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A Simpler Faith: Hope For People Who…
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A Simpler Faith: Hope For People Who Struggle With Church

by Ed Galisewski

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Life is a journey, and author Ed Galisewski has been taking some big steps of late. He writes not as a theologian, but as an everyday guy, a “Joe Palooka” with a “view from the pew.” He tells, earnestly and frankly, about his trek away from denominationalism and where he is at on that journey. We need a simpler faith, he insists, brushing away all the dross until we’re back to the basics.

To be honest, Ed is convinced about many things that I am not. He claims to be a Christian, I claim to be a Christian, yet we don’t agree on even the basics. Here’s the funny thing: I can’t tell whether I’m ahead of Ed on the journey or whether he’s ahead of me! Maybe we’re just on different journeys.

Regardless, I enjoyed the glimpse at another man’s struggle with church, even as I realize I can’t relate to the direction the journey has carried Ed. His new opinion of how to get back to basics means stripping back to C-S-G … Creator, Savior, Guide (you may note the relation to the persons of the Trinity). Although he presents this as the solution to everyone’s church problems, this strategy doesn’t quite work for me. I stand in awe at the wonder of life and the universe, yet the role of a creator in all this remains pure speculation in my mind. I stand in awe at the unselfish sacrifice Jesus made, yet I don’t share Ed’s view of what we need to be saved from. He mentions talking with a rabbi and being astonished that this rabbi felt no need for a savior. As a conservative Christian, Galisewski naturally thinks that everybody recognizes themselves as a horrible sinner in need of being saved. As an example, at least three times, Galisewski bemoans the way men’s minds work, once making reference to a study that shows that men’s thoughts turn to sex about 30 or 40 times an hour. Oh, what evil beings we are for harboring within us that incredible, bewildering, life-giving chemical reaction that transformed homo sapiens into an evolutionary success! We shouldn’t be celebrating the miracle of life, we should be condemning it! Save us from this life-giving evil!

OK, I’m being dramatic, but the point is, Christians won’t see eye-to-eye on even what Galisewski considers “the basics” … and we shouldn’t! We are complex, thinking, environmentally-driven individuals with differing spiritual needs, so Ed’s solution isn’t universal, but it IS a good one! Ed advises taking a break from our church, stepping outside its “business plan” to think things through. It’s a scary thing to do … questioning long-held traditions and perhaps even embracing other rituals and worship atmospheres, but he’s surely right that this will contribute to our spiritual growth. Ed despises exclusivity, encouraging Christians to see across denominational lines.

Here’s the bottom line: While the differences of opinion between Ed and I are legion, he appeals to me as a person I would very much enjoy conversing with about Christianity. His approach is respectful and humble, and he and I could learn from one another. What we have within these pages is an everyman’s sincere struggle to be more Godly. Read his book for an insight into what worked for one man and his closest friends. ( )
  DubiousDisciple | Jul 4, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0983328021, Paperback)

Are you planning to leave your church? Maybe you'd like to, but you feel stuck. You're not alone--millions of people, especially men, are fleeing their churches or mentally checking out. Ed Galisewski offers a witty, hard-hitting view from the pew as only a "Joe Palooka" from Jersey can. Galisewski pulls back the curtain on the divisive nature of denominationalism and spiritual abuse in many churches and encourages pastors and lay people alike to return to the simple gospel of faith in a Creator, Savior, and Guide. He says you might even need to take a temporary break from church while you heal and reconnect with God. But don't stay away--when you're ready, reconnect with a faith community and bring a simpler faith back to the Church.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:09:59 -0400)

"Are you planning to leave your church? Maybe you'd like to, but you feel stuck. You're not alone--millions of people, especially men, are fleeing their churches or mentally checking out. Ed Galisewski offers a witty, hard-hitting view from the pew as only a "Joe Palooka" from Jersey can. Galisewski pulls back the curtain on the divisive nature of denominationalism and spiritual abuse in many churches and encourages pastors and lay people alike to return to the simple gospel of faith in a Creator, Savior, and Guide. He says you might even need to take a temporary break from church while you heal and reconnect with God. But don't stay away--when you're ready, reconnect with a faith community and bring a simpler faith back to the Church." --Jacket.… (more)

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