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Woke Church: An Urgent Call for Christians in America to Confront Racism and Injustice

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  1,266 ratings  ·  192 reviews
Between the Christianity of this land, and the Christianity of Christ, I recognize the widest possible difference.” –Frederick Douglass, 1845

The 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 more recent prophetic voic
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published October 2nd 2018 by Moody Publishers
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Average rating 4.12  · 
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 ·  1,266 ratings  ·  192 reviews

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Oct 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
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 fra ...more
Jan 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: on-hand, nonfiction, faith
Written for evangelicals as in introduction to racial reconciliation and justice. A book to hold their hand and patiently explain how racial justice isn't some scary "liberal agenda" but is actually rooted in the Bible.

Unfortunately, as another reviewer pointed out, these are the very people most likely to be offended by the title and never read it.

Wade Stotts
Dec 20, 2018 rated it did not like it
Eric Mason has no plan. Just a lot of bluster.

Some 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.
Aaron Ventura
Mar 19, 2019 rated it it was ok
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 critiques 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 friend ...more
Sep 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thanks to Netgalley and Moody Publishers for this ARC.

This 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 1/3 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
Clint Adams
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was ok

Eric 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 it.

This book has two forewords (wr
Adam Shields
Dec 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 don
Dec 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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.] ...more
Richard Lawrence
Oct 26, 2020 rated it it was ok
"So in many ways I have one foot in conservative Christianity and the other foot in liberal Christianity, but I don't feel fully secure in either boat." chapter 6, page 116.

Eric Mason's desire to hold onto the biblical gospel whilst pursuing a social programme learned from liberal Christianity leads to a lot of confusion.

Additionally Eric Mason genuinely believes that as a black man in America there is a significant risk that his children could be murdered by the police, he states this in chapte
Julius Tennal II

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 gospel
4. be active by proclaiming the gospel, meeting pressing needs, and partnering together to bring gospel change.

What I appreciate about Eric Mason is that
George P.
Nov 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
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 (chapt
Jonathan Penn
Jul 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
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 learned...You 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 speak/act 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.
Nadia L. Hohn
Jul 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What a wonderful book! I also bought the physical copy because the audible version went so quickly and there were a lot of scriptures I’d like to look up. This is the first book club pick for my facebook group.
Jeremy Bautista
I'm thankful that God has really used this past Black History Month to challenge me in the way I view race relations in our culture today. This book is an important catalyst for me in this. And the challenge is not simply one to shout out that as water is wet, obviously race and racism STILL plays a major role in America. But the challenge is to the church of Jesus Christ (of which I belong) to not be asleep to the issues of race, to be complicit in silence to the suffering of people due to raci ...more
John-Jennifer Divito
Rating a book like Eric Mason's Woke Church is difficult. Is my rating based on how helpful reading this book has been in my study of social justice and the church? Or should I rate his book in light of my agreement with his argument and conclusions? Ultimately, I am torn. On the one hand, I appreciated reading Mason's perspective on racism and injustice in America today. He speaks for many in this call for Christian social action, and his book was thought-provoking and clear. On the other hand, ...more
Marshall Griffin
Jun 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Highly recommend, especially for those wondering about the place of the church in issues of justice. Mason explores racial injustice and how the church should respond theologically, historically, and practically. In easily accessible writing, he makes clear how the gospel compels us to care, speak, and act for justice.

Quotes and Notes:

"The church should be the main communicator about challenges that happen in our country on race and justice. We should be the first place that people look to for
Jul 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Eric Mason founded Epiphany Fellowship in Philadelphia in 2006, the same year I started pastoral ministry 45 northeast. The impact of Mason’s ministry was felt in New Jersey and it continues to grow in influence. Mason is known as a leader in multiethnic ministry.

Mason is one of the leaders I want to be listening to when it comes to racial division and justice. I am grateful for Mason’s ministry and for his willingness to lend his voice to the broader church in Woke Church.

Mason appropriates th
Noah Adams
Nov 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Best book on the subject I’ve read. Not perfect but that’s more on me than the author. He offers practical steps forward but his vision is more for the Church than the church. I’d love an additional chapter on how normative size churches with hurting budgets can engage effectively and intentionally. But overall, great read and very doctrinally and biblically sound.
Gabriel Mahalik
Feb 07, 2020 rated it liked it
This is a very important book and and eye opening one to read. God showed me a lot of close mindedness and arrogance in my heart that I never knew was there. However, I was hungry for him to get practical about good steps to take towards racial reconciliation in the church but I felt that part was lacking. He had some general stuff and some idealized stuff that his church does, but not much for the “unwoke church” who I thought this book was aimed at.
Nirupa Mathew
Jun 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars
Kevin Choate
Jul 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Woke Church focuses on two overarching truths that lead to initiatives the Church must face.

1: The Gospel is transformative.
2: Justice is an effect of a Gospel-believing church.

The Gospel has the ability to change our souls and our circumstance, and the truth is that American Christians have largely been held captive by their political identities.

Yet, God’s character is intrinsically tied to his justice. The Woke Church is a Church that doesn’t limit the transcendence of the Gospel to do inte
Grant Young
Dec 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Necessary for those in the American church who want to address the systemic racial issues in this country.
Joseph Matuch
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is just what the subtitle says it is: "an urgent call for Christians in America to confront reason and injustice." I read it for that, and that's what I got. I like the way the book is organized: 1. Be aware, 2. Be willing to acknowledge, 3. Be accountable, 4. Be active. Those four steps will stay with me as things I can do to progress in my ability to be a reconciler.

I understand that the writing style is not for everyone, but I would encourage people to listen to some of Dr. Mason's
Tom Bazan
Jul 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I would recommend reading this book. The thing I appreciate most about the book is that the heart that Mason has for the Church is evident throughout the book--even in the tough parts of the book. It is evident that he yearns for an American (and global) Church that stands up to the racism in its (and society's) past and present. His heart breaks to see racism in society and a Church that is not on the front lines addressing the problem.

The book doesn't dive deeply into any of the topics that it
Jul 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An important to read for all christians, especially white christians. I believe many white christians will struggle with this book as it does not give a pretty 3 step plan to end racism, because that does not exist. There is hard work ahead that Mason preferences and expounds well — while giving crucial historical contextualization of how the church has gotten where we are today.

At best the evangelical church has been on the sidelines of fighting racial injustice, and more commonly been an oppr
Noah York
Oct 14, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: curiosity-books
Starting with the broader issues, the book is not well organized or well written. Its very much formatted like a 200 page rant. In relation to content, the book had a few good portions, especially when it came to our focus on eternality should affect our principles now, and therefore make us care about justice. But Mason's application of justice seemed to be an excuse to pair liberal politics with Christianity. There were a number of issues with his sections on things like Black Lives Matter, hi ...more
Kavin Kramer
Jun 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It shook me, then it woke me.

There were moments I loved it, hated it, was in deep thought, and literally yelled at how "stupid" it is, but then I came back around. This is chalk full of understanding needed to bridge a gap that many like myself would say doesn't exist. I was wrong. I already hated racism and now I hate injustice, too.

I can't say I agree with every word but I do believe I will agree with it more and more as time goes on. As a follower of Jesus, justice must be something I fight f
Smooth Via
Nov 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Dr. Mason's book is both eye opening and convicting. Every white christian in America needs to read this book. If I was pastoring a church in America, I would make this required reading for every staff member. Dr. Mason handles tough racial issues with biblical clarity and a commitment to black history and culture. Thank you Dr. Mason for opening my eyes when I already thought I was "woke." I cannot recommend this book enough. ...more
Kyle Chambers
Jun 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Learning and listening, but still have a ways to go. Great resource and hope to read more of Eric. Very practical ways that I can use in ministry to be more “woke”
Emily Tilsen
Aug 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Both encouraging and convicting. Will prove an excellent resource for those who embark on discussions about race within the church.
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DR. ERIC MASON is the founder and pastor of Epiphany Fellowship in Philadelphia, PA. He and his wife, Yvette, have four children. After more than two decades of gospel ministry, Dr. Mason has become known for his passion to see the glory of Jesus Christ robustly and relevantly engaged in broken cities with the comprehensive gospel. He helps coach and train families to plant churches locally, natio ...more

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“But in the gospel, man is not just reconciled to God by faith. Man is also reconciled to man by faith. (See 2 Cor. 5:18). God has given to us the ministry of reconciliation. He doesn’t give us the luxury of refusing to be reconciled.” 2 likes
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