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Hear No Evil: My Story of Innocence, Music, and the Holy Ghost Paperback – February 16, 2010


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Hear No Evil: My Story of Innocence, Music, and the Holy Ghost + Relearning Jesus: How Reading the Beatitudes One More Time Changed My Faith
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook Press; 1 edition (February 16, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 140007472X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400074723
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 4.9 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,695,243 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

After a childhood roped off from popular culture, Turner (The Christian Culture Survival Guide) chased dreams of becoming a Christian singer only to find the safe genre more plastic than relevant. In this memoir, Turner strings together his journey from starstruck child to Christian music editor, with tales of music's influence on his Independent Fundamental Baptist upbringing. At times, the book takes aim at the denomination, lamenting the anxiety its moral absolutes produce: few things existed that were more frightful than a syncopated beat. At other points, the book becomes a critique of unoriginal Christian music. Turner calls for honesty from all Christians, begging artists to tap into guarded imaginations and urging churches to be more forgiving when singers step outside the box. Despite his misgivings, Turner maintains a playful tone, like a teenager rolling his eyes at an embarrassing parent. Still hopeful, he seeks not to discount Christian music and its listeners but to fine-tune his Christian church and shake up the genre that remains a consistent thread of grace in his life. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“Like a good Amy Grant song, Hear No Evil will worm its way into your brain, lodge itself there, and refuse to leave.  Every page is funny, honest, and full of the best kind of faith.  Matthew Paul Turner isn't just a great Christian writer.  He's a great writer, period.” 
— Kevin Roose, author of The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner’s Semester at America’s Holiest University

“The most glorious part about Hear No Evil is Matthew Paul Turner’s humor and authenticity.  Brilliantly affective, this collection of stories about music--its triumphs, its dysfunction, and its value in people’s lives--will conjure up memories about your own musical journey and experiences. Matthew's funny and sometimes irreverent tone reveals not only his social relevance but also his sincerity.”
—    Josh Shipp, host of Jump Shipp, author of The Teen’s Guide to World Domination, MTV personality

“There’s an adage: ‘Never make fun of a group of which you are not a member.’ Matthew Paul Turner grew up in the fundamentalist bubble and worked in the Christian Contemporary Music scene. And make fun of them he does ­ however, not with outsider venom but with insider empathy. Hear No Evil is hilarious, cringe-worthy, and all too true. And Turner's faith survived. Halleluiah. That’s what humor can do.”
—    Susan E. Isaacs, actress, comedienne,  and author of Angry Conversations with God

Hear No Evil is a compelling story that will send you on a journey where you’re laughing one second and doing a painfully honest heart check the next. When you finish this book you’ll have a new understanding that God works in very unique and surprising ways as He draws us closer to Him.”
— Pete Wilson, pastor of Cross Point Church, author of Plan B

“Anyone who grew up in the evangelical bubble will relive their own adolescence through Turner’s witty, devastatingly forthright account of his own. Couching his unsparing observation in self-effacing mirth, he drags the superstition and cultural backwardness of the good ole Christian subculture right out into the open. Even if you’ve had bad experiences with exorcisms in the past, Hear No Evil is the last one you’ll ever need.”
—    David Sessions, founding editor of Patrol magazine

 “In Hear No Evil, Matthew Paul Turner writes ‘The odd thing about Christians pursuing fame is that they do it while pretending not to be interested in fame’. I would buy this book even if this was the only sentence printed inside. It’s that valuable.”
—    Jonathan Acuff , creator of StuffChristiansLike.net and author of the book Stuff Christians Like

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

Still, it's a good read, and the second half of the book is a little more connected.
WitherWing
While not becoming a famous Christian artist, Turner did work in the music industry for years, including time as the editor of CCM magazine.
Joan N.
Turner has a great sense of humor and successfully told his coming of age story in a way that was entertaining and honest.
L. J. Tritabaugh

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By R. Hayton VINE VOICE on February 16, 2010
Format: Paperback
Hear No Evil is a collage of stories from Matthew Paul Turner's past. A former independent fundamental Baptist (IFB), Turner chronicles his spiritual journey with special attention to the role his love for music played.

As a former IFB myself, I could identify with many of his experiences. I was raised KJV only, and also used my Bible as an autograph book (for the great men of God who I was privileged to hear). One of Turner's memories is particularly relevant to the audience of my blog. Sadly it rings true, to some extent, of my own experience and many others. He recounts:

"I didn't study God. I just memorized Scripture verses and practiced Bible trivia. I could have told you the names of the twelve sons of Jacob or offered you a biblically accurate play-by-play of the events that led up to King David sleeping with Bathsheba. I learned facts. I knew a thousand Bible verses by heart, but I couldn't explain why God's story was important to me, personally. (pg. 122)"

Clear and extremely well-written, the book makes for easy reading. In a light-hearted manner, with equal parts humor and candor, Turner recounts his escapades expertly. The stories are interesting and to some extent comical.

Unfortunately, Turner's tone is rather disturbing. As I read the book I was struggling to find a point in it all. Some of the stories seemed a bit over the top. Even granting for some authorial exaggeration, some of the scenarios he described stretched the limits of reality. Often the humor seemed self-serving. And Turner spared no punches in his shots of fundamentalists and other wider segments of Christianity.

Several scenes were painted without a clear resolution. What really is Turner's assessment of all of this?
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Chad Estes on February 2, 2010
Format: Paperback
In his new book "Hear No Evil," Matthew Paul Turner establishes some of his current thoughts towards the blending of religiosity and music, and then proceeds to illustrate the pitfalls through stories of his childhood through his early writing career. Though the world of music was an easy theme for Turner to focus on, Hear No Evil also covers other aspects of art and expression such as movies, television, fashion, performing, and Calvinism.

Like his book, "Churched," Turner's writing is full of hilarious anecdotes and very clever observations, while at the same time the stories are a sober reminder that there is no fun in fundamentalism, whatever its particular brand. As the chapters proceed and the little boy grows up he must figure out what to do with all the religion he has soaked up over the years. He journeys through college, living in Nashville, booking music for a Christian coffee shop/concert house, and having a job as a writer and editor for CCM (Christian Contemporary Music) Magazine.

While his inside view of "the business" provides insights to the Christian music scene (especially thoughtful are his interactions with Amy Grant, a musician he calls "James" who left the industry, and a church worship leader named Kyle) Matthew's writings aren't an expose on others as much as they are a tell-all book about himself. As he says, "Honesty can sometimes sound judgmental to those who don't fully understand the topic of conversation." And that is what this, an honest conversation from a man who is walking out his faith in sincerity, even when it means being uncomfortably raw, in hopes that tomorrow's songs will be sung in freedom.

I highly recommend this book.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By WitherWing on March 1, 2010
Format: Paperback
To put my cards up front: I didn't grow up on the fundamentalist side of evangelicalism. My parents listened to Amy Grant on the way to church, Bob Dylan on the way to groceries, and Billy Joel on the record player. Yet I did go to an evangelical college where half of the music majors seemed to want to go down to Nashville and become the next Steven Curtis Chapman, Audio A, or Point of Grace -- this was before the modern worship takeover when everyone wanted to become the next Chris Tomlin or Casting Crowns. I was also at CCM Magazine HQ the day after Salem bought them out, and the feel in the building was frosty at best.

So I sympathize a bit with this book, if only thanks to friends who went through much of the same strangeness of fundamentalism: the suspicion of other Christians, the Bible Quizzes, ignorance of life outside the bubble, arbitrary rules, guilt, and discovery of music. Music pulled me in early as well, thanks to artists like Stevie Wonder and the Pointer Sisters on Sesame Street and my parents impressive library of what's now called Classic Rock.

Much of this book is pretty fun, and filled with anecdotes about growing up in this environment. The intro about the young man showing up in Nashville like a deer in the headlights resonated with the kids I knew who wanted to get into CCM. The stories about the frustrated guy playing with his Christian Rock band wanting to run away sounds like countless interviews with people who left CCM. Parts are hilarious, parts are incredibly sad. The story of attempting to force Amy Grant to apologize was perfect in that is encapsulated everything the book was about: Music, distrust, disappointment, and the shallowness of the whole movement. It's a painful chapter to read.
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