Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Primal: A Quest for the Lost Soul of Christianity by Mark Batterson

Mark Batterson in Primal: A Quest for the Lost Soul of Christianity challenges the church to question the current state of Christianity. Batterson finds our faith to be educated, civilized and generally acceptable to the world while losing its power, compassion and authenticity. To regain these lost elements Batterson drives us to the essence of our faith in the Primal Commandment Mark 12:30:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.

Batterson charges the church with not striving to be great with the commandant, in fact he states the church often is not even good at this charge. The author argues that in order to regain its God given authority, the church and individuals must excel at this essential directive. Batterson then examines the pieces of the primal commandant; heart, soul, mind and strength for his reader. Batterson concludes with a call for a new reformation based on believers who have learned to excel at this basic command.

Though Batterson’s material may seem similar to some readers, Batterson’s voice provides a new take on calls for authentic faith and response. Batterson enjoys science and understanding how things work, reinforcing his faith by understanding the complexity of the world. Batterson the pastor shows a willingness to experiment; seeing movie theaters as a platform for delivering the gospel. Multnomah Books and Batterson are encouraging Christians to consider this book as their first read in 2010 sparking a Primal movement. For some readers this book could serve as a good introduction to emergent thought and a challenge to foster a passionate relationship with God that surpasses apologetics and involves the readers mind and soul. For other readers much of the book will seem to reinforce the thoughts of other authors that have called the church to return to the essentials of the faith. For both audiences this book could be a fruitful first read for 2010, though perhaps not essential.

Review Copy provided by Multnomah Books