The first Christian book I ever read helped me to establish my daily quiet time with God. It was John Blanchard’s evergreen Read, Mark Learn (Evangelical Press). I am thus fully ‘sold’ on helping people to start their reading and study of God’s word in Mark’s Gospel.
I have enthusiastically promoted in prisons (and elsewhere) the Christianity Explored (CE) course, authored by Rico Tice. Using Mark’s Gospel, without commenting on all of it, CE graphically and grippingly reveals the identity, mission and call of Jesus Christ, and seeks to apply it to those taking the course. CE is high on my course recommendation list.
It is, therefore, a great privilege to include a foreword in Mark Time from Rico Tice, surely one of Britain’s most effective communicators of God’s truth to day. I am grateful to him for his kindness. Mark Time follows a different approach from CE in our common aim to present Christ as the only Saviour of sinners. My burden is to see people reading through and enjoying whole books of the Bible. Mark Time thus seeks to explain the whole of Mark’s Gospel, and to help understanding through its set questions.
I am also indebted to Sir Jeremy Cooke, who is not only a highly respected High Court Judge but a great encourager and a deeply committed Christian. For him to take time out of his busy life to read my book and recommend it is typical of his encouragement, and I thank him for that.
Mark Time—The Book with the Audio 4 CD set—is also central in the production of a separate Discussion Course for group discussion and an easy-
Finally, some more thanks! I am so grateful for his advice and careful initial internal editing of the text to my good friend David Harding, Pastor at Milnrow Evangelical Church and colleague in United Beach Missions and The Christian Answer (CA). Thank you also to my wife, Phillippa, who recorded Mark’s Gospel for the CDs, and has given me many inputs on the book, the CDs and the two courses. Our gratitude goes to CA for putting the Mark Time written and audio prototype on their amazing website thechristiananswer.org, which is now transferred to this site. Derek French (Grace Baptist Mission) could not have been more helpful. He both advised and worked with us on recording the CDs at GBM’s studio. He greatly encouraged and still encourages us by broadcasting the CDs to GBM’s third-
If you or those to whom you recommend Mark Time are helped by the Book, CDs, Discussion Course or Correspondence Course, I shall be a very happy man!
The publishers, Day One, and I would love to see Mark Time ‘take off’ in churches, fellowships and Christian groups and in many other places too. Prisons are obviously high on that agenda as Christian Prison Resources Ministries (CPR) seeks to make every aspect of Mark Time available behind bars, through the prison chaplaincies. We would also love to see it spreading out among military personnel, nurses, office and factory workers, students, home groups and many more. Some intend to use Mark Time to follow up people showing a real interest in the Christian message perhaps generated by a mission, a beach mission, a course, open-
Some will just read the book. Some will listen to the CDs. Some will do both, either together or separately. Others will also join Discussion Course groups or undertake the Correspondence Course. Whether considering individuals, or large or small groups, our desire is to help many people to trust Christ, walk with Him daily ‘in the light of His word’, and know the joy of serving Him.
All this can only be by God’s grace as the Holy Spirit uses ‘the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.’ (Mark 1:1).
Author’s comments on the second edition
Because God is gracious, in the year since Mark Time was first published, individuals, churches and Christian fellowships and organisations have been blessed as the Holy Spirit has used God’s word through Mark’s gospel. Some have come to faith in Christ, some are now seeking God, and others have been restored and renewed in their walk with Him. One pastor has promoted Mark Time in his church successfully under the title,
‘How to kick start your quiet time.’ There has been an encouraging daily response to it on the website at marktime.info, and soon it will be available as an application on I-pad, I-phone and Android phones. A growing proportion of HM Prison Chaplaincies are adopting Mark Time both as a Discussion Course, which has helped many prisoners, and as a popular Correspondence Course to be completed ‘in-cell’. United Beach Missions have adopted it as its follow-up course and The Christian Answer makes it available to enquirers.
After listening to users of Mark Time, some corrections and improvements have followed, mainly as additional or amended footnotes to the Book, or as changes to Bible references. Just a few of the three questions featured in the Book, in the Correspondence Course, and in the Discussion Course have been re-drafted . Also some wording of the Book has been slightly modified to the exact wording of the CDs.
I am especially grateful to all those who mark and return the Correspondence Courses and to those who lead or support the Discussion Courses. As always in Christian work, God blesses team effort!
Please pray for many more to be blessed, be it as readers, listeners, or course participants. I hope that includes you too!