Mike Cosper on Rap, Music, Culture, and Human Handiwork

Mike Cosper, worship pastor at Sojourn Community Church, chimed in on the whole NCFIC/Rap panel issue with a very helpful post (Creation, Culture, Redemption, and Hip Hop: A Response to the NCFIC Panel — Mike Cosper). Here’s an excerpt that I found very helpful:

Culture is what happens when image bearers live and work in creation. We were made when God took dust, shaped it, breathed life into it, and it became something new. That’s both our origin story, and the origin story of everything we’ve made: trees and rocks become homes; petroleum products, plastics and metals become cars and iPhones. Culture is image bearers playing and working in creation.

After all, what is music? The most rudimentary definition is that its sound arranged in time, and clearly both sound and time are Gods ideas. He made creation so that it hums and buzzes and resonates. He wasnt surprised when Stradivarius found a violin hiding in a maple tree, or when Leo Fender found a Telecaster in a block of ash, and he wasnt surprised when DJ Grandmaster Flash amongst others started mixing vinyl records and beats to give birth to Hip Hop. Even the idea of sampling is derivative of the Creators imagination: have you ever heard sound echo in a canyon?

To dismiss these cultural artifacts as evil is to give the devil far more credit than he’s due. He’s never made anything, he’s only corrupted. Human handiwork, too, is always and only derivative; we havent so much invented as we’ve discovered.  We are merely “Thinking Gods thoughts after him,” as Johannes Kepler once said. God is the first musician, the first inventor, the brains behind it all, including hip hop. He is the greatest DJ in history. The Providential Producer of every good thing.

A tree can’t be evil if God has called it good. When someone carves it into a drum, it’s still good. When someone plays music on that drum, it’s still good – including the sounds it emanates. When someone starts worshiping a demon while they beat the drum, theyre rebelling against a holy God, and they deserve to be rebuked. But the drum is still good. So is the sound that comes out of the drum; Satan didn’t invent it, he merely deceived someone into using it for evil means.

© 2013, Rick Hogaboam. All rights reserved.

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