blogosphere is in a furore over video of a rap performance at John Piper’s church in Minneapolis, with the smiling approval of Piper himself. I first noticed it over at Scott Aniol’s blog here, and it created an over 20 page discussion on Sharper Iron in less than a day here (I went away for a bowl of cereal and two pages of discussion were added in the 15 minutes I was gone!).

And there are other comments elsewhere, no need to link to them.

My view is that music does have an inherent moral quality, just like painting/literature/sculpture and all forms of art.

But my post isn’t about that. Here is what I am seeing: the reaction to this incident clearly shows who the fundamentalists are and the poseurs are. Read through the 20 something pages on SI and you will see who is and who isn’t a fundamentalist out of that group.

Thanks, JP, you really were a help on this. Perhaps some will get it and stop walking with the compromisers who want to wear the label of fundamentalist but walk the walk of the evangelical.

Don Johnson
Jer 33.3


  1. Kent Brandenburg says:

    That discussion on rap at SI was one of the saddest things I’ve seen for awhile. I can’t comment there because I don’t match their high rhetorical standards, so I’ll gladly do it on your blog, Don, if you permit.

    Those supporting the rap are either ignorant or rebellious. They have said, whether they think it or not, that it is a racial issue. I believe it is a cultural one. We reject the African culture. Yes. I do at least. I accept the 16th to 17th century European and 18th century English cultures. Is it racial? Not at all. The difference is the Bible. Africa was the Dark Continent because of paganism.

    In proving all things, we reject all forms of evil, hanging on to the good. We can judge what in a culture is good. Some cultures are superior than others depending upon their response to the Word of God. I don’t condone present European or American music. It is only music from a certain era. There are good songs still being written today with the same influence on their music: the Bible.

    I deal with this cultural issue in depth in my book, Sound Music or Sounding Brass, available from me for $15, but also at B & N, and Amazon.

    The people that don’t get this are lacking in discernment in a big way. They are a danger to America and Christians at large. I reject them as well.

  2. Andy Efting says:

    I probably shouldn’t have been, but I was completely shocked at the responses. I knew we were losing the music battle but I didn’t think people would defend rap. Boy was I wrong.

  3. Don Johnson says:

    I’ve been reading some comments and discussing things with friends lately about why all of this is happening. One thing that keeps coming up is a criticism of the ‘youth ministry’ pattern of the last thirty years. The general trend has been towards entertainment, including in fundamental circles. In a way, my generation have been fundamentalist yuppies. We were orthodox, but we wanted our kids to be ‘taken care of’ and ‘interested in coming to church’ but we weren’t interested in discipling them ourselves, we wanted them ‘out of sight out of mind’ so to speak.

    It is little wonder from that standpoint that so many kids have grown up dissatisfied with the ‘big people’s church’, it just isn’t fun enough.

    Of course there are many factors. The above is probably too simplistic, but I think it is part of the problem.

    The goal of parents ought to be 1) be a disciple yourself 2) disciple your kids – reach their hearts, and teach them to love the Lord from the heart.

    Although I don’t agree with all of Edwards’ theology, I do think this business of the affections is important. (Not that I’ve read Edwards on it – talk about sleep inducing, way way too dull… Hey, what am I saying!)

    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  4. Dave Marriott says:

    I was saddened too…how have our churches gone so far amuck?

  5. Don Johnson says:

    Hi Dave,

    Thanks for the comment. I was out all day, so that’s why the post didn’t show up for so long. I am paranoid so I check each one before it goes out.

    How did we go amuck (or amiss, as per your other post)?

    I think there are a number of factors including the spirit of this age. The Lord said “Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” Sometimes I wonder.

    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3