A Simpler Faith: Hope for People Struggling with Church
by Ed Galisewski
Ed Galisewski spent many years looking for the ideal place to practice his faith only to realize that ideal place may not exist—at least not in today’s judgmental, exclusionary, and highly fractured church environment. Pained by the competition he saw between churches, the arrogance of many Christian groups who believe ‘their way’ is the ‘right way,’ and the willingness of so many Christians to judge others who don’t practice their faith in the same way, Galisewski was about ready to leave the church altogether.
Instead, he started talking to fellow believers—often, through men’s groups he helped to organize—and realized he wasn’t alone. “Almost everyone I spoke with acknowledged that the us-versus-them mentality was having a negative effect on their relationship with God,” he explains. In response, Galisewski went to work researching the causes of this divisiveness and what might be done about it. His conclusion: that every believer has a role to play in returning Christianity to its loving roots.
A Simpler Faith: Hope for People Struggling with Church is Galisewski’s impassioned call for believers to return to a simpler, more personal relationship with God. The book, which begins with Galisewski’s own story, details all the various ways well-intentioned churches have begun to alienate Christians both inside and outside their congregations. Galisewski then reveals the concrete steps readers can take right now, in their own churches, to once again begin to practice Christianity the way Christ did—with love, compassion, inclusion, and a strong sense of community among all believers.
Unlike other books on contemporary Christianity, which tend to be written by theologians, A SIMPLER FAITH is written from the perspective of a well-informed and deeply concerned lay person. As a result, this is not a book about dogma, but a book about how to live with the kind of integrity Christ himself espoused.
From A Simpler Faith:
“I spent most of my adult years bothered by something: Whenever I saw genuine passion for God in somebody from another denomination, I was surprised by it! That may sound arrogant – and, in reality, it is. But I had the typical evangelical mindset. It says, “I’m the one with the proper essentials of the Christian faith.” So I was floored by the vibrant faith of anyone operating outside my set of beliefs. … It always caused me to marvel. If our basic views differed so much – if these other folks were “missing the mark,” in Paul’s words – how could they enjoy a close, rewarding relationship with the Lord?”
“No matter where you are in regard to church, I want something important for you. I want freedom for every man who has walked away from church but still believes in God. Freedom to explore again the reality of a Creator, Savior, and Guide – and to let his faith journey to develop from there. … And I want something for both types of men – churched or de-churched – all of whom have been turned off by manmade elements of organized religion. For all of these men, I want to offer a path back to real community in God.”
“For centuries, humans have used distinctives to add and subtract from God’s message. It’s a dysfunction that has existed since the time of Christ. Meanwhile, the problem multiplies with every church that splinters, with every offshoot from a denomination. And it has reached an apex today. All those non-churchgoing masses are proof of how dysfunctional we’ve become. So how do we move forward in any fruitful way?”
Praise for A Simpler Faith:
“Ed has lived in the trenches with people who have become injured or disillusioned with professional religion. He calls everyone to return to the heart of faith which was the part of our spiritual lives that resonated in the first place. A Simpler Faith will make you laugh, cry, and long for renewal.”
-Brian Boone, Senior Pastor, Edmonds, Washington
“What Galisewski proposes is that believers return to a simpler, more personal relationship with Christ. He begins with his own story, and then presents all the counterproductive ways well-intentioned churches alienate Christians both inside and outside their congregations. He follows that by concrete steps his readers can take right now, in their own churches to again begin practicing Christianity the way Jesus did—with love, compassion, inclusion, with a strong sense of community among all believers.”
-Jim Miller, Pastor, Vineyard Church Nacogdoches
“Faith can at time seem so confusing. “A Simpler Faith” is a to the point discussion on faith from an everyday ‘Joe Palooka’ in his words, as he seeks to inspire faith in those who may have been turned away from their faith in recent times. Encouraging faith in Christ, instead of the denominationalism and other things that get in the way of the message, he hopes to help those who are at the end of their rope, and advises them on how they can change it for the better. “A Simpler Faith” is a strong pick for those who are strongly contemplating abandoning the church.
-James A. Cox, Midwest Book Review
“Pastors, this is not a feel-good book. This is not a doctrinal treatise. This is a distress letter from Joe Public, asking hard questions from the pew. What are the essentials of faith, and do we hold to those essentials at the expense of the Unity of the Body? Prepare yourself. You will not
agree with everything. You will be challenged by much of it. But you will be compelled to hear what our loved ones in the pew are saying.”
—Skip Rice, Director of Development/Morning Host, Power and Light Radio, KTLF-Light Praise
“Ed Galisewski has written a book that reflects the cry of his heart. He longs for Christians who’ve been damaged in churches to find healing and a way back to their God who is their Creator, Savior and Guide. Lamenting the fact that the Church is too divided, too denominationally arrogant, too much caught up in the ‘Us vs. Them’ wars, Ed calls for Christians to humble themselves (especially Pastors) and come together around the cross.
He wants Christians of all walks to celebrate what we have in common and live respectfully and humbly together where we differ. This way we can demonstrate the love of Christ to each other and to a world much in need of God’s grace. A Simpler Faith will be a welcome encouragement to people who find themselves, for whatever reason, estranged from their church, angry at God, and not sure how to heal.”
—Rev. Duane Cory, Sr. Pastor, Deer Creek Church
“Something’s missing, but I don’t know what it is! That’s the nagging question that many believers have deep in their souls. Their faith is real, they want to grow but somehow feel a sense of flatness regarding their local church. Often these believers know something is missing but find it difficult to even verbalize the questions. Ed Galisewski in his book, A Simpler Faith, gives voice to the questions that will resonate with those serious about their journey of faith and looking for something more”
— Harv Powers, Ph.D., Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Leadership Consultant
“I so appreciate Ed’s candor, directness and vulnerability in taking on this subject! He says what needs to be said and provokes healthy thought. This book will cause us to take a look at our current state of worship in an honest and sincere way.”
—Paul Meriweather, CEO,