Last night, I had my first opportunity to see Matthew Paul Turner. He was the opening act for The Afters. I knew nothing about him before the show, but the more I found out the less I liked. He basically just reads parts of his books to the audience. If you want to see him, let me save you some time. Everything he did tonight you can watch on Youtube. Most of what he read was his account of stories from his conservative Baptist background. There were some funny lines, but most of what was read was negative in someway. Not really an uplifting message for what was a youth event. The best thing he did all night was speak on World Vision.
As I was listening to him speak, I noticed his choice of words was very Emergent Church. I thought I was reading too much into it, since it was a Catholic sponsored event. When I got home I checked out his websites. Not to my surprise, listed as his friends were liberal Emergent Church leaders. Mr. Turner seems to disdain anything evangelical or conservative. His uses his blog to attack or poke fun at conservative church leaders, including Max Lucado and John MacArthur. Here is what he had to say about MacArthur:
Theologian, preacher, ego without a sex drive Dr. John MacArthur is fighting another one of his big wars, and apparently, this one is the most important one of his violent career: The Truth War! So if you’re Emergent, searching, postmodern, have a little doubt, not sure about the validity of every single word in the Bible, Catholic, or otherwise human, THIS BOOK IS NOT FOR YOU. There is nothing in MacArthur’s book that isn’t available from the Apostle Paul’s biblical works. GOOD PR SCALE: I’ll give this travesty a 2 [out of 10] just for the scary snake cover! No reason to scare your readers with reptiles.
Enough said about where Mr. Turner stands. Standard Emergent philosophy, question everything and answer nothing. They like to question the Gospel, question the validity of every single word of the Bible, and pretty much everything in it. Yet you hardly ever hear a decisive answer on any of the questions. They claim to live in a world that is not black and white, but gray. He may not like the label Emergent, because he claims not to like labels. But his words put him in that category.
I am not sure why the Catholic church would bring him in. I guess they fall into the trap of feeling the need to bring in someone edgy and hip to reach youth. These type of guys are very popular with young people, because they encourage them to make their own truth. Question Christianity and whatever you find to be true is true for you. I guess maybe another reason for bringing him is that the Catholic church is traditionally anti-evangelical as well.
As for me, I will put my trust in the Bible. I will not put my trust in my own head or heart, because our hearts are desperately wicked and deceitful. I feel sorry for those in the Emergent church who are conservative and evangelical, because they get lumped in with their liberal counterparts. We need to worry less about making Jesus our buddy and friend, and worry more about making Him our Lord and Savior. But maybe that statement is too evangelical for some people.