Some Reviews of In Search Of The Loving God

OBSERVER QUARTERLY
Summer 1998

In Search of the Loving God: Resolving the Past Trauma of Christianity and Bringing to Light Its Healing Spirit, by Mark Mason.
Dwapara Press, 1997

Reviewed by Patricia A. Vallerand

This book should be in the library of any person who is seriously interested in the history and development of religion and spirituality.

Mark Mason tells us little about himself other than that he is currently a member of Self-Realization Fellowship. It is also clear from references in the book that he comes from a fundamentalist religious background.

In any event, Mr Mason's skills as both researcher and writer are such that I was unable to put the book down once I started it. He makes what could be a very dry topic not only readable, but also highly relevant to someone who is attempting to move beyond surface spirituality to a level of deep understanding and growth.

His book is divided into two parts. The first gives a very comprehensive, and eye-opening, history of the Bible and Christianity as a religion. He shows incredibly clearly how and why the church strayed from the teachings of Jesus and what that means to the church today. The second section shows how the Bible and its teachings are relevant to seekers in today's world. He describes Bible passages that teach us about reincarnation, a simple lifestyle and free will, and he includes wonderful and affirming interpretations about what hell and the book of Revelation really means.

Mr Mason ends with a strong statement about unifying all religions, and shares with us his insights about how to best come to a personal knowledge of God in our daily lives.


Salem Stateman Journal - Sunday, October 12, 1997, page 7D

Religious books are abundant in Northwest

BY DAN HAYS
For the Statesman Journal

There are many who think that just living in the Pacific Northwest is a spiritual experience. This comes from the belief that living so close to "wilderness" somehow makes people closer to God.

[brief review of 4 books: 1 Evangelical, 3 about angels]

All four of these books are based, in varying degrees, in Christianity as we know it today. Mark Mason takes a different direction in his "In Search of the Loving God: Resolving the past traumas of Christianity, and bringing to light its healing spirit." This book sets out to prove that modern Christian churches are based neither on "The Bible" nor the teachings of Jesus, but on doctrines intended for purely secular manipulations, primarily the purpose of consolidating political power within the hierachy of the church itself.

Mason says that Christianity as practiced in its recognized sects is a deception, a distortion of the message given in "The Bible." His book sets out to guide the reader toward what he perceives to be the central truth of the universe: that the creator is a loving god, and that the churches that preach fear and threaten punishment and damnation to those who do not abide by the truth as they see it are, frankly, just plain wrong.

"In Search of the Loving God"
Author: Mark Mason.
Publisher: Dwapara Press, Eugene; 1997; 384 pages.
Format: Trade paperback.
Cost: $9.95.
Salem availability: Escape Fiction, Jackson's Books, Rosebud & Fish.



COSMIC CURRENT NEWS ONLINE
REVIEWS

URL: http://www.netport.com/rainey/revu.html

REVIEWER: Al Rainey

In Search of the Loving God
Author: Mark Mason
Dwapara Press
1313 Lincoln Street #705
Eugene, Or 97401
0-9658477-4-8 US$16.95

The main idea of this book is that all religions should search for the Loving God, not the god of fear and hate as formulated by medieval religion. To this end, the author presents clear and acceptable ideas that should be incorporated by all religious aspirants.

Holy Books are holy because they transmit a certain power to the readers. In this day and age, it is better to read and accept the unfoldment according to one's understanding and needs. God reveals His mysteries to those who are attuned to accept them.

The problem with the book, In Search of the Loving God, is the pesher account of the Virgin Birth and speculation about the Virgin Mary. The Archdiosese will not be pleased with this dialogue.

What about Elizabeth and Z? Although the author does not mention these fine people, they are important factors in the birth of Jesus Christ. The speculation on the Virgin Mary should be omitted. Don't touch that! That is the rule.

All religions have sprung from that One Eternal God which is the Source of all. The churches should always bear this in mind as they proliferate their dogma into the world. Oftentimes, as the author stresses, the teachings of the present-day churches will contradict the 2000 year-old teachings of Jesus Christ. Mr. Mason presents a good cure for this stagnation and contradiction.

This book is highly recommended reading and may be purchased from Publications Services, Inc. by calling 800-460-6690. To read sample chapters from the book, go to the author's website.


Omega New age Directory Phoenix, AZ -- October 1997:

In Search of the Loving God
by Mark Mason
382 pages, $16.95

The author askes the question: Why is Christianity stagnating in a time when there is so much interest in spiritual things?

He then goes on to point out that Christian doctrine has little to do with the Bible and that the church that existed 2000 years ago has no resemblance to Christianity today.

This book is the nemisis of Christian fundamentalism because it points out the true history of Christianity and where today's doctrines actually came from. And, of course, he deals with the Bible/reincarnation controversy.

Every so-called Christian should read this book.


BOOKVIEWS by Alan Caruba

On Being Jewish, Christian, Spiritual

For Jew and Christian alike, a small publisher, Dwapara Press (1313 Lincoln St., Suite 705, Eugene OR 97401) has published In Search of the Loving God by Mark Mason, an excellent review of the world's major faiths with an emphasis on Christianity. As the new century dawns, all the major faiths will undergo transformations, based on their long histories. Mason's scholarly book is an important guide to those on a spiritual quest.


NAPRA ReView Vol. 9, No. 1 New Year 1998

BOOKS NEW & NOTEWORTHY

Western Traditions

IN SEARCH OF THE LOVING GOD: Resolving the Past Traumas of Christianity, and Bringing to Light its Healing Spirit by Mark Mason. $16.95, 0-9658477-4-8, Dwapara Press, 800/460-6690. The modern dilemma facing Christianity is the splitting apart of Pentecostal Christians, who believe in the miracles of God and the power of the Spirit but often turn to fundamentalism, and the more liberal and socially concerned Christians who look askance at conservative religion. Mason, whose own spiritual path is grounded in Yogananda's Self-Realization Fellowship, offers a convincing argument using historical sources to show that the Bible is not primarily a book of history but a profound text of inner development, and that the Bible's message was tragically distorted as Christianity became a state religion and wedded itself to outward power. The second half of the book offers guidance for turning to a loving Christianity that may become a willing partner in the marriage of East and West, and includes the Biblical evidence for reincarnation and the role of meditation in knowing and loving God. -AM


Eugene Register-Guard
March 15, 1998
Northwest Bound
By FARIS CASSELL
For The Register-Guard

In Search of the Loving God by Mark Mason (Dwapara Press, 1313 Lincoln St., No. 705, Eugene, OR 97401, 382 pages, $16.95)

Eugene resident Mason looks at 2,000 years of Christianity, quoting sources as wide-ranging as Bertrand Russell and the Bible. He concludes that the religion's history is marked by political ambition, cruelty and many mistakes, and that the modern Christian church has stagnated. He suggests, however, that a reformation is under way.


Some Amazon.com reader reviews of
In Search of the Loving God:

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful:
[5.0 out of 5 stars] Therapeutic reading for "recovering" fundamentalists, January 27, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: In Search of the Loving God:

Mark Mason's In Search of the Loving God can be very helpful for former "Born Agains" (such as myself) whose intuition has always told them that there must be more to God than the punishing father or unreachable "bearded guy in the sky".

The author skillfully gives cultural and historical insights into the life of Christ and the Christian church of past and present. He offers reassurance based on etymological and cross-religious evidence that indeed, God is most definitely knowable and loving.

Far from being a dry document, the book is written in a personable, self-disclosing style which I found engaging to read. The extensive references and bibliography are also quite impressive and helpful.


8 of 8 people found the following review helpful:
[5.0 out of 5 stars] Very readable - diagnostic on decline of Christianity!, April 13, 1999 By bstanley@home.com (California, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: In Search of the Loving God:

Well written, full of revelant historical information that allows the reader to grasp the foundation of the fall and decline of tribal Christianity; or my love of Jesus is better than your love of Jesus. The final chapters highlight the need to overcome this Christian demonimalization, or eventually, all Christians will witness the erroding of the sacred message enunciated by Jesus the Christ.


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
[4.0 out of 5 stars] Past and present come together in Mark Mason's book, March 6, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: In Search of the Loving God:

Examining this book was enjoyable, educational and insightful. Mark Mason challenges the reader to go deeper into church history and examine the motives behind the actions then that influence us even now. It is the subtle quality of this book that makes it so powerful. And tying the past to the present is no small task, but Mr. Mason does a thorough job of doing just that. A must read for the serious student of history.


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
[5.0 out of 5 stars] exactly what I needed, April 14, 2011
By lover of words - See all my reviews
This review is from: In Search of the Loving God:

The book got to me very quickly and I have absolutely loved it. Growing up catholic and in the south it is hard to find a differing view from the norm of "shut up, stop asking questions and believe". I was searching for someone to explain to me why I felt the way I did about the church and this was it!


* * * * * A Game Changer, November 12, 2012
Robert C. Baum "RCB" (Vermont, USA)

It's taken me at least a decade to fully grasp the magnitude of Mark Mason's IN SEARCH OF THE LOVING GOD. I look to this book as a source code for all future theological and spiritual inquiries into the Eastern roots of Western Christianity as well as a vital argument for the Buddhist influences on Christ's life, thought, and legacy. Thank you Mark! (rcbatp@earthlink.net)


Endorsements of In Search Of The Loving God

In Search of the Loving God is a book written with a purpose - and - that purpose is to bring an age old message of truth and love to our tired, confused and desperate world. It is a kindly message but one administered with a firm, strong hand. Overall the book reminds me of a great General preparing for battle. A good General knows what he is up against; he knows the strength of the opposition and the nature of that strength and he prepares his forces accordingly, aiming to conquer his opponents but not to crush them. However, unlike a General that may seek to conquer people and win territories, Mark is out to conquer hearts and win love for God with reason, for the intellectuals; inspiration for the devotional and simple instruction for the practical. His book mingles impressive scholarship with both poetic appeal and down to earth empirical experiences. The world is in great need for the healing that this book could bring it and I sincerely hope that it is well received by an unprejudiced, open minded and discriminating public.

(Ian D. Baynes, B.V.Sc., M.A.P.S.)


I enjoyed getting a chance to read a lot in your book during this break. I just finished the chapter on the books of the Bible--loved it. Reading the book really confirms many of the things I intuitively felt about the Church and Christianity. But I must admit I wasn't quite prepared for the impact of the chapter on the Dark Ages, burnings at the stake, etc. Powerful! and extremely important that the truth be told. Your work will hopefully be a real catalyst to the healing that must take place.

(Part of an e-mail from Kaya Stasch, counselor)


I've lent [name deleted] your manuscript--she's taking a class at the UO
called "The Bible As Literature" and was very interested in many of your
ideas and references. She's been curious (from a distance) for many years
about meditation, etc. so I'm glad she'll be perusing your book.
Which I have now finished, by the way. Your book is SO important, so well
referenced and readable. It simply MUST be published. I especially enjoyed
the last two chapters--a different look at Revelation, and also the
Judeo-Christian heritage of meditation. Why are Christians--and others--so
afraid of this? I wish and pray that the way to get your work out there
will be revealed to you.

(Part of an e-mail from Kaya Stasch, counselor)


I found this book helpful in my own spiritual search. The light Mason casts on Scripture passages is good for the soul. The stories of church history are intriguing and disturbing. The message which triumphs is that the Spirit has and always will overcome all of mankind's attempts to control or thwart.

In Search reads like a combination mystery, history, and Bible commentary all rolled into one. Read it for its enlightening view on Scripture and revealing stories of the church's history. May the Spirit use this book to reach many people with its hopeful message for the future of Christianity.

If you're on a quest for spiritual or historical truth, In Search of the Loving God has an intriguing story to tell. Mason supports his enlightening interpretations with extensive research and cultural/historical understanding. His conclusions challenge each of us to a personal path of transformation and discipline.

(Joy Wells, Educator)


Dear Mark,

Thank you for sending me chapters one, nine, fifteen and nineteen of your manuscript, IN SEARCH OF THE LOVING GOD. Obviously a great deal of study and reflection support your writing. Further, there is a "tone" to your writing that is calming and reassuring. Your intention to present a God purified of the foibles and frailties ever-present in human religious effort and consciousness is a praiseworthy task. I was particularly interested in your reflections on the role of the Inquisition in condemning witches.

(Terry Sweeney, best-selling religious author)


July 26, 1996

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

This letter is to draw your attention to a book written by Mark Mason titled In Search of the Loving God. This book is of timely importance as we observe the ever increasing phenomenon of the Christian Right movement in the United States.

In Search of the Loving God begins with an overview of church history and how it leads into developments taking place in the political arena today. This overview is well documented and is explained in such a manner that the reader can grasp complex concepts with considerable ease. Mr Mason then leads the reader into a discussion of the impact of New Age concepts on the fundamentalist Christian heritage. Finally, the reader is presented with a workable solution to the problems of fundamentalism and its view of the apocalypse.

This is an excellent book and Mr Mason gives us a working concept of how Christianity can incorporate Eastern philosophy and still remain true to its purpose. I strongly recommend this book for publication because I believe it will find a wide reader audience.

Sincerely,

John Lawrence

(Book Reviewer for International Journal of Comparative Sociology)


I was especially impressed by your analysis of the book of
Revelation in your book. Very good. If nothing else, it'll
give the fundy's something serious to think about.

(E-mail from John Lawrence, Lecturer in Social Studies, University of Oregon, and book reviewer for the International Journal of Comparative Sociology)

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