My Review of Matthew Paul Turner’s Churched

I had the opportunity to review Churched for the Blogging for Books program by Multnomah Books.  I think I’m supposed to say that I am not required to write a positive endorsement, only an honest one.  Faithful readers should know that by now, new readers, beware :)

As a fan of MPT and his blog Jesus Needs New PR, I’m not sure what took me this long to read Churched. It’s a pretty fast read, I finished it in a night.
Here are my thoughts:

It is legitimately funny. Matthew is not only a fantastic story-teller but also has an excellent sense of humor that you can tell has been refined over his years on teen-retreats in a church van.

Second, it’s therapeutic. You cannot help but feel comforted by the similarities of your own family, church, and inner monologue.

Third, there is a warning contained here for all of us pastors, church leaders, parents – these kids we have now eventually get older, acquire book deals and do a tell-all as if they were a politician’s girlfriend. Ask the Lord to help you bring your A-game everyday.

Lastly, based on this, there are two types of people who should read it: Christians raised in fundamentalist churches (especially in the 80’s and 90’s) and parents who raised their children in these types of churches. The book is marketed to the former, but I think it would be extremely interesting for Boomer parents to read what was going in our heads throughout those years. I kept thinking, I bet a lot parents have no idea that this is how so many of us felt. It is written with enough humor and exaggeration that I think it’s very possible for it not get overly personal. Just a thought.

MPT does a great job in not preaching at all in this book – it’s all in the dialogue and the sarcasm. He creates these caricatures (please let them be caricatures) that reminded me of what Matt Groening did with his own family and upbringing when he created the Simpsons (yes, the concept of the Simpsons is based on a true story).

Perhaps the most insightful thing I can say about the book is this – the greatest thing fundamentalism did for kids like us, is that our existing faith is evidence of the Holy Spirit. There are thousands of us who were raised in this no long hair, no tattoo, no secular music message of Christianity and crawled out the other end of the CCM sewer, found Jesus and raised our hands like freed people in the Lord Shawshank Redemption style.

Again, it’s a fun read, hope you check it out.


  1. eric couch says:

    I am may have to pick this up but did you know that on Noisetrade, he has some audio stuff?

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