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Churched: One Kid's Journey Toward God Despite a Holy Mess Paperback – June 15, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook Press; 1 edition (June 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307458016
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307458018
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (146 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,234,507 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Churched is funny, poignant, and surprisingly moving. In this deft story of his fundamentalist upbringing Matthew Paul Turner proclaims the good news: that even church can't drown out the message of Jesus.”
Sara Miles, author of Take This Bread


“Turner’s churched lives in that elusive space between whimsical memories of an innocent youth and cringe-inducing flashbacks of life growing up in the church. Like a visit with long-lost relatives, churched reintroduced me to characters anyone who grew up in the church will find familiar, and I was surprised to find that I was glad to see them. Sweet-hearted, funny, and honest, churched had me reminiscing about the little boy searching for God that I once was and gently reminded me I still have some miles to travel.”
Dan Merchant, writer/director of Lord, Save Us From Your Followers


“Thanks to churched, Matthew Paul Turner’s vivid, often hilarious account of his childhood, I realized that not having grown up in evangelical culture is less of a handicap than I previously thought!”
Andrew Beaujon, author of Body Piercing Saved My Life and writer for the Washington Post


“Turner crafts an amusing field guide to fundamentalism that’s both a gentle lampoon of hypocrisy and misplaced fervor, and a model of how to survive being ‘churched’ without cynically rejecting the good with the bad, the Founder with his followers.”
Anna Broadway, author of Sexless in the City


“Matthew Paul Turner’s memoir has the insight of Anne Lamott and the comic honesty of David Sedaris. His stories force us to wonder which of our Christian beliefs and practices come from scripture and which spring up out of our own preferences and fears.”
Rob Stennett, author of The Almost True Story Of Ryan Fisher


“Finally! A bona-fide humorist in the North American church! I might be tempted to say Matthew Paul Turner is Christendom’s answer to David Sedaris, but Matthew stands on his own without the comparison. A memoirist who doesn’t take himself or the world too seriously, but still manages to write profoundly and beautifully, Turner gave me a belly-laugh on almost every page. If you grew up believing ‘being conformed not to this world’ meant being the weirdest kid on the block, churched will be the funniest book you’ve read in years!”

Lisa Samson, award-winning author of Quaker Summer, Embrace Me and Justice in the Burbs

“With his homespun humor and eye for living detail, Matthew Paul Turner’s churched invites readers to rethink the quirks of Christian culture for the sake of uncovering that which is lastingly good and worth holding dear.  Turner’s work is a refreshingly gentle discussion of faith and culture with the potential to spark meaningful conversations.”
Pete Gall, author of My Beautiful Idol


"If you didn't think Jesus-loving fundamentalist kids were very funny, Matthew Paul Turner proves you wrong."
-- Jason Boyett, author of Pocket Guide to the Bible and Pocket Guide to the Apocalypse.


“How can a book be so stinkin’ funny and yet so poignant at the same time? Matthew Paul Turner found his voice! After reading churched I wanted to hug him and then toss out all of my son’s clip-on ties.”
Jennifer Schuchmann, author of Six Prayers God Always Answers


“Who knew that a journey through faith and fundamentalism could be so painfully funny? I laughed out loud many a time while reading churched. Matthew Paul Turner manages to channel both boyhood innocence and wry retrospective through this fast-moving account of growing up with Jesus in late twentieth-century America.”
Mike Morrell, TheOoze.com


“A funny, heartfelt portrayal of one man’s attempt to find true meaning despite his upbringing among fundamentalists who taught him that Azrael–the cat from The Smurfs–was an agent of Satan. The true miracle of this book is that its author never manages to lose his faith.”
Robert Lanham, author of Sinner's Guide To The Evangelical Right


From the Hardcover edition.

Review

Churched is funny, poignant, and surprisingly moving. In this deft story of his fundamentalist upbringing Matthew Paul Turner proclaims the good news: that even church can't drown out the message of Jesus.”
Sara Miles, author of Take This Bread


“Turner’s churched lives in that elusive space between whimsical memories of an innocent youth and cringe-inducing flashbacks of life growing up in the church. Like a visit with long-lost relatives, churched reintroduced me to characters anyone who grew up in the church will find familiar, and I was surprised to find that I was glad to see them. Sweet-hearted, funny, and honest, churched had me reminiscing about the little boy searching for God that I once was and gently reminded me I still have some miles to travel.”
Dan Merchant, writer/director of Lord, Save Us From Your Followers


“Thanks to churched, Matthew Paul Turner’s vivid, often hilarious account of his childhood, I realized that not having grown up in evangelical culture is less of a handicap than I previously thought!”
Andrew Beaujon, author of Body Piercing Saved My Life and writer for the Washington Post


“Turner crafts an amusing field guide to fundamentalism that’s both a gentle lampoon of hypocrisy and misplaced fervor, and a model of how to survive being ‘churched’ without cynically rejecting the good with the bad, the Founder with his followers.”
Anna Broadway, author of Sexless in the City


“Matthew Paul Turner’s memoir has the insight of Anne Lamott and the comic honesty of David Sedaris. His stories force us to wonder which of our Christian beliefs and practices come from scripture and which spring up out of our own preferences and fears.”
Rob Stennett, author of The Almost True Story Of Ryan Fisher


“Finally! A bona-fide humorist in the North American church! I might be tempted to say Matthew Paul Turner is Christendom’s answer to David Sedaris, but Matthew stands on his own without the comparison. A memoirist who doesn’t take himself or the world too seriously, but still manages to write profoundly and beautifully, Turner gave me a belly-laugh on almost every page. If you grew up believing ‘being conformed not to this world’ meant being the weirdest kid on the block, churched will be the funniest book you’ve read in years!”

Lisa Samson, award-winning author of Quaker Summer, Embrace Me and Justice in the Burbs

“With his homespun humor and eye for living detail, Matthew Paul Turner’s churched invites readers to rethink the quirks of Christian culture for the sake of uncovering that which is lastingly good and worth holding dear.  Turner’s work is a refreshingly gentle discussion of faith and culture with the potential to spark meaningful conversations.”
Pete Gall, author of My Beautiful Idol


"If you didn't think Jesus-loving fundamentalist kids were very funny, Matthew Paul Turner proves you wrong."
-- Jason Boyett, author of Pocket Guide to the Bible and Pocket Guide to the Apocalypse.


“How can a book be so stinkin’ funny and yet so poignant at the same time? Matthew Paul Turner found his voice! After reading churched I wanted to hug him and then toss out all of my son’s clip-on ties.”
Jennifer Schuchmann, author of Six Prayers God Always Answers


“Who knew that a journey through faith and fundamentalism could be so painfully funny? I laughed out loud many a time while reading churched. Matthew Paul Turner manages to channel both boyhood innocence and wry retrospective through this fast-moving account of growing up with Jesus in late twentieth-century America.”
Mike Morrell, TheOoze.com


“A funny, heartfelt portrayal of one man’s attempt to find true meaning despite his upbringing among fundamentalists who taught him that Azrael–the cat from The Smurfs–was an agent of Satan. The true miracle of this book is that its author never manages to lose his faith.”
Robert Lanham, author of Sinner's Guide To The Evangelical Right --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Matthew Paul Turner is the best-selling author of "Churched" and "Hear No Evil." He, and his wife, Jessica, along with their kids, Elias and Adeline, live in Nashville, Tennessee.

Customer Reviews

This is a book about his experiences growing up in a very fundamental baptist church and school.
Rochelle Southard
Turner offers a great combination of thought provoking stories, great, hilarious, witty humor, and a chance to take a walk down memory lane in some form or another.
Matthew J. Wilson
Bad things I have to say about this book: For such a fascinating and unique story, Turner offers little to no insight.
Nervous Girl

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Lamb on September 16, 2008
Format: Hardcover
One of my favorite genres of literature to read is religious memoir. Off the top of my head, I can think of six or seven I've read in the last year - Frank Schaeffer's Crazy for God, Lauren Winner's Girl Meets God, Jon Sweeney's Born Again and Again, Barbara Brown Taylor's Leaving Church - A Memoir of Faith, and a couple from Frederick Buechner, The Sacred Journey, Now and Then, and Telling Secrets. Philip Yancey's Soul Survivor might also fit in that category. There are different things that I like about all of them. For some, it's seeing someone else who is close to the end of their journey, looking back at the things that happened in their lives that brought them to where they are now, like Buechner - on the back of his book The Longing for Home, there's a blurb from the New Oxford Review that says, "Journey on, Frederick Buechner. We need your stories to help us make sense of our own." Others, like Lauren Winner's and Donald Miller's, are thought provoking because they are a little further down the path I'm on, or at least a similar path. Schaeffer and Sweeney both come from a somewhat similar background in fundamentalism. Sweeney even begins one chapter in Born Again and Again: Surprising Gifts of a Fundamentalist Childhood by quoting part of a sermon by my Great Grandfather, John R. Rice. (Winner mentions Rice and his book Bobbed Hair, Bossy Wives, and Women Preachers in her chapter on Fundamentalism, but from an historian's perspective instead of a personal one.)

But while I can find similarities between their stories and my own, it's not often that I read someone who not only comes from a similar background but who also has many of the same stories, someone who heard the same preachers growing up (to say nothing of Patch the Pirate). Enter Matthew Paul Turner.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
What I liked most about this book was how evenhanded it was. The author is not a blamer. He understood why his parents chose the fundamentalist church they did, and they are portrayed as caring, loving people who really felt they were taking the right route for this children. Turner's slow realization that the church is flawed is revealed so calmly and in such a matter of fact way. The last straw, although he doesn't call it that, is realizing that the church leaders are counting souls saved like accountants, and fudging figures here and there. Another touching moment in the book is when, out to save souls door to door, Turner meets a woman whose love of God doesn't involve fear, and he realizes for the first time that is a possibility.

I also liked it that even at the end, Turner hasn't found an ideal church, and isn't even sure one exists, but he knows he loves God and needs to belong to a church community. This kind of quiet testimony is a wonderful thing to read for those of us in similar situations.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Currie-Knight TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
In the present age, the word "fundamentalist" is thrown around so much that it has become a caricature. Matthew Paul Turner's memoir is likely to reinforce many outsider's stereotypes of fear-reveling Baptist fundamentalism, but it will also put a human face on it, no matter how tragically comic that face might be.

"Gettin' to Glory is what our lives were all about." Here begins a sometimes scary, hilarious and introspective retelling of Matthew Turner's Baptist youth. In recalling various memories - a sermon on the evils of Whitney Houston, the sunday-school teacher's "Barbie burning fiasco," the competition to save souls in under 90 minutes - Turner makes comedy out of a quite bizarre upbringing. (In fact, the feel he creates is much the feel of movies like "A Christmas Story," with a sarcastic and introspective kid tells the story of his strange existence.)

A reviewer below wonders who the target market of this book is. Yes, fundamentalists will dislike it for the negative light it casts on them. However, this book will most certianly appeal to a liberal Christian base who, like our author, can look at fundamentalism as having it wrong. (In full disclosure, I am an atheist with a liberal Lutheran fiancee, and both of us very much liked the book.)

The reason, however, that I could not give five stars to "Churched," was that, at a little over 200 pages, I found it a bit too short and episodic. Not only do we jump from sixth grade to 9th grade in half a chapter, but occasionally, it even happens that we skip - unchronologically- from a later to an earlier memory. Also, while Turner ultimately rejects fundamentalism, we hear virtually nothing about his jouney. In the second to last chapter, he is a believing Baptist (with a doubt here or there).
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28 of 36 people found the following review helpful By C. Price VINE VOICE on October 22, 2008
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
As you may have figured out, the author of Churched was "trapped" in a fundamentalist church during his childhood. To be specific, an "Independent Fundamentalist Baptist" church. His family left the Methodist church when he was four and joined an IFB church where he attended until his graduation from high school. The author writes from the perspective of his younger self, immersed in a fundamentalist church. This is a clever way to make the church he attended and his family and friends look more bizarre and clueless than they likely were, but it is not meant to give the church, his family and friends a fair hearing. From the perspective of a four year old or a seven year old, any organized human endeavor is going to have some bizarre appearances (think, for example, of a jury trial or AA meetings). This perspective plays to the humor angle of the book but detracts from its substance.

The youth perspective is accompanied by an avalanche of snarky asides and comments the author adds to his anecdotes throughout. Some made me smirk and a couple made me laugh. Most were so-so. Although the writer is not without talent, the onslaught of snarkiness proves unrelenting.

Also, the childhood anecdotes left me wondering how, as a child, the author knew the inner thoughts and motivations of so many adults. For example, when his Mom lectured him on this or that subject, he knew exactly what her unspoken motivations were. As another example, the author also knows that the ushers in his church only volunteered for the job so they could avoid listening to the sermon. Indeed, all of the church members who volunteered to do something that occurred during the service only did so to avoid hearing the preacher preach.
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