Holy Roar:- Chris Tomlin & Darren Whitehead


Chris Tomlin & Darren Whitehead, Holy Roar (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2017), 128 pp.

Chris Tomlin has become somewhat of a household name in recent years. His worship songs have circled the globe and are songs in languages from every tribe and nation. I will never forget sitting with a group of college students in an Eastern block country. I was the only participant that did not speak a lick of Russian. These students belted out song after song in their heart language – and I didn’t understand a thing. But twenty minutes into the service, this group of joyful worshippers began to sing “How Great is Our God” – in Russian. It was a moment of sheer delight as I hummed the well-known words in English and worshipped with my Russian comrades, brothers and sisters in Christ.

Holy Roar is the collaborative work of Chris Tomlin and his pastor, Darren Whitehead. In each chapter Pastor Whitehead unpacks the seven Hebrew words of praise and invites readers to join in each of the respective aspects of God-centered worship. Each of the words is summarized below:

  1. Yada (ידה) – The hands of praise
  2. Halal (הלל)- The fools of praise
  3. Zamar (זמר) – The music of praise
  4. Towdah (תּוֹדָה) – The expectation of praise
  5. Barak (ברך) – The posture of praise
  6. Tehillah (תְּהִלָּה) – The songs of praise
  7. Shabach (שׁבח) – The shout of praise

Whitehead briefly defines each Hebrew word and makes direct application that can be immediately implemented in the Christian life.

Tomlin concludes each chapter with personal story about a song he’s penned or recorded and how that song relates to the Hebrew word for praise in the chapter.

Holy Roar is a short and readable book. It may be used as a devotional or may be utilized by small groups of Christ-followers who are seeking the face of God. The authors invite readers to join them on “this unifying journey of praise.” Each participant, then, will join the heavenly throng (as I joined with my Russian friends) in the collective holy roar.

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.

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