Cover Image: Woke Jesus

Woke Jesus

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The author acknowledges that the term "Woke" arose from the civil rights movement, but highjacks it to refer to everything he dislikes about the world.  Critical theory, globalism, vaccine mandates and secularization of colleges are denounced as Gnosticism and taking the form of Hegelian dualism. The author is particularly critical of the Black Lives Matters movement as being a new form of Marxism.
The book appears scholarly as the author relates much of his criticism to philosophy.  In reality, the book is merely an attempt to promote a Right Wing agenda and try to whitewash it with scripture.  There is a a subtle but clear racism that permeates the writing.
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The information in this book is excellent. The author clearly explains the issues involving the liberal/progressive refashioning of Jesus to fit an inclusive worldview and politic. Miles uses Scripture to debunk what are clearly heretical positions. 

The writing is college level, and is not an easy read. Some might find this unappealing. Because of this I deducted one star. Nonetheless, this is an important work and worth the effort of reading, and even re-reading some sections if necessary. It will help you discern if you are attending a biblically-based church with a proper hermeneutic.
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This is a review of the book "Woke Jesus by  Lucas Miles.  The title of the book piqued my curiosity and the fact that the author is a Pastor.  I am interested personally as a life time church goer  by how dramatically the culture of America and the church Worldwide has changed .
Anyone interested in how wokeism has affected followers of Jesus Christ would do well to read  this book and be informed how Woke is rolling into every church of America. The deception of Woke/Progressive Chrisitanity is deceptive in that it has an element of Truth to it.  Church members have been lulled to sleep with feel good sermons that amount to being nothing more than Motivational Speeches peppered with some Scripture, appealing to emotions and touting these are Life Application "Sermon Series".
Large churches appeal to the 35 year old male, by the hip, poliitically correctness loud room vibrating music and messages that push are welcome here with all of your sin...come on in..positive vibes,, ..."I'm OK..your OK from the 80's.
There is not much spoken from the pulpit on the Authority of God, the Bible is the Authority given to us a Love letter from God teaching us how to Love and to Live.  There is also not much taught on Repentance and yes we are all sinners and fall short, we are forgiven. being a believer there is a heart change that happens which is where repentance takes place and sin that once appealed is no longer enticing. Yes Sinners all are welcome but to continue in sin with the churches blessing is to quote Pastor Miles is like the Pharisees in Matthew 23.  The churches being led by Blind guides and shaping others moves further and further away from the truth and being led to become a child of hell. There are many scriptures warning of False teaching and False Prophets.
This quote from Pastor Miles impacted me with the eye-opening truth of this statement:"Instead of Deconstructing Culture to Better Align with the Truth: They Deconstruct Faith in order to better reach the Culture.
In order to Protect the Church we must expose the Deception.  This comes in many forms in our culture with all the buzz words of Critical Race theory, Racisim, Social Injustice, Transgender, Transphobia, Homosexuality, Homeless, Racisim , Marxism and White Supremacy to name few.  All the Progressive agenda plowing this into the front doors of the church turning our houses of worship into a big entertainment business and no longer a worship of God that anyone can recognize.
Pastor Miles reminds us in his books with scriptures of who God his by the names given to  him once again reminding the reader God has Power and Authority over all . He is the Head of the Church Ephesians 1:22, He is the Victorious one Revelation 3:21 and Isaiah 9:6 says he is the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasing Father, the Prince of Peace .  
Reading "Woke Jesus " by Lucas Miles may wake up some readers and give much needed discernment to Protect the Church by exposing the deception.
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Currently a DNF; the Kindle version from NetGalley is unfortunately so poorly formatted (and would even cut off mid-sentence at times), I could not continue for reviewing purposes.

I'm currently in line for a published copy from my local library, and will revisit at that time; but as to the eARC from NetGalley, it's sadly a DNF.
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I received an advanced copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

There is some really good stuff in this book about connecting Gnosticism in the first and second centuries to a lot of modern-day ideologies (and what the author would call wokeism). Some of this was really fascinating and I thought really well researched. He made some great connections.

There are whole sections of this book that I really did enjoy - it was convicting to see how many secular philosophies of the day impact what I believe about the Lord - ME, not my backslidden "why aren't they as political as I am" neighbor. I would have loved to read this with my friends and discuss how we can overcome some of those tendencies that seem so natural.

All that being said, the author definitely has a bone to pick with what he calls "wokeism." I understand it, I share some (if not most) of his conclusions, but I think he's caustic at points. If this book is only written for people who absolutely agree with him, I guess he won't have any problems. But I think had he approached this in a "how do we become who Christ wants us to be" vs. assuming that everyone on the right is CORRECT (except a few words against the crazy nationalists) and everyone on the left is WRONG - I think it would have made for a much more pastoral teaching. As it stands now, it can feel very soapboxy at times.

Also, I have to mention that the advanced copy I got on Kindle was very poorly formatted and unfinished. Many times a paragraph would leave off mid sentence. I don't think I could give a thorough endorsement one way or another because I'm not sure half the time what the concluding thought was.

Proceed with caution. There is some really good stuff here, but some land mines as well. Another book in this area that just came out was Political Gospel. They're very different books, but having conversations about the same subject. Might be worth a look side by side.
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This book was incredibly interesting. I feel like I learned a lot even though I feel like this space in the book world can be pretty saturated. I loved it.
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In a time in which we find ourselves combatting a return of an ancient heresy, it's important for authors to come out writing about these very things. So many of the best-selling "Christian" books these days are not Christian at all, at least not in true theology, so it's refreshing to see one that calls them out and helps us return to a biblical understanding of Christ. 

I appreciate that at several points, the author addresses the sins of the "Right" as much as the sins of the "Left" and points out that this is a problem we have all gotten ourselves into, although it is clear that he believes the Left is more responsible for where we are than the right and, indeed, this book is a conversation against the Left. Still, it's important to see that kind of balance and that acknowledgement that the Right isn't getting it all right, either. 

That said, a couple of caveats: first, this author is clearly speaking to the Right. He's writing to those who agree with him already and not to a general audience. This can be quite alienating to those who actually need to read this book and understand its content, which means they are likely to put it down. (Especially when he clearly and unapologetically states that he believes we should support Fox News, albeit late in the book.) 

Second, and perhaps most importantly, if you're going to write a book like this and claim to stand on truth, then you should, in fact, have your own facts correct. Otherwise, your bias (at best) is showing. So the moment that changed the reading of this book for me was when the author said something about the Biden administration instituting Covid lockdowns as part of this broken theology/ideology that he is talking about. History will show that in fact, national Covid lockdowns in the United States began during Donald Trump's presidency, which means that Biden had nothing to do with them. They came in the spring of 2020, the election year, and Trump was still President at that time. It was at this point in the book that the author's voice switched firmly to one of bias, and I couldn't help but think how many would read his words as conspiracy theory based on this misinformation alone. So in that regard, take it for what it is worth. 

It was an interesting read, and all of the historical ties were fun to kind of weave through a bit. Kind of...systematic theology meets the streets in a sort of way, at least as pertains to this narrow discussion of it.
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Lucas Mile's "Woke Jesus" seeks to shed light on what the author perceives as the dangers of the Christian Left or Progressive Christianity, exposing what he deems as a departure from traditional biblical interpretations and core Christian values. The book delves into various topics, including marriage, gender, racial equality, justice, original sin, heaven and hell, and salvation, arguing that these radical alternatives constructed by the Christian Left fabricate a new morality centered around political correctness, cancel culture, hedonistic values, obsession with public health, allegiance to the leftist state, universalism, and virtue signaling.

It is important to approach this work with a critical lens, as the author's views are presented through a particular ideological framework that may not align with the perspectives of all readers. While "Woke Jesus" raises valid questions and concerns regarding the potential consequences of certain societal trends, it is essential to recognize that the book presents a specific interpretation and evaluation of these issues, and its conclusions are not universally accepted or supported.

One noteworthy aspect of Mile's book is its challenge to Christians to critically examine the influence of progressive ideologies on their faith. By addressing topics that have become prominent in contemporary social justice movements, the author encourages readers to reflect on the potential tension between societal values and traditional Christian teachings. This engagement with current social issues provides an opportunity for readers to reassess their own beliefs and engage in meaningful conversations about the intersection of faith and social justice.

However, it is crucial to recognize that the author's presentation may be interpreted as dismissive or overly critical of the perspectives and experiences of those who hold progressive Christian beliefs. While the book aims to address potential conflicts between progressive ideologies and traditional Christian teachings, it is essential to approach these discussions with respect, open-mindedness, and a willingness to engage in dialogue that embraces diverse perspectives.

Ultimately, "Woke Jesus" serves as a starting point for reflection and dialogue, offering readers an opportunity to consider the relationship between Christianity, social justice, and contemporary societal trends. It is important for readers to critically assess the arguments presented, considering alternative viewpoints and engaging with a diverse range of sources to form a well-rounded understanding of the complex issues at hand.

In conclusion, Lucas Mile's "Woke Jesus" presents a critique of the Christian Left and Progressive Christianity, highlighting potential conflicts between certain ideologies and traditional biblical interpretations. While the book raises valid concerns regarding the impact of societal trends on Christian faith, readers should approach the work with a critical mindset, considering alternative viewpoints and engaging in respectful and inclusive dialogue. "Woke Jesus" provides an opportunity for introspection and conversation about the intersection of faith, social justice, and contemporary values, but it is essential to remain open to diverse perspectives and interpretations throughout the reading process.
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This is a comprehensive look at how the christian church has become infiltrated by inconsistent theologies and practices.  Often a million miles away from the biblical context that a bible believing Christian would understand.  The book is aimed at the American market so there is a lot of information and evidence presented that doesn't help and UK based reader.  Lucas Miles takes us through a history lesson starting in the 1700's showing the reader where  much of the church has  a wrong turn (or two).  Jesus was not woke, he wasn't a marxist, buddhist or merely a good man.  His message 2000 years ago was radical then and is still radical today.  In a world proliferated with "cancel culture", it is becoming increasingly difficult to state what, as a Christian, believers actually believe in.  Too often the message of Jesus is watered down to appeal to various audiences.  Taking the bits that support their arguments and leaving out everything else. 

American mega churches are often based on the cult of personalities, and in recent years we have seen the scales fall and those held up in high esteem have fallen from lofty heights.  Usually involving sins of the flesh and a less than biblically correct lifestyle.  The church needs to return to biblical basics. Forget the fancy, often debunked theories, faulty theology, consumeristic mindsets, or the latest populist thinking and return to the basics.  As Christians we believe that the only way to the Father is through the Son.  Jesus is not merely a prophet, a good man or just a historical figure, he is literally the Son of God.  To many churches are preaching from a place and mindset that has turned away from the teaching of Jesus.  I would quote Revelation 3 14-19.  Take heed church.   Be earnest and repent.  As Mr Miles states "Wokeism promotes culture where truth is replaced by power and gratitude by ingratitude".  At its worst wokeism is a form of absolutism that allows no dissent or alternative world view.  Ignore it at your peril.
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Full disclosure. I could not stomach the whole thing, so I skipped sections of the book as I made my way through. This felt like a giant waste of paper. It seemed to me a giant treatise on why The Author and His People Are Better Than Everyone Else. "I thank God that I am not like this tax collector". It seems more concerned with trying to play gotcha with the other side than with loving people like Jesus. The book is giving off strong Right Wing Republican Are The Only Christians vibes, as if anti-abortion is all there is to being pro-life. I find it telling that "Support a Conservative Candidate" places before "Serve in a Helps Ministry" or "Plant Yourself in a Local Church" as a key to "pushing pack the darkness of wokeism and critical theory."

The author also seems to suggest that calling out prejudice and working for justice is wrong because it "strip[s] of the blessing of offering [our] lives unto God" as we "can only ever suffer for [our] own sake." I believe in growth through suffering for Jesus. I believe in entrusting our future to Him. But even Jesus speaks well of the woman whose judge listened to her because of her persistence. Turning the other cheek does not demand that we allow injustice to continue. Suffering for Jesus doesn’t mean we have to let systemic injustice continue when we are capable of working for the good of our neighbors. We are not to be vigilantes who operate lawlessly, but we love our neighbor when we seek justice and righteousness and to bring Kingdom principles of love and equality to our communities now. The world's hatred for us is to be because of our love for the Savior, not our disregard for the needs of our neighbors. It amazes me that a book so focused on sin cannot see that our systemic sins can and should be addressed. This is not a woke liberal agenda. This is accountability. It is time that we own our sins, bring them to the cross, and work to reconcile with our neighbors. It is time we stop being a stumbling block to the Gospel and are known as Jesus's disciples by our love and unique care for each other.  There are enough barriers to the Gospel without us making our traditions and political preferences Essential Doctrine.
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