Hi everyone, I’m Matt from Norfolk in the UK. I’m married to Selina and we have 3 teenage children. I work part time as a hospital doctor (physician/ophthalmologist) and part time as a pastor/evangelist. I’m really interested in apologetics, particularly where the science/religion debate touches on health/disease. How do people as whole persons experience and foster health? What makes us sick? How can we heal? I studied a MA in theology, spirituality and health a couple of years ago - it was fascinating! I’m interested in all of the discussion threads here and hope to contribute along the way. Many blessings to you! Matt
Welcome aboard @matthawker. Very glad you joined. Your experiences especially in health sector will be so helpful here. And, your training certainly will be a benefit to all those who get an opportunity to read your posts. I look forward to reading your posts. God-bless you and your ministry.
Hi, Matt. Welcome. You have an interesting combination of professions. There are many theologians here , but also doctors like @oryn_yong. Maybe you are also interested in testimonies like this one A Modern Medical Miracle
Welcome to Connect, @matthawker! We’re glad you’ve joined us. I’m fascinated by those questions you posed. I have a number of friends in the heath field (mainly doctors and nurses), and at some point we have discussed those topics. It’s so fascinating to hear their perspectives! I myself am a Theology & Counselling student at the moment, and feel like those three threads (theology, spirituality, and health) are prominent in my own life. Looking forward to interacting with you in conversation out on the forum!
It’s great to meet you, @matthawker! I’m glad you’re here and I look forward to your contributions. The human body has always amazed me. I had a basic overview of human anatomy, in particular the brain and nervous system. This was part of my training as a drug and alcohol counselor. But, even having a rudimentary knowledge of the brain and nervous systems has impressed upon me how fearfully and wonderfully we are made; not to mention how infinitely intelligent our Creator is! Again, it’s wonderful to make your aquatence!
Yes there is not a likely medical explanation for healing like that from Devic’s disease. Surely nothing is impossible for God! And we get to call him Abba, Father. I love to collect testimonies like this. I hope to present some at a medical conference one day with the inviting question “Does God heal when we pray?”
Good to meet you too Kathleen. Your studies sound fascinating! There are several interactions between Christian thoughts and modern mental health care I am pondering. The big one of course is is our mind equal to our brain? My studies in lifestyle medicine has helped me understand all the facets of human life can impact on mood and thoughts disorders. The foods we eat can influence neurotransmitter balances. Our patterns of sleep have an impact. The role of physical activity in promoting mental well-being is well known and also of course how social and relational environment. I believe modern mental health care would benefit patience by attending to the best of the scientific knowledge in all these areas. This also promotes self efficacy which is important for well-being. Fundamentally I think the biblical understanding of personhood underlines the importance importance of a whole person approach. I would love to know your thoughts on the role of the daemonic and mental illness. Much of Satan’s activity in the world seems to be getting us to believe things that are not true - there’s no hope, you’re worthless, you will always suffer this etc. Your studies in theology and counselling will equip you to bring truth into client’s lives, whether overtly biblically or not. Many blessings, matt
I’m curious if you are familiar with the book “The China Study” by T. Colin Campbell, PhD and Thomas M. Campbell II, MD., and if so what are your thoughts on it ? I recently made the decision to begin eating only plant-based foods for various reasons, but mainly because the evidence seems so overwhelming for the connection between nutrition and holistic health. I do believe we should all be good stewards in all aspects of our lives, even by taking care of our earthly bodies (although my choice is usually considered extreme, but I have certain health related issues, so for me personally it works).
Yes to so many of these things you have just mentioned!
Have you seen @Sharon_Dirckx’s new book (due out 1 May), Am I Just My Brain? [https://www.thegoodbook.co.uk/am-i-just-my-brain] I’ve appreciated a number of her lectures on brain and consciousness, etc.
Agreed! We spent a bit of lecture time critiquing the ‘medical model’, which tends to only diagnose and address surface issues. It tends to do pretty well at keeping people alive, but it doesn’t have much to say about other aspects of healing…and maybe it’s not meant to.
As far as the demonic and mental illness, I don’t have much to offer at present. I have charismatic friends who are more ‘in tune’ with the spiritual realm, and they’ve testified to seeing a number of demons cast out of people and have witnessed the relief and freedom that comes afterward. I myself have yet to encounter such things. But I do not doubt that we have an enemy who wages war on the whole person, esp. the mental faculties!
Interesting and thought-provoking questions. As a healthcare provider myself, I often find myself at a crossroads between “faith” and “medicine”. With the technological advances we have now, the spiritual aspect of life is gradually being rejected.
But I think it’s time to bring back a holistic approach to healthcare – reintegrating faith in Jesus and healthcare. I thank God I work in a faith-based health institution.
Welcome Mr Matthawker.
Looking forward to having a great time with you.