CHURCHEDMatthew Paul Turner
WaterBrook Press

I’ve been a quiet fan of Matthew Paul Turner’s work since stumbling upon an ad for his book The Christian Culture Survival Guide in an issue of Relevant Magazine a few years back. Like Churched (and just about everything else he’s written, he’s quite prolific), I had a dickens of a time locating that one and giving it a cursory read at the Boarder’s in Omaha, the only location that had it. I’m sure the big Christian bookstore would have had it, easily, but I stopped going there since I noticed that they always had someone follow me around when I went there. Now I only go there when my emergency supply of Testa-Mints is running low, and PayPal is unable to let me do it online. But, I digress…

Matthew Turner seems to get my disposition on Christian life. And my sense of humor. I’ve been a daily reader of the guy’s blog for over a year now (if you haven’t yet, check it out). So, when he started talking about the new offering of his, Churched, sharing what it was about, the near-impossible happened: I started getting excited about a Christian non-fiction book. And a hard-cover, at that. Problem was, I’m still a bit paranoid about ordering too many things online, which meant taking the hour-long trek into Omaha to try and locate it. And I did find it. One store had it. One copy of that book. Tucked so far back in between bigger, thicker, and flashier Christian self-help twattle that I almost left, thinking the place didn’t have it. But, thanks to the persistence of my fiancĂ©’, I did find it. And read it in two days.

In the grand tradition of Buy The Book And Read For Yourself, I’ll keep things to a minimum: Churched is, at first glance, a memoir of growing up within a Fundamental Baptist Church. You will laugh. You will cringe. You will want to stop reading because it hit close to home. It will anger some. It may bring some to tears. If you stick to the end, it will make you reevaluate your own personal relationship with Jesus. Like it did me.

I could go on, but then I’d be rambling and gushing all over the place. It could get messy, and I’m fresh out of towels. I will say this in parting, though: When you read Churched, imagine it being narrated by Jean Shepherd, and the little Matthew Turner and his family as played by Ralphie Parker and his family. Eh, it was Christmas, and there was this A Christmas Story marathon going on at the time…