Hear No Evil by Matthew Paul Turner

February 15, 2010 | By | 19 Comments

I have a copy of this book to giveaway. In the comment area, tell me the name of a music group that you’re embarrassed to admit that you like. I will draw a winner on Thursday morning.

It was obvious that following Jesus had helped him to some degree, but it wasn’t a miraculous healing. Henry was in process. And there was nothing wrong with being in process. I was in process. But failing to acknowledge the loose ends of somebody’s story, or pretending they didn’t exist, usually caused lives to further unravel.

Hear No Evil, p. 163

Summary: Matthew Paul Turner’s childhood was profoundly influenced by the fundamentalist Baptist church his family attended. His church was heavy on rules and judgment and light on grace. As a result, honesty was stifled and he encountered many regulations on what type of music he could listen to. But music was one of the best ways Turner connected with God and he had designs on becoming a Christian musician. In Hear No Evil, Turner takes us through his musical journey toward God in spite of the sheltering and often misguided influence of key Christians in his life.

Review: The first half of this book reminded me of the movie Footloose.  “Give the kid his music!”, I kept wanting to scream. What is funny is that Turner wasn’t even trying to sneak “hardcore” music into his soul. No. The musicians his church frowned upon were Christian artists such as Sandi Patti, Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith. It seems more than a little ridiculous to me that a church would look down upon its members listening to any of these artists. But Grant was divorced and some of Smith’s songs didn’t explicitly mention Jesus and I can’t remember what Patti’s problem was. Obviously, these prohibitions left a profound effect on Turner and would take many years to sort through.

Along the way, the reader encounters many colorful characters and strange situations. Turner is a good writer and fabulous storyteller. I enjoyed following the twists, turns and surprise endings. This is the most entertaining book I have read in some time.

A word of caution: Going in, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had visited Turner’s blog a few times and felt uneasy with some posts that seemed designed to be controversial. Commentators who were offended or didn’t agree with Turner were, at times, met with disdain by the Turner supporters. It didn’t seem like the safest place for some people. This book pushes the envelope is some places, but is pretty mild overall.

Summary: An entertaining journey toward a more honest and authentic faith.

Rating: 4/5 (Engaging and enjoyable.)

The book was provided for review by Waterbrook Multnomah. To learn more about or purchase on Amazon, click here.

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Comments (19)

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  1. Matthew says:

    Thanks Mark for the honest review. I’m sorry that my blog has seemed unkind in the past. Not my heart.

    Please consider posting this review at my blog! Here’s the link…


    Thanks again!

  2. kevan says:

    Good review, Mark.

    I am ashamed to admit I know the words to far too many Britney Spears songs … and I get excited each time one comes on the radio.

  3. Colin says:

    Hmmm…one music group that I’m embarrassed to admit that I like…
    I’m gonna have to go with Rascal Flatts. I normally HATE country music. My girlfriend gave me their CD…and, well, there ya go.

  4. Jim Drake says:

    Really ashamed to admit that at one time I actually owned an ABBA album. I was flipping through the channels a couple of weeks ago and came across the ABBA movie. It was like a NASCAR wreck–couldn’t take my eyes off it. I think much less of myself now…. Send me the book, it’ll make me feel better.

  5. adam says:

    i may or may not have used an itunes gift card to purchase a Miley Cyrus album.

    Hint: I did.

    party in the usa is too dang catchy.

  6. Kelley says:

    Not exactly a music group, but I like the generic ambiance albums by Lifescapes. You know, the CDs on the end-cap displays at Target with names like “Piano and Rain Showers” or “Native American Flute and Guitar”. Oh the shame! They really are soothing; sometimes they’re the best for falling asleep to. Alas.

  7. Amanda says:

    hahaha, do I really want to put this up here? Mine would be The Rocket Summer…nice and whiny rock from my high school days.

  8. Eva Joy says:

    I know a ridiculous amount of Carpenters lyrics for a 25 year old…..

  9. Mark says:

    Great choices everyone! I forgot to mention mine: The New Kids on the Block. The only problem is that I’m not embarrassed about it! I’m looking forward to the drawing in a few days.

    P.S. You guys have great taste!

  10. Rachel says:

    Gonna have to say….. Ray Boltz….

  11. Chris Hyde says:

    I really hate to admit this: Wham!

  12. karen gerber says:

    Tony Orlando and Dawn?

    and the list goes on…..

    • Mark says:

      The second person to mention Abba and the Carpenters! I didn’t know that it wasn’t hip to like them. Perhaps time has softened the perceptions of latter generations.

  13. Joe C. says:

    I’m embarrassed to admit that I like New Kids on the Block. I can only pretty much listen to them in the car when I’m alone or run the risk of teasing!

  14. Val says:

    The Carpenters come to mind. Enjoyed their music.

  15. Mark says:

    We have a winner! I assigned each of you a number and the random number generator selected Adam’s number. As always, I am sorry that I don’t have one for everybody (like Oprah would). Thank you all for playing!

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