This is a preprint
‘‘Am I Worth It?’’: The Forgiveness, Death, and Resurrection of Kendrick Lamar

In spite of growing up in desolated Compton, ca, Kendrick Lamar in his music is able to present his listeners with hope through the themes of forgiveness of sins, death, and resurrection, as found in the God of Christian faith. Similarly, Christian theologian Paul Tillich capstones The Courage to Be within the same theological concepts. This article explores three pathways to the intersection of Kendrick’s musical output and Tillich’s existential theology, to uncover the theological underpinnings of Kendrick’s search for meaning within the brutalized inner city. (1) Self-affirmation is found when one participates with something that transcends the self, namely God. (2) One must be accepted by God through forgiveness and one must accept God’s acceptance. (3) Eternal security is found in having to face one’s own death and Christian resurrection.