Hip Hop Redemption is an admirable effort by theologian Dr.
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Ralph Basui Watkins to present and encourage compassionate dialogue with hip-hop culture. Watkins carefully situates himself as a fan of the music and a capable academic, but not quite a member of the hip-hop generation.
His honesty and humility, combined with his willingness to engage with the complexities of his subject and perspective give this work an uncommon degree of depth and authenticity. He places hip hop in its proper social, theological, historical and artistic contexts.
Mining history and scripture, as well as various musical and academic sources, Watkins leads us toward deeper understanding of a culture and a generation that he clearly loves. His sincere desire for truth and healing lends credibility to his perspective and enlivens his writing. Watkins does, however, overreach at points.
As an unabashed fan, he occasionally strains to pull a skeptical or biased audience into his own joyful experience of the culture, with mixed results. I find his text most potent when it strives to create understanding around hip hop, less so when it aims to incite enthusiasm in readers. With Hip Hop Redemption , Watkins joins Michael Eric Dyson and Cornel West in a small but growing league of spiritual and intellectual fathers for the hip-hop generation. These ministers and academics engage with hip hop out of deep love for the generation who live and express its beautiful, tragic story.
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Hip-hop culture is experiencing a sea change today that has implications for evangelism, worship, and spiritual practices. Yet Christians have often failed to interpret this culture with sensitivity.
His accessible, balanced engagement reveals what is inherently good and redeeming in hip-hop and rap music and uses that culture as a lens to open up the power of the Bible for ministry to a generation. All Scripture passages link to your favorite Bible translation in your library. You can perform powerful searches by topic and find what other authors, pastors, and theologians have to say, making Logos eBooks ideal for studying contemporary culture. He previously was an assistant dean of the African American church studies program and an associate professor of society, religion, and Africana studies at Fuller Theological Seminary.
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