Thursday, February 18, 2010

Hear No Evil by Matthew Turner (Blog Tour) + Giveaway!

As one who considers music "a sermon to my soul" and is married to a man who grew up among "fighting fundies", the description of this book drew me in immediately.  Hear No Evil: My Story of Innocence, Music, and the Holy Ghost is a memoir of one who grew up in an extremely legalistic Independent Fundamental Baptist household and yet decided that God had called him to be the Christian version of Michael Jackson.  His experiences in Nashville as he pursues this dream and is faced with a world he had been taught was all "caca" are sometimes hilarious, sometimes touching, and sometimes a tad eye opening.  

This is not a book that tries too hard to make its point.  It's not preachy, it's not bitter, it's simply an honest look at life from one who lived it.  And if I were to try and pin point a message in the book, it would be one of honesty, of being real with your faith and where you are in that process.  When one friend confesses his failures and believes himself a total failure, the author encourages him with these words, "I guess we've all made God look like a slob at some point. . .But I don't think we do that by being human.  I think we do it when we pretend we're not."

I really enjoyed the writing style.  There was a humor there, even a touch of sarcasm, without it being biting.  One section demonstrates this well, "Whenever my church deemed a beat 'syncopated', it meant it was the kind of beat to which Baptist missionaries had witnessed evil spirits conjured among naked African tribes.  That was why we covered our ears- just in case some of them tried to shimmy their way inside our heads.  Demons were scary enough, but nude demons gyrating their hips inside our brains- that would require a prescription.  And Baptists who required antidepressants often turned into atheists or, sometimes, Methodists." 

I love that he does not assume bad intentions upon those who have no idea what grace means, but instead treats their peculiarities with love and humor.  His descriptions of his upbringing are crazy to those of us not raised that way, but I've known enough families in this category to realize that most have good hearts and sincerely want to do what's right.  I think he portrays that well, not shying away from the extremism but laughing at himself right along with them.  I'm not sure those who consider themselves Fundamental Baptists would appreciate the book, but this Baptist preacher's wife did.  And I have to say I'm glad not everyone who identifies themselves as Baptist can identify with this story.  At least not to this extreme.  But I'm sure every Christian can relate in one way or another.  We all want that real, authentic faith but sometimes find ourselves stuck in that "contract Christianity" referred to in the book. 

There are little things I could pick at, but this is Matthew Turner's story and I don't have to like every little bit of it.  As a whole, it was one I enjoyed.  It made me view my inability to be fake as a blessing, rather than the curse I sometimes view it as.  Being vulnerable hurts, but the other option is pretending to be someone else and yeah, I think that reflects a lot more poorly on God and His people than someone admitting they're a screw up who needs His help.  

Hear No Evil is available from Random House, as well as your favorite local or online bookstore.  You can also check out the author's website at MatthewPaulTurner.com .

Would you like to win a copy of this book?  Simply leave a comment on this post and be entered to win.  Follow or subscribe to my blog, Tweet, blog or Facebook this giveaway and leave an extra comment for an extra entry!  Winner will be announced on Wednesday, March 3rd.  US only for this one, please.


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

7 comments:

TerriG said...

Yeah Lori, I love the review. I want to win. Even though Poisonwood Bible is fiction, I highly recommend it. It will give great insight on legalism.

Joe C. said...

Nice review! I'd love to win a copy of the book!

Twitter: @jojosfire

Winning Readings said...

Sounds like a fun AND thought-provoking book.

janemaritz at yahoo dot com

We posted about this giveaway at Winning Readings: http://winningreadings.blogspot.com/2010/02/hear-no-evil.html

Anonymous said...

Please enter me. Sounds like a good book.

Wendy
ebeandebe at gmail dot com

Benita said...

I'd love to read this book. Thanks for the possibility.

bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

Benita said...

New follower.

bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

wmmahaney said...

Sounds like an interesting book.
wmmahaney(at)att(dot)net

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