Rico Tice, along with Barry Cooper and Sam Shammas, originally produced the Christianity Explored (CE) materials in the late 1990s, under the ministry of John Stott and Richard Bewes at All Souls Church, Langham Place in Central London.
The series was developed over a ten-year period and has been updated and revised to reflect lessons learned during these years.
Why Mark's Gospel?
From the beginning, the aim of the course was to 'let the gospel tell the gospel.' Rico explains why Mark's Gospel was chosen:
"Mark is a short, very simple Gospel, and the longing of my heart is that every member of the church family, literally from the 13 year old to the 87 year old will feel, “D’you know? I could open up Mark’s Gospel with my next door neighbour. It’s simple enough for me to be able to pray that they will be spiritually hungry and then pray that I will have the courage to say, ‘Would you like to have a look?’"
Early in the study of Mark's gospel, three key questions were identified which would shape the development and structure of the course:
Who do you think Jesus is? (His identity)
Why did he come? (His mission)
What does it mean to follow him? (His call)
The CE material was written with the deep conviction that the best way for people to learn about Jesus is through reading the Bible. Rico explains: "We are absolutely unashamed of the Bible. So from week one we say, look, Christianity is Christ, and it’s Christ as he walks off the pages of Mark’s Gospel."