Edward was born and raised in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He graduated with a degree in chemistry from Queen’s University in 1962, and moved to Manchester University (England) to the dental school as a junior faculty member in Dental Biomaterials. He spent some 30 years there, acquiring two research doctorates, and had two spells as a visiting faculty member at Northwestern University in Chicago. He is married to Isobel, whom he met in Manchester. They have two daughters and two grandchildren in England. Edward was a licensed lay reader for 20 years in the Church of England, and then studied part time for ordination on the Northern Ordination Course (Manchester). He was ordained as a deacon and priest (1989 and 1990) by the bishop of Chester. In 1994 Edward and Isobel moved to Minnesota, as Edward took up a faculty position in the University of Minnesota. He retired fully from that position in December 2012, after 50 years in academic life. In today’s Redeemer Journal post, Edward writes about influences in this faith, favorite books, and life in Minnesota.
There are two principal influences in my faith. In becoming a Christian I can identify with Timothy, because I was brought up by godly parents and grandparents, from whom I learned the faith, and accepted Christ.
In the developing of the Christian life, when I was an undergraduate student in Belfast, I attended Berry Street Presbyterian Church. I learned so much of the faith from the ministry of the Rev. J Glyn Owen and still have notes of many of his sermons. He preached twice each Sunday, minimum of 40 to 45 minutes each time. Hardly a week goes by without my giving thanks to God for his anointed ministry. (When he left Belfast, he went to Westminster Chapel to succeed the well-known Martyn Lloyd-Jones; subsequently he became minister of Knox Church in Toronto.)
Who are your favorite authors?
- C.S. Lewis has to be on the list. At school in Belfast, the religious instruction was based on Mere Christianity and The Screwtape Letters.
Currently I am reading and researching Charles Simeon. He was the Minister of Holy Trinity Church, Cambridge, for 54 years until his death in 1836. He left 21 volumes with “skeletons” of 2,536 sermons – part of the wealth of the “goodly heritage” of Anglicanism. His constant aims in preaching were (i) To humble the sinner, (ii) To exalt the Savior and (iii) To promote holiness. I pray that God will give me grace “so to follow his good example, that with him, I may be an inheritor of God’s eternal kingdom.”
What are some of your favorite Scriptures?
The book of Psalms has been a constant source of strength and joy. The Psalms seem to cover every human emotion and situation – guidance, rebuke, strength, counsel, joy ….
What do you like (or dislike) about Minnesota?
Isobel and I enjoy living here, so much so that we became American citizens and chose to stay here after retirement. Some likes – friendly people, open spaces, a healthier less humid atmosphere in winter. A complaint to Minnesota legislators – please spend more money on maintaining and developing infrastructure such as roads!
When have you been especially aware of God’s presence?
This happens sometimes during Bible study or sermon preparation or while listening to a sermon. Suddenly I get a new understanding of some aspect of God’s truth.
Advice for couples?
Isobel and I have been married for over 48 years. Our testimony is thankfulness to God for his remarkable guidance and providence. Advice to married couples – put God first!