5 Questions with Matthew Paul Turner

Welcome to 5 Questions With.....

Today's guest is author Matthew Paul Turner. Matthew is the author of the newly released book Churched as well as the Christian Culture Survival Guide, The Coffee House Gospel and the What You Didn't Learn From Your Parents series.

With no further ado on to the questions:

Hi Matthew

Question 1: What one word would describe your current relationship with God?


Question 2: Your book ended with you tentatively stepping back into "church". How comfortable are you now in your new church home?

I love the people, which of course, is what "church" is all about--people. Because of my experiences as a child and frankly in much of my adult life (stories coming in the next book) I developed a distrust of pastors and "churchy" people. But you learn as you get older--at least some do--that you can't let the past dictate your present. That's a lot easier said than done. But for now, in this moment, I am celebrating God with a group of people I love and trust. I feel content.

Question 3: This book covers a lot of early church memories. How long did it take you to write this book?

A little more than a year. Some of those memories required therapy. :)

Question 4: What do you think is the biggest hurdle for the church today in relating to the world around us?

Being right. We're consumed with being right, Rick. (That's not a political statement.) Our need to be "right" has surpassed in importance to our pursuit of loving God and people. But "we" think we're right about everything regarding God. "We" think we're right about how the world will end. "We" think we are right about who to vote for. But I tend to think that, if God could be completely and utterly figured out, we would no longer be pursuing faith, we could call it science. And while it's cool to learn about gravity or the Law of Thermodynamics, not very many people want to sit around in a small group and discuss it. From my vantage point, far to many churches pursue doing "church" like scientists pursue doing science or salesmen pursue doing business. Like it's something that can be measured and laid out in an Excel spreadsheet. But that's not any Christian faith that I know. And I believe that, if we were to allow freedom and doubt and questions and hope and compassion and acceptance become commonplace within the church's discussion and pursuance of faith, we would slowly over time get over the hurdle. I think the first step is for the church to stop pretending we have all the answers and get to a place where we're ok with that.

Question 5: If there was a Christian biography written about your life what would the title be?

Matthew who?

Thank you such much Matthew for taking the time to answer these questions.

Please go out and purchase Matthew Paul's Turner book today.

To see past 5 Question guests, check out the rotating interview links on the sidebar.



Over the holidays my wife, Sarah, bought me a book I had read about on a few blogs. Churched by Matthew Paul Turner is one of the funniest books I have read in a long time. Yet as I read through this book I was struck by something else as well.

This book is eye-opening, it's poignant and it leaves you troubled by the idea that religion can suck the life out of a relationship with God.

Matthew Paul Turner does not pull punches here. He bares his troubled past, or should I say his past troubles with fundamentalism, for all to see. The book ends with a sense of hope...it also leaves you wanting to know more.

If you get the chance, please, PLEASE by this book. Buy it for the humor, stay for the awakening in your heart as you find yourself wanting to know God, the true God of the universe, more!

Churched is published by WaterBrook Press: A Division of Random House


Pornography: The Beast That Grows

This is a bit long but I see the need for it more and more. Please read it prayerfully!

It started out innocent enough. My 1st exposure to pornography was when I was around 10 years old. My siblings and I found a magazine in an alley by our house. Being the oldest I felt the responsible thing to do was take it to my parents to dispose of.....while rapidly flipping through it on the way home.

A few years later I became a Christian. My past was all behind me. I was ready to embark on a new beginning....

....I became a Christian at the same time I hit my teen years. I now understand 2 verses in the Bible where Paul describes a conflict between his actions and desires. The 1st verse is found in Romans 7:15 Paul says, "For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate." The 2nd verse is Romans 7:19, "For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep doing." As a teenager it seemed that my desire to listen to my hormones was as strong as my desire for the Lord.

I never thought much about purity as a teenager. Sure I knew sex outside of marriage was wrong and I was committed to remaining a virgin until I was married but I never thought much about remaining pure in any other way. Girls were always desirable to me and having a girlfriend was always a major focus in my life.

Then one day in my early 20's I met the woman who became my future wife. I thought my life was now complete. Two years passed and one day we discovered my wife was pregnant. We were overjoyed. Unfortunately the last 3 months of my wife's pregnancy I encountered porn magazines unwrapped in a local store. I knew I should turn away. I knew I should walk away. Instead I became a porn addict.

Pornography is like a beast. However it doesn't necessarily look like that at first. It is more like the old 80's movie Gremlins. Just as in the movie, the little creature looks so cute and innocent at first, many people don't think anything is wrong with a quick peek down a woman's blouse as she leans over. Most people won't blink during a movie that shows a couple in bed if only a little shoulder or back is shown.

We lie to ourselves and justify the actions of Hollywood. For me, watching a movie like that was no problem. Then as my standards lowered and my arousal went up I would justify a glimpse of a breast because come on every movie showed it and there was no avoiding it. I was mature I could handle it. In reality I was cheating my wife and family bu trying to fulfill my desires outside the bounds of marriage. I was an adulterer according to Scripture! (Matthew 5:28)

The longer I looked at these things the more desensitized I became. I was not offended by an nudity. I hid my problem for years and as my addiction grew my standards continued to decline. What started as a "taste of pleasure" became bitter waters that soon moved over my head. I was drowning in my sin and no one but God knew.

Sadly He knew and I did not care...I was hardening my heart. I would feel guilty, pray and ask forgiveness but never tried to get His help to stop,. I tried to justify my sin and tell myself God would continue to forgive me. I was trying to manipulate God. If God wanted me to stop her would have to do more to remove the temptation. My thoughts and beliefs were becoming twisted as I embraced this growing beast. A beast that was consuming me. If not stopped it would destroy my life, marriage, my whole world.

One day, as my life was hitting rock bottom spiritually, physically and emotionally, Christ revealed himself to me in a real way through a man in our church who confessed his own addiction and recovery from porn. Over the coming months God began to convict me of my sin and showed me how I needed His cleansing blood of forgiveness. He showed me how to gain victory in this area. I was led to both an online ministry and a friend who shared with me how my identity is in Christ. I was able to begin a path towards freedom. I can say today God has given me victory in this area!

The best gift has been a complete restoration of my marriage. God renewed and restored what I had allowed the enemy to destroy. My wife and I are more in love than ever.

The beast can be stopped.....if we let Christ live in us and through us. If we truly surrender to Him and let Him lead our every step. He can truly give us a new heart. (Gal. 2:20)

If you need help in this area please contact me today!



I came from a neck of the woods where some of the churches had an annual Revival. They would let you know about it in advance and then promote the heck out of these one week events. It seems the revivals always went one week.

I remember one friend used to tell me I had to come before Saturday because that was when the revival would end. Sure enough it would end on a Saturday and start right up at another church the very next day. When I was a new believer I could never figure out how the churches knew when the Holy Spirit would show up and for how long He would hang around. Later, I realized these were basically pumped up evangelism services. Church on steroids! Now don't get me wrong. I know God still uses these types of events. People are drawn to Him and many, many give their lives to the Lord. I praise God for that. I just think we should call it what it is....Evangelism.

In the Bible, I am caught by the story of Hezekiah. Hezekiah was a man who tried to follow God. I like the way he is described in 2 Chronicles 31:21 "Hezekiah incorporated Moses' Teachings and commands into worship and dedicated his life to serving God. Whatever he did for the worship in God's temple, he did wholeheartedly, and he succeeded." Hezekiah dedicated himself to serving God, wholeheartedly! When you give yourself wholeheartedly to something, you are giving without reservation, 100%!

Among the acts we see in the life of Hezekiah are: personal repentance, a calling the nation to repentance, tearing down idols, digging into the Word, etc. In a word....REVIVAL! That's what I want in my life. I want a revival...a true, honest to goodness revival. I don't want a cheap, imitation religious experience, I want more of the Father in my life. I want to give myself unreservedly to the Father. To give myself completely to His will. I know it will be hard. It will mean He starts with me. It'll mean I have to be prepared for Him to clean out the junk in my life....a painful and never easy process, yet one filled with a lifetime of benefits.

Revival is not for the world....though it does change the world as a result. No, revival is for the church. The church today needs a revival. It's time to get down and dirty. I believe only when we, His church, humble ourselves before Him, seek His face without reserve, allow Him to speak correction where needed-- only then will we see Revival! It means we need to lay down our rights, our selfishness, our desires; and like Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, surrender into the Father's Hands! When we invite the Holy Spirit by making room for Him in our lives this way, we can count on Him being there day after day, and He won't pick up camp to go elsewhere, for the Bible promises "Therefore submit to God. Resist the Devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you..." James 4:7


Mad Church Disease

If you can please go out and get a copy of Mad Church Disease. I have not suffered burn out personally but I have been awfully close at times. This book is a must for anyone in ministry, leadership or just living life day to day.

I am half way through the book now and it is challenging and has me re-evaluating how much is on my plate on a day to day basis.

Warning: The book is frank and not for the faint of heart. It's for those who need to have a heart challenge!

Read and be blessed!


There's no room in my closet!

If you want to change the world you have to start in the prayer closet!

That was the phrase that came to me while I spent a day recently listening to the Lord. Regular readers of this blog will remember that I recently spent a day just being quiet before the Lord. (See: The Sound of Silence and The Silence was Deafening)

During this time I just felt the Lord really impressing on me the need to spend more time in prayer with Him. Now I am not a prayer warrior. I'm not even a prayer junior warrior. Prayer is something I do but I have never found it easy to spend hours, or for that matter 1 hour, in prayer. I do pray throughout the day but just spending concentrated time in prayer is something I sadly lack.

However 1 Corinthians 2:2 says, "I am determined to know nothing but Jesus Christ and Him crucified." That verse really spoke to me recently. I realized I want to increase my time of fellowship with Jesus. I am finding my desire to spontaneously pray for others, and to just pray period, is slowly increasing.

You see I want a revival. However I want one in my own life first because I know that it has to start in our own hearts before it can spread out to those around us. Which brings me back to the prayer closet. If I want to change the world I have to start in prayer!

As one book I am reading right now says, "Revival comes when people are longing for God and God alone!" Right now that is what I want. I know I can't make it through my day withot Him and really I don't even want to try.

I want more of God in my life. I want to reflect Him more, to know Him, to seek Him. Which means I need to talk with Him more as well.

So I guess I'll have to dig into my closet and make some room.....care to join me?