Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Hear No Evil by Matthew Paul Turner

Turner wanted to be the Michael Jackson of Christian music. Music played an important role as he grew up. "Good music changes me," he says, "shocks me, makes me feel uncomfortable, and drives me to think and hope and believe differently." In autobiographical style, Turner takes the reader on an irreverent romp through church, college and music.
He grew up in a very conservative Independent Fundamental Baptist church. The stories he tells make you shake your head and laugh. Turner was not to listen to Sandi Patty or Michael W. Smith because each had recorded songs without the word “Jesus” in them.
I suppose just about everyone could find something offensive in this book. Turner is ruthless. No hypocrisy is free from ridicule.
While not becoming a famous Christian artist, Turner did work in the music industry for years, including time as the editor of CCM magazine. Christian singers try to copy popular secular artists, he notes, and generally seem to be about four years behind what’s popular in the secular market. There is occasionally an original Christian artist but most a copycats.
Throughout his storytelling, Turner makes the reader think. What makes something “Christian”? When is a song “Christian”? How much of our Christian life is “fake”? What is a “real” Christian?
If you can’t endure criticism, skip this book. But if you want an honest look at the “Christian” scene, this book is for you.

This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

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