Christianbook.com Ratings and Reviews

Customer Reviews for Random House, Inc Hear No Evil: My Story of Innocence, Music, and Holy Ghost

Random House, Inc Hear No Evil: My Story of Innocence, Music, and Holy Ghost

A quirky, provocative, hilarious collection from master storyteller Matthew Paul Turner! Exploring moments where spiritual life intersects with music, Turner shares events that forced him out of his comfort zone and opened up new graces along the way. You'll laugh at how Sandi Patty saved him from insanity, his uncomfortable role as his church's "teen soloist," and his early dream of becoming the Michael Jackson of Christian music. Don't miss Turner's witty and insightful memoir of growing up as a faithful evangelical youth!
Average Customer Rating:
3.833 out of 5
3.8
 out of 
5
(18 Reviews) 18
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating Snapshot (18 reviews)
5 stars
7
4 stars
4
3 stars
4
2 stars
3
1 star
0
1 out of 250%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for Hear No Evil: My Story of Innocence, Music, and Holy Ghost
Review 1 for Hear No Evil: My Story of Innocence, Music, and Holy Ghost
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great humor, honesty and timely message

Date:October 21, 2011
Customer Avatar
pattycake
Location:Alabama
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Turner is so honest it hurts. Funny and sometimes a little eye-opening, especially if you've been in some of the denominations he writes about.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 2 for Hear No Evil: My Story of Innocence, Music, and Holy Ghost
Overall Rating: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5

interesting read but without a clear enough point

Date:May 23, 2011
Customer Avatar
Bob Hayton
Location:St. Paul, MN
Age:25-34
Gender:male
"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? Where did he end up on the other end of the story recounted in the book? He was not timid in his insinuations about the state of Christian rock music. A Christian bass player ejects from his group and considers himself agnostic. Turner doesn't try to win him back, rather he empathizes with the pressure the Christian rock industry puts on its performers to remain virgins, albeit only in a "technical sense". Biblical literalists like the stern publisher of CCM (the magazine Turner edited for a while), have an agenda and aren't to be trusted. A gay former worship pastor, who visits his church on Easter Sunday indiscriminately receives Turner's cheerful welcome.
I do want to be careful not to judge the book too harshly. It is a personal recounting of events and nothing more. Perhaps I'm expecting too much from it. The flavor of the book is perhaps best captured in the following excerpt. Speaking of a fellow Amy Grant aficionado and staffer at CCM, Turner says:
"The story of Michael's early years is nearly identical to mine. Different parents, different churches, different states, but our experiences were the same. Both of us were raised Independent Fundamental Baptists. When we met people who hadn't heard of our form of Baptist, we told them it was Christian for 'scary beyond all reason.'
"By the time we turned twelve, Michael and I were convinced we knew everything there was to know about God. If that information wasn't already stored in our brains somewhere, our parents had flashcards to help us memorize it. People who told us that God was more or less than what we'd been taught were liars sent by Satan to deceive us. Our teenage years brought questions, college brought doubt, and we spent the better part of our twenties in therapy, trying to reconcile our understandings of God, sex, relationships, and what we believed to be true.
"But there was one consistent thread of grace in our lives, a trail we could follow all the way back to when our memories began: music. Music reminded us that we could trust God even when "his people" failed us.
"And at some point, our paths crossed with Amy's music, which gave both of us hope that God wasn't nearly as hateful as we'd been taught. (pg. 200-201)"
This book will resonate with many. But some will be emboldened by it to continue along a trajectory outside of confessional Christianity and orthodox faith. The book is good reading, but must be read with a discerning eye.
Disclaimer: This book was provided by Waterbrook Multnomah publishers for review. I was under no obligation to offer a favorable review.
0points
2of 4voted this as helpful.
Review 3 for Hear No Evil: My Story of Innocence, Music, and Holy Ghost
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:March 30, 2010
Customer Avatar
Ryan Medrano
Matthew Paul Turner is a fabulous story teller and does a great job mixing pop culture references in describing the various situations of his life. The book itself was very entertaining and it also had a serious undertone of how we all deal with questions around our faith. I like the lightness in which he approached his upbringing and the ways in which he dealt with all the challenges being brought up in a Fundamental Baptist church posed. This book is not going to part any great biblical wisdom, it is simply a well written, funny, story about a man, his life and his faith.
+2points
2of 2voted this as helpful.
Review 4 for Hear No Evil: My Story of Innocence, Music, and Holy Ghost
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Date:March 1, 2010
Customer Avatar
Jessica McGuire
MPT's writing is clearly good. A guy that shoots it straight. Saying things out loud, that most of us are thinking and afraid to say. It's funny. An easy read. The jabs and digs at Christianity's subgroups are point-on most of the time. From the tent-meeting evangelist to the quirky piano teacher, we are introduced to a variety of characters and situations surrounding Matthew Paul Turner's Reformed Baptist upbringing. There isn't a denominational group forgotten in his cynical twist on church life and theology. His observations as a young boy, through teen years and adulthood will leave the reader cringing at the shallow judgements of those within his boyhood faith-community. An isolated upbringing, where calling it the proverbial bubble would be putting it lightly, the author shares not a time-lined look at his life, but instead stories along the theme of music. Although good, I feel like this book is missing something. The point of the story perhaps. What is the central lesson that the author has learned that we the reader can take with us into our own lives. Judgement? Cynicism? Looking at the world differently? Is it a story of going from one extreme to the other? Or is he still searching? As the reader I was left hanging, wondering what does this all mean for MPT now? Did he learn anything? Isn't the point of an autobiography even in essay form to draw the reader into your life experiences and show the common thread that formed what you are now? If music is that common thread, are we to surmise that now that the author appreciates a wide range of music he is closer to understanding man and God? Am I looking for too much? We don't just need to know all of the ways that the Christian community past and present is doing things wrong, give us an idea of how to do it right. A lot of criticism without a real solution. This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.
+2points
2of 2voted this as helpful.
Review 5 for Hear No Evil: My Story of Innocence, Music, and Holy Ghost
Overall Rating: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5

Date:February 23, 2010
Customer Avatar
momL
The first half of the book had me laughing out loud; I could relate to him, having myself come from an IBBC. If you've ever been to one as a visitor, a member or are a recovering IBBC member, then you'll understand the humor in this book. If you aren't a follower of Jesus Christ, this book is not for you.The author is involved in the Christian music scene & writes from a purported insiders view. Christian rock music was not allowed in my church or house, when I was growing up. Amy Grant was the devils right hand gal, Sandy Patty just "fatty Patty", & Petra, they were about as close to satanic music as you could get. I connected with the author & got his dry humor; I shared his experience with all that stuff. Some of the authors recollections are laugh-out-loud funny. In my opinion, about two-thirds of the way through the book the authors views changed from mine. He found the grace & freedom that I did in Romans 14, but my opinion of the rest of the book, is that this author pushes that grace which Romans 6:1-2 warns us not to do.In particular I disagree with his sarcasm of abstinence before marriage. I don't care for the off-handed, lackadaisical manner in which he describes he & his friends "experimenting" with sex, but not having intercourse, so its ok & not sin (according to the author). And why bring up the M word if you are not going to deal with it. Seems to me the author is just glorifying the situations -- why not leave that to the TV sitcoms.Sure the Christian music industry is not perfect. Neither is the IBBC, nor any other denomination for that matter. Still, I do have friends in the music business in Nashville & their lifestyle doesn't condone homosexuality &/or sex outside of marriage.Bottom line, I enjoyed pages 1-120, but pages 120-231 left me deciding this is NOT a book I would recommend to anyone. Hear No Evil was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.
+1point
1of 1voted this as helpful.
Review 6 for Hear No Evil: My Story of Innocence, Music, and Holy Ghost
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:February 21, 2010
This book was so funny and witty, you just couldn't believe that you sat down to read it and hours later you were done! I really liked this book, and so glad I got to read it.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 7 for Hear No Evil: My Story of Innocence, Music, and Holy Ghost
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:February 19, 2010
Customer Avatar
Kathi Waddle
From the moment I opened the book I felt like I was transplanted into the world of Matthew Turner. He paints a vivid picture as he tells his stories which makes it easy to see yourself sitting right there experiencing the adventure with him. In addition he leaves you laughing a lot as he goes from one story to the next. A few of my favorites were his discussion with his friend Willie about Gods voice and God telling them what their careers should be, his adventures in purchasing Amy Grants Heart in Motion tape, and the day he and his family were at Sea World and he got his calling to be the Michael Jackson of Christian music. But even better than the humorous stories is how through each experience Matthew got a little closer to experiencing more and more of Gods grace.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 8 for Hear No Evil: My Story of Innocence, Music, and Holy Ghost
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Date:February 19, 2010
Customer Avatar
Bern
I have to say, that Matthew Turner's book, Hear No Evil, was entertaining and hilarious at many points. I read parts of it out loud to my hubby as we rolled on the floor uncontrollable. It was interesting to see how his faith grew over time and how God really use his love for music to teach him what grace is all about.Now, with that said - this is not a book I would necessarily recommend for personal edification. It is definitely about one person's personal walk with the Lord and how he grew from legalism to grace through his love for music. At the end of the book, he encounters a man who has been excommunicated from his church and he uses their interaction as a means to demonstrate unconditional love and non-judgement, as he sees Christians "should" be. I would agree that we need to be that way, that 1 John 4:19 - "we love, because He first loved us", is an anthem for our lives and that it permeates every part of who we are and what we do - as followers of Christ.The hard part of living this grace out is how we speak the truth in love and whether "accepting" things that God states He hates is really gracious, unconditional love. So, in short, Hear No Evil was funny and entertaining, and did cause me to be more gracious as God has called his people to be.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 9 for Hear No Evil: My Story of Innocence, Music, and Holy Ghost
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:February 19, 2010
What a funny, thoughtful, pure enjoyable book! Immediately, I found that I had a lot in common with Matthew: growing up attending an Independent Baptist Church, 7 channels of television viewing which always included The Lawrence Welk Show, listening to lots of records as our family was part of a "record club", being a HUGE Amy Grant fan, and my Dad also had an orange recliner. As I read these personal stories, I began to think about the music in my life, my "life soundtrack" and how that music has transformed my life. My first album that I purchased with my allowance was, Amy Grant's, MyFather's Eyes, which immediately takes me back to church camp the summer before 7th grade. What is your "life soundtrack". Think about that and reflect on how that music has transformed your life.By the way, thanks Matthew for a new book to add to my personal Amy Grant collection!
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 10 for Hear No Evil: My Story of Innocence, Music, and Holy Ghost
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:February 18, 2010
I throughly enjoyed this book. I even laughed out loud at times. This brought back so many memories for me of what it was like growing up in my family. I was also raised as an "Independent Fundamentalist Baptist" as was the author of this book, however, my experience wasn't quite as extreme. I do remember thinking that everyone else in the world was not a "real" Christian and only the people in my own church would be going to heaven. Thankfully, I've learned different. Even if you didn't grow up in such a strict household, I still think you may find it amusing to read about the world through the author's eyes.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 11 for Hear No Evil: My Story of Innocence, Music, and Holy Ghost
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:February 17, 2010
Customer Avatar
Charlene
I loved this book. I read all the good parts aloud to my mate, which was pretty much the entire thing. While I wasn't raised in a fundamentalist Christian church, I was surrounded by enough people who were that I could relate to Matthew's bewilderment over arbitrary restrictions and the apparent inability of the adults in the church to answer his belief and faith questions with any words beyond:* "Because I said so."* "This is the way we've always done it."* "Just do as you're told."And no matter what our religious backgrounds, we can all relate to the inconsistencies between church politics, church leadership, and church doctrine. Matthew highlights what is good and bad in religion today and does so with wry-wit, compassion and grace. More often then not, Matthew pokes fun at himself and his own search for truth, and through it all, he talks about how contemporary Christian music moved him from salvation through legalism to salvation by grace. This is a great book.This is a great book. I recommend it for both entertainment and spiritual growth. I would like to thank the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for providing me with a free copy of this book for my review. All opinions are 100% mine.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 12 for Hear No Evil: My Story of Innocence, Music, and Holy Ghost
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:February 17, 2010
Customer Avatar
Carrie Kintz
I wont lie to you. This book made me cry. Occasionally they were tender tears as I read about a certain experience and how it changed the author. But there were mostly tears of laughter when a particular sentence or anecdote hit my funny bone. That happened quite often and I got a lot of weird looks for laughing out loud.I appreciate Turner's honesty - it's refreshing in a world of glossed over opinions and political correctness. He is quite sarcastic and at times cynical. However it doesn't detract from the content of the book. Because there are many more poigniant moments than moments where you feel like he's taking a big bite into Christianity's so called 'sacred cows'. I give it five stars for hilarity, honesty and vulnerability.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 13 for Hear No Evil: My Story of Innocence, Music, and Holy Ghost
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:February 17, 2010
Customer Avatar
Melissa Carlson
Hear No Evil is by far the best book Ive read recently in the non-fiction Christian genre. Matthew Paul Turner shares his journey from a Christian fundamentalist upbringing, which even swore off christian music as being the devils excrement, to his career in the music business with transparency, authenticity and humor. I found myself laughing out loud as I related to Turners hilarious analogies and metaphors used to describe legalistic, religious, and narrow-minded values. Because I knew that my husband could also relate to the stories, I read a good portion of the book aloud to him.When I accepted the offer from WaterBrook Multnomah to review this book, I expected to like it because I enjoy reading Matthew Paul Turners updates on Twitter. However, I was surprised to find, as I read through the pages of his book, that this author felt like an old friend. Im not sure if its because Matthew Paul Turners writing-style is so endearing, or if its due to the fact that I, too, live in the Nashville area and frequent Fidos. Whatever the case, I am thankful for the opportunity to take this ride along memory lane with Turner. It definitely left me with food for thought about my own attitudes and convictions.*This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 14 for Hear No Evil: My Story of Innocence, Music, and Holy Ghost
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Date:February 17, 2010
Customer Avatar
Molly Sahlberg
Hear No Evil by Matthew Paul Turner is a laugh out loud memoir of one mans musical journey. Born into a fundamental Baptist family, Matthew tells of his secret Sandy Patti concert attendance and his growing fascination with the sinful beats in Amy Grant music.At times, cynical, but always full of joy, Matthew shares his story of how he grew in freedom and grace. Eventually he finds his place, and his song, in Jesus. Hear No Evil is a fun, funny, and poignant read that anyone would enjoy, but especially if you were a child of the 80s growing up in a Christian home.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 15 for Hear No Evil: My Story of Innocence, Music, and Holy Ghost
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:February 16, 2010
Customer Avatar
Andrea Schultz
Matthew Paul Turner is a blogger, speaker & author of several books. Not only that, but hes a funny guy! I have been reading his blog, Jesus Needs New PR,' & his tweets for a while now. When I found out he had a new book coming out, I wanted to be one of the first to read it!That latest book, Hear No Evil, a memoir of his earlier years, did not disappoint! Matthew had a very conservative upbringing. Heres his take on it:I was raised in an ultraconservative Baptist church where emotion and honesty were even less compatible than Christian fundamentalism and self-worth. At my church whenever somebody capable of emotional honesty became a member, it created a situation similar to my fathers lectures about a new puppy: As long as it never poops on the carpet, Ill let it be an inside dog. Anyone was welcome to join us for worship on Sundays, as long as they never emotionally pooped on the carpet. Most of us kids were house-trained before wed memorized our multiplication tables. (p. 8)Matthew muses about his childhood, and the judgmentalism and narrowness of the thinking that is pervasive in many Christian circles. Some of his examples were so surreal, ridiculous and outlandish that they defied imagination but they are all too true. Sometimes, it is best to just laugh at these situations! I could go on and on with my praise, but instead will encourage you to read Hear No Evil for yourself! This is one book I will be reading multiple times.I have been reading many books of late which have been stretching me. This book is no exception. I have had my bouts of being judgmental and narrow-minded over the years, and it is very clear to me that Jesus is none of those! He operates in love, and that is what I have been learning time and time again lately. I am glad to see that Matthew has seen that truth as well! This book was provided to me for review purposes by Waterbrook Press.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 16 for Hear No Evil: My Story of Innocence, Music, and Holy Ghost
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:February 16, 2010
Customer Avatar
Bethany LeBedz
I relived my strict Baptist (although not Fundamental) upbringing and my ongoing love affair with music through the pages of Matthew Paul Turners Hear No Evil memoir. With humorous honesty, Turner writes for all the world to see the secret thoughts that most of us dont dare to admit even to ourselves. Every life has a soundtrack; relate to, laugh and cry with Turners. Discover how a kid gets from singing Just As I Am to a degree in the music business. Be there when Turners mom discovers his first Amy Grant album stashed under the front seat of his car.Hear No Evil had me in stitches from cover to cover. Never before have I read a non-fiction book straight through in two days the way I read fiction. In many ways, I feel that Matthew and I are long-lost siblings; I understand his longings to break free of musical legalism. My only disappointment was that the last two chapters were not quite as engaging as the rest of the book. Overall, Hear No Evil gets two thumbs up from this musician. I received a review copy for free from WaterBrook Press.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 17 for Hear No Evil: My Story of Innocence, Music, and Holy Ghost
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Date:February 16, 2010
Customer Avatar
Jen Baker
Matthew Paul Turner grew up in a conservative Baptist church, where as he says on page 8,"emotion and honesty were even less compatible than Christian fundamentalism and self-worth. In his memoir, Hear No Evil, he reveals how God used music and the music business to turn his life on end and to deepen his relationship with the Lord. Turners years as a teen and young adult were especially painful, as his stories prove. Somehow being celebrated as a gifted singer at his home church and a contestant in a small-time vocal competition did not prepare him for rock concerts or conversations about Bob Dylan later in life. In a funny, self-deprecating fashion Matthew Paul Turner tells all about his huge step of faith toward Nashville where life hasnt been the same since. Author of Churched: One Kids Journey toward God Despite a Holy Mess and The Christian Culture Survival Guide, Turners memoir is a great testimony to how God is big enough to meet us in fresh and unusual ways.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 18 for Hear No Evil: My Story of Innocence, Music, and Holy Ghost
Overall Rating: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5

Date:February 15, 2010
Customer Avatar
Cafe Lily Book Reviews
Matthew Paul Turner definitely knows how to shake things up. Hear No Evil was the first book of Turners that I had ever read and I found it painfully honest at times. As humorous as many of his stories and examples were, there were some times when I felt uncomfortable reading this book mainly due to my theological differences. All through this book, I sensed that making others a bit uncomfortable and causing the reader to question why they view God the way that they do, is exactly what the author was after. Being raised in a similar denomination to the one Turner writes most about in this book, I got his sense of humor right away and understood his lighthearted jabs at some of the nonsense that was (and maybe still is) taught in some churches today. With a childhood steeped in legalism I did laugh at many of the examples he gave of what was considered off limits to him as a young Baptist. One of my favorite comments of his was about a woman he remembered from his childhood whom he referred to as the Born Again Gossip. I loved Turners description of how his family snuck out to a forbidden Sandi Patty concert and experienced TRUE worship with people from every gender, ethnic group and religious background worshipping God together. Having said all of that, Matthew Paul Turners take on worship and his approach to Jesus is from what I consider a seeker sensitive perspective. For those readers who are into light theology with little accountability, this book will probably feed right into their idea of church, God and Christianity.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.