Practical theological lessons from the United Kingdom 1999-2001
Didsbury Village (Greater Manchester)
Practical theological lessons from the United Kingdom 1999-2001
I lived in Manchester from 1999-2001, and began my MPhil/PhD research degrees. I lost my academic appointment in the PhD program at Manchester as my advisor was away in Germany for a year, and his replacement stated that I had to change my theological views from Christian to secular in order to pass. In order to pass I basically would have had to stop writing that God was completely sovereign and yet the problem of evil existed.
I attempted to transfer to a Nazarene Christian college affiliated with Manchester, but that was forbidden to occur by Manchester. I soon quit and signed with Wales, Cardiff and started my MPhil thesis, but then eventually moved back to Maple Ridge in Greater Vancouver, from Manchester, to save money.
At Manchester, I was persecuted for my theological, philosophical, academic beliefs, and yet by God’s leading, I did not cave in, in order to eventually pass at Manchester. One must realize that there was no guarantee that another University such as Wales would sign me on. I eventually had to transfer from Wales, Cardiff to Wales, Bangor when my new advisor changed jobs, and then to Wales, Lampeter with a new advisor for my PhD, as my MPhil advisor was too busy to assist me any further. I have had a second new PhD advisor as well.
It is very difficult to find both a University and advisor to work with at a PhD level.
In the end, I have been able to write MPhil and PhD theses that state a belief in the sovereignty of the Biblical God through a sovereignty theodicy, and that the atoning work and resurrection of Christ and his culminated Kingdom is the remedy to the problem of evil. Even though the theses do not contain everything I would like to state, the theses essentially represent my views.
I learned that although God has given me the intellectual ability to pass MPhil and PhD theses, my passing or failing is primarily up to God. If God would not have found me the right advisors after Manchester, no amount of God given theological, philosophical, and Biblical academic intellect would have allowed me to be in the position of almost having a PhD as I do now.
I remain God’s child.
A less than fully supportive academic advisor at Trinity Western University had stated that Britain had basically abandoned the Christian faith. Although this is basically true, I was surprised how many Christians I met in Manchester. I made some Christian friends that were a great moral support to me, and I am thankful.
I became quite depressed in Manchester, not suicidal (AT ALL), but depressed. I would pray sometimes eight hours a day. I had no work to do, no daily relationships, no suitable Christian women to meet (to perhaps have an opportunity of a fuller social life with family potential) and unknown health problems, one of which was undiagnosed sleep apnea, which can lead to depression. I learned that I would to do further research on romantic relationships and that many women (and men) within the evangelical church take a rather secular approach to dating, and I would need to learn the 'game' . Basically I reason, for most evangelical women, having studied and dedicated myself to the Lord means zero in regard to romantic consideration.
The serious sleep apnea I have was not diagnosed until 2004. Here is another lesson, two good friends, both with Master’s degrees suggested I be medicated for my depression, but that would have been a major mistake, as my depression was not likely primarily caused by my circumstances, but by my serious sleep apnea remaining unknown and untreated. I refused to consider drugs and prayed through my problems to a large degree. As well with my severe allergies, which my British GP refused to treat with injections stating they were too dangerous, my fatigue level was high, but apnea was the main factor with fatigue. I have been on injections since 2002 here and they helped me moderately.
sleep apnea can cause depression
Sleep apnea can cause symptoms of apparent clinical depression which may respond quickly to treatment of the sleep disorder. A knowledge of the intellectual and emotional impact of sleep apnea may be important in making a correct differential diagnosis. Unfortunately, many physicians, psychiatrists, and psychologists may be unaware of this connection which may lead to apparent symptoms of depression. If there is a possibility that a patient's depression is caused by sleep apnea, they should undergo evaluation and, if necessary, receive treatment for their sleep disorder. In addition, people with sleep apnea may need support in addressing emotional aspects of treatment and recovery. Informed, trained therapists can provide essential therapy and support to the patient and the patient's family in the recovery process.
sleep-disorders and depression
Sleep Apnea and Depression
The National Sleep Foundation press release reports that:
People with depression are five times more likely to have a breathing-related sleep disorder than non-depressed people, according to a study at the Stanford University School of Medicine. The study is the first to show a link between depression and sleep apnea along with its related disorders.
Which comes first?
The report tells us:
It remains unclear whether depression occurred before or after sleep apnea, and to what extent sleep apnea contributes to the maintenance or aggravation of depression. Ohayon said the link between treating sleep apnea syndrome and the evolution of depressive disorders needs further investigation. He hopes physicians will consider the association between the disorders and depression when treating depressed patients. "Once people have their sleep apnea recognized, there is a lot we can do to help them," he said.
People with depression are five times more likely to have a breathing-related sleep disorder than non-depressed people, according to a study at the School of Medicine. The study is the first to show a link between depression and sleep apnea along with its related disorders.
Although it remains unclear how the conditions are linked, Maurice Ohayon, MD, PhD, said his study should encourage physicians to test depressed patients for this type of sleep disorder.
I hope to have my jaw moved forward 12 mm, which will cure my sleep apnea 99%.
However, I first need to find a way to cover an $8, 000 orthodontic bill, as I need to wear braces for one year prior to having my mandible and maxilla bones moved forward 12 mm.
Certainly, my depression in Manchester would have been substantially less if my sleep apnea and allergies had been properly treated. As of yet, my sleep apnea has never been properly treated. The CPAP breathing machine I purchased has helped somewhat in providing energy and helping me to trim down slightly.
I remain God’s child, as God is in control. I will only be healthy if God wills it.
Theologically, I learned practically concerning the problem of evil and theodicy. Theodicy is defined as:
The aspect of theology concerned with defending God and his goodness and omnipotence, in a world where suffering and evil exist. Blackburn (1996: 375).
Robert M. Adams notes that the word theodicy is from the Greek, as theos is God and dike is justice. Theodicy is a defence of the justice of God in the face of objections arising from the problem of evil in the world. Adams (1996: 794).
Contrary to what many would assume, my academic findings concerning the problem of evil and theodicy, paralleled my practical theological findings in life. My sovereignty theodicy not only made sense to me academically, but also practically, and it still does. Suffering still exists, but at least as I am an educated child of God, I have a reasonable general concept of my suffering. I have written on the problem of evil on this blog, but mainly on thekingpin68 blog. Please check out my latest article:
I also learned that I really do enjoy watching football/soccer live, very much. It was very enjoyable and relaxing to attend Arsenal matches with Simon, and the Manchester United matches were very good, even though I went to most of them by myself. In life, escapism and entertainment in moderation, can be a gift from God.
ADAMS, ROBERT. M (1996) ‘Theodicy’, in Robert Audi (ed.), The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
BLACKBURN, SIMON (1996) Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy, Oxford, Oxford University Press.
My satirical take?
Manchester is a great place to visit, but I would not want to live there. I put my time in for two years, and miss my friends there. I look forward to visiting for a second time since leaving, this October after my PhD defence.
Manchester at the time, had the largest amount of University students in Europe. On a Friday and Saturday night there were students all over the city core and nearby. Although, Britain is a home of much fine culture, some of the diction of the students and local Mancunians, was absolutely horrid when they were drunk. Chucky came to visit, as he was working in Belgium, and one weekend night/early morning perhaps, we looked through one of my flat windows and watched a man try to hit a woman as another man intervened. Howard and I could not understand a word of the dialogue. It sounded as if the persons had shoved their mouths full of marbles and then went on a night on the town.
There is the England of wonderful artistic diction, and then there is the mouth full of marbles (and booze) England!
Manchester, Oxford Road
Manchester (photo from trekearth.com)
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