Hear No Evil: My Story of Innocence, Music, and the Holy Ghost by Matthew Paul Turner comes out Tomorrow (February 16, 2010). Turner grew up in a fundamentalist Independent Baptist church and fled to the edge of the music scene in Nashville. He describes in vivid detail how his fundamentalist upbringing and his earnest desire to be part of the Christian music industry collided.
To be fair, Turner is a very gifted writer. His writing style is engaging, comical, and pointed all at the same time. He has a way of pulling the reader into his story and challenging them to see things through his eyes. This book was very well written.
However, though the book was engaging, in the end it really lacked substance. All it ended up being was a tirade against various forms of Christianity. Turner exposed the flaws of fundamentalism, the extreme edge of Calvinism, held a sad reflection on Pentecostalism, and exposed the underbelly of Christian Music Industry. But to what end? Why? What was the point?… That is it. There was no strong way forward. There was no call to abandon Christianity. There was no call to move to the center. There was no call to say, “Hey, we are all messed up.” There was no challenge to find the real Jesus. In the end it was just a well written book on what is wrong with the world of fundamentalism and a few other branches of Christianity.
In the opinion of this blogger, it is a little late for that. It’s tired. There are enough former fundamentalist writing out their angst against their parents religion. Why are they still being published? Lets push forward and provide some answers, clarity, and direction. There are two ways to embrace a theology. One is to be so repulsed by a theology that you back into one, the other is to open both eyes and examine the evidence for yourself. Hear No Evil is a great example of backing into a theology. If you are looking for a way forward check out Dug Down Deep by Joshua Harris. It is written in a similar style, but provides a clearer way forward.
I would really only recommend this book to former fundamentalist who are still full of pent-up angst against their parents and are looking for someone to agree with them. The retail price of Hear No Evil: My Story of Innocence, Music, and the Holy Ghost is $14.99 (Paperback), and is available at places like Amazon.com for $10.11 I gave it three stars.
You can also get more information about this book from the publisher or purchase it here.
Disclaimer: This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group. There was no requirement to give the book a good review. Just to review it and tell you what I really think.
2 thoughts on “Hear No Evil by Matthew Paul Turner (Book Review)”
Thank you, Jonathan, for your honest review of Hear No Evil. Not everybody gets what I do, and I certainly understand that. If you would like to post your review at my blog, you can do that here… Thank you, again…
Wow Matthew, Thank you for your gracious response to a less than favorable review. You have piqued my interest. I’ve added your blog to my google reader.