In the introduction to “Holy Roar,” Chris Tomlin explains why he recommended that his friend Darren Whitehead write the book. After hearing him give a message called “The Seven Words of Praise,” Tomlin approached Whitehead to let him know that the content of the message needed to be shared beyond those who had heard the message at the local church, it needed to become a book.
The premise of the book is fairly simple: there are seven words in Hebrew that are translated “praise” in English. Whitehead gives each word a chapter and speaks of the specific linguistic nuances of these words, explaining the deeper definition, and sharing his insights and particular experience around those specifics. Whitehead’s section in each chapter is followed by Chris Tomlin sharing about a song that he has written or recorded and connecting it to the specific Hebrew word and meaning.
Each chapter also contains a section for reflection and discussion for those who may want to go through the book with their music teams or small groups. There is a quote from a historical Christian figure, a set of verses relating to the chapter, and questions for reflection and discussion.
There was nothing with which I disagreed theologically in this book. It wasn’t boring. I read it in a day, so it was a quick read. As I read through the book, I asked myself whether it seemed necessary to me. What was unique about this book that I couldn’t find anywhere else? If I didn’t read this book, would I feel as if I had missed out on something?
My conclusion was that while the book was fine, it wasn’t great. There were some helpful insights but none that I felt like I couldn’t have come to had I done my own research into these seven words using a Hebrew lexicon and investing a little bit of time. To be honest, I think it could have been marketed as a devotional book or even a Bible plan on the YouVersion Bible app rather than set aside an entire book for this content.
If you are interested in the subject matter and would rather not do the research on your own, by all means, pick up a copy of this book. But if you want to invest some time and study into learning more about these seven Hebrew words, what they mean, and how you can deepen your own personal worship, you may be better off investing in a good Hebrew lexicon and going from there.
(This review is based upon a copy of this book which was provided free of charge from Booklook Bloggers. These opinions are my own; I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated for this review.)