When it comes to today's Christian music scene, it's quite easy to find much that's shallow, meaningless, man-centered, and just plain wrong. It's a little harder to find theological depth and rock solid truth. That's why I've been very pleased in the past to highlight a growing movement in the medium of hip hop that is characterized by a commitment to biblical truth and the historic, reformed faith -- previously, I've spoken of Lampmode recordings, and specifically of some phenomenal albums by Shai Linne and Timothy Brindle.
Well, recently I came into contact with a sister ministry, called Christcentric. One of Christcentric's artists, Evangel, has a debut album ready to release the twenty-sixth of August, called Expository Journey. Christcentric very graciously sent me a copy ahead of time, so I've been able to preview it.
From the outset, it's clear that Evangel displays some of the things I've come to expect from Lampmode and Christcentric -- a clear and unapologetic testimony to the truths of the Reformation, emphasizing man's total depravity and inability, monergistic regeneration, penal substitution, and the necessary effect of the gospel, which must however be passionately pursued, of personal holiness.
Evangel's chief distinguishing characteristic, appropriately enough, seems to be his emphasis on personal evangelism. This is not primarily a worship album, and many of the songs are addressed to sinners, or written with the unconverted in mind. He seems not to have gotten over his own conversion, which one suspects from the nature of several tracks was fairly recent. Dialogues between evangelists and sinners, believers and their unbelieving friends, doctrinally mature believers and man-centered evangelicals, and so on, make up a pretty significant chunk of the material.
Expository Journey also contains a few tracks on other specific topics, such as, for instance, "A Good Thing," which is basically a scripture-saturated unpacking of the beauty of marriage, and its divine ordination. The approach of taking so popular a musical motif as the love between a man and woman, and doing the very unpopular and unusual thing of laying out God's own opinion on the topic, is quite refreshing.
Basically, Evangel is in fact an evangelist. His music is primarily sermonic, an appeal to the unsaved and to fellow believers alike to be more firmly rooted in the deep doctrinal truths of the Reformation. I have no hesitancy in encouraging anyone interested to get over to Christcentric and order a copy of this album, or any of the other albums available there.