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‘Don’t buy THIS book. Don’t buy THIS book. Don’t buy THIS book!’

“THIS book” would be my book Churched.

And that advice comes from an Amazon.com reviewer…

Mamastiks writes… Don’t buy this book. Don’t buy this book. Don’t buy this book. Very sacrilegious and a gross exaggeration of what “goes on” in a fundamentalist church. I grew up in a very strict, conservative, fundamentalist church, and my experience was NOTHING like what is described in this book. It made me feel nothing but angry. I have read his blog a few times, but stopped because for lack of a better term, it is sacrilegious, but I thought I’d read this book since he claims to have grown up in a fundamentalist church. Just thankful I got it from the library and didn’t waste my money on it.

Is it bad that this review actually inspires me a little? I’ve really started to value the 1-star review as much as the 5 & 4-star reviews. Hey, at least the book made Mamastiks feel something. That’s good, right?
:)



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Kristie

posted December 14, 2010 at 10:32 am


It makes me want to read the book even more. :)



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Blake

posted December 14, 2010 at 10:32 am


So SHOULD I buy this book?



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Rosie

posted December 14, 2010 at 10:33 am


I’m just glad the book didn’t make her feel like a Natural Woman. Sorry, I had to throw that out there. BTW: Why would she think your book would be different from your blog. i.e. sacrilegious.

I love the book and the blog, so there.



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Jessica

posted December 14, 2010 at 10:33 am


I’m glad you utilize reviews as opinion and not fact. I know your family and I know you are not at all sacreligious. . . especially since I used to teach your little Elias at church!



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Faye

posted December 14, 2010 at 10:34 am


I have friends from my teen years who don’t recall the church the way I do, Matthew. They don’t recall the denigration or hypocrisy. That’s okay. I have friends who experienced much worse than I. We’re different individuals, God created us to be so.

Maybe that’s the problem. You were an INDIVIDUAL in a church that wants cookie-cutter members. Mamastiks apparently fits in and is happy there. That’s great.



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Monica Mowdy

posted December 14, 2010 at 10:34 am


I have read the book, I currently pastor many who grew up in churches where they had similar experiences as you did, Matthew. While I am glad his experience was better than yours and theirs I wish he had the understanding that not everyone has the same experience. I can see, however, why so many of those with experience like yours speak of “negativity and judgmental natures” in their past experiences.



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Quincy

posted December 14, 2010 at 10:34 am


I agree with Kristie, this review makes me want to read it even more also :)



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Monica Mowdy

posted December 14, 2010 at 10:37 am


Oh Yeah! And… By This Book! Buy This Book! Buy This Book!



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seekingpastor

posted December 14, 2010 at 10:38 am


In the process of reading it now–really enjoyable. Found it at a used book store for $0.75. But that is not indicative of how good it is, I just don’t buy books unless they are under $5.



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    Matthew Paul Turner

    posted December 14, 2010 at 10:43 am


    Hey man… I LOVE bargains. :)



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      seekingpastor

      posted December 14, 2010 at 11:03 am


      Yes–and I’ve often thought of how cool it would be to find a book I have written in a used book store. Of course, I haven’t written a book yet, which is the main problem in this whole scenario.



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Michele

posted December 14, 2010 at 10:39 am


Yes! All ‘star’ reviewers thoughts are heard..and great that they are reading/listening regardless..can’t wait to read THIS book! :)



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James Jones

posted December 14, 2010 at 10:42 am


You have got to love reverse psychology. Surely he is trying to get attention for people to read your book.

If not, he just gave more reasons to buy it. :)



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James Williams

posted December 14, 2010 at 10:42 am


Int he defense of the reviewer, is it not possible that they did grow up in a fundamentalist church and not experienced what you did? If so, that doesn’t make you sacrilegious, but it makes your perspective exactly as valid–no more, no less–than their experience.



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    Leanne

    posted December 14, 2010 at 10:47 am


    I agree. The reviewer more than likely had a wonderful experience in their church. My issue is they negate anyone who has had a different experience in their review. It is one thing to state, I never experienced what the author writes about and therefore do not appreciate how he speaks of fundamentalism. But to say don’t buy this book because my experience was good really is closing the door on those who have been abused by church. One cannot negate someone’s experience just because their experience differs from yours or from your theology.



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Emilee

posted December 14, 2010 at 10:43 am


No one likes to have their faults pointed out to them, that’s why she didn’t like it. Having grown up in a fundamentalist church and knowing people like the ones described in the book I thought it was pretty accurate. But if those people were confronted with it, they’d probably call it ‘sacrilegious’ too.



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Jason Boyett

posted December 14, 2010 at 10:44 am


This is only marginally related to the sacrilege of your book, but I am almost certain that the cover kid’s eyes follow me every time I move. He haunts me from behind that pew.



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Nick M.

posted December 14, 2010 at 10:45 am


This guy sounds 2 legit 2 quit. I’ve read your book Mr. Turner and I must say it’s rubbish :)

I am disappointed that I couldn’t find any MPT at the Lincoln Barnes & Noble. No worries-I had them order a few for me because I couldn’t stand seeing pesser peep’s book there but not yours :)



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Jesse Medina

posted December 14, 2010 at 10:48 am


Ah, Mamastiks. Such a jokester!



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noelle

posted December 14, 2010 at 10:51 am


makes feel a little guilty that I borrowed it from the library.

“goes on” isn’t one of those parentheses-appropriate phrases. Reminds me of the Friends episode where Joey can’t get the parentheses thing right

If your book weren’t irreverent and funny, why would anyone want to read it? Who wants to read a boring self-account of potlucks, Bible-highlighting, and taking sermon notes? I don’t think any of my childhood churches called themselves fundamentalist, but I still share a good number of your if I hadn’t been there myself I wouldn’t believe it happened experiences.

p.s. I’m still not completely sure what a fundamentalist is (I went to a liberal arts RCA college, but I don’t think it was fundamentalist). I am getting a much better idea after following your blog the last several months



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Charlie Chang

posted December 14, 2010 at 10:51 am


Is there anything different in this version than the previous one?

nicodemusatnite.blogspot.com



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Karl Bastian

posted December 14, 2010 at 10:52 am


I grew up the son of a Baptist preacher in WONDERFUL and LOVING Baptist churches, probably because my dad was too. We heard all the jokes about Baptist churches and even enjoyed them, but I kinda wondered where they came from since they were so foreign to my experience. Until I took a job as a children’s pastor at a fundamental Baptist church. Within six months I was thinking, “Oh, this is where all those Baptist jokes came from!” I got out of that mean judgemental place as fast as I could. All that to say, labels are tough because it really depends upon the leadership of the church that sets the tone. I feel so bad for kids who have to grow up in those environments, its a spiritual hell that Jesus would have overturned like He did the Temple marketplace!



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Rosie

posted December 14, 2010 at 10:57 am


@ Noelle, if your college is RCA then it is definitely NOT fundamentalist. lol I work for an RCA church and we’re pretty wild (for fundamentalist standards).



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    Noelle

    posted December 14, 2010 at 3:03 pm


    Didn’t think so, though I thought they were supposed to be Calvinist in theology. I graduated ’98 and I remember it as the fun place that showed R rated movies in the old chapel, where chapel services were well-attended but not mandatory, and where I had heart-breaking unrequited crushes on hot atheist guys. And watched the Last Temptation of Christ in my Xian Origins class.

    I’ll figure you fundamentalists out eventually



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Larry Shallenberger

posted December 14, 2010 at 11:05 am


Don’t buy this book? So I’m left with the option of shoplifting, which is darn near impossible in the age of Kindle.



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Carrie

posted December 14, 2010 at 11:06 am


I bought it, read it, was upset by it (memories like a flood…), and enjoyed it.

I’m still wanting to hear the rest of the story, though. The evolution from one to the other intrigues me, having btdt myself.



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    SmileyChris

    posted December 14, 2010 at 11:18 am


    The kindle version costs more than the physical one? That’s a good enough reason not to buy it for me :(



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      Matthew Paul Turner

      posted December 14, 2010 at 11:21 am


      Only because the hardback version went on clearance when the paperback released…



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matt

posted December 14, 2010 at 11:15 am


Ha! I finally read this book and just finished it last night. Insert my last name in place of Turner and it becomes nearly indistinguishable with my story! You nailed so much of fundyism perfectly.



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Preston Yancey

posted December 14, 2010 at 11:18 am


I didn’t know fundamentalists were allowed to walk into libraries . . .



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ed cyzewski

posted December 14, 2010 at 1:23 pm


Maybe you should organize a boycott of your book next…



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JoelR

posted December 14, 2010 at 2:28 pm


Damn, now I have to buy it.



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@RockingReverend

posted December 14, 2010 at 2:59 pm


It’s hard for the rats who are still in the maze, looking for their cheese, to appreciate the perspective of those who have escaped and are now enjoying their new found freedom.



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Rocco

posted December 14, 2010 at 3:39 pm


Library?! Sweet! I guess I don’t have to buy it!



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TD

posted December 14, 2010 at 4:18 pm


As long as it’s sacrilegious and not sacrijesus, I’m reading it.



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Joel B

posted December 15, 2010 at 3:31 am


MPT – I’m glad you feel inspired because of this negativity. Finding the place within yourself where you not only grow as a person, but grow in your unique ministry when feedback like this occurs is a blessing. Jesus was sure good at this.

I can truly say, your writing and your words have inspired me. I have a very similar history with the church as you, and often feel alone and neglected still to this day by my differing views and opposing perspective. As a pastor’s kid, orthodoxy never leaves me alone. After the phone calls and the comments and the emails claiming my heresy and my liberalism, I initially felt incredibly disheartened, but recently I have begun to feel a similar sentiment, and find some inspiration. Inspiration is something you do not lack, sir, and I am very glad for your sake and for mine that you are able to find it even through the negativity.

Blessings,
Joel



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Nick

posted December 15, 2010 at 9:56 am


I grew up in fundamentalist churches and many of your stories are similar to my stories. And I would bet some of the people who were your leaders knew some of the people who were my leaders. After all, Hyles-Anderson and First Baptist Hammond Indiana was Mecca to the Fundamentalist.

How can Mamastiks say that it is an exaggeration when he himself said that he grew up in a “very strict…fundamentalist” church?



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    Darrell

    posted December 15, 2010 at 12:13 pm


    People don’t like to see the ugliness in themselves or their clan. When all your identity and worth comes being part of a “separated” group of people you have a huge emotional investment in defending that group against all comers.

    I’ve observed that there’s pretty standard four-step method for defending against reality in fundamentalism:

    1. Admit the problem in terms that make it seem trivial. Concede that “everything wasn’t perfect” or that “yes, we have a few problems.” That problem may be anything from grand larceny to a double homicide but hey nobody’s perfect, right? We all have our little mistakes. AND YOU’RE NOT PERFECT EITHER!

    2. Defend the man involved. He’s a good man. He’s God’s man. He’s a great man. He’s our man. Quote his years in the ministry and the personal impact he’s had on your life as you’ve spent your whole life knowing him. (If the man in question happens to be a woman you won’t be defending her anyway so the point is moot.)

    3. Claim that there is more hidden information yet to be learned that will cast this situation in a totally different light. “There are facts about this that have yet to be made know, and once they are that child porn found on our pastor’s computer will have a perfectly reasonable explanation.” Do this even if the rock solid evidence so far is completely damning. Even if this alleged information never surfaces assure everyone that you know someone who knows someone who knows there’s more to the story.

    4. Circle the wagons. Invoke a defense of the faith, God, Liberty, and the American way. Make defending your man an issue of defending against liberalism, communism, and everything evil. Insinuate that everyone who doesn’t defend him is 1)bitter 2)jealous or 3)a member of the Illuminati.

    By the time you’re done, you honestly believe that every accusation is an “exaggeration” or outright lie.



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    Darrell

    posted December 15, 2010 at 12:18 pm


    They can love you or they can hate you but they still read you.

    You win. :)



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Carole Turner

posted December 15, 2010 at 11:56 am


I loved Churched and I loved Hear No Evil even more. His experience is just that “his” not yours. I’m sure it was unsettling for him to see his world from a different perspective.



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belle

posted December 15, 2010 at 1:55 pm


I bought it, and I love it!



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Gary Durbin

posted December 15, 2010 at 2:19 pm


Life principle: Upset the right people.

Keep writing, man.



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ESA

posted December 16, 2010 at 9:29 am


I grew up in a church and family very much like yours, Matthew. If I were a good writer, I think I could have written your book…I certainly lived it! It took a whole lot of soul searching, but I’m in a much better, non-judgmental place. Mamasticks reminds me of that joke where new souls are being shown around heaven, and when they hear hymn singing behind closed doors and ask about it, are told, “shhhhh…they think they’re the only ones up here!”

Love your writing, please keep it up!



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