(Interview) Jerrel Pilarta on Rap Music and Doctrines of Grace

When you hear the word “rap”, what comes to your mind? Probably you’ll think about popular rappers like Francis M. or Gloc 9. You might also think of the message of their songs that you hear on the radio like nationalism, peace and unity.

But do you know there is a Christian artist who raps about the gospel? In fact, he raps about the Doctrines of Grace or Calvinism in his latest EP. I connected with Jerrel Pilarta, an indie gospel rap artist and we talk about Calvinism, rap music and his new release titled TULIP.

How did you came to know Christ?

I grew up in a Christian household, so ever since bata pa ako lagi ko ng naririnig ang Gospel. Pero for me, I believe last 2016 ko lang na fully grasp ang Gospel at natanggap ng buong puso. Nung na realize ko na kahit sobrang makasalan ako, papatawarin pa rin ako ni Jesus if I will repent and accept Him as my Lord and Savior. Dun nag-sink in sakin ang ibig sabihin ng grace.

Who introduced you to the doctrine of grace?

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Book Review: Humble Calvinism by Jeff Medders


Humble Calvinism is a call for all Calvinist to bow down to humility. As believers of the doctrine of grace, we have the tendency to puff ourselves in front of Arminians and sadly to unbelievers. Rather that have that attitude and because we have the biblical truth, we must clothe ourselves with utmost humility that the God of the doctrine of grace may magnified through a holy attitude. Medder’s didn’t have to take the readers any where else to see humility. He points them to the 5 points of Calvinism itself as the basis of such attitude. The 5 points screams meekness for the believers and Medders gladly discusses it in every chapter.  You can feel that every points or TULIP acrostics pounds you back to earth and makes you gaze up to look upon God’s goodness.

In the introduction and initial chapter are fast paced as it sets up the case of humility for the Calvinist. Medders shows his witty writings. However, it slows down a bit as Medders unpacks the 5 points. Medders is on serious mode in the following chapters but not that heavy or dark. Just light seriousness not a thundering one. Very different from the other books he authored.

Nevertheless, J. A. Medders is such a wordsmith that he nails every points at the same time ignites your mind of the readers. The opening chapter already grabs our attention. He is an effective communicator that you should not let him escape from your radar. In Humble Calvinism, he really did a fine job getting those words that sometimes are hard for us to come up with. His reservoir of words spills out from these pages and makes you wait to flood to the next book he’ll be writing. In Humble Calvinism, you can pick up lots of one liners in the book that you can post on your social media that will strike your friends. Those one liners are gems found in a treasure chest of a book like this.

This book reminds me of Killing Calvinism by Greg Dutcher and Graciousness by John Crotts.  I would like to add in the mix Joshua Harris, Humble Orthodoxy. All books are faithful reminder that we should lay down our arrogance and handle the doctrine with care. Each books have their own way and time on conveying the cage stage problem.

Isn’t a coincidence that this book will be released this year as we celebrate the 400th year of the Synod of Dort and 10th year of the “Young, Restless and Reformed” movement? Let it be a constant reminder that in any time in history, Christian should be reminded of the grace of God that saved us sinners. Humble Calvinism is an antidote for the cage stage and a refreshing water to the dreary Christians who are tired of seeing Calvinism as a dry, lifeless slab of stone but a living, active energy that is contagious.

Pre-order the book on Amazon or add it to your wish list by clicking this link.  Also check out some awesome quotes from the book by following this link.

My verdict:

4.5 out of 5