Book Review Alert! Primal by Mark Batterson

*This was book was provided for review by WaterBrook Multnomah.

Title: Primal

Blog TourDates: December 15-22

Be Astonished Again

We have a tendency to complicate Christianity. Jesus simplified it: Love God with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength. If we are to live out the essence of Christianity, we must commit to being great at this Great Commandment.

In Primal, Mark Batterson explores the four elements of Great Commandment Christianity: compassion, wonder, curiosity, and power. Along the way, he calls you to be a part of God’s reformation, starting in your own life.

As Mark writes, “Is there a place in your past where you met God and God met you? A place where your heart broke for the things that break the heart of God? Maybe it was a sermon that became more than a sermon. Maybe it was a mission trip or retreat. Maybe it was a vow you made at an altar. In that moment, God birthed something supernatural in your spirit. You knew you’d never be the same again. My prayer is that this book would take you back to that burning bush—and reignite a primal faith.”

Primal will help you live in light of what matters most and discover what it means to love God. It will help you become great at the Great Commandment.

Author Bio:

The author of Wild Goose Chase and In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day, Mark Batterson serves as lead pastor of National Community Church in Washington, D.C. One church with nine services in five locations, NCC is focused on reaching emerging generations and meets in movie theaters at metro stops throughout the D.C. area. Mark has two Masters degrees from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Chicago. He and his wife, Lora, live on Capitol Hill with their three children.

*My Detailed Review

Mark Batterson’s book “Primal: A Quest For the Lost Soul of Christianity” is arguably the most proactive book out there. While reading his words, I felt as if I should just do something about my “meager existence” as a Christian. Let me explain:

When you open the book to the first page, you are greeted by how well Mark captures your imagination. He writes about he and his wife descending down the stairs of the Church of St. Clemente, and how with each step taken, they were brought further and further down into the catacombs of the fourth century church . He explains that the church of St. Clemente is actually a church on top of a church, on top of a church(you get the idea). The deeper you go, you realize that the early Christians worshiped, prayed, they glorified God in the most intense, extreme ways right there where the Battersons stood. How can we as Christians get back to what it truly means to be in Love with God?

Thankfully, Mr. Batterson has broken down the book into four parts: Loving God with all our hearts, soul, mind, and strength. The problem with people leaving churches is not the people leaving , but perhaps the church. We are commanded to love fiercely, to worship God with all of our being and maybe the world just doesn’t see that.

• In loving God with all our heart, we are to capture someone’s else’s pain as our own. We need a true heart transplant.

• In loving God with all our soul you are even more open to who He is. We are to read His Word, pray, meditate. Simply reading and simply praying isn’t enough. You must eat the Lord’s Words by mediating on them. The soul of Christianity is lost without this.

• Loving God with all our minds was my favorite part of the book by far, because by nature I am curious about a lot of things that matters most to God, and I can not stand to hear over-religious folks say, “Just trust God, or intellect is the Devil!” I thank God Mark Batterson reminds us that God gave us brain power to seek Him out anyway. We are to have a Holy Curiosity about the things of God. He makes a valid point when he mentions we can’t worship what we do not know.

• Finally strength. Most of us struggle in this area because in order to get back to our Primal , spiritual roots, we have to sweat a little. We have to volunteer and help people out, we have to witness to others, we have to spread the gospel with our “God Ideas” and when all is said and done we should be like those of ancient days…closer to God.

What also inspired me was Mr. Batterson’s commands at the end of each chapter. He challenges us, but after reading the chapter, I don’t need the challenge anymore, I am pumped and ready to seek out a lost soul, I am ready to pray harder and chew more on God’s words, I am ready to love smarter, and sweat for the Kingdom.

Thank you Mark Batterson!

A little quote: “If sin is the way we waste energy, then pursuing God-ordained passions and going after God-sized dreams is the way to produce energy.”(from Primal by Mark Batterson, 2009).


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