Lecrae on Lecrae’s Compromise

lecrae

What would compromise look like in Lecrae’s career?

I asked him.

Last November, while he was in Minneapolis for a concert, Lecrae kindly agreed to answer some questions, and I thought it was the right time to ask the hardest question — the type of question everything inside of me hesitated to ask in the first place, but the type of hard question that ultimately works toward clarity on important issues.

My appreciation for Lecrae and his music was already high at the time, and it increased by his willingness to answer this:

You partner and record with gifted artists who are not Christians. Some fear this trajectory will lead to a compromising of the gospel, and so there’s a level of uncertainty among some Christians about your future. This is an opportunity for you to address the future. (1) What would a compromised message look like in Lecrae’s future? (2) What will a faithful message look like in Lecrae’s future?

Here’s his answer (3-minute audio):

On a related note, Phil Ryken published a helpful post over at TGC: “How to Discourage Artists in the Church.”

Matthias Grünewald’s Isenheim Altarpiece

From Tullian Tchividjian’s forthcoming book Glorious Ruin: How Suffering Sets You Free (October 2012), page 189:

If you’ve taken an art history class, you’ve probably come across Matthias Grünewald’s Isenheim Altarpiece. Or at least the panel depicting the crucifixion.

Completed in 1515, just before the Protestant Reformation blasted off, the altarpiece was commissioned for the church hospital of St. Anthony in Colmar, France, which specialized in comforting those dying with skin diseases. Grünewald took a radical approach to his subject. While most of his contemporaries were still depicting Calvary with post-Renaissance delicacy, Grünewald’s version was dark and borderline horrific: especially Christ’s smashed feet, His contorted arms, and His twisted hands. The cross is bowed to demonstrate Jesus bearing the sins of the world.

The most shocking part of the piece, however, is that Jesus Himself has a skin disease; His loincloth is the same as the wrappings worn by the hospital’s patients. The altarpiece is a creation of such shocking intensity that many initially — and even today — found it repulsive. Yet the graphic nature served masterfully to define and illustrate the Antonite brothers’ powerful understanding of Christian ministry. Apparently patients were brought before the piece in order to meditate on it as they died. The brothers were a quiet order, so no explanations were provided. There was no awkward chatter, no halfhearted attempts to piously let God off the hook. There was just silence.

Isaiah 53:5:

But he was pierced for our transgressions; / he was crushed for our iniquities; / upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, / and with his wounds we are healed.

Lay Face Down and Clutch the Grass

If you enjoyed N. D. Wilson’s brilliant book Notes From The Tilt-A-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God’s Spoken World, I think you will enjoy his new DVD by the same title. The new “bookumentary” is just as artistic, personal, creation marveling, Creator worshiping, and as serious about worldview, graveyards, hell, art, evil, and enjoying hotdogs, ice cream, shorelines, and butterflies. It’s a 50-minute worldview film about God and life that will edify your soul and give you a new appreciation for the marvelous world in which we live. And it’s a project that has quite a lot of potential uses in campus and community outreach (study guide included).

Props to Wilson (@ndwilsonmutters) and director Aaron Rench (@aaronrench; also the executive director of Collision: Christopher Hitchens vs. Douglas Wilson) for pulling off a thoughtful, edifying, and artistic new film.

You can buy the movie from Canon Press ($22) or watch the trailer here: