Matthew Paul Turner tells his story of growing up in a fundamentalist church in his book Churched: One Kid’s Journey Toward God Despite a Holy Mess. This story is not the typical anti-fundie, bitter rant, but rather, a light-hearted humorous story that will make you laugh without feeling disrespectful. He shows how his upbringing helped him love Jesus despite the many foibles of the fundie culture. I imagine that every church contains the types of characters that cross his path, and if you were conservatively “churched”, you may find you know these people too. Somehow he manages to tell his story in a light but profound manner, humorous without sarcasm. His giftedness with penning words to his journey is exceptional and his writing style is delightful.
My favorite part of this book was the surprise of the last chapter, his ‘benediction’, where he gives a too-brief summary of his journey of leaving fundamentalism, dabbling in Calvinism and non-denominational churches, a brief stint in Catholicism, and finally landing in a community church – one that is not perfect, but a group of people where he can fit as he grapples with being a different kind of Christian. If he puts this part of his journey in a sequel, I’ll be the first in line to buy it!
I am now a new Matthew Turner fan. Check out his blog at: www.matthewpaulturner.com for a sample of his diverse writing styles and some thought-provoking reading.
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I received a complimentary copy of this book from WaterBrook Press in exchange for my honest review.