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March 9th, 2013
10:00 PM ET

Chris Tomlin, king of the sing-along

By Eric Marrapodi and Tom Foreman, CNN
[twitter-follow screen_name='EricCNNBelief'] [twitter-follow screen_name='tomforemancnn']

Baltimore (CNN) - The capacity crowd at the 1st Mariner Arena in Baltimore is bouncing in unison to the most widely sung music on the planet today. The catwalk above the arena is shaking.

Chris Tomlin grabs the microphone and asks the crowd if they’re ready.

"I feel alive, on God's great dance floor!" He leads the packed venue in singing and jumping.

Tomlin is out touring the country with his latest studio album, “Burning Lights.” In January, it topped the Billboard 200 charts. But unlike those who've enjoyed performances by Beyonce, Johnny Cash and a host of others who've played this Baltimore hall, after these fans stream out the doors they will have ample opportunity to sing Tomlin's songs again, as one.

That is the secret to Tomlin’s success – the stage, the lights, the band - aren’t about him. As lively as his shows are, the point is not to get you inside the doors. The point is to get you singing in church.

“I strive for trying to write something that people can sing, that people want to sing, and that people need to sing,” Tomlin explained before the show.

Tomlin is the undisputed king of worship music, a genre of Christian music sung on Sunday mornings all across the world and increasingly played on Christian radio stations. The music is simple, devotional and easy on the ears.

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“We would say that Chris is the most prolific songwriter in the United States now, in this past decade,” said Howard Rachinski, CEO of Christian Copyright Licensing International, the company that tracks what music is used in churches around the world.

In 2012, CCLI paid out $40 million to artists and musicians, and Tomlin got a healthy slice of that pie. Churches around the world used 128 songs he wrote or co-wrote last year, Rachinski said.

CCLI estimates that every Sunday in the United States, between 60,000 and 120,000 churches are singing Tomlin’s songs. By extrapolating that data, Rachinski says, “our best guess would be in the United States on any given Sunday, 20 to 30 million people would be singing Chris Tomlin's songs.”

In their last two reporting periods, Tomlin had the No. 1 most-sung song and five of the top 25.

Search YouTube for "How Great is Our God" or "Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)." Black, white, Asian, big churches, small ones are all belting out Tomlin songs. A lot.

For perspective, consider Tomlin’s musical success against one secular counterpart. In 2012, Katy Perry's record sales dwarfed Tomlin’s, but Billboard reported her songs were played 1.4 million times on the radio. Using CCLI’s low-end calculation, Tomlin’s songs were played 3.12 million times in churches.

Growing up Tomlin

Chris Tomlin was reared in Grand Saline, Texas, heavily influenced by country music. His dad taught him to play the guitar.

“I learned all country music - Willie Nelson, and Johnny Cash, all those kind of guys. Those are what my dad played and I played. And I played at my church as well,” Tomlin said.

Tomlin went to college to study sports medicine. “I just didn't know the music would take me here. I loved it and I was getting opportunities to go play, and when I say go play I was starting to write songs of worship even (as) a young kid. I didn't know really what worship music was, what a worship leader was, any of that. I didn't know any of those terms,” he said.

Today, at 40 years old, he is the artist most associated with worship music.

While in college he began singing and writing in earnest. As a senior, he said, he was getting invitations to lead the music for Christian conferences with 10,000 students.

He knew his music was resonating with crowds when he got a call from EMI Publishing after his song “We Fall Down,” which was released in 1998, starting being  played in churches.

“I was just writing songs for the church and from there they just started taking off.”

The compositions are considerably different from pop music. They are simpler, and he takes pains to write them that way.

“I'm thinking as that comes out of my heart as a song of response, I'm trying to think, how can I form this so that everybody, people who are tone deaf, who can't clap on two and four, how can I form this song so they can sing it, so that it is singable?”

Part of that process comes from his love of country music, the simplicity of that music and the stories those songs tell. His goal is to write songs that communicate what people would like to say to God.

“Now, that doesn't happen all the time. I mean, I write so many songs that you never hear because they are not any good.”

Tomlin is the worship pastor at Passion City Church in Atlanta. He leads worship there twice a month and beta tests all his new songs on the congregation. Tomlin is also a major draw as the worship leader of the Passion Conferences, a series of Christian conferences around the world. In January, the conference packed out the Georgia Dome in Atlanta with 60,000 college-age students. Billboard magazine noted the conference helped push up pre-sales of Tomlin’s latest CD.

His songs are so sought-after that, even before they're released on CD, they start showing up in CCLI’s online database.

“His songs have probably had the most immediate impact on churches that we have seen in history,” Rachinski said. “Even before you get to street release [of a CD], churches are already networked and engaged with his songs.”

Don’t look for a crossover

Other contemporary Christian musicians, as the music industry designates them, have crossed over to mainstream pop with some success. Tomlin said he has no designs on making that leap.

He also doesn’t need the money. Over the course of his career he’s sold 4.2 million albums, had 6 million digital downloads, a number of sold-out tours, and of course, the copyright royalties.

Tomlin said money isn't what motivates him to write and perform.

“I feel like I have a responsibility,  that God has given me a gift to write songs for his church that people listen to and that people are coming to expect now,” he said. “When I make a record I feel that responsibility that worship leaders, churches are going to say, 'Hey, are these some new songs we can sing in our church?' And I don't take that lightly, and I don't go, ‘Oh let's go do something else fun.’”

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“I haven't invented any new instruments, I haven't created new chords that no one has ever played. I play the same chord that every band plays, we play the same instruments up there, the melodies are melodies. The difference to me in the music is that I ask that God's presence be on it and that people, when they sing these songs, sense that God does something.”

The spotlight is on Tomlin even more than ever after starting the year a top the Billboard charts. As he tours the country at bigger and bigger venues, he would prefer to step out of the spotlight, away from the microphone, and let everyone else sing.

“People would be mad that they paid for a ticket for that. So I do that just occasionally, but that is what I love.”

He said the night before, at the Theater at Madison Square Garden, he took as much time as he could to step back and let everyone else sing.

“It was just so beautiful, because I feel like it says something. It's not just like, ‘Hey, listen to me sing.’ This is all of us together. I think when you step back from the mic and it is not about you - and yeah, the light may be on you, but this is about all of us singing. This is about a bigger story, it's about a greater story. It's about a greater name than my name. My name is on the ticket, but this is about a greater name.”

CNN's Oliver Janney, Chris Turner, and Dan Merica contributed to this post.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Music

soundoff (1,754 Responses)
  1. alloy555

    Look at RUF for example, what they do with the old hymns.

    March 10, 2013 at 8:19 am |
  2. alloy555

    THE FACTS ARE, more and more young people with any depth to the relationship they have with Christ, are coming back -and modern churches, are coming back to the old hymns to modern music. People with depth are finding the modern songs are fine for a chorus or whatever, but are empty with that repeating stuff over and over, -NO DEPTH. You could spend a lifetime breaking down hymns from the reformers times- sad though, some churches today do not even have Sunday school where younger people can study where we came from and grow out to the surface stuff.

    March 10, 2013 at 8:10 am |
    • bspurloc

      fox facts?
      the facts are more and more people are seeing how religion destroys mankind

      March 10, 2013 at 8:07 pm |
    • Lol at Facts probably posted by fox news

      Religion has been the catalyst for more wars than anything else. If you think people are coming back you might want to check out proven statistics that show that religious is being abandoned across the world.

      Stop reading fox news.

      March 11, 2013 at 12:50 am |
  3. One Humble Lady

    I enjoy much of Chris's music. He has a mission in his heart. Good for him, taking action on what he believes and is inspired to. I fail to understand though, why non-Christians (ardent atheists) have to make disparaging comments on Christians' beliefs, music and faith. If you don't believe it, fine. Chuckle to yourself, shake your head but keep your words to yourself. The long time advice goes – "If you can't say something nice or helpful, then don't say it at all."

    If you want to beat down a section of society, put your efforts on the Chinese people for doing nothing to stop the import of slaughtered endangered animals for their body parts in "traditional Chinese medicine". Then YOU can impact the world in a different way.

    March 10, 2013 at 8:08 am |
    • TruthBeTold

      Did you hear something? It's the sound of you slapping yourself.

      March 10, 2013 at 8:28 am |
    • Honey Hush

      Nice and helpful, lets see. You do not have to go to a church or sing hymns of praise to practice your faith. Just find a beautiful place in nature and commune to any particular god you think exists and you also save a buck that would go to supporting your shaman and church building. Failing that you could just grab a beer, sit on the couch and watch Benny Hinn or his ilk try to rip you off. jees, I didn't even swear, next time.

      March 10, 2013 at 8:37 am |
    • bspurloc

      what u fail to understand is the violence that comes towards ANYONE that DARES question how an egg got fertilized without male dna.... how a man rose from the dead and was not a zombie... how supposed humans started from a brother and sister committing incest but no birth defects occurred... the more educated the masses get in science the more u know these things are possible no matter how much "FAITH" u have or how many times u rewrite the good books

      March 10, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
  4. TG

    Love of money paves the way for Chris Tomlin (1 Tim 6:9, 10), in which the Christian Copyright Licensing International paid "a healthy slice of the ($40 million) pie to him". On the other hand, Jesus told his 12 apostles: "As you go, preach,saying: ' The kingdom of the heavens has drawn near. '......You received free, give free....Into whatever city or village you enter, search out who in it is deserving....When you are entering into the house, greet the the household."(Matt 10:7, 8, 11, 12) Jesus genuine disciples went about preaching concerning the "kingdom" (a heavenly government now in operation), going to different cities and villages, to people's homes.

    Furthermore, Jesus told his eleven faithful apostles: "Go therefore and make disciples of people of all the nations.....teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded you."(Matt 28:19, 20) Hence, Jesus did not say to write and sing so-called "Christian" songs (and make money), but rather to go to the people anywhere where one lives, teaching them all that Jesus taught them, such as being "no part of the world"(John 15;19), not ' slaving for two masters' (Matt 6:24), praying only to the Father, Jehovah God (Matt 6:9), preaching the "good news of the kingdom" (Matt 24:14), that many will be "Christian" in name only, showing by their "fruits" that they are only pseudo-Christians, not genuine (Matt 7:15-23).

    March 10, 2013 at 8:04 am |
    • GetReal

      Even Jesus had a treasurer...A poor man does not need a treasurer...So money was a part of Jesus minstry

      March 10, 2013 at 8:12 am |
    • nocturne10

      Do you work in ministry full time? Do you get paid for it, or do you do it for free? How much should Chris Tomlin make? How much is too much? My guess that is what you make is enough, but if you make any more than that, then that somehow gives you the right to judge people and condemn them for making more than you. Petty Jealousy.

      March 10, 2013 at 8:23 am |
    • Ceri

      What a load of bull. He gets rewarded for his work because that is the way the system works. All that matters is what he does with it once he's got it.

      March 10, 2013 at 8:34 am |
  5. Name*penguin

    He says he doesn't do it for the money. Yeah, I'll believe that when I see his asset account and list of donations.

    March 10, 2013 at 8:04 am |
    • One Humble Lady

      I'm sure God knows what Chris is doing with his money. To Him he is accountable, not us.

      March 10, 2013 at 8:11 am |
  6. My Name is Legion

    Revival music is OK, as long as you limit it to the CCR. John Fogerty....Down on the Corner....sweet.

    March 10, 2013 at 8:01 am |
    • Dave Johnson

      🙂

      March 10, 2013 at 11:37 am |
  7. Mr. Mark

    Worship music is not meant to make people superstars as this article tries to do. Worship music is to praise God. The focus should be on God not the person singing the songs.

    March 10, 2013 at 7:58 am |
    • My Name is Legion

      C'mon Mark, you know it is just part of the hustle to keep young people in the scam.

      March 10, 2013 at 8:05 am |
    • Elliott Carlin

      Wait a minute, we're also told by our evangelical leaders that this musici is also for evangelism. You need to make up your mind...it sounds and is marketed like pop music. The only difference I see are the words...and even those are difficult to undersand given the singers usually have pained expressions on their face like they have bad gas.

      So tired of this shallow nonsense.

      March 10, 2013 at 9:14 am |
  8. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    March 10, 2013 at 7:40 am |
    • Karloff

      Nope, not a whit. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Naught.

      March 10, 2013 at 7:43 am |
    • edocol

      "Prayer changes things". That is 100% incorrect, as proven by science.

      March 10, 2013 at 8:00 am |
    • Softship

      If prayer makes you feel good, then it changes things for you.
      Prayer doesn't make everybody feel good, so it doesn't change anything for them.

      March 10, 2013 at 8:00 am |
    • LS

      I prefer to be on my feet actively working through my problems than on my knees wishing them away.

      March 10, 2013 at 8:10 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!

      March 10, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • Really?

      "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things"

      That's why the data, has shown that atheists have happier and healthier lives than conservative Christians. Your post is built on a lie!

      March 10, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
    • Jiminy Cricket

      When you wish upon a star
      Makes no difference who you are
      Anything your heart desires
      Will come to you

      If your heart is in your dream
      No request is too extreme
      When you wish upon a star
      As dreamers do

      Fate is kind
      She brings to those to love
      The sweet fulfillment of
      Their secret longing

      Like a bolt out of the blue
      Fate steps in and sees you through
      When you wish upon a star
      Your dreams come true

      It is written.
      (and sung)

      March 10, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
    • bspurloc

      the Mayans and Incas must have prayed the wrong way... oh wait they prayed to the wrong gods so the christian devils with guns CHANGED them

      March 10, 2013 at 8:14 pm |
    • Read the Studies

      Studies have shown that aethiests contribute more to society than any other religion by a large margin. Probably due to the fact that they are not reading a magical book and actually contributing to society.

      Bill Gates is a good example of this.

      March 11, 2013 at 12:54 am |
    • AndyInAtl

      Prayer doesn't change a bit in life of an unbeliever. Why pray if you don't believe in God? To those who believe, prayer is a absolutely powerful. It has made profound changes in my life, and there were several times in my family when someone got healed because of the prayer.

      Science proves very little (although it is useful, no doubt); only what you can see. Which is really small area in the course of things. Of course, there's not point in arguing with an atheist. Everyone can see these desperation attemtps to smear believers/Christians by how ardently you feel complelled to post something nasty on article that should be of no relevance to you. Your conscience is speaking, that's why you think if you post something on article that was not meant for you you'll quiet it down. But it still bothers you when others around you are happy, saved by Jesus believers, yet you're all bitter in your unbelief. Otherwise, you wouldn't try so hard to be so mean to so many other people.

      Oh, and you do know that there were many many millions who tried to stop Christianity before (Stalin, Tse-dun, name your favorite dictator here) and failed miserably. Mainline denominations are dwindling (you know, ones that compromise what Bible says with their "scholars" who find new interpretations of Biblical truths to fit their wants), but true followers of Jesus are multiplying.

      March 11, 2013 at 9:23 am |
    • End Religion

      AndyInAtl, prayer has not accomplished one single thing. Not one. Your religion is dying in front of your very eyes and still you cling to your security blanket.

      Debunked, refuted and dispelled multiple times a day. And now specifically posted:
      – 3 times for "SoldierOfConscience"
      – 1 times for "Chad"
      – 1 times for "fred"
      – 1 times for "Peace out."
      – 1 times for "The Crazy Jew"
      – 1 times for "DrPhill"
      – 1 times for "chrissy hitchens"
      – 1 times for "James"
      – 1 times for "truth be told"
      – 1 times for "Correctlycenter"
      – 1 times for "AndyInAtl"

      Goodness only knows how many of those sock puppets are the work of one stubbornly deluded individual, since we know Chad and TBT post under several monikers.

      None of the totalitarian characters trotted out in the "atheists have killed more people" fallacy, whether they were atheist or not, killed in the name of a lack of belief in a god. Some of them suppressed religion as a tool to further the goal of totalitarian control.

      "State-imposed atheism" is a misnomer; there can be no such thing. Imposed irreligion is not atheism. Atheism is only the lack of belief in a god; one can't force people to not believe in a god.

      The actions of Mao, Pol and Joe (who attended seminary) were totalitarian opportunists. They sought total authority and banned religion which would compete with that authority. The pursuit of control over a people was the cause for the bloodshed.

      Although Stalin initially sought to rid Russia of religion, once firmly in office he re-instituted the Russian Orthodox Church and re-opened theological schools. Suppression of religion was a tool not a reason.

      Pol Pot is said to have practiced some Theravada Buddhism (and his Khmer Rouge were radical Buddhists). He studied at a Catholic school in Phnom Pen for 8 years. This mad man targeted not only religion but science, medicine and education. Political dissent was not permitted, with torture a common sentence.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_views_of_Adolf_Hitler

      Hitler was raised Catholic. In his book Mein Kampf and in public speeches he made statements affirming a belief in Christianity. He called the purge of Jews "positive Christianity." While there is debate over his actual private feelings about the faith, he was a publicly practicing Christian. There exists no known evidence that Hitler was an atheist or agnostic. Again: evidence he was Christian; no evidence he was otherwise.

      Hitler said: "Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord."

      The Reichskonkordat was a treaty signed on 20 July 1933 between the Holy See (Catholic Church) and Nazi Germany, guaranteeing the rights of the Roman Catholic Church in Germany, giving moral legitimacy to the Nazi regime soon after Hitler had acquired dictatorial powers, and placing constraints on Catholic critics of the regime, leading to a muted response by the Church to Nazi policies. Yes, the Catholic Church colluded with Nazis.

      http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?ti.tle=20th_century_atrocities (take dot out of 'title')
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reductio_ad_Hitlerum
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin%27s_law

      March 11, 2013 at 9:33 am |
  9. jfkman

    Christian Rock is to Rock and Roll what a cave dwelling is to architecture.

    March 10, 2013 at 7:12 am |
    • Archive_Alicorn

      The chief problem with it is just like the common "secular" pop out there, it's really run out of subjects, topics, and methods to convey the same old thing. Everyone, religious and non-religious needs to find a new muse.

      March 10, 2013 at 7:15 am |
    • Karloff

      Archive_Alicorn: And Chris Tomlin's music is just as insipid and bland as "common 'secular' pop."

      March 10, 2013 at 7:40 am |
    • Matt the Geek

      First of all that is a dumb analogy, secondly, Chris Tomlin isn't rock of any sort, it is modern praise music.

      March 10, 2013 at 7:46 am |
  10. Archive_Alicorn

    He's popular just because there's tons of devotees to religious music. While he may be a decent song writer compared to some of the pop atrocities, he's nothing extraordinarily special. Christian music is very oversaturated and he's said the same thing time and time again just using slightly different words and melodies. That is all I have to say about that.

    March 10, 2013 at 6:45 am |
  11. oldtime

    I know this guy has appeal but for me I love Black Church Gospel music. Nothing gets my foot tapping and my heart pumping more.

    March 10, 2013 at 6:16 am |
  12. Alvarez

    Looks like someone put a poop in my underwear.

    March 10, 2013 at 6:15 am |
    • Doug Lynn

      No, I think the poop is on your face, friend.

      March 10, 2013 at 6:34 am |
    • Chip Smith

      Sorry.

      March 10, 2013 at 7:16 am |
    • question to alvarez

      How do you know the sh it in your underwear isn't just you?

      March 10, 2013 at 7:43 am |
  13. Austin

    To those who believe in His name..........

    1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome[a] it.

    6 There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.

    9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

    14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

    March 10, 2013 at 12:25 am |
    • End Religion

      Immanuel Kant was a real pissant
      who was very rarely stable.
      Heidegger, Heidegger was a boozy beggar
      who could think you under the table.
      David Hume could out consume
      Schopenhauer and Hegel,
      And Wittgenstein was a beery swine
      who was just as sloshed as Schlegel.

      There's nothing Nietzsche couldn't teach ya
      'bout the raisin' of the wrist.
      Socrates himself was permanently pissed.

      John Stuart Mill, of his own free will,
      after half a pint of shandy was particularly ill.
      Plato, they say, could stick it away,
      'alf a crate of whiskey every day!
      Aristotle, Aristotle was a bugger for the bottle,
      and Hobbes was fond of his dram.
      And Rene Descartes was a drunken fart:
      "I drink, therefore I am."

      Yes, Socrates himself is particularly missed;
      A lovely little thinker, but a bugger when he's pissed.

      March 10, 2013 at 4:00 am |
    • Archive_Alicorn

      There once was a poster so dry
      Who really didn't even try
      Pasted their long post
      From another loved most
      To which most could only cry

      March 10, 2013 at 6:54 am |
    • Bernard Webb

      I wonder what it is like to be obsessed with a 2000-year old book.

      March 10, 2013 at 7:14 am |
    • Chip Smith

      15. Pulleth the holy pin. 16. Counteth to three,no more, no less.....

      March 10, 2013 at 7:19 am |
  14. Akira

    I have never heard of this man.

    March 9, 2013 at 11:48 pm |
    • Austin

      He's basically the new Steven Curtis Chaplin. He's been the top Christian artist for a decade.

      March 10, 2013 at 12:15 am |
    • Esquire

      That's becuase, apparently, you don't go to a Christian church...not a criticism mind you. If there were atheist meetings where songs were sung as composed by atheists, good chance a Christian wouldn't know who the composer is either.

      March 10, 2013 at 1:35 am |
    • John

      @esquire: Your comment is the scariest thing I've read in a month.

      March 10, 2013 at 7:10 am |
    • Bernard Webb

      @Esquire: "If there were atheist meetings where songs were sung as composed by atheists"

      Um, Squire, there are, they are called rock concerts. EVERYBODY knows the names of the stars. There are no songs about sweet baby Jesus. I would suggest that mainstream musical artists are MUCH better known than "Christian" ones, as proven by the fact that this guy is apparently a huge star yet nobody has ever heard of him.

      March 10, 2013 at 7:17 am |
    • Archive_Alicorn

      Bernard. I would posit that every person is exposed to the artists they are most connected with. It's as much likely that your average Christian teen would know just as much about Christian pop-rock as much as Skrillex, Ke$ha, and Rihanna. Then again, neither your average secular teen or your average Christian teen would know much about your local indie band, ambient project, or what have you. You are exposed to what you're connected to, that's about it.

      March 10, 2013 at 7:21 am |
    • Hof

      He's never heard of you, either.

      March 10, 2013 at 8:16 am |
    • Esquire

      Um, Bernard, I don't go to atheist dedicated meetings (which is not necessarily a rock concert–too which I have been to more than I can count), so I don't know what's played there. Archive_Alicorn was right.

      March 10, 2013 at 11:38 am |
    • Trinka

      Esquire, just asked my m-i-l, who is a devout Catholic. She's 79. She's never heard of him. Just sayin...isn't she Christian, also?

      March 10, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
    • Commenter

      Trinka,

      Well, everyone knows that Catholics are not real "Christians" (born again 'n such), so of course your m-i-l wouldn't have heard of this guy.

      March 10, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
    • Esquire

      @Trinka...I don't know what songs they sing in your m-i-l's church. She's 79, so she probably is more in touch with music from her generation in any event. And, to address your other point, I don't know if she is a Christian or not...being "Catholic" has as much relevance to me as saying she is a babtist or methodist...has she accepted Christ as her savior is the only issue?

      March 11, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
  15. Damocles

    He makes simpler music than pop? Ahhhhahahahahahaha.

    March 9, 2013 at 11:21 pm |
  16. Austin

    Cris Tomlin rocks, I hear him everyday.

    Nice talent.

    March 9, 2013 at 11:14 pm |
  17. clarity

    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    March 9, 2013 at 11:07 pm |
    • clarity

      But on second thought, at least this was not papal.

      March 9, 2013 at 11:10 pm |
    • Archive_Alicorn

      I agree with you. At least it's not papal. But both articles matter very little.

      March 10, 2013 at 7:22 am |
    • Hof

      Wow. I've never met someone who had the guts to quote his girlfriend in the sack.

      March 10, 2013 at 8:17 am |
  18. OTOH

    "Anything that is too stupid to be spoken is sung."

    –Voltaire

    March 9, 2013 at 11:06 pm |
    • clarity

      Voltaire? – really? I could have sworn that's what Renée Zellweger said several years ago about Kenny.

      March 9, 2013 at 11:22 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      clarity, you crack me up. And I had never heard that quote before, OTOH, until you posted it the other day.

      March 9, 2013 at 11:26 pm |
    • OTOH

      clarity – 🙂

      Tom, Tom – I just saw it for the first time the other day (can't remember what led me to it).

      March 9, 2013 at 11:30 pm |
    • Akira

      Oh, it was in reference to Austin telling me to download some choirs songs.
      Clarity: lol!

      March 9, 2013 at 11:46 pm |
    • Austin

      I meant upload or poast . Speaking of which......where is the YouTube choir assembly?

      March 10, 2013 at 12:17 am |
    • Doug Lynn

      Abide in my word and the truth will set you free – Jesus Christ, God of Heaven and Earth.

      March 10, 2013 at 6:37 am |
    • My Name is Legion

      Seventy years ago or so rock and roll was the devil's music, black music, Elvis, the Beatles were condemned by the fundies as devil worship. Now I have the upper hand and am proud to say the jesus freaks are dancing to my tune on their way to joining me in hell, HAHAHA.

      March 10, 2013 at 7:39 am |
    • @Austin

      Austin, do you think everyone is on You-tube?? That reminds me...are you?

      March 10, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
    • Austin

      Yes I'm on a u tube channel.

      March 10, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
    • Saraswati

      I always feel that way about fictional novels or movies people say are "enlightening". I just want to say "What, you couldn't pick up a damn newspaper or biography and learn this stuff??" Not that I don't appreciate music, and I do think it has an important role. Butinformation and brilliant new ideas are not spread in this way.

      March 11, 2013 at 9:38 am |
    • End Religion

      Austin, please stop lying. Youtube would not allow you to have an account.

      March 11, 2013 at 9:39 am |
    • Austin

      It's a chronicle on a topic called, the attempt to end religion. I have all your comments published.

      March 11, 2013 at 10:08 pm |
  19. How great is our God

    is my all time favorite.
    Love you Chris.
    Thanks for everything you do!

    March 9, 2013 at 11:00 pm |
    • Alvarez

      That tune rocks. Ooooooooo, I feel another large turd coming on.

      March 10, 2013 at 6:21 am |
  20. ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

    Chris Tomlin and I have a lot in common, he sings and I write, I feel like I have a responsibility too, that Mohammad has given me a gift to write for Islam and Allah, that people read to and that people are coming on CNN Belief to expect now,”

    March 9, 2013 at 10:42 pm |

    • You are a self-hating convert from Hinduism to Islam.

      March 9, 2013 at 10:48 pm |
    • STFU

      ??? you are close but not correct, my ancestors were forced to convert by invading forces from middle east, I am still carrying a Hindu last name DAR.

      March 9, 2013 at 11:01 pm |
    • question to alvarez

      How do you know where the sh it stops and you begin?

      March 10, 2013 at 7:41 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.