The Attributes of God – Shai Linne

Posted on September 8, 2011

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!  Let your glory be over all the earth! – Psalm 57:5

UPDATE The Attributes of God album is now available for purchase through iTunes or the Lampmode store.

Before last year I did not have an appreciation for Christian hip hop.  Not really knowing anything about it, I dismissed it as unholy as “Christian” metal and didn’t think it could possibly bring glory to God.  Even up until the time we began planning our first project for The Speak:Truth Project last fall, I had mixed feelings about this music genre.  As a result of obtaining 1,000 copies of ReachLife ministries‘ “Before You Die” for that event, I plugged Lecrae into my Pandora playlist.  I began to really appreciate the doctrinal soundness and lyrical richness of some of the artists I heard, especially when I discovered Shai Linne.

The Christian music industry has become saturated with so much man-centered music that distorts Scripture and the character of God.  The music is oftentimes superficial, using “catchy” phrases about the benefits of God, is focused on people, and/or exalts the love of God at the expense of His holiness and righteousness.  Not so with Lampmode’s Shai Linne – I’ve never heard such doctrinally pure lyrics that pack so much truth in a 4-5 minute song.  He is a story teller (check out his album Storiez), and seeks to give God the glory, honor, and praise He alone deserves.  The foundation of Shai’s work is the Scriptures and not on emotional, subjective feelings that consume so many musicians on the pop-charts today.  To give you an idea of Shai’s heart for his music and a contrast to the modern, watered-down gospel message, he recently tweeted:

One thing I consider when writing: I never want non-Christians to like my music while at the same time hating my God.

Shai’s newest album, The Attributes of God, is yet to be released, but based on a conversation I had with Timothy Brindle last Saturday night at the God Has a Better Way Concert following the Pride Charlotte festival, it is the most God-glorifying album to ever hit the sound waves.  A couple days ago I downloaded the free single, The Glory of God, and if it’s like the rest of the album, Tim is right.  Here’s a video with lyrics I found on Youtube last night:

Why was Shai compelled to produce an album that was so radically God-centered?  I’ll let him tell you from his May 9th post at his blog, Lyrical Theology:

Why Do An Album on God’s Attributes?

Because A Lot of Christian Music Is Not Actually About God

I don’t mean for this to sound harsh or overly critical, but have any of you noticed that the vast majority of music that would fall into the category of “Christian” is not actually about God Himself? I think this is particularly the case with Christian Hip-hop, but it can be seen in other genres as well. How can I say this? Well, most of the music I hear is more about US and our response to God, but not God Himself. Don’t get me wrong. There’s a place for music that deals with our response to God, but when that is the overwhelming majority of the music, we slowly begin to distort the truth about who the God is that we’re supposedly responding to. The Tozer quote above was written over 50 years ago, but could have been written yesterday. Our culture is extremely narcissistic and man-centered, and it seems that much of Christian music has followed suit. The Bible, however, is radically God-centered, and I believe that a radically God-centered worldview should be reflected in the songs we write. Because of our man-centered tendencies, the songs we sing about God usually deal with the things we like about Him (which are usually the things that directly benefit us the most), such as His love, mercy and forgiveness, etc. These things are glorious and we should write songs about them. However, if that’s all we talk about, we create an incomplete and deficient view of God, which is not in line with His self-revelation.

So, for instance, when was the last time you heard a contemporary song that echoed the ancient songs of David about the righteousness and justice of God (Ps. 11:7)? Which Christian hit on Billboard sings along with Nahum that God is “jealous, avenging and wrathful” (Nahum 1:2-3)? Who is producing songs that speak to God’s sovereign rule over His creation (Ps. 2, 115)? Can you direct me to a popular song that celebrates God’s omniscience along with Hannah (1 Sam. 2:3)? God’s eternality along with Moses (Psalm 90:2)? God’s judgments along with Miriam (Ex. 15:21)? These things are often spoken of in Scripture, particularly in the context of Biblical songs, yet they tend to be largely missing from our songs today. That’s not to say that no one is doing it. God has raised up an increasing number of songwriters who are expounding on His character. But when something so foundational and essential has been so under-done, it becomes important for others to step to the plate and contribute. The Attributes of God album is simply my attempt at one such contribution.

grace and peace,

I can’t wait for The Attributes of God to be released.  Even if hip hop is not your taste of music, I hope you take some time to check out Shai’s work, if anything for the lyrical content.  You just might find yourself lifting your hands to the Most High to a beat you never expected you’d ever be worshiping to. I know I do – Soli Deo Gloria!

Check out some of the videos below to see more of Shai’s work, and be sure to “like” his new facebook artist page to stay updated on the album release and more.