Take that, Tomlin!

For any Christian who loves to worship God and believes that He created music, it makes sense that we hold one another to the highest standards of musicianship and artistry. Not for our glory, but because God is the greatest creator and spared no expense in creating our world.

Take a read of one man’s scathing critique of Chris Tomlin’s music. Do you think its true? Do you think its loving?

http://stackblog.wordpress.com/2009/02/09/chris-tomlins-worship-songs-we-have-got-to-do-better/

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6 thoughts on “Take that, Tomlin!

  1. i agree with the mixed metaphor argument. not so much with the rhyming issue. lots of music doesn’t rhyme. tons of old hymns jack up normal words to make them “rhyme.” the bigger issue is that the music isn’t very creative. and the same argument applies to bad music as it does to bad lyrics. the dude is a professional songwriter. he could probably try a little harder.

    and is it loving? i say, what’s not to love? just kidding. i dunno, he tries to salvage it by doing the creepy “Brother Tomlin” bit. seriously, Brother Stack, that came out of nowhere! it was kind of a lame show of “unity” in my opinion. window dressing. lipstick on a pig! i’m just throwing out nonsensical idioms now (hey i can be a christian songwriter too!). anyway, it doesn’t help that i get creeped out when smiley church people shake my hand and say, “peace be with you, brother.” i get paranoid. i feel like they’re going kill me and eat my brains.

  2. dude!!! joyce was talking about this dude. i felt slightly offended though. i didn’t read it yet, but i think that SOME of chris’s music come straight from scripture — soooooo yeah. Not all of it, but some.

    As for rhyming —hahah. Can we say Plain White T’s or All American Rejects. They suck at song writing. But those are not Christian. OOPS! 😉

  3. This may be weird and dramatically over-the-top, but I think about 1 sam 8 where israel asks for a king to be like other nations. The Church asked for celebrities like the rest of the culture.

    We got them. Its not the fault of tomlin, passion or anybody. I sincerely think they do great kingdom ministry… but I do get really weary. Or at least, if we’re going to have Christian celebrities, we should also scrutinize them, challenge them, and even mock them just like normal celebrities.

    So who would Tomlin represent in Hollywood culture? I’d say he’s the Mark Wahlberg of Christian sub-culture. Super popular… lots of little girls love him but also gets reviled by the so-called elitists who question his talent.

    Now that I’m on this vein, maybe I can do others (my bill simmons impression).

    Charlie Hall: Mickey Rourke… did some great work early on in his career, then got kinda weird. But we can still depend on them for a hit once in a while.

    Billy Graham: Brangelina. He’s worth two Hollywood celebrities. They can do no wrong in most people’s eyes, but a few people may not like them because of what they did to Jennifer Aniston many years ago (IE support Bill Clinton after Monica)

    Bill Hybels: Bono. Sometimes maybe a little too entreprenuerial for their own good. gets heat for the outside ventures they do and sometimes overshadows the genuinely good work they do in their dayjobs.

    Darlene Zschech: Meryl Streep. Who doesn’t like either of them? Powerhouses in their craft for decades.

    Steven Curtis Chapman: Tom Hanks. Similar to above. Prolific for decades, over the top likeable and we’re always rooting them to win both in their personal life and professional life.

    Israel Houghton: Will Smith. The white establishment can except them because they are willing to cater to them cross-culturally. Israel is probably more accepted in the black community than Will Smith is.

    Kirk Franklin: Chris Rock. Don’t necessarily cater to the mainstream white culture, but they are still embraced as a novelty. People love listening to them and blast them in their cars, but might turn it down if driving through a black neighborhood or if they have black passangers

    Brooke Fraser: Britney Spears circa 1998. Up and coming star. Total hottie. Junior high girls worship her. Junior high boys have super crushes on this “older woman.” And older guys can’t help but look but feel incredibly guilty about it.

    Joel Osteen: Paris Hilton. Why are they so rich and famous again?

    John Stott: Gary Oldman. Mostly ignored by the mainstream. Never won an oscar, even though they have done incredible work for decades. Super influential, but never had the mainstream success as some, but perhaps more influential and a more devoted, justified following.

    Anyways, I had way too much fun with that… any other thoughts? Maybe I’ll make this into a full entry someday.

  4. hahahah awesome.. slamming the mixed metaphors.

    i’m ok with the loose rhyming, it’s a more 21st century, hip-hop, eye-rhyme influenced aesthetic.

    i actually have more of an issue with matt redman most of the time…

  5. hha. great list of people, andy.

    i do agree with stackhouse and his annoyance over mixed metaphors. i think it reflects and perpetuates biblical illiteracy and mindless sentimentality. my two cents.

    i guess i’m more and more ok with the loose rhyming, though i can see how stackhouse, as an old school type of guy, would be annoyed about that too.

  6. I think it was a fair assessment of Tomlin, and needed. I have often been a huge critic of Tomlin, mainly because all of his stuff sounds the same and is lacking a lot of creativity. I am not attacking him personally, really I am more frustrated with the people who swear by his stuff and claim it as the best. It just bothers me (much like the article said) in the lyrical arrangement and writing. Not saying that I can do any better, I am not a writer. But I am a musician, and it gets old playing the same chords and the same beat over and over on every song.
    As well, I get tired of people attributing songs that he sings as songs he has written. Take for example, your grace is enough. Tomlin did not write that song, Matt Mahar wrote that song. Same with Indescribable, etc…so maybe I have more of an issue with the listeners of Tomlins music then I do with tomlin himself.

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