This is the first in a series of interviews with bloggers who are part of The Blogdom of God. The Blogdom of God is a loose group of Blogs that identify themselves as 'God blogs'. Today's interview is with the founder of The Blogdom of God, Adrian Warnock. His self-titled blog offers a disclaimer: Opinions expressed in this blog are Adrian Warnock's alone, and do not represent the views of his church, employer or anyone else for that matter! But he doesn't seem to need a disclaimer. His posts are interesting and informative. He blogs from the UK on a variety of topics. Keep reading to see his answers to my probing and insightful questions...
Q: I see from your bio that you're a Psychiatrist, but it doesn't sound like you see patients. What led you to become one in the first place and why don't you see patients?
A: Well, I gave up seeing patients for lent last year and never started again! No seriously, I went into psychiatry because I found it the most interesting subject we studied as medical students. I love people and find them fascinating. A year ago I gave up clinical work and began to work for a pharmaceutical company.
Q: All the docs and related people I know, get tons of cool trinkets and freebies from the drug companies -- do you?
A: Well now I give them out! Actually, part of my role is to make sure that the marketers don't get too carried away with all that kind of stuff. Believe it or not the drug companies are highly regulated, and the doctors working in them have a clear responsibility to ensure that the company remains true to the science.
Q: It looks like you're also a preacher. Being a Psychiatrist and preacher at the same time is sort of a weird combination. To me it sort of seems like a Psychiatrist is a humanists' version of clergy, but then you're actually a member of clergy too. How did that come about?
A: Well the church I go to takes the theory of 'the priesthood of all
believers' seriously. People who the church recognise have a call and a gift
to do so can preach in our church, provided they are under the authority of
the local elders. One of the elders of our church is full time for the
church, and the other works in a hematology lab! Basically a very long time
ago, I believed God was calling me to preach. Other people also recognized
this in me over the years and I started being asked to preach. I've posted my Easter Sermon on the web here if you're interested in reading it. Communication
is in my bones, so I guess working in medical marketing, and prior to that
working as a psychiatrist does have that same strand running through.
I was always more of a biological psychiatrist- although I studied the various counseling techniques, I did find that as you say some of them are rather man-centred. Having said that, I think we can learn some things from what man has tried to establish by the brain God has given him. One psych book I read stated that according to CBT we are not the product of what happens to us, but rather the product of how we respond to what happens to us. That concept seems pretty Biblical to me. Just like in any area, Christians need to excercise discernment.
Q: Are you affiliated with any particular church or denomination? (Which one? and why)
A: My church is Jubilee Church, it has a website at www.jubilee-church.org We are members of the UK Evangelical Alliance and a part of a family of churches called New Frontiers. They also have a website at www.newfrontiers.xtn.org. New Frontiers is unusual in that it holds to reformed doctrine and the charismatic experience of the Holy Spirit. I have seen too many churches that either blow up or dry up without that combination. I was fortunate enough to grow up in a church in this family, but spent several years outside it due to geography, and eventually I was very glad to return. Many of my sermons at this church are posted online here. We are a very relationship-oriented group. You may have heard of our music as'Stoneliegh Music'- this was the name of a bible week we used to run.
Q: It sounds like you have a decent sized family. How has that affected you in terms of being a Psychiatrist and Preacher?
A: I get to practice lots of both in the home!!! Not to mention the pharmacotherapy.... No seriously, work/church/family balance is crucial for all of us. My wife says that she likes the fact that I sometimes get to work from home these days, even though I have to travel a bit. (I will be in the states twice before the summer!).
Q: What single message, if any, would you like people to take away from your
A: Gee thats a hard one.... It would have to be the gospel, but I have to say I don't blog directly about that in its simplest sense very often! I want people to interact with what I hope is one Christian's mind on display and take what makes sense to them. I genuinely started this blog for me, and I am sure I get more out of it than any of my readers! It helps me to organise my thoughts and random quotes that I come across.
Q: Favorite anti-depressant? (If it isn't an SSRI you have some 'splaining to do.)
A: Can I plead the fifth on that as I no longer use them, and as an employee
of a big pharma such an endorsement would be potentially a conflict of
interests. I would make the point though, that the most effective, and best
tolerated drug for an individual should be used- irrespective of the cost.
Q: What is the theological issue that perplexes you the most?
A: That would have to be the issue of suffering, including the suffering of Christ. Making sense of it all is a lifetime's challenge, and provided we include the suffering caused by our own sin, is probably the main theological task of any Christian. The cross means that God can turn terrible suffering round for good. Really accepting that and the implications of Jesus' death is still mind-boggling. Making sense of mankinds suffering in the light of Christ's ought to then be easy- but it isn't!
Q: Much of Western Europe has rejected Christianity in favor of Post-Modernism. Countries in Africa and China are actually sending missionaries. What's the spiritual climate like right now in the UK?
A: The church is in decline. Many established churches are closing. The Anglican movement expect to close another 1000 churches. Meanwhile there are over 1000 mosques, and Islam is often portrayed in a very positive way in the media. There is great interest, though, in the Alpha course, and lively churches are growing fast. Our own group of churches are believing God for 1000 churches within our family of churches in the UK and are seeing a measure of success in church planting.
Q: If you've been to the USA, what is your favorite place?
A: Well I have only been once so far and that was to San Francisco. I definitely left a little bit of my heart under the golden gate bridge in a helicopter! I look forward to New York and Arizona this year though.
Q: If a visitor from the USA could visit only one place in the UK, where would you recommend?
A: Well London, I guess, if you wanted the sites, the sounds, the history, culture and entertainment. If you want to get away from it all and bask in beautiful landscape (in the rain!) then it has to be the highlands of Scotland.
Q: Has blogging changed your perspective on anything?
A: I feel much more connected with the world out there (especially American Christians!) I don't always understand it, and occasionally the misunderstandings get me into trouble, but yes it has certainly shrunk my world.
Q: What led you to start blogging in the first place?
A: I just wanted somewhere to organise my thoughts online that I could access from any PC. I was honestly surprised (although pleased I will admit!) when I realised some people might want to actually read my waffle.
Q: Which blogs do you consistently read? (and why?)
A: I scan the Blogdom of God aggregator every day, and an aggregator of UK blogs. I guess that for now I have settled into mainly blogging into the Christian community, and so I follow those blogs. Someday I would like to do a Josh Claybourn and engage with a wider audience, but for now I am content with reading and blogging about mostly Christian blogs.
Q: It seems the vast majority of bloggers are Americans. What are some cultural differences that you've noticed between Americans and Brits?
A: Lets just say the old saying that the Brits and Americans are a people divided by a common language is true!
Q: Is there anything else you'd like to say?
A: Thanks for interviewing me!
Be sure to check Adrian's blog regularly.Posted by jdmays at April 6, 2004 01:01 AM | TrackBack