Andrew JR Parker

About me

I am a seeker of truth from a secular background, and I was previously against the Church. Since 2012 I have been a Catholic Christian following a sudden life-changing conversion. In my day job I am a psychiatrist helping adults with a range of mental health problems, including addictions.

Andrew JR Parker
@andrewjrparker

About ‘Certainty of God’

The ultimate aim of Certainty of God is to help in the salvation of souls for eternal life. The proximal aim is to raise the credibility of God’s reality and encourage seeking of God through Jesus (John 14:6). This salvation reveals God’s profoundly personal love, bringing complete forgiveness and lasting peace – the “pearl of great price” (Matthew 13:45-46).

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth

John 16:13

FAQs (‘Frequently Asked Questions’)

What is the aim of this Certainty of God website?

To make, and explain, the claim that many people have certainty about God’s existence and God’s personal relationship with them through Christ, and that this certainty is, in some cases, not only a profound subjective conviction, but also confirmed as having an objective, transcendent source.

Why have I created the site?

It is commonly thought that “no one really knows” if God is real or not, and that faith is a kind of hunch or blind commitment. This encourages agnosticism, scepticism, and apathy regarding seeking God. However, since the dawn of Christianity there have been many witnesses with certainty, and many of these have had their convictions confirmed. I encourage all to seek, for the Divine reality – the Truth –  can be known.

What is my background?

I am a psychiatrist from a secular background in the UK. I was always fascinated by the big philosophical questions of life, but I was agnostic and sceptical about God, and went astray. I studied many aspects of the mind and have degrees in psychology and philosophy of mind as well as medicine.

I was against all organised religion, partly due to my same-sex attraction. I considered the Bible a collection of out-dated myths and half-truths. That was until my own sudden, life-transforming conversion through Jesus, during Catholic Mass in Westminster Cathedral, London, My life was permanently changed from that moment.

You can listen to a podcast of my personal testimony here.

What were the precursors to my conversion?
  • Long philosophical seeking – going beyond analytical philosophy to Neoplatonism, Sufism, ascetic mysticism
  • Belief, despite resistance and uncertainty
  • Repentance – a sincere attempt to turn to God’s will, and prayers asking for assistance
  • Actions, to transform my heart, although these were small, haphazard
  • Grace – encouragements of sublime peace, and prompts

You can listen to a podcast of my personal testimony here.

How can anyone be sure that Conversion in the Holy Spirit isn’t “all in the mind”?
This key question I will be addressing in various ways through this site. There are many ways to begin answering it:

  • Natural theology – scientific & philosophical evidence for Theism, raises credence in the Holy Spirit’s reality
  • Transformative effect – the suddenness, goodness, profundity, and permanence of the change.
  • Phenomenology – “Conversion in the Holy Spirit” has a common core of specific features over 2000 years
  • Prophecy in scripture – this common core was prophetically foretold by the Old Testament prophets and by Jesus.
  • Prophetic content – the Holy Spirit often brings gifts of knowledge that confirm the transcendent, Divine source.

I will be exploring these, and other perspectives, in the Blog Essays. Please Subscribe for updates.

Haven’t mystical experiences been explained away by neuroscience?

Some mystical experiences (only some aspects of) have been shown to have neural correlates, and can be induced artificially. This does not mean, however, that no mystical experiences have a transcendent, Divine cause. It is unlikely that neuroscience will ever causally explain mystical experience in entirety all the while that neuroscience cannot create artificial conscious minds like ours.

How can a rational Psychiatrist with scientific training believe these things?
Psychiatrists frequently witness religious delusions in their work, which encourages scepticism about all religious claims. The dominant paradigm in psychiatric brain science is scientific materialism – the worldview that everything, including the mind, is ultimately physical and nothing more. Thus, it is no surprise that Psychiatrists are more atheistic or agnostic than the general population.

However, as many philosophers and scientists now realise, the worldview of scientific materialism is on very shaky ground. I believe it is false. Many also realise that a careful assessment of evidence shows greater pointers towards Theism than Atheism. A highly regarded atheist philosopher, Anthony Flew, came to this conclusion after lifelong study. (See: There Is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind, by Anthony Flew, 2009). When properly understood, there is no conflict between science and faith.

How are your religious beliefs different to religious delusions?
There are many ways to answer this question. I like to use the standards of the three transcendentals of being – truth, beauty, goodness (Plato, Neoplatonists, Aquinas). My conversion led to instant and lasting effects which include:

  • Living more virtuously (goodness)
  • Greater capacity for love and compassion (beauty, goodness)
  • Ability to understand scripture in its spiritual meanings (truth, beauty)
  • Lasting, often sublime, peace (beauty, goodness
  • Coherence of my new understanding with Christian doctrine (truth)
How many of your psychiatric colleagues share your beliefs?

Psychiatrists who are Christian are a minority, and Catholic Psychiatrists an even smaller minority. A much larger group may believe in a God of some kind, or at least are very open. I think only a minority are actively religious. A sizeable group of Psychiatrists lean towards atheism and the worldview of scientific materialism or naturalism.

However, despite this diversity of worldview, we share values for compassionate patient-centred care, and that is what really matters in the clinic, not the psychiatrist’s personal beliefs.

What do you hope non-believers will take away from this site?
  • Increased curiosity about Jesus
  • Increased curiosity about Christian conversion
  • Greater desire to seek God
  • Pointers on how to seek God
  • Peace and hope
What do you hope believers will take away from this site?
  • Inspiration for your own Christian journey
  • Resources to deepen understanding of Faith, Reason & Revelation
  • Enthusiasm for evangelisation mission
  • Desire to engage to improve this site
What barriers do you see to people accepting the Gospel message these days?
  • Ignorance of Jesus Christ beyond simple or superficial messages
  • Belief that no-one can know if God is real or not
  • Worldly thinking, opposed to God, which makes us spiritually blind
  • Unattractive, unconvincing image of the Church, partly from scandals and hypocrisy
  • Ignorance of the true riches and holiness within the Church
  • Preferring comfort to self-sacrifice (conversion often occurs when we become ready for self-sacrifice)
  • Lack of visible Christian witnesses who demonstrate the fruits of the Holy Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
Are you open for discussion?
Yes, very much so. I encourage active engagement. Other commitments will determine how frequently I can respond, but I will endeavour to respond to all serious questions. Please Subscribe for updates. I would love to hear your responses and suggestions via the Contact page. You can also engage with me on Twitter @andrewjrparker
Are you open to guest contributions to your blog?
Yes. This could range from full blog articles, perhaps offering a counter-point or original perspective. Or they could be questions or objections concerning points I have made. For proposed articles I will give priority to those that are well-written, clear, and respectful of others. Please Subscribe if you wish to contribute and send in your proposal via the Contact page.
How frequently will you post a new blog article?
I aim for fortnightly, but monthly at minimum. These will vary in length and sophistication, and cover a broad range of topics. If you subscribe you will be notified of new essay posts.
Is certainty concerning God essential?
No. Faith, and growing in faith, is far more important than having certainty.

I have more uncertainties regarding God and the afterlife than I have certainties. I engage through faith. But I am still certain, beyond reasonable doubt, that God is real and Jesus the Way, and the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6).

Statement regarding psychiatry, faith, and religion

This site is deliberately separate from my professional site as a psychiatrist. There must be a separation of the two, given the need for neutrality in my clinical work. My Christian perspective leads me to respect the varying philosophical, religious, and non-religious world views of all.