Brock chaplain’s new book offers new approach to Christianity

Brock Chaplain David Galston has released a new book called Embracing the Human Jesus. A release event for the book will be held on campus Nov. 14.

Brock Chaplain David Galston has released a new book called Embracing the Human Jesus. A release event for the book will be held on campus Nov. 14.

The Christian Jesus “deserves a demotion, to be taken down from the altar of divinity and regarded as human,” says Rev. David Galston, ecumenical chaplain for the Anglican, Presbyterian, United and Unitarian churches at the Brock University Faith and Life Centre.

In his new book, Embracing the Human Jesus-A Wisdom Path for Contemporary Christianity, Galston argues that for Christians to be true followers it is “sadly almost necessary to leave the institution of Christianity and rediscover the relevant human Jesus and his wisdom.”

He suggests that it is time for Christianity to move away from the version of Jesus as the divine, apocalyptic prophet who will clean up the world in the end times as the Son of Man and move towards a Jesus who was human like the rest of us, with wisdom and insight to share.

The soft-cover book, published by Polebridge Press, “focuses on the humanity of Jesus out of respect for him,” says Galston. “I can’t imagine that Jesus would be happy with the way he’s regarded today. Jesus has been hijacked by extremists. In general, all religions have been hijacked by extremists.”

Galston says the integration of heart and mind has always been a part of Christianity. What’s changed, he adds, is that our contemporary understanding of the world is much different than that of antiquity when the Bible was written.

“Jesus was a first-century Galilean Jewish peasant and his life and voice belong to that time. We don’t live in that era and our lives have a different context.”

Despite the passing of centuries, Galston believes that the wisdom of Jesus as a human being is still relevant. “The wisdom tradition is secular, it is humanist. It breaks free of the confines of institutional religion. There is a need for humanity to grow up religiously with a contemporary knowledge base.”

Recognizing the historical, human Jesus can be liberating, says Galston, because followers encounter someone who is realistic and relevant, allowing them to find a new way to move forward.

“If Christianity cannot come to grips with itself as a human creation, then I can’t see how Christianity will have any relevance. There is no answer in the sky. The answer lies in our collective histories and cultures and humanity.”

There will be a campus launch event for the book on Nov. 14 from 2 to 3 p.m. in the Community Meeting Place (R208) in DeCew Residence. The Faith and Life Centre will provide refreshments.

Posted on November 5, 2012

7 Comments

  1. Sorry Rev. Galaton, Jesus was indeed human BUT also Devine. He didn’t / doesn’t give you the option to ignore His Divinity. Christianity without the Devine Jesus is NOT Christianity. As someone who claims to be a Christian you should know better.

  2. Clare Stollery says:

    I agree with Paul. Jesus was human, but he was also fully God as well, Colossians 2:9 says, “For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form.” This verse clearly states this fact. If Jesus was human, but not God,
    then He would have been imperfect, and thus unable to atone for the sins of the world, by dying on the Cross, which is the root of Christianity. Without Jesus, we are left with no hope, as we cannot save ourselves. The answer lies with Jesus, and his redeeming grace. If you look at the world,and the tanking economy, and violence, and divorce rates, it is clear that human efforts always fail, but the only One who will never fail is Jesus, the Son of God.

  3. Zack says:

    How dare this man attempt to inject some common sense and practicality into religion! That is blasphemy!

  4. George Bush says:

    @ Paul, for someone who claims to be christian, you should know how to spell divine.

  5. Cameron Arenburg says:

    The heresy of Arianism is not new, therefore this supposed reverend has not brought anything new to the table. Certainly if Arianism is true, Jesus was both a liar and a bad person, since He claimed divinity numerous times saying I and the Father are one, ‘I am’ etc. The Bible is the eyewitness account of Jesus’s life on this earth and according to church history many of the church fathers died for this Truth. Who would suffer death for a lie or something that was irrelevant to the Christian dogma?
    ‘Jesus has been hijacked by extremists. In general, all religions have been hijacked by extremists.’ This would be a mis-representation of your opposition, a straw-man. This man then sets up the opposition as extremists, this is very anti-intellectual and shows no desire to debate truth. To say that after reading exegesisly from the text is extreme is odd. I suppose we ought to denounce those who read exegesisly a science textbook, or historical accounts as extremists.

  6. Zack says:

    Cameron’s horse is so high he can’t even see the ground. What’s worse? Attacking straw men, or begging the question?

  7. Cameron Arenburg says:

    Zach there is no need to slander here, and if I misrepresented myself then I should clarify. The words I used are specific to the topic at hand, and someone should have a layman’s grasp of those terms if we’re to discuss theology if not they should acquaint themselves with the jargon. No statement made was not backed by evidence, academia acknowledges the historicity of the Bible, it acknowledges the accurate depiction of people, places, events, and cultures. It has the most abundant source data of all works of antiquity and is backed up by many investigations archaeologically, and medically etc. Galston’s main premise has already been dealt with, new ways of rephrasing it really doesn’t change anything.

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