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The 1662 Book of Common Prayer, International

Book Review The 1662 Book of Common Prayer International Edition Given that the vast majority of 110 million Anglican Christians around belong to provinces that identify the 1662 Book of Common Prayer as their standard liturgy, it is no surprise that a publisher has...

Freedoms Assailed

One of the most concerning aspects of all the Covid restrictions is the way police, politicians, and governments have acquiesced so readily regarding the restrictions being placed and enforced on freedom of speech and worship in majority Christian nations—even in a...

Free Church of England Congregation Leaves After Actions of Bishops

The Church Council & Trustees of Emmanuel Anglican Church (FCE), Tunbridge Wells have unanimously voted to leave the denomination after actions by Bishop Primus (Presiding Bishop) John Fenwick and Bishop Paul Hunt have gone unanswered. The parish was a recent...

FCE Primus Accused of Blackmail & Racism

Free Church of England Bishop Primus, The Rt Revd John Fenwick has been accused of attempted blackmail and racism in a growing public dispute within the denomination. The FCE left the Church of England in 1844 and linked with the Reformed Episcopal Church in the US...

St Vincent Update

The West Indian island nation of St Vincent & the Grenadines is still struggling with the aftermath of a series of eruptions from the La Soufriere volcano that began 9 April. Twenty-thousand residents have been displaced by the disaster. Things have become more...

Dean of Cathedral Church of the Advent in Birmingham Cites Ongoing Conflict within The Episcopal Church.

The Very Revd Andrew Pearson, Dean and Rector of the Cathedral Church of the Advent in Birmingham, Alabama has resigned. The large, downtown parish has long been a bulwark against an increasing departure from biblical standards within the Episcopal Church, USA....

Finnish Bishop-Elect Charged by Prosecutor

Finnish Bishop-Elect Charged by Prosecutor Over 2004 Booklet Supporting Biblical Teach on Sexuality FINLAND – Rev. Dr. Juhana Pohjola, Diocesan Dean and Bishop Elect of the Evangelical Lutheran Mission Diocese of Finland (ELMDF) has been charged by Finland’s...

Heidelberg Catechism

Lord’s Day 4 Q & A 9 Q. But doesn’t God do us an injustice by requiring in his law what we are unable to do? A. No, God created human beings with the ability to keep the law.1 They, however, provoked by the devil,2 in willful disobedience,3 robbed themselves and all...

Skrine Instituted as Rector of All Souls’

The Revd Charles Walter Douglas Skrine was instituted as Rector of All Souls’, Langham Place on Wednesday, 28 April. His predecessor was The Revd Hugh Palmer. Palmer had been rector of the parish since 2005 and Chaplain to HM The Queen since 2012. Skrine had been the...

‘Lockdowns’

30 April 2021 During the 3 'Lockdowns' over the past year preachers who minister the Gospel in the open air have continued to be stopped from fulfilling their ministry to the public. For example in the past 5 weeks alone we have noticed: On Saturday 20 March 2021 two...

Christianity Explored with Rico Tice

Christianity Explored with Rico Tice

Everyone uses filtering questions to get a read on someone they’re getting to know.  In Christian circles, you’ll hear a question about someone’s preferred bible translation or favourite hymns or worship songs.  Another filter question is, “Which evangelism programme does your church use?”  In the UK, the two most likely answers are Alpha or Christianity Explored and the answer tells you many things about the church member’s congregation.

Christianity Explored grew out of the work that The Revd Rico Tice was doing in his role of Minister for Evangelism at All Souls’ Langham Place.  It came after Holy Trinity, Brompton’s programme, Alpha.  Like Alpha, CE is based around a friendly model of evangelism where people share a meal and hear or watch talks intended to open people up to hearing the Gospel.

In CE’s case, the focus is on using the text of the Gospel of Mark to introduce attendees to Jesus.  Shortest of the 4 gospels, Mark is very straightforward. It is the easiest to grasp the message. The Christianity Explored course then seeks to answer three questions; Who was Jesus — what is his identity? What was his mission — what did he come to do?  And finally, what is the call he makes on his followers?  Those three questions around identity, mission, and call sum up the course very tidily.

The course is distinctive because, like the bible from whence it is taken, it is very counter cultural — it does not sell short the problem of sin or the holiness of God.  It also does not try to steer attendees toward charismatic church practices such as glossolalia (speaking in tongues).  Most clearly of all, it maintains the position that the bible is the authority in the Church.

The basic course came into being in 2002 and then videos and booklets were in place by late 2005.  In the early days, Tice was aided by Barry Cooper and Sam Shammas.  Cooper and Shammas have moved into other endeavours but Tice is still hard at work as the person in charge of evangelism at All Souls’ Langham Place where he’s been since 1994.  

Asked as to how the tool has spread, Tice said, “There are no official numbers as to the numbers of people who’ve taken the course but it is now formally translated into 25 languages and 60 or more informally.  What happens is that someone finds the material useful and they do an informal translation and as interest builds a formal translation is done and it spreads from there.”

The course has been taught in over 130 countries.  

Tice is convinced that the Covid-19 restrictions have helped open up people to the message of the Gospel.  He said, “There are three things that have been shown to us by the events of the last year:  1.) We humans really are fragile; 2.) Diaries full of cancellations have proven that things aren’t necessarily going to happen the way we’ve planned; and, 3.) We are called to be in relationships…like Genesis 2:18 tells us…it’s not good for us to be alone.”  

He reports that Christianity Explored has found an even greater audience during the times of lockdown.  “Something about the restrictions and being able to participate from home in your slippers is appealing to many.  People can participate from wherever they are online and it seems far less threatening than sitting down around a table of people of mostly strangers. So, despite Covid-19, the work of the gospel continues to go forth.”

Married to Lucy, who came to faith after attending a Christianity Explored course at All Souls’, the couple have 3 children.  

 

Last month, his book, Faithful Leaders was published by The Good Book Company.  

 

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