Hear No Evil: My Story of Innocence, Music, and the Holy Ghost is a collection of personal stories by Matthew Paul Turner dealing with how music played a role in his life. Of course I wanted to read this the moment I heard about it (despite the fact that Churched remains in the TBR pile) because I'm always interested in how music plays a part in our lives. (similar to books. Music lovers, you know it's similar to books)
I really enjoyed this one, I can't remember the last time I laughed out loud so much while reading. Turner grew up in a fundamentalist church with rather strict rules. For instance, they had to sneak off to see Sandi Patty. This story humored me greatly, we actually listened to a fair bit of Christian music in my home growing up and my mom loved Sandi Patty, but all of the controversies I remember, like if a song didn't mention Jesus (like Love in any Language) it was such a bad thing. So while my home and churches were much less conservative, there were some definite commonalities. I laughed through quite a few of the early stories, but the stories towards the end really touched me. My favorite story is "Chasing Amy" which is about Turner's experience with his musical hero Amy Grant, and the opportunity he had to interview her when he worked as an editor for CCM magazine. (it was the magazine for Christian music) Amy Grant, by far, faced the judgement of the Christian subculture more than almost anyone else I can think of for both her attempt to "crossover" into mainstream pop music and her divorce. It was such an issue of hot debate, and it was interesting to read his perspective. But what I loved most of all was the way he identified Amy as "his storyteller." It's eloquently put and I know exactly what he means since I have an artist I think of in much the same terms. I just loved it.
I really recommend Hear No Evil for people who aren't afraid to laugh at the ridiculousness of the evangelical Christian subculture (while still loving it), who maybe have a fairly conservative background, who can find the grace and hope through the humor, and of course, who love music. I'd even venture to say you don't have to believe in Jesus to enjoy this book.
Things You Might Want to Know: if you are particularly sensitive I recommend you stay away.
Source of Book: Received from publisher for review
Publisher: WaterBrook Press
Matthew Paul Turner is one of the most prolific people I follow on twitter, @JesusNeedsNewPR He also has a blog, Jesus Needs New PR
Giveaway: I have a copy to give away. Due to the fact that I'm poor, I need to limit this one to the United States only. Sorry. To enter, just leave a comment and tell me who your favorite Christian singer or songwriter is. If you don't have one, tell me if you've ever heard of any of them!