Friday, February 24, 2012


D.A. HORTON (D.Ed.Min candidate at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Kansas City, MO) was born in inner city Kansas City, KS and was "headed to the grave or prison" before God called him to salvation and into evangelism and Gospel rap (under the name Azriel). Horton is now the Lead Teaching Elder at Koinonia Bible Church in Kansas City, MO and a professor of Systematic Theology and at Calvary Bible College and Contemporary Theology at Calvary Theological Seminary (Kansas City, MO). He is currently developing Urban Ministry courses for the college as well as an Urban Ministry masters degree program for the seminary. D.A. (Azriel) is still a D.J. and rapper who seeks to utilize his theological training to pronounce the gospel through his lyrics.;

Publication Date: 1/1/2012
ISBN - 13:  978-0-8024-0589-0
Pages: 77 (Paperback)
Price: $3.99 US

What is the Gospel?  D.A. Horton "chops it up" (to converse with someone in-depth on a particular subject) in seven chapters:

G - God's Image
O - Open Fellowship
S - Sin Introduced
P - Penalty and Price
E - Enter Jesus
L - Life Everlasting

This book explains the gospel in an urban context.  In the introduction, D.A. Horton gives a brief history of the Hip Hop culture.  He also explains the study of Thebonics and includes a Thebonical glossary in the back of the book to refer to (which is where I got "chop it up" from).

D.A. Horton goes on to explain that "Ebonics derives from ebony and phonics (street slang). Thebonics is the merging of theological truths rendered in Scripture and broken down into bite size pieces to be exposited to the urban context in its own unique language of Ebonics."

After each chapter, he includes one of his gospel rap songs, which summarizes each theme of that particular chapter.  This particular lyric stood out for me from his gospel rap song, "God's Image":

"We ain't God, even tho we made in God's image.  He's infinite, we finite, meaning that we got limits."

I enjoyed reading the Gospel explained in a raw, uncut and urban way.  I gleaned from the Thebonic terms, especially living in New York City and hearing it all around me.  I knew some of the sayings, because my husband is familiar with street slang.  He grew up in the Hood (the city neighborhood), surrounded by the hip hop culture.

In the last chapter entitled "What Now?", D.A. Horton gives his testimony and explains step by step how to get saved.  What I thought was interesting is that he advises to look for a healthy church; by examining the three Ps: the preaching, the people and the process.  I liked how he included this important and helpful information.

Overall, this book is Bangin'! (something that is appealing or pleasing).  I appreciate how it was written and would really love to see this book get into the hands of the youth and youth leaders alike.

In conclusion, I want to personally thank Janis Backing of Moody Publishers for sending me this book for free to review.

You can purchase this book at the following sites: (ebook)

Barnes & Noble:


1 comment:

Stephanie Smith said...

Love this review! Extra points for using thebonics, that was fun :) Thanks Pilar!