>I have always loved music. I can remember as a very, very young child hovering over my record player listening to my favorite records over and over again. Then I progressed to my parents stereo. When I was ten I wanted nothing more for Christmas than my own Walkman, and a few years later a stereo of my own. I moved from Sandi Patti to Wayne Watson to Petra and 4HIM, and then in college discovered the joy of an ever-widening selection of artists and groups.
As I have grown spiritually, I have been continually thrilled by the way God has used music to clarify biblical truths in my heart. When I received an email offering the chance to review Hear No Evil by Matthew Paul Turner, I was excited about the prospect of reading the story of someone else whose spiritual journey seemed so linked to music.
In the end I was sorely disappointed. Within the first 50 pages, I knew that the only reason I was reading Hear No Evil cover to cover was because I had committed to do so for this review.
I knew before delving into the book that Matthew Paul Turner had dealt with a fundamental upbringing in which contemporary Christian music was considered of the devil. Having been involved in many discussions with fundamentalists about the so-called evils of Christian music, I was very aware of the tension caused by being an Independent Fundamental Baptist who liked music. Knowing that, I did expect that tension to be included in the book. However, I expected it to be presented right alongside tales of how this or that “forbidden” song grabbed the author’s heart and expanded his understanding of and relationship with the Lord. The tension was there, but the gripping tales were missing.
Instead, Hear No Evil essentially serves as a platform to express Turner’s opinion of the two institutions that have, apparently, most powerfully impacted his life. First, Turner makes a cynical and stereotypical presentation of the failings of organized evangelical denominations. Moving on from there, his cynicism fuels a perpetual irritation with the inner workings of the Christian music business from which he has made a good portion of his living.
Hear No Evil was fortunately a quick read. If you are interested in a quality quick read, however, there are several other books I would happily recommend instead.
Added note: Although my opinion of the book remains unchanged, I do have respect for an author who is willing to thank a reviewer for a negative review. If you’re interested in other – and more positive – reviews of Hear No Evil, click on Turner’s name in the comments of this post and head on over to his blog where many reviews are linked. Thanks!
This book was provided to me for review by Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group. For more information about the book, click on the linked title. If you’re interested in receiving free books for review, just fill out this form.