This past April in Boston, Lecrae spoke at Q Ideas’ annual culture-making conference, which Slate has called the Christian TED Talks.

In Lecrae’s presentation, he highlighted the role that stories play in how people understand the world around them.

“The way we see the world, the way everyone sees the world is through story,” he said. “You can’t derive meaning from anything outside of a story.”

Lecrae used several examples to support this.

“Jesus died,” Lecrae said. “That’s just a statement. Where’s the power in that statement if I don’t understand the story, if I don’t understand why he died or for whom he died or what he died for?”

He also broke down the different views toward the Michael Brown tragedy in Ferguson, Missouri in August 2014, before explaining the story from a big-picture perspective.

“If you have a Christian worldview, if you see life through the Christian story line, you know you’re not the good guys,” Lecrae said. “You’re sinners. We’re all sinners. The cops are not the protagonists. The black community’s not the protagonist. They both suffer from the affects of the fall and both need Jesus as the ultimately hero, the ultimate protagonist.

“But neither one are the bad guys either. They’re both made in God’s image, full of dignity, and so we can’t ultimately vilify one particular God-created person, place or thing. We can’t ultimately glorify one particular individual person, place or thing. The problem in this world is sin. The solution is always going to be the gospel.”

Lecrae then used his song “Welcome to America,” track No. 2 on his latest album Anomaly, as an example. He told a different story in each of the song’s three verses and explained to the Q crowd that none of the characters’ perspectives were from a Christian worldview.

“All these stories in their own right are true. They’re just not ultimately true,” Lecrae said. “They attribute evil to the wrong antagonist and place the ultimate hope in the wrong protagonist. And America’s not the source of our brokenness, nor is it the source of our joy. The problem is always sin. The solution is always the gospel.”

The Grammy Award-winning artist and professional storyteller concluded by encouraging Christian artists to engage culture.

“The artist has the unique opportunity to show that if we take a good thing and make it the ultimate thing, we end up longing for more,” Lecrae said. “We can tell parts of the story. We can tell some of the story. We can tell things that allude to the story, but ultimately, we get the job of changing the way people see the world through story because everyone is looking at life through a story. Everyone has a worldview.

“It’s our job to learn the culture story and enter into it and point them in different directions.”

For more on Q Ideas from its official website: “Q was birthed out of Gabe Lyons’ vision to see Christians, especially leaders, recover a vision for their historic responsibility to renew and restore cultures. Inspired by Chuck Colson’s statement, ‘Christians are called to redeem entire cultures, not just individuals,’ Gabe set out to reintroduce Christians to what had seemed missing in recent decades from an American expression of Christian faithfulness; valuing both personal and cultural renewal, not one over the other. Re-educating Christians to this orthodox and unifying concept has become central to the vision of Q.”

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