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Advent1 223Re: Advent - where is the darkness?

Absolutely blown away by this. Thought provoking and no matter if you agree with the conclusion or not, you can't but help come to agree with this man's way of thinking. Beautifully put and I will certainly be considering this over Advent.
Jack Davison (via Facebook)

Baptism223Re: Are you ashamed of being a Baptist?

I've been saying this for years. I'm still puzzling out what to do about it, beyond keeping on having those individual conversations.
Leigh Greenwood (via Twitter)

I find this again and again. The objections people have to "Christianity," or "The Church," start to melt away when I talk about Believers' baptism, local church governance, all equally "priests," no checklist of rules or doctrines - win-win-win!
Tony Jones (via Twitter)

I had a conversation with a self-identifying deist in the university chaplaincy near me. He talked about how he had been baptised as a baby (his family are Methodists) when I said we would not be baptising my daughter until she was ready he wanted to know more.
Michael Shaw (via Twitter)
MaradonaRe: The Parable of Maradona

I love Mark's writing and talks. His approach appeals to young people (and I guess all ages) because he starts with what people know and might relate to and then, often with humour, strikes home with a fundamental Christian message. This is evangelising at its best, After all, it is the technique perfected by Jesus himself. I recommend his books too, to all ages and people of every background.
Giles Mercer

Very delighted to read this modern parable. The Kingdom of God is not in an average person's vocabulary, or in any part of a child's education. Jesus used parables to explain and illustrate it, and we need modern parables to do likewise.

Thank you Mark Roques, and more please.
LB Tan 

Hi, great to read Mark Roques' feature on Maradona as an example of using every day things as parables about the kingdom of God. Jesus and the Prophets were always doing this, and I liked Mark's explanation of starting with normal conversation and seeing how folks respond. A great piece, hope it inspires others. Thanks for featuring it.
Dave Hopwood

"Picture it" Mark Roques begins his parable.

I can see the picture he paints straight away - I am there at the dinner table - as Mark floats the gospel into the back of the net. 

How does he do that? Well it seems that Mark went back to the source and over many years, he diligently watched to see how Jesus did things with the stories he told. I loved the way the Parable of the Church of Maradona begins with where the conversation already is - on football.

Oh - and the cheeky moral dilemma of whether to wash-up or chat.......Mark's stories are real - we can see and taste them - so it seems do those who hear him. Let's gobble up these stories Mark Roques tells and in so doing discover our own playful and powerful voice. 
Lois Bentley

Marvellous and thought-provoking article. Helps me to think about opportunities and ways to talk with non-Christians in a natural way. Thank you for this article and I'd love to read more examples.
Piet Murre

Mark Roques's article was a real eye-opener for me. I came away from reading it both amused and challenged. Mark reminds us that the Gospel can be weaved in to every conversation if we want it to be. His style both engages listeners and disarms many arguments against Christianity. I just need to put it in to practice!
Damian Mawer

Thank you for publishing Mark Roque's piece on Maradona, I am familiar with his work and it's always good value and challenges us to bring the good news in a real and lively way.
Geoff King
Minister, South Parade Baptist Church Leeds

Just a quick bit of praise for your article by Mark Roques on Maradonna and bespoke evangelism. This is a much needed resource for the church. More please!  
Henry Vyner-Brooksy

Thank you for publishing another on of Mark Roque's articles. I love these, have read his book, and used his stories in personal evangelism. They are a very helpful way of provoking thought, and helping people understand their own and others' world views - and how they differ from the Christian world view.
Mark Yeadon

Fascinating piece on Maradona.  Football genius but not quite the Messiah!
Jim Dean Tickner

A great evangelistic conversation opener, Mark - if you know about football! But won't there be better things to do with our t.... eternity, when the Lord appears?
David Hanson

Dear David, thanks for your letter to the BT re my football parable. Some Christians challenge me when I talk about football and the Christian faith. They tell me that football is 'worldly' and has nothing to do with 'eternity'. I think this is wrong. Football can be played to the glory of God but if we buy into a pagan and platonic mindset then football will vanish at the Second Coming because both time and the earth will be no more. I used to believe this until I studied the Bible more closely and discovered that Christians are looking forward to the resurrection of the body and the renewal of both heaven and earth (Rev 21:1-4) Football will not vanish but be fully restored in Christ's wonderful kingdom on earth (2 Peter 3:13).
Mark Roques

Just thought I'd write a quick note to say what a good article this was. As a curate with a passion for seeing the Church grow in its ability to communicate and relate the gospel to people in a meaningful and engaging way, I'm really encouraged by Mark's ideas.
Revd Joe Sellers

In The Parable Mark makes sharing your faith sound so so easy - I wish I had the same skill and quick turn of phrase. However, remembering all good things - football, food, fun, are gifts from God, an intrinsic part of God's creative order does really help. To be able to share the yes, it's good, very good works well with our positivity driven culture. Thanks Mark, once again a sweet ball flies from the hand for the Kingdom.
Su Bowman

Thank you for publishing this article. I struggle to share my faith on a day to day basis, and I find most people I know are not at all interested in talking about anything that seems remotely 'religious'. Here Mark Roques presents a style of conversation that engages people through relevant culture and draws them in by tickling their curiosity whilst getting them to the heart of the Christian faith. This article has got me thinking about how I can more effectively share the gospel and I'm looking forward to trying out some of Mark's stories.
Angela Gill

I really enjoyed reading this article by Mark Roques. I think that story telling really helps to engage non Christians.
Please could we have more articles.
Sareen Galbraith

We have heard of Maradona hear in the antipodes - I saw an obsessive dog on my walk the other day kicking a soccer ball with its nose and flipping it over its back and being dubbed with this name for her skills - and clearly when so many people "out here" talk footy we also need a story-teller like Mark of Thinking Faith Network/ Cragg Hill to engage people where they are ... Mark's stories are a first step to help people (and dogs) obsessed with football, whatever the code, to rediscover the game as it needs to be enjoyed under Heaven! Thanks Mark and thanks Baptists Together. I'm going to link this to a local Christian magazine ... 
Bruce Wearne of Point Lonsdale

Great approach to sharing the gospel by Mark Roques. Love Marks writing.
Chris Parker (Christian Education National Australia)

Another corker from the estimable Mr Roques. A purely post modern position really would not be able to criticise such a woefully bankrupt religion, but, thankfully, some things are truer than others.
Tim Bowman    
(P.S. It's Cruyff every time in that particular debate)

I enjoyed Marks article very much. He has a humorous and poignant approach to his writing. He takes interesting, and potentially funny aspects of human behaviour, and weaves them into a Christian narrative. He strikes a nice balance of humour and intellect. This article is a good sampler of his work, and I would recommend "The Spy, the Rat and the Bed of Nails: Creative Ways of Talking about Christian Faith", if that's your thing. 
Chris Shaw


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