Primal Book Review

A few months ago, I caught an invitation on Mark Batterson’s blog to review his upcoming release Primal as part of a blog tour for the book. I signed up with the publisher, then sort of forgot about it. Over the next several weeks, Batterson had giveaways on his blog of his book to various groups; campus pastors, worship pastors, lead pastors… I eagerly waited for the book to be offered to youth pastors, but to no avail. Then an e-mail came from the publisher and I remembered I did indeed have a free book on the way, anyway!

I’ve enjoyed Batterson’s blog and the other two books I’ve read from him, so I had high expectations for Primal. The subtitle of the book (A Quest for the Lost Soul of Christianity) really struck a chord with me. As a youth minister, I work with a lot of people who’s faith seems to have lost (or never really found) its soul… so many people acting out what they think they “should” be doing and not really fully living.

The book digs into the question, “What is the primal essence of Christianity?” and discovers that at the heart of our faith is the Great Commandment: to love God with all your heart and soul and mind and strength. “We need to be great at the Great Commandment.”  Batterson dives into what it means to love God in 4 parts within the book (heart, soul, mind, strength). In each segment, he weaves Scripture with research and stories from a broad range of topics to explore loving God completely.

All of this, for Batterson, leads to a new Reformation of the church. A reformation not led by powerful personalities or creedal figures, but by “millions of reformers living compassionately, creatively, and courageously for the cause of Christ. It will be marked by broken hearts and sanctified imaginations. And the driving force will be the love of God. A love that is full of compassion, wonder, curiosity, and energy.”

I looked back over the year and found that the first book I read in 2009 was Batterson’s Wild Goose Chase. It was a great place to start the year. Primal is a great place for you to start 2010. Rediscover your primal love for God.

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