Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on May 3, 2010
One reviewer called this book mean-spirited, which seemed to show a bit of, well, uh, mean-spiritedness. "Churched" is one man's look at the well-intentioned but oft-misguided fundamentalism that shaped his childhood. It mirrors the experiences of many raised in the church, and can be considered nothing less than therapy for thousands of gentle, somewhat bruised, souls.

"Churched" is a humorous, sometimes painful, look at how religion can turn rules and boot-camp mentality into a substitute for a relationship with the living God. Matthew Paul Turner is not out to point fingers, so much as to encourage others who have survived this craziness. He talks about the "sins" of long hair on men, of backward masking in music, and the little lies that are so important for surviving in a religious atmosphere. He deals with this fear-based mentality and nudges us toward an understanding of a God who hates sin, yes, but who also loves people of all colors, ilks, and sizes--even those dreaded Presbyterians, Catholics, and, gasp, smokers. The black Catholic woman he meets while on an evangelizing foray (with goodies as a reward for converts) serves as a beautiful example of what real church and real life with Jesus should be about.

Turner made me laugh out loud, wince, feel ashamed, and also elated. He details his own journey through this holy mess with the harmless honesty and humor of little Ralphie in "A Christmas Story," innocent, mischievous, and full of dry wit and wisdom. This is a journey worth taking.
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