Thursday, December 17, 2009

Review - Primal

A new book is coming out next week - "Primal: A Quest for the Lost Soul of Christianity" by Mark Batterson. Mark is the lead pastor of National Community Church in Washington, DC, a highly innovative church that now has multiple sites including movie theatres and a coffeehouse. He's also written "In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day" and "Wild Goose Chase: Reclaim the Adventure of Pursuing God." I'm part of a blogger's "book tour" with publisher WaterBrook Multnomah, reviewing the book right before it's released on Dec 22nd.

"Primal" a heartfelt cry that invites us to return to a more basic Christianity, something more ancient and primal, that centers around loving God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. The call is not just personal, it's for a reformation - not in creeds but in loving deeds. The book centers around exploration of four key elements of Great Commandment Christianity: compassion, wonder, curiousity and power. The goal is to help us live in light of what matters most and (re)discover what it means to love God; to reignite a primal faith.

Primal is a seriously challenging book! Despite being a very smart guy, Mark is extremely down-to-earth and passionate. You feel like he's sitting down at Ebeneezer's coffeehouse talking to you. But it's not a dry casual talk, it's an engaging plea to see your life transformed, and to return to your first love. He recognizes the fact that God has made us differently and we each have a unique love language, but that we must cultivate the other expressions of love to more fully live out the life God has called us to.

The main strength and main drawback to the book are flip sides of the very same coin - the intenstity and passion of Batterson's style and his plea for the reader to join him in a new reformation as we experience this wild adventure called life. If you liked his other books, if you're a fan of authors like John Eldredge (Wild at Heart), or feel like you're missing out on the warmth of your initial walk with God, you will very much like Primal. If you're looking for something more informative, something of a how-to on spiritual growth, then you may not enjoy it as much as other readers.

The publisher's website has a link to read the first chapter of the book if you would like to check it out. Primal can be ordered at Amazon or other retailers. It's definitely a fine choice to be the first (primal) book you read in the New Year.

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