The recent eruptions of racial discord, anger, and overall polarization in America continue to pull away the veneer that we have somehow achieved a “post-racial” society. Despite the uninspired claims that we have become a more enlightened society around race, the evidence is more undeniable than ever that there is still a long road ahead as we pursue racial equity. For white Christians, this increased consciousness is often uncomfortable, and kindles the need for a reckoning: how is that we follow the Jesus who is the source of all reconciliation, and yet still bear witness to a Body that remains so staggeringly segregated? The massive rupture exposed during the 2016 Presidential Election, where white Christians and Christians of color took antithetical positions, unequivocally dispelled any false notions of actualized racial unity in the Church.
For many, this reckoning is beginning to also stir some critical questions within them, such as: Why are racial relations so strained in our country? Why are racial relations as bad, if not worse, within the Church? How did we even get to this point? What does the Bible say about race, justice, and cultural identity? What does it mean to be white in the midst of all of this? What is it that a white Christian can do if they want to be part of the solution, and not the problem?
These are some of the questions that I attempt to address in the book White Awake. By exploring the Biblical mandate for reconciliation, by analyzing historical forces that have shaped our current reality, and by illustrating through personal story, I endeavor to chart a course for a theologically centered process of racial awakening. White Awake intends to help white Christians interact with both personal and social realities in the areas of race, culture, and identity, and empower them to be agents of reconciliation in our increasingly diverse and divided world.
Ordering the Book:
White Awake can be pre-ordered at any of the following links:
What people are saying about White Awake:
“Daniel Hill sought me out as a mentor over two decades ago, and it has been a joy to watch the progress of he and his church. Now, in White Awake, he shares lessons learned on his journey of following Jesus into the ministry of reconciliation. As Christians in this day and age, we need to all be thinking critically, and closely examining the teachings of Scripture. In this book you will find fresh thinking around the critical topic of race, and I would encourage every Christian to read it.”
—Dr. John M Perkins, Author; Co-Founder of the Christian Community Development Association
“Daniel Hill has been my friend for almost two decades, and with each passing year, I learn more from him and admire him more. His passion and intelligence and depth are gifts to the community he pastors and to the city of Chicago, and this book is a wise and helpful guide for all of us who want to learn more about both the theology and the practice of reconciliation in America today.”
—Shauna Niequist, New York Times best-selling author of Present Over Perfect
“For about 2 decades Daniel Hill has been wrestling with what it means to be a white man in America, and a white pastor in the city of Chicago. He is fearlessly curious and inquisitive. When things get uncomfortable, he leans in. This book is Daniel’s invitation to lean in to the current moment and join the movement for racial justice… lest we discover a generation from now that we slept through a revolution.”
—Shane Claiborne, author and activist
“Have you ever been awakened to a new reality. In White Awake, my friend, Daniel Hill, bravely reimagines St. Paul’s call to awake from slumber. Hill’s brave confession is a courageous call for Christians to respond faithfully to discipleship’s demands beyond guilt and shame toward racial justice, reconciliation, and action. His journey will doubtless awaken others!”
“Many evangelicals of color have grown weary of ringing the bell and issuing the clarion call for racial justice. While we do not look for white evangelicals to legitimize or affirm our perspective, it is nice on occasion to know that there are woke white evangelicals out there. It is nice to know that these efforts have not been in vain. Daniel Hill has been my friend and ally for many years. In this book, you will have the chance to hear his story and his heart – and learn from a learner.”
— Dr. Soong-Chan Rah, Milton B. Engebretson Professor, North Park Theological Seminary, Author of The Next Evangelicalism and Prophetic Lament
“White Awake is a profoundly pastoral book with serious implications for the ecclesial, social, and political life of our nation. At a time when conversations about race seem increasingly cross-pressured by various interests and motivations, readers can trust Daniel Hill to tell them the truth about racism and white supremacy. Hill does not use these fraught issues to manipulate, but rather to help his readers see more clearly. If Christians read and consider this book carefully, it will help them. It helped me. I’m grateful to Daniel for writing White Awake.”
—Michael Wear, author of Reclaiming Hope
“In White Awake, Rev. Dr. Daniel Hill divulges his most intimate experiences of whiteness and how white privilege impacts our society. He thoughtfully uncovers cultural identity, social constructions of race, and color blindness in a manner that is both provoking and enlightening on the pressing social reality for people of color. Hill offers seven stages to a ministry of reconciliation as he invites us to wander away from our comfort zones and challenge us to become informed new beings. White Awake is a crucial book for our time as the social and political landscape progresses into torrential territories. This book is challenging, provocative, and significant, and I strongly recommend it.”
—Dr. Grace Ji-Sun Kim, Associate Professor of Theology at Earlham School of Religion and author of several books, most recently, Embracing The Other and Mother Daughter Speak.
“In White Awake, Daniel Hill humbly and insightfully shares his personal journey of understanding race and privilege. He provides a practical and challenging look at the blinders and barriers that hinder racial reconciliation and our ability to advocate for equity and justice for all. I am grateful for this resource that helped me better understand where I am in my own journey and how I can more effectively challenge myself and our church to be active participants in furthering the Jesus Mission of reconciliation and restoration.”
—Dave Ferguson, Lead Pastor – Community Christian Church; Lead Visionary – NewThing
“White Awake is at once personal, practical, and provocative. Well conceived, researched, and written, this timely book provides a detailed consideration of cultural identity and its formation from which everyone can benefit—particularly those of us who are white and willing to engage the topic not only for our own benefit but, more significantly, for the sake of the gospel, as ambassadors of Christ and ministers of reconciliation in an increasingly diverse society. Indeed, it is long past time for us to reflect deeply and responsibly on race, racialization, and reconciliation. With refreshing honesty and only the best of intentions, Daniel has provided us with a means to do just that.”
—Mark DeYmaz, founding pastor of Mosaic Church, author of Building a Healthy Multi-Ethnic Church
“Daniel Hill’s personal and deep dive into whiteness, reconciliation, and the dividing lines in our social matrix of race is needed like never before. At a time of ongoing racial weariness and colorblind responses, I’m so grateful for this resource. Allow the transparency and courage of this book to lead you into the needed work of unity, liberation, and justice.”
—Efrem Smith, author of Killing Us Softly and The Post-Black and Post-White Church
“Rarely have I run across a book written with more humility than what Daniel Hill accomplishes in White Awake. I was surprised from the first chapter all the way through the end, not with Daniel’s intellectual grasp of the topic (although it is incredibly strong), but with his ability to walk circumspectly and see himself as the primary student in his story. White Awake accomplishes at one time a poignant academic analysis of race and the dominant culture in America as well as providing a practical and clear path for others to navigate the experience, disorientation, and ultimate awakening that comes with deep reflection on white racial identity. This book has rightfully earned a place on my bookshelf and in my list of recommended books—I’m confident it will earn a similar spot in yours as well.”
— Ken Wytsma, founder of The Justice Conference; author of Pursuing Justice and The Myth of Equality
Watch a talk on White Awake at the Racial Reconciliation Conference: