Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Churched - Matthew Paul Turner

Things I’ve learned since reading Churched by Matthew Paul Turner:

- Don’t bring a Barbie doll to a fundamentalist Sunday school class (It’ll get lit on fire!)
- Azreal from the Smurfs is apparently an agent of Satan
- Hell is the ultimate “hot topic” in church
- Side effects of growing up fundamentalist can include living a life based on fear

While reading Matthew Paul Turner’s book Churched, I found myself laughing my ass off and feeling sad at the same time. I felt sad hearing about the hellfire and brimstone teachings pushed on him as a kid and how it created such a warped view of God. I didn’t grow up in a fundamentalist Baptist church like he did, but I can relate to the whole fear of hell thing since I was taught about it as a kid in Catholic school. I remember being scared shitless constantly thinking I was headed to hell since I wasn't really a “good kid”. Looking back, I can laugh about all of that now. And apparently, so can Matthew. The whole book is based on his experiences growing up in a fundamentalist environment. As messed up as the experiences were, he writes about them in a pretty funny way. The book’s gotten a lot of praises by writers like A.J. Jacobs and Robert Lanham. But that’s not what makes it good. It’s good because it’s an honest portrayal of growing up fundamentalist, with burning Barbie dolls and all. So if you could use a few laughs (along with reasons why not to become a fundamentalist), then you'd enjoy this book.

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