Get ‘Churched’

Posted on October 13, 2008


Matthew Paul Turner is the kind of up and coming author you want to get into. Turner has the ability to take the negative things in Christianity, flip them around and bring humor in the unfortunate way things are. His first book, The Christian Culture Survival Guide, took heartfelt slams at all things Jesus: testaments, Patch the pirate, the lack of quality in Christian films and even Christian music (which he holds experience in as former editor of CCM magazine). His latest book, Churched, takes a similar attitude as it tells stories of his childhood experiences of being involved in a Independent-Fundamental-King James Only-Bible believin’-Baptist-Church. Only, this book has a happy ending….



Personally, when I heard about this book’s release I was ecstatic. I never grew up in deep legalism during my youngest years; except for being forbidden to watch ‘The Smurfs’ and ‘Tiny Toon Adventures,’ I was pretty much raised to embrace mainstream culture. However, there was a dark time in which I attended Christian school. Actually, I attended MANY Christian schools. Every one of them had their own special rules and special legalistic standards to uphold. However, if I were to put all of these schools into a blender, Matthew Paul Turner’s home church and school would be the slushie result. I am thankful that someone took the time and effort to write a book like this. This is the first book that I have felt such a strong connection with; perhaps because it slightly parallels my experiences in Christian school.

In Turner’s storytelling, we are introduced to the slick Pastor Nolan. This guy is so far out in fundamentalist land that he causes a cult within the town; full of baptist haircuts and Whitney Houston album burnings. He is the type of guy who ruins Christianity. As the reader follows through Turner’s story they will genuinely want to dislike Pastor Nolan. The sad part of the story is that Pastor Nolan is not just a stereotype, he is a real man who is standing behind podiums all over this country every Sunday morning. What angers me the most is when Turner details Pastor Nolan taking about his own discernment. How he knows that someone has beer in their fridge or is addicted to other things. I personally despise that attitude and it brings out my worst.

The book covers many other events such as mass neighborhood evangelism and a ride in Pastor Nolan’s car in which Nolan seems nearly human. Overall, this book is an adventure through fundamentalism. There is a happy ending when Matthew Paul Turner in current times finally finds his place within a church that is open and loving.

If you want a book that will bring about many different emotions while at the same time making you sit back and laugh at the fundamentalists then this is the book for you. Turner’s humor is in good taste but he does call out the negativity within the church for what it is.

This book is available at your local Barnes & Nobel, Borders, etc… or you can purchase it HERE. One word of advice, set yourself aside an hour to read this book. You will not be able to read it in sections because you will not want to put it down.