This month we welcome Rikk Watts from Regent College, Canada to talk on Mark's Gospel. In Gospel Conversations, we like to peel back the layers and get close to the core of what we believe. You can’t get closer to the core than Mark’s Gospel – the shortest and the first of the four biographies of Jesus. It used to be viewed as the simplest and least sophisticated of the gospels but that has changed in recent times, and now Mark is viewed more and more as a great literary text in its own right. Rikk Watts is one key thinkers leading this new appreciation of Mark and of Mark’s role, in giving the world its greatest every story.

But can we believe the story? Is it myth or history? And if we can believe it, how do we read it intelligently? How can we get back behind two thousand years of culture to read like the world Mark wrote it for? How do we get a new conversation going with Mark’s gospel? Most importantly what does Mark tell us about Jesus? Does he really claim that Jesus was the Son of God? If so, what did he mean by this? Rikk will build us a breathtaking picture of Jesus, as viewed by Mark. He will peel back the layers of tradition and put us squarely in the first century world that was first rocked by this story.

But we won’t stop there We will also ask the ‘So what?’ question. What are the consequences of this story? How should we then live? We will answer these questions through three minds. Rikk, Mark Strom and Tony Golsby-Smith have been talking about this ‘so what’ world for years together, and this is our first opportunity to get on the same stage together. So Rikk will address it from the perspective of Mark’s gospel. Mark Strom will then address it through the window of history (How did the story change the world of the first and second centuries?).

And Tony will address it through the world of a twenty first century business consultant encouraging large organisations and their leaders to redesign themselves. We three believe that we have put the gospel in a religious box for too long and it is time to take it out. After all, we believe that this big story changes EVERYTHING not just church and religion.

Rikk Watts
Rikk was for many years Professor of New Testament at Regent College, Vancouver and has recently moved back to Australia where he is a professor and researcher at Alphacrucis College. Rikk has an eclectic background—aeronautical engineering, arts, philosophy, and biblical studies—which hints at his expansive way of thinking.
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