Sunday, November 13, 2011

Meet a Reader: Andrew Bland, MD, MBA

I'm delighted to feature this month a local physician-leader and very busy person, Dr. Andrew Bland.   Thanks, Andy, for agreeing to share your love of books with Catholic Post readers!

How you know me:

Until August, I was a partner at Illinois Kidney and Hypertension; in August, I became the Chief Medical Officer at Proctor Healthcare.  My wife Melissa and I have three daughters; we attend St. Anthony’s Parish in Bartonville.  I also have the honor of serving on the Board of Trustees for Limestone Fire Protection District.

Why I love reading:

 Reading gives you a chance to look into the author’s mind and gain a different perspective on the world.  Reading relaxes me.  I love reading multiple books at the same time; it is like having ongoing e-mail conversations with different friends.

What I’m reading now:

Great By Choice by Jim Collins- How great companies and people survive in chaotic times.    Dear and Glorious Physician by Taylor Caldwell:  a fictional history of the live and conversion of St. Luke.  The Everlasting Man by G.K. Chesterton: a witty and paradoxical book that examines the history of man and Christ from a Christian perspective in rebuttal to H.G. Wells Outline of History.  This was the book that converted my favorite author, C.S. Lewis, to Christianity.

My favorite book:

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis.  This one title systematically disarmed every single concern I had about being a Christian.  Until I read this book, I was lukewarm about my faith.  The quote below literally scared the hell out of me (I don’t enjoy visiting dentists):

“Now, if I may put it that way, Our Lord is like the dentists. If you give Him an inch, He will take an ell. Dozens of people go to Him to be cured of some one particular sin which they are ashamed of (like masturbation or physical cowardice) or which is obviously spoiling daily life (like bad temper or drunkenness). Well, He will cure it all right: but He will not stop there. That may be all you asked; but if once you call Him in, He will give you the full treatment.”

I was not sure I wanted the “full treatment;” just an increased sense of peace, so I put the book aside for a time.  The compelling logical explanation of what it means to be a Christian brought me back to start the “full treatment”.    

And this quote from Mere Christianity is likely my favorite quote from any book: 

I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

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