THE ALPHA AND THE CHRISTIANITY EXPLAINED COURSES
Among Christians Alpha has earned a rapidly spreading reputation based
on its effectiveness.
On 24th May 2001 at All Soul's Church, Langham Place, a new evangelistic
course called Christianity Explored was launched. Adapting and expanding
an earlier course run at All Soul's called Christianity Explained, Rico
Tice has largely devised the new ten-week course. No doubt some within
the evangelical world wondered why a new course was needed. After all,
wasn't the Alpha course originating from that other leading London church,
Holy Trinity Brompton, clearly the most effective evangelistic course
in the country?
In the promotion literature, Christianity Explored acknowledges its indebtedness
to Alpha praising its 'excellent relational methodology'. However at the
same time it makes clear that there are two clear distinctives, which
make Christianity Explored quite different from Alpha. The first is the
fact that it seeks to teach Mark's gospel. The second is that it seeks
to teach the wonder of God's grace against the background of our sin and
God's judgment. Thus to many minds, Christianity Explored is designed
to be a viable and more Biblical alternative to Alpha, despite the promotion
literature insisting that 'the two courses compliment each other'. In
this article we seek to examine both courses in the light of Scripture.
After Paul and Silas had preached in the Jewish Synagogue we are told
that the Bereans '...examined the Scriptures every day to see if what
Paul said was true' and they are commended for this practice (Acts 17:11).
If the Bereans examined even the apostle's teaching, how much more should
we examine contemporary teaching?
Anyone involved with Christian ministry in this country, and indeed throughout
the world, cannot ignore the massive impact that Alpha is having, and
no doubt will continue to have in the future. According to its website,
'Alpha is a 15-session practical introduction to the Christian faith.
It's aimed especially at people who don't go to church.' Given this and
similar statements found throughout Alpha promotional literature and on
the back of AIpha manuals, we must assess the course from the perspective
of the man or woman who is ignorant of the faith rather from those who
are already Christians. This is particularly the case given that Alpha
began in 1977 under Charles Marnham as a four week course for new Christians.
The course grew under the leadership of John Irvine (who expanded it to
ten weeks and introduced the Holy Spirit weekend) and Nicky Lee, until
it was taken over by Nicky Gumbel in 1990. It was only then that the evangelistic
potential of the course was realized. 'He [Nicky Gumbel] realized how
this simple course in basic Christianity could be a powerful medium for
evangelism. He quickly worked to give the course the kind of 'feel that
would be particularly attractive to non-churchgoers'.
Among Christians Alpha has earned a rapidly spreading reputation based
on its effectiveness. Both the Alpha website and Alpha News contain many
commendations of the course from diverse theological positions. The Archbishop
of Canterbury thinks, '...it's superb. I commend it wholeheartedly.' According
to Steve Chalke of The Oasis Trust, Alpha is the most effective and transferable
introductory course to the Christian faith I know.' Whilst we would expect
high praise from the late John Wimber and Loren Cunningham of YWAM, some
comments come from more surprising sources. JI Packer believes that, 'The
Alpha course is the most engaging way of passing on the basics of Christianity.
It is a tool for evangelism and nurture that I highly commend.' More plaudits
could be quoted form evangelists, Church leaders and Roman Catholic cardinals,
suffice to say that there is no shortage of support for the course. If
popularity is the mark of success then there is no doubt that Alpha is
an unparalleled one. It seems that Alpha can do no wrong.
Yet despite this Alpha has not been without its critics. Indeed Nicky
Gumbel seems to respond to some of them in his book Challenging Lifestyle:
"There is a double standard in having 'a rosy view of ourselves
and a jaundiced view of others' (Stott), for we point the accusing finger
at others, but never turn it on ourselves. It makes us feel better to
gloat over the sins and errors of others - hence our love of scandals.
We lap up all the sordid details and every speck we collect helps us ignore
the logjam in our own eye.
"This applies not only to the moral faults of others, but also to
doctrinal ones as well. Some doctrinal critics may agree with 99% of their
opponent's view. We may agree on the Trinity, the person and work of Christ,
the nature of the atonement, the authority of Scripture, and issues of
morality, but we find what is objectively a minor area of disagreement
and latch onto it. We feel we are not 'sound' unless we are constantly
denouncing and condemning. So we write with poisoned pens. Could it be
that we are blinded by the log in our own eye? Often we are so defensive,
rigid, judgmental, intolerant. and even nasty and petty. Unless we first
remove the plank of hypercriticism and censoriousness from our own eyes,
we will not see clearly to remove the splinter from the eyes of others."
We would do well to heed Gumbel's warnings here, and any examination
of Alpha or Christianity Explored which is written with a 'poisoned pen'
or with a critical spirit must be eschewed. Despite the call of the New
Testament not to judge, it does encourage us to be discerning, and this
examination seeks only to do this in a humble, godly, and Christ-honouring
way. Thus there is no malice or ill feeling intended on the part of the
author. However, as WD Scholes points out, 'Evangelism has at its core
a message of eternal significance and it is therefore imperative that
we convey the biblical message'. Thus it is not enough to rely on the
accolades of others, or trendy presentations, or on the fact that the
course 'works'. Theology rather than pragmatism must be the basis of whether
something is good. So the question we must ask of any evangelistic course
is not 'Does it work?' but rather 'Does it honour Christ?'
It is too early to see the kind of impact Christianity Explored has made.
As for Alpha, it is quite clear that there are things that are praiseworthy.
It is a course which is exceptionally well produced. The quality and availability
of the resources provide both church leaders and their congregations with
a ready made evangelistic course so that it doesn't require a great deal
of hard work to get a course going. That Alpha has encouraged so many
Christians and so many churches to start doing evangelism must be a cause
of much rejoicing. The other observation on these resources is that they
encourage people to join in with a worldwide movement. It is always much
easier to identify oneself with something infinitely larger, and there
is a real sense in which people feel that they can easily join in this
Another aspect of the whole Alpha initiative which is simply staggering
is the intense zeal with which people long for others to become Christians.
One of my abiding memories of the Alpha Conference I attended at Holy
Trinity Brompton in February 1997 was the passion with which the organizers
wished to see the world won for Christ. There can be no doubting the godly
commitment to reaching those who have never known Christ, and I for one
was rebuked by such commitment. The organizers of Alpha certainly think
big, such that Clifford Longley has written, .. Alpha is an unqualified
triumph. The reconversion of England, so oversold by Evangelicals so often,
is suddenly almost believable'. Would that all Christians shared this
longing for the reconversion of England!
Perhaps the most significant contribution that Alpha has made is the
emphasis it places on the value of relationships. The practice of guests
returning to the same group each week and enjoying a relaxed meal together
insures that people are set at ease and are better prepared to listen
to the talks and ask their questions. It is here that we part company
from the otherwise excellent analysis of Alpha by Chris Hand. Hand is
critical of that which contributes to the 'softly-softly' method including
the good food, friendly conversations, and the 'small group feel'. However,
this is precisely where Alpha is at it's strongest. It makes hearing the
gospel accessible, and in part explains why so many seemingly unlikely
people have wanted to do Alpha. It is not hard to see why Christianity
Explored has adopted this emphasis on friendly, supper party based evangelism,
and have rightly acknowledged their debt to Alpha in this.
There is indeed much to give thanks for in Alpha and there can be no
doubt that there have been some who have been helped by the course. However,
the observant reader will have noticed that what has been commended thus
far has largely been the style of Alpha rather than the content. There
can be no questioning the remarkable ability of the course to draw non-Christians
in, but the question does remain as to what they are taught when they
join the course. One of the characteristics of our post-modern culture
is to exalt style over content, and we must be wary of simply assuming
that because the style is good that the content is equally good.
The critical question is this: is the message of Alpha and Christianity
Explored the message of the Bible? We shall attempt to answer that question
by considering four main doctrines: the character of God, the nature of
sin, the cross of Christ, and the work of the Holy Spirit.
THE CHARACTER OF GOD
Reading the Alpha written material, together with listening to the tapes
and speakers at the Alpha Conference, one gets a clear and consistent
message about the character of God. The message is that God is love. In
the third session guests are told, 'God loves each one of us so much and
longs to be in relationship with us as a human father longs to be in relationship
with each of his children.' Elsewhere Nicky Gumbel makes clear that one
of the foundation principles of Alpha is that God loves us.
What can be wrong with Alpha proclaiming this glorious Biblical truth
of God's love? Does not the apostle John state 'God is love' (1 John 4:16)'?
How can this be a problem? It is only a problem if this is the only characteristic
of God which is emphasised. Sadly this appears to be true of Alpha. To
be fair we must note that the Alpha material does also speak of God's
justice and other attributes of His character, but the overwhelming message
of the course is that God is love.
Yet the Bible is clear that love is not the only attribute of the God
who has revealed himself in creation and in the Scriptures. There is much
that we could say about the God of the Scriptures, and yet Alpha appears
to assume His existence rather than describe His character. So there is
nothing in the course about Him being our Creator and all that the Bible
unpacks from this great truth, namely that He is the great King and Sovereign
over all that He has made. Hand makes the point well when he
writes: 'In Alpha God is simply introduced to us as the one who can help
us rather than as the self-existent and eternally glorious Maker of heaven
Alongside the absence of God being our Creator is a failure to teach
God's holiness. This is extraordinary given the fact that 'God is Holy'
is taught far more frequently in Scripture that 'God is Love'. Indeed
the adjective used most frequently in Scripture to describe God is 'holy'.
At the risk of being accused of divorcing God's holiness from God's love,
it is necessary to see the connection between these two aspects of God's
character. The God of the Bible is a God of holiness whose love is all
the more remarkable in that it is bestowed on upon wicked sinners. Indeed
when we remove the holiness of God we undermine the love of God.
By contrast, Christianity Explored seeks to introduce even in the first
week to the truth that God is our creator and has revealed Himself uniquely
in Jesus Christ. Moreover, the value of working through Mark's gospel
is quickly seen as we discover the awesome power and authority of this
God-man, and realise that to be in rebellion against Him is a deeply serious
business. To quote from the talk in week four, 'God is a God of holiness,
of blazing purity, and he hates what is evil. When it comes to evil he
doesn't lean back in a rocking chair and pretend nothing has happened,
like a benevolent grandfather. No, evil matters to God.'
The Scriptures warn us that 'It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands
of the living God' (Heb. 10:31). My fear is that guests on the Alpha course
would never know this from the material they are presented with for they
have only been presented with one attribute of the God of the Bible. Clearly
time does not permit teaching everything about God's character in an introductory
course, but Christianity Explored appears to be more faithful in conveying
the character of God as both loving and holy.
THE NATURE OF SIN
The consequences of misrepresenting the character of God are enormous.
Nowhere is this seen more clearly than in Alpha's treatment of sin. For
as one follows the argument in the course, sin is presented as being seen
in the 'mess that we make of our own lives'. The problem of sin is explained
as 'the rubbish that clutters up our lives and clutters our world' and
as 'pollution of the soul'. At the 1997 Alpha Leaders' Conference, Sandy
Millar defined sin as, 'the difference between what we are and what we
might have been'. However these are merely symptoms of sin and Alpha is
clear on what is at the heart of sin when it states that the ' . . . root
cause of sin is a broken relationship with God...' The consequences of
sin are then spelt out in terms of the pollution, the power, the penalty
and the partition of sin.
Yet one cannot help feeling that for all Alpha's use of Biblical words,
the course fails to define sin Biblically. The main reason for this is
that it concentrates on the consequences of sin rather than on what sin
actually is. Man without God is the subject of God's wrath. We are not
slightly displeasing to Him, with the occasional foible; rather by nature
'we are objects of wrath' (Eph. 2:3) because we have offended against
God and broken His holy law. The root cause of sin is not a 'broken relationship
with God'; the root cause of sin is that mankind has universally rebelled
against God's holy laws and therefore offended God himself.
Here we see the consequences of failing to teach that God is holy. Hand
puts it clearly when he writes:
"Alpha simply has no grasp of the holiness of God and of his wrath
against sin. It has no concept of man having offended God. This explains
why Alpha curiously answers the question 'why worry about sin?' by listing
four consequences of sin. The consequences are true enough. But is all
man-centred. They are the consequences for us. Surely the fact that we
have offended against God is sufficient reason in itself to worry about
sin... Alpha's analysis simply does not go anything like far enough. Its
'Christ' comes forth to deal with too small a problem' (emphases his)."
However, Christianity Explored explains far more coherently what the
Bible teaches about sin. Quoting Mark 12:30, the course charges us with
the greatest crime, that is having failed to love God as we should and
robbing Him of His rightful authority. Indeed the sound bite of the course
epitomises the clear emphasis on sin '- we are more wicked than we ever
realised', and it is excellent to see in which the course addresses the
horror of our total depravity in a way that people can understand. By
the end of week three we are left in no doubt that we are rebels against
God and are in desperate need of a rescue. The urgency of Jesus' rescue
mission has been sounded, and against the bleakness of human wickedness
and divine judgment, the wonder of God's grace will be seen all the more
As we shall discover, our understanding of sin will inevitably affect
our understanding of the cross. If the diagnosis is inaccurate then the
cure will be ineffective. So what do Alpha and Christianity Explored say
about the cross'?
THE CROSS OF CHRIST
In explaining the work of Christ on the cross, Christianity Explored
focuses on Mark's account of the crucifixion. It is one of the clearest
explanations of penal substitution that I have seen - God is angry at
sin, Jesus is abandoned in our place, with the result that we can be accepted.
One possible weakness here is that it could lead to the impression that
Jesus was an innocent third party who received God's punishment, rather
than the Bible's insistence that atonement was accomplished by God satisfying
Himself by substituting Himself for us.
One of the aims of Christianity Explored is to teach the true nature
of grace. Thus the week after explaining the cross, there is a whole session
on the nature of grace. Linking God's grace with God's finished work on
the cross, the guests are left in no doubt at all that forgiveness is
a free gift to be received rather than anything that can be earned.
To suggest that Alpha is weak on the atonement may seem a travesty given
all that it does say. Does it not devote an entire talk to answer the
question Why did Jesus die?' Are we not told that 'the cross lies at the
heart of the Christian faith'? Is not John Stott quoted when referring
to I Peter 2:24 that the cross sees the 'self-substitution of God'? Certainly
the course gives a number of Biblical references and teaches that the
death of Jesus achieved justification, redemption, atonement and reconciliation.
There is much good material at this point, and yet there are two very
important weaknesses as well. The first is that Alpha misses the very
heart of the cross and so ultimately fails to answer the question it sets
up to answer, the question 'Why did Jesus die'?' The doctrine of penal
substitution is simply not taught in the course. This is hardly surprising
given that the righteous wrath of God has not been explained as being
mankind's biggest problem.
This lack of teaching on penal substitution results in Alpha getting
in a muddle at this stage. For it wants to teach that Christ died as substitute,
and indeed does teach this, and yet because it is not taught that Jesus
died as penal substitute, bearing upon himself the wrath of God, we are
left without any understanding of why Jesus had to die at all. Thus the
cross of Christ ends up being little more than a visual aid that proves
that God is self-sacrificial and loving. As Hand says, 'Christ's work
on the cross is demoted to being a rescue act to save us from our problems
rather than fulfilling the righteous demands of the holy law and appeasing
the wrath of God'. The death of Jesus is presented as an act of love but
without any connection with the reality of God's holy anger. We are left
thinking that Christ sacrificed Himself to rescue us from the consequences
of sin because that was required by some impersonal and rather arbitrary
The second major weakness in this area is that for all its claims that
'the cross lies at the heart of the Christian faith', the cross in reality
is not central. Far from it. After talk two which deals with the cross
it is barely mentioned in subsequent sessions. This is extraordinary not
only because the cross is at the heart of the Christian faith, but in
light of the fact that Alpha is aimed at those who know little or nothing
of the Christian faith. Moreover, this is indicative of a much bigger
problem with Alpha. This is that it assumes too much too quickly and leaves
the gospel behind in its zeal to teach on Christian living. It hardly
seems appropriate to cover the person of Christ, the nature of sin, the
atonement and regeneration in two sessions (such that the third session
is entitled, 'How can I be sure of my faith?') leaving the remaining eleven
sessions dealing with Christian lifestyle (including three sessions -
as many as the evangelistic section - on the Holy Spirit). One of the
great strengths of Christianity Explored is that it always roots Christian
living in the gospel. Again and again we are taken back to the cross so
that it's plain that the cross really is does lie at the heart of both
the way in and the way on in the Christian faith.
Given that the cross is clearly not the centre of Alpha there is a huge
vacuum that must be filled. It is not hard to see what does fill that
vacuum and therefore what the centre of Alpha really is. It is the Holy
Spirit which 'forms the defacto and dejure core of Alpha'.
THE HOLY SPIRIT
There is so much teaching on the Holy Spirit in Alpha with which classic
evangelicals should take issue that is very hard to know where to begin.
A standard Charismatic line is taken on most aspects of the person and
work of the Holy Spirit and we shall merely touch on some of the more
alarming teaching of Alpha.
In the talk, 'How can I be filled with the Spirit', a traditional Charismatic
line is taken on the 'fullness of the Spirit' being a subsequent experience
to conversion. As John Chapman has commented, 'This previously would have
been called the baptism in the Spirit'. The name has changed but, alas,
the understanding has not. This 'double phased' experience is argued from
Paul's 'double experience' on the Damascus Road and later with Ananias
(Acts 9), from the Samaritans (Acts 8). and from the Ephesians (Acts 19).
What is disappointing is that these tired arguments were refuted decisively
years ago . There is nothing in Scripture to suggest anything other than
that the believer receives all of the Holy Spirit at the point when he
or she puts their trust in Jesus and are justified. Thus the teaching,
'Every Christian has the Holy Spirit. but not every Christian is filled
with the Spirit' is seriously at odds with Biblical teaching.
Equally alarming is Gumbel's view of conversion. He writes, '...coming
from the New Age movement [some] find that rational and historical explanations
leave them cold, but at the weekend away they are on more familiar territory
in experiencing the Holy Spirit'. As Scholes points out, 'Nicky Gumbel's
reasoning suggests that there are two equally valid ways to become a Christian;
one is to be persuaded either by 'rational and historical explanations',
or alternatively by 'experiencing the Holy Spirit'. To think thus is to
ignore the fact that it was always the apostles' priority to present 'rational
and historical explanations' to all sorts of people (Acts 2:22~l; 8:26-38;
17:16-33 etc.) wherever they proclaimed the gospel'. This appears to be
yet another way in which the apostolic gospel is bypassed in an effort
to make the gospel as accessible as possible.
Furthermore we are told that 'For many the decisive moment is the Saturday
evening of the weekend'. For Alpha the decisive moment seems not to be
the preaching of Christ and Him crucified, but when the Holy Spirit is
invoked. But if, as the Scriptures teach us, the Holy Spirit comes at
conversion this is quite extraordinary. Surely the moment when the guest
repents and believes must be the decisive moment'. However this would
explain why so much emphasis is put on the weekend when the Spirit comes.
This came across very firmly at the Alpha Leaders' Conference in 1997
when the 'model' talk was the one entitled, 'How can I be filled with
the Spirit?'. Sandy Millar said that, 'HTB has a reputation for the Holy
Spirit coming at these weekends'. Speaking of his own conversion he added
that he feared that the speaker had left and that 'the Holy Spirit would
have left with him'. There was almost a peculiar mystique about giving
this talk. So Nicky Gumbel said, 'I knew that the Holy Spirit wouldn't
come when I did it... I could see myself doing every talk but this one'.
The message is consistent: the highlight of Alpha is the Holy Spirit weekend.
Yet isn't this teaching both to demean the Holy Spirit and to misunderstand
His work? We cannot control the Holy Spirit in the way that Alpha implies:
for like the wind that blows wherever it wishes (John 3:8) the Holy Spirit
moves wherever he wishes and without human control. The Spirit is sovereign
and He will work as He chooses and as God has promised, namely when the
word of God preached. Ironically then Alpha ends up limiting the Spirit,
the very thing which it accuses others of doing when it claims, 'For a
long time in the church the person and work of the Holy Spirit has been
ignored, misunderstood and resisted'. Moreover if the Spirit's longing
is to point to Christ and to bring Him glory then isn't it rather strange
that Christ is so infrequently mentioned?
This lack of focus on Jesus is seen very clearly in the testimonies people
give, testimonies. which Alpha quotes with approval in its literature.
The first of five main Alpha testimonies in Telling Others is particularly
revealing. It reads:
"The one thing that stuck in my mind was how the work of the Holy
Spirit was described as of paramount importance. I knew in my heart I
had to have this power in my life at any cost so I found out where the
church was, enrolled on the course and focused on the weekend. I felt
like a dying man waiting for a life-saving operation. Never mind the weeks
o f pre-med, I just had to get into the operating theatre ... I looked
at the order of play, saw that the third session (which I had identified
as the main one) was at 4.3O pm and simply hung on like a marathon runner
weaving his way up the final straight with nothing but the finishing tape
as the focus of his attention. I'll never forget that session. I felt
as though I was being torn in two. Halfway through I just couldn't stand
it any more. The prize was so near but we were getting there so slowly!
I literally wanted to scream out, 'Do it now! Do it know! I couldn't hold
out any longer. I'm not exaggerating when I say I was in agony. Then God
came and then came the relief'.
Having no idea who this person is, we have to say that this is deeply
troubling. They regard the talks on 'Who is Jesus?' and 'Why did Jesus
die?' as 'pre-med'. The focus of their attention is specifically identified
as being not the Lord Jesus, not the Cross, not even the Holy Spirit,
but the third session, 'How can I be filled with the Spirit?' Sadly such
a testimony is repeated again and again. This is hardly surprising given
that guests are taught, 'Physical heat sometimes accompanies the filling
of the Spirit and people experience it in their hands or some other part
of their bodies. One person described a feeling of 'glowing all over'.
Another said she experienced 'liquid heat'. Still another described 'burning
in my arms when I was not hot'. Still another said, 'I didn't want to
come to the weekend and I did. But I would call myself a Christian now.
I would say that I felt the Holy Spirit. I was feeling I was loved. It
was really a tremendous overwhelming feeling of love'.
Many more things could be said about Alpha's pneumatology, but in concluding
this section we must say that this isn't simply a case of Christians having
different views on whom the Holy Spirit is and what He does. It is that,
but it is considerably more than that. For it seems that what is being
presented is an entirely different view of conversion. More often than
not Alpha seems to invite people to have an experience of God's love and
of the power of the Spirit rather than calling for obedience to the message
of the gospel. Scripture commands us to believe that Jesus is Lord which
must lead to repentance of sin and a belief in the good news that 'Christ
Jesus came into the world to save sinners' (1 Tim. 1:15). Then, and only
then, will the regenerate person be justified before a Holy God, be filled
with all of the Holy Spirit, and have absolute assurance of anger propitiated,
sins forgiven and of heaven ahead. Needless to say that to be born again
in this Biblical sense is a profoundly emotional experience. We are not
suggesting for a moment that we must shun emotion or experience; rather
we are insisting. as the Scriptures do, that there is content to what
we believe and substance to our experience of God's grace.
Christianity Explored has seen the value of having a weekend or day away,
but the content and expectation of the weekend/day is vastly different.
Under the title 'You're never Alone'. there are four talks - the church
family, the Holy Spirit, prayer, and the Bible - as well as two Bible
studies. Far from being ignored, there is faithful teaching on the person
and work of the Spirit: his indispensability in bringing people to Christ;
his indwelling of every believer; his illumining the Scriptures; his gifting
of believers and his enabling us to fight the Christian life. Thus both
Biblical teaching and weight are given to the Holy Spirit.
The best thing about Christianity Explored is its commitment to teaching
Mark's gospel. In so doing it is able to make the transition from evangelism
to discipleship smoothly as it follows the two key questions of Mark's
gospel: who is Jesus'? (chs 1-8) and what does it mean to follow Jesus
(chs 9-16). Thus after the weekend/day away, there are four more weeks
focusing on what it means to follow Jesus. One church I know has split
the course in two so that after seven weeks of Christianity Explored they
encourage guests to do the next four sessions under the title of Discipleship
Explored. In so doing the course avoids the confusion of Alpha. The more
one investigates Alpha, the more it seems that the authors haven't decided
whether it is a discipleship course (as it started out) or an evangelism
course (as it's ended up).
In conclusion, it would seem that for Bible-believing evangelicals there
should simply be no choice between Christianity Explored and Alpha. Whilst
until now it has been popular to use Alpha whilst making amendments to
avoid some of the charismatic emphases, it seems that now that there is
an obvious Biblical alternative there will be no need to do so. Christianity
Explored faithfully and relevantly presents the apostolic gospel in all
its majesty and splendour. May God use it to bring many to a saving knowledge
Nicky Gumbel, Questions of Life (Kingsway, 1993)
Telling Others-The Alpha Initiative (Kingsway, 1994) Challenging Lifestyle
(Kingsway, 1996) Alpha Manual (HTB Publishing 1994) Alpha News various
editions Alpha Conference Speaker Notes Alpha Website Rico Tice, Christianity
Explored The Handbook (Paternoster, 2001) Christianity Explored The Study
Guide (Paternoster, 2001) Introducing Christianity Explored (Notes from
London Launch) WD Scholes, "'A" is for Alpha, "B"
is for Berean' in The Churchman, Vol. 112 No. 4 1998 pp.294-3l2. E McDonald,
Alpha New Life or New Lifestyle? (St Matthew Publications,
Chris Hand, Falling Short? (Day One Publications, 1998)
Chris Hand, Alpha: The Last Word in Evangelism (CRN leaflet)
J Chapman, "First Things First: Alpha Examined in The Briefing #185
With permission from the BEC's "Foundations",
Issue no. 47 Autumn 2001 pp.36-44 BECoffice@aol.com