Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Book Review: Primal by Mark Batterson
There was once a movement of people who lived full of compassion, full of wonder, full of curiosity, and full of energy as they loved God with all their hearts, souls, minds, and strength. It was a movement that that impacted the world and attracted followers who committed themselves to the hopes and dreams for the world of the God who made them. The movement became known as Christianity, and the raw primal energy that characterized it two thousand years ago slowly calmed down, and the movement that once turned the world upside down has largely become a small remnant of our world as a generation of people who claim Christianity but don't pour their whole hearts, souls, minds, and strength into their love for God. For many Christianity has become a comfortable religion that holds little sway over a world that desperately needs something much more dramatic to shake it out of apathy and toward life-altering love for its Creator.
Washington D.C. Pastor Mark Batterson believes Christianity needs a new Reformation, and he prescribes how this will happen in his book PRIMAL: A QUEST FOR THE LOST SOUL OF CHRISTIANITY. PRIMAL is about the needs for Christians to discover the primal call of their lives as defined by Jesus two thousand years ago--Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all mind, and with all your strength. The Great Commandment is the Primal Commandment. This is what we're left with when we strip Christianity down to its core, and it is powerful.
Batterson touches on the profound truth that familiarity with the core truths of the Bible causes us to lose sight of how life-changing these truths are. We lose the amazement, and the Bible seems to lose its power over changing our lives. His suggestion is that the way forward is looking backward to the movement as Jesus started it.
The book is broken up into four parts as Batterson elaborates on The Heart of Christianity, The Soul of Christianity, The Mind of Christianity, and The Strength of Christianity. Early followers of Jesus were heartbroken over the things that broke the heart if God. They were filled with wonder over the God who created them and everything. The were filled with a holy curiosity that caused them to explore and embrace God ideas. The were energized to put their love of God into action through blood, sweat, and tears.
I absolutely loved this book. Mark Batterson's writing style is always warm and you can sense his great love and amazement of Jesus and love for the church. He's excellent at drawing upon personal stories and insights to illustrate what he's writing about. He writes with conviction and yet with complete humility. Ultimately, this book will point Christians back to the birth of their movement that is anything but boring. It will inspire believers to love God completely and be culture shapers as a result.
I would recommend this book to any Christ follower who is struggling with a faith that doesn't seem to make a difference in the day to day.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review