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Eric Mason ✓ 9 review

Voices like Frederick Douglass Dr Eric Mason calls the evangelical church to a much needed reckoning In a time when many feel confused complacent or even angry he challenges the church toBe Aware – to understand that the issue of justice is not a black issue it’s a kingdom issue To learn how the history of racism in America and in the church has tainted our wi Short thoughts I am mixed on the title There is nothing wrong with it but those that are in most need of the book are probably those that would be most turned off by the title Woke has a connotation among people that are skeptical of the need for racial justice and I think I would have titled it differently But the book is worth reading The early sections of history and biographical sketches about how the church has been on the wrong side of injustice specially racial justice are well done But I think the strongest sections of the book are about the prophetic role of the church and discussion of the prophetic in the Old Testament The final section is about how to be active in the fight against injustice This is a descriptive look at Mason's church not a prescriptive descriptions These are all in the line of John Perkins who wrote an introduction to the book My longer thoughts are on my blog at Dark Fever probably those that would be most turned off by the title Woke has a connotation among Believing In Faeries people that are skeptical of the need for racial justice and I think I would have titled it differently But the book is worth reading The early sections of history and biographical sketches about how the church has been on the wrong side of injustice specially racial justice are well done But I think the strongest sections of the book are about the Buddho prophetic role of the church and discussion of the The Burning Boys prophetic in the Old Testament The final section is about how to be active in the fight against injustice This is a descriptive look at Mason's church not a A Little Learning prescriptive descriptions These are all in the line of John Perkins who wrote an introduction to the book My longer thoughts are on my blog at

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Woke Church

Tness to a watching worldBe Redemptive – to grieve and lament what we have lost and to regain our prophetic voice calling the church to remember our gospel imperative to promote justice and mercyBe Active – to move beyond polite safe conversations about reconciliation and begin to set things aright for our soon coming King who will be looking for a WOKE CHURCH The word woke  is slang for being “aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues especially issues of racial and social justice” Dr Eric Mason appropriates this term to describe a church that has been “awakened to the reality of implicit and explicit racism and injustice in American society” Such a church is characterized by four attributes Awareness of the “overarching truths” that unite the Body of Christ including the relationship of justice to the gospel chapter 2 and the Church as the holy family of God chapter 3; Acknowledgement of the history of racism among American Christians chapter 4 which provides a list of beliefs and practices to lament chapter 5; Accountability for churches to “reclaim our roles as light and salt in the world” by means of “prophetic preaching” chapter 6 and advocacy for justice which is understood to encompass how both individuals and systems act and react chapter 7; and Action which suggests “ten action steps” churches can take “to bring healing and justice into our spheres of influence” chapter 8 Mason concludes the book chapter 9 with a brief study of the book of Revelation which paints the “bigger picture” of God’s vision of the Church “If the church can keep this image of what is to come before us” Mason writes “we will be energized to accomplish His purposes in the earth We will work as one unified body across all ethnic lines” Revelation 79–10Mason is the founder and pastor of Epiphany Fellowship in Philadelphia PA He is a black evangelical who describes himself as “exegetically at home with my conservative family on the doctrines of grace but ethically at home with my liberal family on issues of race and justice” My guess is that Mason’s dual at home ness may frustrate readers Conservatives may think some of his suggestions go too far while liberals may think they don’t go far enoughAs a conservative white evangelical the best piece of advice I can give to readers like me is this listen White and black Christians may read the same Bible but they read it from very different social locations And in my experience white Christians are often unaware of the breadth and depth of racism in American history including the history of the American church Until we listen to our black brothers and sisters we cannot hope even to begin bridging the racial divide in our churches let alone our countryDr Eric Mason’s Woke Church is a right step in that directionBook ReviewedEric Mason Woke Church An Urgent Call for Christians in America to Confront Racism and Injustice Chicago Moody 2018PS If you like my review please vote “Helpful” on my review page Midnight Storm (The Warriors, prophetic voice calling the church to remember our gospel imperative to Heiresses promote justice and mercyBe Active – to move beyond The Major Works polite safe conversations about reconciliation and begin to set things aright for our soon coming King who will be looking for a WOKE CHURCH The word woke  is slang for being “aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues especially issues of racial and social justice” Dr Eric Mason appropriates this term to describe a church that has been “awakened to the reality of implicit and explicit racism and injustice in American society” Such a church is characterized by four attributes Awareness of the “overarching truths” that unite the Body of Christ including the relationship of justice to the gospel chapter 2 and the Church as the holy family of God chapter 3; Acknowledgement of the history of racism among American Christians chapter 4 which A Dirty War provides a list of beliefs and Blood Money (Alpha Force, practices to lament chapter 5; Accountability for churches to “reclaim our roles as light and salt in the world” by means of “prophetic Sid James preaching” chapter 6 and advocacy for justice which is understood to encompass how both individuals and systems act and react chapter 7; and Action which suggests “ten action steps” churches can take “to bring healing and justice into our spheres of influence” chapter 8 Mason concludes the book chapter 9 with a brief study of the book of Revelation which Succubus T06 Succubus Revealed paints the “bigger Snow Dog picture” of God’s vision of the Church “If the church can keep this image of what is to come before us” Mason writes “we will be energized to accomplish His Girl Seven (London Underground, purposes in the earth We will work as one unified body across all ethnic lines” Revelation 79–10Mason is the founder and The Happiness Purpose pastor of Epiphany Fellowship in Philadelphia PA He is a black evangelical who describes himself as “exegetically at home with my conservative family on the doctrines of grace but ethically at home with my liberal family on issues of race and justice” My guess is that Mason’s dual at home ness may frustrate readers Conservatives may think some of his suggestions go too far while liberals may think they don’t go far enoughAs a conservative white evangelical the best A Candle For The Devil piece of advice I can give to readers like me is this listen White and black Christians may read the same Bible but they read it from very different social locations And in my experience white Christians are often unaware of the breadth and depth of racism in American history including the history of the American church Until we listen to our black brothers and sisters we cannot hope even to begin bridging the racial divide in our churches let alone our countryDr Eric Mason’s Woke Church is a right step in that directionBook ReviewedEric Mason Woke Church An Urgent Call for Christians in America to Confront Racism and Injustice Chicago Moody 2018PS If you like my review Second Helpings of Roast Chicken please vote “Helpful” on my review The Magic Potions Shop page

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“ Between the Christianity of this land and the Christianity of Christ I recognize the widest possible difference” –Frederick Douglass 1845The prophets of old were not easy to listen to because they did not flatter  They did not cajole They spoke hard words that often chafed and unsettled their listeners Like the Old Testament prophets and recent prophetic If you already know what you think about the SJW movement and their relationship to the reformed tradition this book will not change your mind This will be red meat for the already woke and cringy to MacArthurites There were parts that I thought were excellent critiues of the way evangelicalism has had a truncated gospel proclamation but the pieces that Eric Mason sees as missing get filled in with some nonsensical and short sighted solutions There's a reason why the woke are so friendly with democratic and socialist ideals and are sexual egalitarians When women are preaching and teaching in woke churches it won't be long before the liberalism sweeps them away like the mainline denominations


10 thoughts on “Woke Church

  1. says:

    If you pick up this book expecting to find a landmark contribution to the social justice debate you will be disappointed In it Dr Mason is presenting his vision for a socially engaged church not directly engaging with the debate that has surfaced over the last several years He's not staying out of it the title gives it away Dr Mason is on the social justice side of things but he is presenting a moderated position in favor of SJ His desire is to redeem the term woke to promote frameworks and terms that progressive Christians are known for but he is committed to historic Christian orthodoxy and to staying within the evangelical campSpeaking of terms one of the weaknesses of this book is that it leaves too many of them undefined The term woke is defined sure but the definition of a multitude of other freuent terms is assumed Words like race and racism culture people of color are left without a definition thereby placing terms like cultural needs racial trauma majorityminority culture in a very abstract realm while assuming a framework where they have particular meanings This is one of the reasons this book will probably not convince a careful reader that is aware of other views the meaning of terms like culture and race are part of the issue being debated which by implication would influence our view on whether or not woke is a term that can be redeemedIn my view Dr Mason's position suffers among other things from a faulty understanding of identity In the opening pages of the book he tells the story of how his son understood his connection to people in Libya because they looked like him In the preceding paragraph we read of Dr Mason telling his son that these are our people The establishment of this identification between groups of people based on how they look should make us pause and think Do we naturally make this connection of identity based on physical features height eye color etc other than skin color? Or even with skin color does that mean that people with white skin all have a shared cultural? identity across ethnicities countries and continents?A commendable aspect of the book is the correction of a conversion hunting attitude among Christians where regeneration is made the only thing that matters to the exclusion of sanctification and obedience individual and corporate The Gospel does have implications and I'm thankful that Dr Mason affirms the distinction between the Gospel message and its implications However there are several pages in the book dedicated to the doctrine of justification that could have been much improved He states that justification extends beyond 'being declared righteous' that it isn't merely a position but a practice p 45 Even under the most charitable reading many of the statements in that section need clarification One way to improve his point would be to speak about being made right instead of the theological category of justification a forensic word reserved in evangelical theology for the imputation of Christ's righteousness to sinners Another aspect where the book could use some theological clarity is its hint at over realized eschatology such as the statement that by working for justice Christians help realize shalom There's a difference between desiring to reflect the shalom that Christians possess in Christ and thinking that our efforts at societal reform are helping realize it In the same realm of eschatology the author's worldview reveals a sub Christian confusion of revolutions and reformations going so far as calling Jesus the eternal revolutionary Giving particular attention to the soundbite of a counter argument Dr Mason rejects color blindness and finds it oppressive But he gives a blanket condemnation without specifying any cases where it would be useful Should readers think of the blindfold of Lady Justice as oppressive? Would the colorblind forces of a free market be oppressive?The practical side Dr Mason presents is not as unclear most of them would not only be approved but encouraged by Christians who disagree with him on principles and rhetoricThe book could have used some editing


  2. says:

    Eric Mason has no plan Just a lot of blusterSome of the bluster I agree with; some I don’t But let’s get specific man What exactly is wrong and what would you like to do about it?Also the writing is abysmal Like a freshman’s first college paper


  3. says:

    If you already know what you think about the SJW movement and their relationship to the reformed tradition this book will not change your mind This will be red meat for the already woke and cringy to MacArthurites There were parts that I thought were excellent critiues of the way evangelicalism has had a truncated gospel proclamation but the pieces that Eric Mason sees as missing get filled in with some nonsensical and short sighted solutions There's a reason why the woke are so friendly with democratic and socialist ideals and are sexual egalitarians When women are preaching and teaching in woke churches it won't be long before the liberalism sweeps them away like the mainline denominations


  4. says:

    Thanks to Netgalley and Moody Publishers for this ARCThis was a difficult read for me because it forced me to admit and assess my own prejudices There is a lot of history here which was both fascinating and appalling The arguments for a Woke Church are crystal clear and will resonate in my heart forever I hope Honestly I highlighted 13 of the book The book is filled with clarion calls for justice and action I was moved profoundly by the comparison of the Church’s reaction to the issues of abortion and human trafficking to its inaction towards the very real issue of systemic racism and injustice I do not doubt that this is an important book I was just put off towards the end as it occurred to me that the author who argues so elouently for racial reconciliation has a bit of a blind spot when it comes to gender euality


  5. says:

    Short thoughts I am mixed on the title There is nothing wrong with it but those that are in most need of the book are probably those that would be most turned off by the title Woke has a connotation among people that are skeptical of the need for racial justice and I think I would have titled it differently But the book is worth reading The early sections of history and biographical sketches about how the church has been on the wrong side of injustice specially racial justice are well done But I think the strongest sections of the book are about the prophetic role of the church and discussion of the prophetic in the Old Testament The final section is about how to be active in the fight against injustice This is a descriptive look at Mason's church not a prescriptive descriptions These are all in the line of John Perkins who wrote an introduction to the book My longer thoughts are on my blog at


  6. says:

    Convicting on many fronts and insanely readable For those wary of the word woke please read the book I've appreciated listening to Dr Mason's preaching over the past year and I'm glad to read this book and recommend it My only complaint is that it's so short Note toying with the idea of writing a full in depth review after the first of the year


  7. says:

    DISCLAIMER I RECEIVED THIS BOOK FOR FREE FROM MOODY PUBLISHERS TO REVIEWEric Mason’s Woke Church aims to “shine a spotlight on one of the aspects of the gospel that has been neglected and dismissed as inappropriate for discourse” p 43; that aspect he refers to is justice This book represents the seventh book that I have reviewed for Moody Publishers It is by far the worst book I have reviewed for Moody This review explains why I would not recommend itThis book has two forewords written by John M Perkins and Ligon Duncan and four parts With the exception of part one each part has two chapters PART ONE BE AWARE CHAPTERS 1 3Part One begins with a chapter that basically gives an overview on the book In chapter two Mason claims direct revelation from God p 42 adds to Scripture p 49 and uses language that seemingly is in alignment with the unbiblical movement known as the Seven Mountain Mandate p 58 Claiming direct revelation from God represents a subtle denial of the sufficiency of Scripture Further adding to God’s Word makes one a liar Proverbs 306 Finally the Seven Mountain Mandate is basically an unbiblical replacement for the Great Commission It has its roots in another unbiblical movement known as the New Apostolic Reformation He continues the NAR talk in chapter threePART TWO BE WILLING TO ACKNOWLEDGE CHAPTERS 4 5Part Two both asks if the church is asleep and discusses the things for the church to lament pp 75 114 Chapter four is basically a 30000 foot overview of the “timeline of the system of slavery to segregation and beyond” p 92 In chapter five Mason continues his claiming direct revelation from God p 96 Mason also begins to show why his book fails from a grammar standpoint when he fails to correctly spell the name of Gardner C Taylor p 105 He instead spells it “Gardener” After doing various checks online to verify the correct spelling Mason’s spelling is indeed incorrect Perhaps both he andor his editor are to blame for that gaffe Mason also makes a weak claim regarding the “Philando Castile” incident when he fails to name the names of those evangelicals who supposedly “made some unfortunate and non empathetic statements” in relation to that tragedy p 107 While he accurately details the incident making a weak claim from it by refusing to name the names of those evangelicals who supposedly “made some unfortunate and non empathetic statements” hurts his credibility a bitPART THREE BE ACCOUNTABLE CHAPTERS 6 7Part Three covers “reclaiming our prophetic voice” and “a vision for change” p 115 144 Mason continues his bad grammar and adding to God’s Word habits already established at this point in chapter six The bad grammar perhaps hits a breaking point in chapter seven In this chapter Mason discusses three types of justice; they are intervening preventative and systemic pp 133 141 However in his introduction to discussing these three things he initially describes the third justice as systematic not systemic It is obvious from his freuent usage of the word “systemic” that he meant that word instead of the initial “systematic” word Nevertheless the grammar error is still bad and too glaring to ignorePART FOUR BE ACTIVE CHAPTERS 8 9Part Four covers “The Woke Church In Action” and “Seeing Through The Lens Of The End” pp 145 182 While he doesn’t outright state his support for women pastors he comes as close as it gets to affirming it without actually affirming it when he states “many churches lack a vision to see women beyond traditional roles It is incumbent on leadership to reevaluate areas where women have been relegated to serve that are not based on biblical prohibitions but rather on cultural practices that may be extensions of sexism and misogyny Black women should be affirmed to serve in greater capacities than the traditional roles of children’s ministry choir and hospitality” p 155 What Mason seemingly fails to understand is that the whole concept of female pastors is unbiblical see 1 Timothy 29 15 and 1 Corinthians 14 Further its being an unbiblical concept has absolutely nothing to do with misogyny or sexism Instead the passages show how the Apostle Paul goes back to creation to explain why the concept is unbiblical Mason misses the mark hereMason also really misses the mark in terms of his information He explained how Philadelphia Eagles’ “uarterback” Malcolm Jenkins once did a silent interview with reporters p 157 There’s only one problem; Jenkins is not a uarterback as Mason states Instead he is a safety He formerly played cornerback Both of those positions are on defense whereas the uarterback position is on offense While this bringing up this particular matter is petty of me it nonetheless illustrates how neither Mason nor his editor did the best job of fact checking information As a result Mason’s credibility suffers It suffers when he states on page 160 that “The Jude 3 Project led by Lisa Fields is committed to euipping the local church in fulfilling the mandate of Jude 13 — contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people” I don’t know why he states Jude 13 in that part given the fact Jude 13 does not make mention of contending for the faith per se Rather it pairs with verse 12 in describing the characteristics of a false teacher This is simply another example of poor proofreading by Mason andor whoever edited this bookFinally in chapter nine Mason demonstrates how he subscribes to the false “purpose” theology when he states God created you for a purpose p 170 He fails to understand that Christians were created for good works plural; see Ephesians 210 not a purpose singular It’s simply the cherry on top to a mess of a bookCONCLUSIONWhile this is certainly not the worst book I’ve ever read it’s most definitely the worst book I have reviewed for Moody Mason misses the mark on so many levels that I cannot recommend this work Unless you’re reading this book for research purposes stay away from itGRADE 20 out of 5


  8. says:

    Summary The woke church must 1 be aware of how sin manifests in our communities and how the gospel addresses these issues;2 be willing to acknowledge that our country’s history of racism continues to impact our communities today;3 be accountable to move beyond just talking about injustices to developing a plan to engage them with the gospel4 be active by proclaiming the gospel meeting pressing needs and partnering together to bring gospel changeWhat I appreciate about Eric Mason is that this book isn’t an academic theory for him; it’s the result of faithful gospel ministry in his urban context


  9. says:

    The word woke  is slang for being “aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues especially issues of racial and social justice” Dr Eric Mason appropriates this term to describe a church that has been “awakened to the reality of implicit and explicit racism and injustice in American society” Such a church is characterized by four attributes Awareness of the “overarching truths” that unite the Body of Christ including the relationship of justice to the gospel chapter 2 and the Church as the holy family of God chapter 3; Acknowledgement of the history of racism among American Christians chapter 4 which provides a list of beliefs and practices to lament chapter 5; Accountability for churches to “reclaim our roles as light and salt in the world” by means of “prophetic preaching” chapter 6 and advocacy for justice which is understood to encompass how both individuals and systems act and react chapter 7; and Action which suggests “ten action steps” churches can take “to bring healing and justice into our spheres of influence” chapter 8 Mason concludes the book chapter 9 with a brief study of the book of Revelation which paints the “bigger picture” of God’s vision of the Church “If the church can keep this image of what is to come before us” Mason writes “we will be energized to accomplish His purposes in the earth We will work as one unified body across all ethnic lines” Revelation 79–10Mason is the founder and pastor of Epiphany Fellowship in Philadelphia PA He is a black evangelical who describes himself as “exegetically at home with my conservative family on the doctrines of grace but ethically at home with my liberal family on issues of race and justice” My guess is that Mason’s dual at home ness may frustrate readers Conservatives may think some of his suggestions go too far while liberals may think they don’t go far enoughAs a conservative white evangelical the best piece of advice I can give to readers like me is this listen White and black Christians may read the same Bible but they read it from very different social locations And in my experience white Christians are often unaware of the breadth and depth of racism in American history including the history of the American church Until we listen to our black brothers and sisters we cannot hope even to begin bridging the racial divide in our churches let alone our countryDr Eric Mason’s Woke Church is a right step in that directionBook ReviewedEric Mason Woke Church An Urgent Call for Christians in America to Confront Racism and Injustice Chicago Moody 2018PS If you like my review please vote “Helpful” on my review page


  10. says:

    I feel like Dr Mason is a man who is swimming in the ocean of Scripture but understands the current of the present What I learnedYou don’t really know God or His Bible unless you know about and join in His push for justice We need to engage our broken culture and prophetically speakact against racism and injustice We need to know how broken we are how great Jesus is and how awesome the end is going to be when Jesus returns


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