Posted by Pastoral Musings on 24th March 2010
Thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions about yourself and your new book , Raised With Christ.
First of all, tell us a little about yourself. We know that you are nearing forty years of age and are a medical doctor as well as a preacher. Beyond that, I know very little about you other than this book and your blog ( http://adrianwarnock.com ). Perhaps you could tell us a little of your background, how you came to Christ, and how you as a medical doctor became a minister of the Cross.
I grew up in a Christian home. My grandfather was a tent preacher and we were told stories of God’s miraculous provision for his family. One Easter I asked my father why Good Friday was called “good” if it was the day Jesus died. He explained the gospel, and after saying “but why isn’t it “Good Sunday” and “Bad Friday”, I made a response. By God’s grace I have never really looked back. I somehow instinctively knew that without the resurrection the cross could not be good news.
This makes your question about being a “minister of the cross” interesting. In fact that phrase is not a biblical one as far as I can tell. The Apostles were, instead, described as witnesses of the resurrection. Indeed, unlike most preachers today their sermons assumed the cross and emphasized the glorious good news that Jesus is risen.
Over the last fifteen years I have gradually become more and more involved in serving in the leadership team of my local church and preaching regularly. All my training has been on the job and via day release courses. Even today I am not full-time in church work.
What is your main goal in life?
As John Piper puts adjusted an old statement, “the chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying him forever.” As a practical expression of that, I want to be faithful with the voice that it seems God has given me and to be a good influence in the body of Christ. More importantly, however, I want to do the best by my family. The following phrase provokes me, although I am not sure I always live by it sufficiently: “What would it profit a man if he gained the whole world, but lost his family?” If you want to pray for me, please pray that I will be a better husband and father.
Give a little glimpse into the events that led to Raised With Christ.
A few years ago I became very involved in a significant argument that was taking place in the UK about the meaning of the cross. I found that I was not at all convinced by most of what the opponents of penal substitution were saying. There was one thing that stood out, however, as being more difficult to simply dismiss. People like me who still believe that Jesus was punished for our sins were accused of neglecting the resurrection. Actually, I now think that this neglect is pretty universal. Ever since the Reformation we have argued about what the cross means. Rarely has anyone explored fully the implications of the resurrection. When I was then asked to preach on Easter Sunday 2007, I began to study the resurrection seriously and realized that there were relatively few books written on the subject. I began to wonder if I should help address that lack.
Would you give us a brief overview of what you have to say in this book?
I begin by talking about the biblical events, and outline the reasons we can be confident that Christ rose again. I then move on to addressing the doctrinal and experiential implications of Christ’s resurrection, and showing how it really does change everything.
Can you give us a little glimpse into what you wish your readers to gain from Raised With Christ?
If my book leads people to refocus on Jesus’ resurrection and what it means for us, my job will be done. I believe it is time for us to restore the resurrection to its rightful place at the very heart of our reading, thinking, sharing the gospel, and preaching. The Apostles always emphasized the resurrection when they were preaching in the book of Acts, and did so to such an extent that it seemed they were almost assuming the resurrection. We do the exact opposite today. Spurgeon argued that as a direct result of this neglect, we see fewer people becoming Christians.
Once Raised with Christ is released, do you have other books planned?
Well, let’s see if enough people buy this one! I do have a lot of other responsibilities in life, but am certainly open to how the Lord’s purposes might unfold in the future.
Adrian, thank you very much for taking the time to give us a brief look into your life and theology. Let us pray that the resurrection of our Lord Jesus will indeed be appreciated more by us all, and that Raised With Christ will be of great help to all who read it.
Amen to that. There really is no subject that is more important for us to think and read about. I do hope my book will encourage people to read some the other books on this central foundation of our faith also. I really believe that we cannot be truly cross-centered without also being empty-grave centered!