October 20th, 2013
05:00 AM ET

CNN exclusive: Chris Tomlin's new music video

By the CNN Belief Blog Editors
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(CNN)– One of the most popular artists on the planet, Chris Tomlin, is about to release a new music video, and CNN's Belief Blog has an exclusive first look.

Next week Tomlin is releasing a deluxe CD/DVD edition of his chart-topping album "Burning Lights."

The CNN Belief Blog is the only place you can see Tomlin's new video, "God's Great Dance Floor," filmed live at Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado.

In March, we profiled the popular Christian singer, whose songs are sung by as many as 30 million people each week at churches across the country.

CNN Belief – Chris Tomlin, king of the sing-along

As lively as (Tomlin's) 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.

“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.”

Chris Tomlin's "God's Great Dance Floor" video from "Burning Lights" Deluxe Edition CD/DVD appears here courtesy of Capitol Christian music group.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Music

soundoff (788 Responses)
  1.  A giant step up from Christian rock


    October 21, 2013 at 9:53 am |


    October 21, 2013 at 9:47 am |
  3. children of Israel

    (Romans 11:1) *James 1:1*

    October 21, 2013 at 9:39 am |
    • tallulah13

      It's like you don't even exist. You have chapters and verses from some book instead of your own thoughts. It's as though your entire existence has been reduced to borrowed words. How very sad.

      October 21, 2013 at 9:52 am |
      • JJ

        This is what happens when one becomes indoctrinated into the Christian cult to the point they have lost all sense of self. They just regurgitate incoherent text from their ancient text written by sheep humpers.

        October 21, 2013 at 9:57 am |
      • Sara

        I have the same reaction when I see someone talking in only Bible quotes (or movie quotes for that matter).Quoting in context is one thing, but if you don't have your own words you aren't living fully as a human.

        October 21, 2013 at 10:04 am |
      • wongyetyandavid

        well thats because you're reading the bible like its just a book. Have you ever tried to build a relationship with a living God, instead of building a relationship of hatred against religion? even I was shocked after experiencing his mighty love, despite all my hatred against Him.

        October 21, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
        • Fan2C


          Yeah, fantasy is great, innit?

          Have you ever tried to watch a Donald Duck cartoon, thinking, "Ducks don't look like that" and "Ducks cannot talk"? No, you suspend your disbelief - you step out of reality - to enjoy the show. It seems like that's what you learned to do with the Bible fantasies.

          October 21, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          "Have you ever tried to build a relationship with a living God"

          You know where he is??? Hard to have a relationship with the greatest hide and seek champion ever!

          October 21, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          I have tried to have a relationship....my relationship with god is the same as I have with the tooth fairy.

          October 21, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          A true Tooth Fairyist will pray to Her as a daily part of their oral hygiene regiment.
          Toothpaste and dental floss are demonic tools designed to keep Her from Her prizes.
          Chronic halitosis and gingivitis are the signs of a devout follower.

          October 21, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
        • Alias

          God is second in the hide and seek contest.
          Bigfoot wins every year.

          October 21, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
  4. Nichols


    October 21, 2013 at 9:37 am |
  5. children of Israel

    (Psalm 77:10) *Deuteronomy 28:32* (John 8:24) *Revelation 1:11*

    October 21, 2013 at 9:35 am |
  6. Doc Vestibule

    Jesus songs that don't suck:

    "On Jesus' Program" – Mark Lanegan
    "Chocolate Jesus" – Tom Waits
    "American Jesus" – Bad Religion
    "Jesus Built My Hotrod" – Ministry
    "Jesus Walkin' On The Water" – Violent Femmes
    "Jesus of Nothing" – Soulsavers

    Anyone else care to add to the list?

    October 21, 2013 at 9:35 am |
    • Colin

      Depeche Mode – Personal Jesus

      October 21, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • sam stone

      Jesus: The Missing Years – John Prine

      October 21, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
    • G to the T

      "Basically it's a love affair... between Jesus... and my hotrod..."

      Love me some Ministry!

      October 22, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
  7. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    I won't speak for God, but it would creep me out to have millions of teary-eyed Sunday morning worshippers singing about how Great I am and about how much they need me – "You are the air I breeeeathe". If they came to my house or did it over the phone I'd have them arrested for stalking. Really, people approach God like stalkers. "If only God can see how much I love him maybe he'll love me too."

    October 21, 2013 at 9:27 am |
    • I can't speak for God either

      But if I were God I'd be upset that my arch rival got Ozzy and I got stuck with this guy.

      October 21, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
  8. Sara

    If anyone else is interested in how the fees work:


    I don't have an opinion on it; just thought it interesting.

    October 21, 2013 at 8:59 am |
  9. How great is our God



    October 21, 2013 at 8:18 am |
    • Phil

      The splendor of a King, clothed in majesty
      Let all the earth rejoice
      All the earth rejoice

      He wraps himself in Light, and darkness tries to hide
      And trembles at His voice
      Trembles at His voice

      How great is our God, sing with me
      How great is our God, and all will see
      How great, how great is our God

      Age to age He stands
      And time is in His hands
      Beginning and the end
      Beginning and the end

      The Godhead Three in One
      Father Spirit Son
      The Lion and the Lamb
      The Lion and the Lamb

      Name above all names
      Worthy of our praise
      My heart will sing
      How great is our God

      How great is our God, sing with me
      How great is our God, and all will see
      How great, how great is our God

      October 21, 2013 at 8:19 am |
    • Doc Vestibule



      October 21, 2013 at 8:23 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Hail to the R'lyeh dominance sleeping beneath the Pacific waves of salt.
        Master of the Great Old Ones resting patiently for the days of global territorial reclamation,
        fulfilling the legacies of all the world's forbidden manuscripts. One day he will come as the
        Armageddon Angel leaving in his wake the sunken ancient continent and the black city's towers pointing
        towards his birthplace Vhoorl; the Cthulhi spawn flying out with the monsoon winds spreading their terror
        over the lands of man, slaughtering all which lacks the divine blood. Telepathically I link into the
        cryogenic glacial substance beneath the planets floating salt and descend into the being's hostile dreamland,
        the Chorazin outskirts, where I am considered an interim temporal occupant with exceptional privileges
        and unmatched skills. Beings except me as their master obeying their creator, but descended from another
        branch of gods; admiring me with a sharpened edge of jealousy. Cults follow my path, while others burst down in litany.
        I am their alien messiah, hated and adored. Ashen gravel whirls around under my feet,
        as I fly myself towards the liquid pantheon, centered in the forbidden sector of the extensive Cthulhu id.
        A transparent shape, pulsating at the rhythm of the synapse, rises in the land where dawn and dusk are one.
        My followers have stopped along the way, afraid of the destruction that awaits them in this region.
        But my soul has reached the temple and my hands have touched the membrane of the
        sphere. And I step in. The Chorazinworld now sav.agely distorted, by the treacly substance that eddied
        around my skin, but never touched it. I know where I am, though it's all unknown to me.
        I know now what to do, and I render the awakening. In praise of Cthulu, the gatekeeper is here!
        And I cut the astral cord, embedded in the awakening God, and rose above the surface of the dark Pacific
        Ocean. R'lyeh has returned!

        October 21, 2013 at 8:25 am |
    • Anthony Crispino

      I thought it was eight maids-a-lactating?

      October 21, 2013 at 9:30 am |
  10. Doc Vestibule

    Southpark was right.

    Lord, I need You, oh I need You
    Every hour I need You
    My one defense, my righteousness
    Oh God, how I need You

    "Lord I Need You" – Chris Tomlin

    Replace the "Gods" and "Lords" with "Baby" and you have a Justin Bieber song.

    October 21, 2013 at 8:14 am |
  11. Honey Badger Don't Care

    "One of the most popular artists on the planet"? Really? I've never heard of the guy. He may be popular in his niche but most popular in the world? I doubt it.

    October 21, 2013 at 7:56 am |
    • truthprevails1

      Probably due to the fact that his music isn't aimed at rational minds. He's not even close to being as good as Lennon or RUSH or even, dare I say, Elvis.

      October 21, 2013 at 8:08 am |
      • Honey Badger Don't Care

        NOBODY beats Rush.

        October 21, 2013 at 8:12 am |
        • truthprevails1

          I tend to agree. Great Canadian band...the best we have produced. 🙂

          October 21, 2013 at 9:10 am |
        • sam stone

          I liked The Guess Who more. But then, I am old

          October 21, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
  12. Reality # 2

    And the beat goes on!!

    Christian Economics and Greed 101:

    See p. 1 of the comments for added details.

    October 21, 2013 at 7:43 am |
  13. My Name Is legion

    Tried playing it backwards, still didn't make any sense which actually made it better.

    October 21, 2013 at 6:43 am |
  14. Bootyfunk

    nothing creepier than christian cult music.

    October 21, 2013 at 4:18 am |
  15. Apple Bush


    October 21, 2013 at 1:31 am |
  16. tallulah13

    Okay, I did my due diligence. Or at least I tried. After waiting through the 30-second Nissan Commercial that preceded this "CNN Exclusive".

    I don't like his music, not because of the subject matter, but because I'm not a fan of over-polished, derivative pop. I prefer my music raw, passionate and from-the-heart.

    October 20, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
    • nerdy_christian_13

      If you don't have objections to the content of Tomlin's music, then you might check out the Rend Collective Experiment. They have a much more raw feel to their music.

      October 20, 2013 at 9:00 pm |
      • tallulah13

        I appreciate the rec, but I am a big fan of lyrics, so I probably wouldn't like them. The music might be fantastic, but I find most christian lyrics to be annoyingly subservient. There was a band I believe was christian back in the 80s, The Call, who I didn't mind. They weren't so overt and over the top about their faith. And of course, I've loved U2 from the second I listened to the album War. But religion is only a part of their oeuvre.

        October 20, 2013 at 10:47 pm |
  17. tallulah13

    The only time I've ever heard of the guy is on this blog. He may be popular, but keep in mind that Slim Whitman was more popular than Elvis and The Beatles combined, and most people had never heard of him into those commercials back in the 70s or 80s.

    October 20, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
  18. Lionly Lamb


    October 20, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
  19. GodFreeNow

    Artist quality test: Would you still think he's a great musician if he were singing about Allah or Satan?

    October 20, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
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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.