Matthew Paul turner takes us on a wonderful joyous and poignant trip through the aisles and behind the pulpit of the church that so many of us remember from our childhood. The church that tried so hard to do everything right, and according to its own set of standards probably did a great job. Every ‘T’ was crossed, every ‘I’ was dotted, but somehow they didn’t quite realize the goal of bringing people closer to the God they claimed had pre-eminence.
The rules were all in place to celebrate the Living God, everyone knew the rules, but as so often happens people caught up in the religiosity of the moment and forgot why they were really there. When we worry about all the rules we forget that Jesus told us to not worry, but instead to take a lesson from the birds of the air, and the lilies of the fields.
We try so hard to do it right, and so often it turns out wrong, but God overlooks our ignorance and showers us with grace, grace to keep on trying, grace to finally realize that when God asks us to obey, He’s asking us to follow where he leads, not show up on Sunday morning and evening, and again on Wednesday night, wearing the right clothes, having the right haircut, quoting the right translation of the bible, and staying the appropriate distance from members of the opposite sex.
And as Turner shows us in this book, God even gives us enough grace to laugh at ourselves. Sometimes He even gives us enough grace to uncross a ‘T’ or un-dot an ‘I’.
Regardless of the church you grew up in, or are currently attending, sometimes it’s important to get past the religiosity in order to appreciate the fact that Jesus is sitting next to you, trying to get your attention.
Four stars for Churched - One Kid's Journey Toward God Despite a Holy Mess Waterbrook Press, 2008, ISBN 978-0-307-45801-8