Read the Introduction and Chapter One:

Summary:

Gospel unity creates racial harmony.

However, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said that “the most segregated hour in America is 11:00 a.m. on Sunday morning.” Equipped with the gospel, the church should be the catalyst for reconciliation, yet it continues to cultivate immense pain and division. 

In an effort to bridge the canyon of misunderstanding, insensitivity, and hurt, Mark Vroegop has written this timely resource about the biblical practice of lament, which he defines as “the biblical language of empathy and exile, perseverance and protest.” Encouraging you to “weep with those who weep” (Rom. 12:15), Vroegop invites you to mourn with him over the brokenness that has caused division and to use lament to begin the journey toward a diverse and united church.

Including Prayers of Lament From:

  • Thabiti Anyabwile  
  • Trillia Newbell 
  • Collin Hansen
  • Jason Meyer
  • Danny Akin
  • Garrett Kell
  • Mika Edmondson
  • Jarvis Williams
  • Isaac Adams
  • John Onwuchekwa

Table of Contents:

Foreword: Thabiti Anyabwile

Introduction: Dream: The Vision of Racial Harmony

Part 1: Lament in the Bible and History
Chapter 1: Pray: The Language of Lament
Chapter 2: Listen: Lesson from African-American Spirituals
Chapter 3: Walk: The Bridge of Lament

Part 2: Lament and Majority Christians
Chapter 4: Weep: The Healing Grace of Empathy
Chapter 5: Speak: Ending the Painful Silence
Chapter 6: Repent: Remembering with Remorse

Part 3: Lament and Minority Christians
Chapter 7: Protest: The Voice of Exiles
Chapter 8: Triumph: Redeeming the Pain
Chapter 9: Believe: Dare to Hope

Conclusion: Lament: An Open Door for Racial Reconciliation

Appendix 1: Psalms of Laments
Appendix 2: Learning-to-Lament Worksheet
Appendix 3: Sample Civil Rights Vision Trip Itinerary
Bibliography
General Index
Scripture Index

Pre-order now {Releases August 2020}

Endorsements:

If the sinful and tragic issues of racial injustice do not drive Christians to lament, it can only be because we do not, or will not, see the reality all around us. This book by the brilliant and faithful Mark Vroegop helps us to see that lament is not despair and resignation, but instead is the first step toward healing and restoration. This book will help Christians, of every ethnicity, to learn to love one another and to bear each other’s burdens. 

Russell Moore – President of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention

“I am so grateful to God that Mark Vroegop has written this book. Far too often our discussions about racial harmony and reconciliation centers on analysis, history, strategies or the ‘best practices’ of those who have made some progress with regard to inclusion and diversity. What is overlooked is the primacy and power of empathy, ‘weeping with those who weep.’ This profound sense of identification is what the bible calls lament. Thank you, Mark, for calling us to the heart of the matter, our hearts. Weep with Me is a gift and a treasure.”

Dr. Crawford W. Loritts, Jr. – Author, Speaker, Radio Host and Sr. Pastor of Fellowship Bible Church, Roswell, Georgia

When it seems like conversations on race and racial reconciliation seem to produce more heat, not light, more accusation, not appreciation, Mark Vroegop provides a timely word in his book Weep With Me. He reveals the simple yet poignant power in the prayers of Biblical lament, teaching us the need to weep with those who weep. For lament gives language to both speakers who’ve suffered and listeners who long to understand. This is the hope of lament and the hope of the book: that the language of lament would bring blessing out of brokenness. But the author is neither a hopeless romantic nor a helpless idealist. With realistic expectations but also with unbridled hope, Vroegop provides the inspiration from the Biblical language of lament to help us find ways that will promote trust, understanding, and hope. He has helped me to love, listen, and lament; to learn and to leverage. Reconciliation is never easy, yet because of the Gospel of Jesus, I will still dare to hope. 

Julius J. Kim – President of The Gospel Coalition and Visiting Professor of Practical Theology at Westminster Seminary California

Imagine if in Jesus’ story of the Pharisee and the Publican (Luke 18:9-14), that the Publican instead of repenting of his sins in abasement, had become offended by the Pharisee’s assessment of him. Had that happened, you would have had two self-justifying sinners in the story and we wouldn’t have heard Jesus’ beautiful declaration that “I tell you, this man (the Publican) went down to his house justified.” So please, if you are picking up this book in order to be offended, just don’t. Put it back on the shelf. Go read something else. But if there is a weariness in your bones over your own sin and the sin of your people, and you long to see Gospel unity and solidarity replace suspicion, separation, strife, division, indifference, ignorance, condescension and contempt, come lament with me for a while, and pray. We are up against something only the Holy Spirit can fix, but he is more than a match for the challenge. Let’s lament our hearts of stone and ask him to give us hearts of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26-27). He can. He will.

Ligon Duncan – Chancellor and CEO at Reformed Theological Seminary and John E. Richards Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology 

“Mark Vroegop’s book, Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy is the best book I have read on Christian lament.  It moved me to preach through the book of Lamentations in my own church.  And yet, I was unprepared with how stirred I was by this same idea of Christian lament impacting the challenges today around racial tensions in the church.  But this is what Mark has done with this book, Weep With Me.  The book you hold in your hands is a uniquely insightful contribution to a very difficult issue still largely ignored by modern day evangelicals.  It is a biblically faithful, immensely practical tool that guides us to a simple, clear solution to racial divide in the church–empathy through Christian lament.  Pastors especially need to read this book and use it to lead their congregations down a path of introspection rooted in the gospel and embodied in Christ-like empathy to all those in Christ.  I highly commend this book and the faithful example of its author.”

Brian Croft – Senior Pastor at Auburndale Baptist Church, Founder of Practical Shepherding and Senior Fellow at Church Revitalization Center, SBTS

“The challenges of racial division in America broadly and our churches specifically feels intractable. The conversation is riddled with indictment, hurt, anger, uncertainty, fear. Yet Mark Vroegop offers a simple, mature, and biblical next step: learn the language of lament. Lament means one thing for the majority-culture Christian, a slight different thing for the minority-culture Christian; and both lessons are crucial for preparing our hearts for understanding, forgiveness, reconciliation, action. Sincerely, this book is excellent. And it’s hard to imagine how churches will move toward racial reconciliation and the heavenly picture of unity in diversity apart from the biblical wisdom it provides.”  

Jonathan Leeman – Elder at Cheverly Baptist Church and Editorial Director at 9Marks 

“Weep with Me” is grounded in theology, informed by history, and saturated with humility. As a black member of Pastor Vroegop’s church, I have witnessed, primarily as an observer, how applying the biblical language of lament to racism has opened the door to reconciliation. Painful conversations between a white church leader and a black church member developed into a deep, trusting relationship. Intense early morning discussions about race among a multi-ethnic group of leaders and members led to deeper understanding and biblical unity.  A monthly discussion group exposed personal pain yet weeping together increased shared knowledge and formed healthy relationships.  Casual Sunday multicultural interactions led to meals together in each other’s homes.  Civil Rights vision trips with the church exposed deep wounds and caused weeping among some and silence and confusion among others, but the language of lament led to enlightenment, caring, and mutual embrace as a reconciled body. Yes, the journey is difficult at times.  No, we have not arrived at the dream.  Through this book, Pastor Vroegop shows us how the language of lament leads to racial reconciliation. It is an encouraging read!

Dr. A. Charles Ware – Author, Speaker, Consultant, Founder of Grace Relations, Executive Director of Grace Relations at The College of Biblical Studies


Mark Vroegop is the Lead Pastor of College Park Church in Indianapolis. He’s the author of Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy: Discovering the Grace of Lament, winner of the ECPA 2020 Christian Book of the Year award, and Weep with Me: How Lament Opens a Door for Racial Reconciliation (available in August 2020).

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