Reviewed by Dale Lewis
Hear No Evil by Matthew Paul Turner
"You may be gently pushed out of your comfort zone as you read Hear No Evil, but you’ll also enjoy each step of the journey . . . smiling and laughing."
As a wide-eyed child deeply engulfed within the independent Fundamentalist Baptist bubble, Turner thought God wanted him to be the next superstar Christian singer. He found that what is seen in the music business is not always reality. With a huge smile on my face, I ask you, “Didn’t everybody during the 70s and 80s want to make it big being on stage and in front of adoring fans?” Well, I did. This is why my brothers and I formed our own garage band (pre-video game days) which eventually became Lewis Brothers and Company, (music, drama and puppets), for six years of weekend touring and love offerings. And no, my singing is not inspirational!
Hear No Evil is a compilation
of highly engaging stories about how music and its ability to transform
played a significant role in Turner’s
upbringing and faith walk. He excels at storytelling. Turner draws the
reader in giving them the opportunity to discern the information presented
before making any judgment calls. There are a few tangents to the stories,
but most of the time Turner does a good job of bringing the thoughts presented
The stories are theology light yet they overflow with keen insight and biblical truth, both usually presented at the end of the chapter. Turner maintains a lighthearted approach in poking fun at his beloved denomination even though it was a major sin to listen to a syncopated beat, let alone enjoy it in public!
You’ll be by his side as he sneaks into “forbidden” contemporary Christian concerts, moves to Nashville, (the hotbed of Christian music wannabes), all while desiring to become CCM’s version of Michael Jackson singing his songs with God-ordained lyrics.
As a rookie outsider at Belmont University, Turner opens our eyes to the inside, often hilarious pursuit of making it in the music business as a college student. As an insider (former music magazine editor), Turner wants to stir the pot of the genre which in his life has remained a constant well of grace. He also challenges the church to be more forgiving when artist and creative types step outside the box of the cultural norm.
His straightforward and amusing wit will keep you turning the pages. Some of my favorite chapters started with clever titles such as , “Bubble Boy,” “You Gotta Have Faith,” and “Famous, Twice removed.” As in his other writings, Turner’s compelling musings are authentic.
You may be gently pushed out
of your comfort zone as you read Hear No Evil, but you’ll also
enjoy each step of the journey . . . smiling and laughing.