Are you living your Christian life to the fullest? How much do you love God? How much wonder do you have for our Creator, Lord and King? How much love do you have for those around you? How much love do you have for God, for that matter?
In this book, Mark challenges Christians to examine their life...and to change it drastically for the glory of God!
Although there were moments in the book which made me cringe (such as weak descriptions of God's humor, and references to God thinking His children are funny....), the book is worth the read! A refreshing point about this book is that the author writes with much knowledge. I recommend this book!
Lastly, I enjoyed the format of this paperback book, as well as the cover design and inside printing font.
I received this book free to review...I was encouraged to express my entire opinion.
In his book,"Primal," Mark Batterson asks the question, ..."when all of the superficialities are stripped away, what is the primal essence of Christianity?" He answers this on page four by quoting 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. Of course, Batterson then expounds on what he calls the Primal Commandment in subsequent chapters.
What truly spoke to me in this book is what I am calling the "Primal Majesty of God's Glory," the why of Mark 12:30. It is through Batterson's scientific descriptions of God's creation, including man, that answers they "why" of Christianity: why God is the only one deserving of honor and glory. These descriptions reinforce Psalm 91:1: "The heavens delcare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands." Take for example the description of our galaxy on page 54:
When we are filled with wonder, it is a foreshadowing of what we'll experience in heaven. But it's also a reminder that what we call natural phenomena are really supernatural phenomena. And we ought to celebrate them as such. The sunrise is so consistent that we take it for granted, but few things are as miraculous as the celestial dance that takes place on a daily basis. Our planet spins around its axis at a speed of 1,000 mph. And while our planet does a 360 every twenty-four hours, it is also hurtling through space at an unimaginable speed of 67,000 mph. You may not have any big plans for today, but you will travel 1.6 million miles in your lap around the sun. Quite an accomplishment! And to top it off, the Milky Way galaxy is spinning at approximately 490,000 mph. It takes the Milky Way two hundred million years to make one full rotation. Almost makes you dizzy, doesn't it? Wonder will do that.
Other examples include the description of studies of the human brain and learning in chapter 6 (I Corinthians 8:2: The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he out to know); and discussion of nuclear fusion and sound in chapter 9 (Psalm 33: 6,9: By the word of the Lord were the heavens made....For he spoke, and it came to be).
Primal also includes a discussion guide for the various chapters:
Two Thousand Stairs -- "What is the primal essence of Christianity?"
The Tribe of the Transplanted -- "Being a Christian means having a new heart -- Christ's heart."
A Drop in the Bucket -- "One of the most important ways that Christlike compassion plays out is in our financial giving."
Island of the Colorblind -- "The most primal emotion is wonder."
Seventy Faces -- "The Bible is the primary way that God speaks to us, and He speaks to each one of us in different ways at different times."
Holy Curiosity -- "God has created us with the capacity to keep learning until the day we die."
One God Idea -- "Too often Christians are uncreative and unimaginative, producing little that is original or beautiful of delightful."
Sweat Equity -- "Loving God with all our strength means expending energy for kingdom causes."
The Hammer of a Higher God -- "God is not just great -- He's incomparably great. And this is important for primal faith because loving God with all our strength really means loving God with all His strength."
The Next Reformation -- "The next reformation will take us back to the primal focus of loving God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength."
So, are you a Primal Christian...are you loving God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength?
Â "I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review".
My impressions of "Primal" by Mark Batterson is mixed, but I suppose the negatives are just a matter of style. I really appreciated the core concepts presented by Batterson. He is right to emphasize what he calls the Primal Commandment: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength," from Mark 12:30. Throughout the book, he fleshes out each part well, and I'm sure that this book will be a helpful boost to many Christians in their walk with God. But, for me, he went a little overboard with illustrative stories and data.
Is it worth reading? I would say, yes. I will keep it for reference, but I'm not likely to read it again _ unless it comes out in an abridged version.
(I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review).
Primal by Mark Batterson is a great read for those who have accepted Christ and are feeling as if the "spiritual high" is wearing off. Batterson does an excellent job of taking the greatest commandment, to "love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength" (Mark 12:30), and breaks it down in a simple and practical way. Loving the Lord your God with all your heart is done by having compassion for others. Loving the Lord your God with all your soul is done by having wonder for the world that God has created. Loving the Lord your God with all your mind is done by having a "holy curiosity." And loving the Lord your God with all your strength is done by using your energy for kingdom causes.
One of the most insightful sections in the book came in discussing the soul of Christianity. Batterson presents the knowledge of sound waves and the frequencies that we as humans can hear. During that section, he points out that there is always sound waves around us, even if we don't hear them. The same is true of God and his voice to us. He is always speaking, but we are not always hearing. We must learn to tune our ears and other senses into what God is saying.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
Mark Batterson is the lead pastor for National Community Church in Washington, D.C., a trendy congregation with nine services in five locations. So you'd expect that he'd champion an innovative approach to the Christian faith.
But in his new book Primal, the author takes us on a counter-intuitive journey back in time two thousand years. He uses the analogy of descending down a long stairway beneath a visible Italian cathedral to encounter what is buried below â€” catacombs where second-century believers secretly worshiped God before the legalization of Christianity.
Subtitled A Quest for the Lost Soul of Christianity, Primal imagines a compassionate, creative and courageous church that has returned to faith in its simplest and most unpolished form. It promises a rediscovery of an ancient walk with God that will transform 21st century believers.
Unfortunately, I found that the promise of long-lost spiritual treasures was largely unfulfilled. Batterson's tips for a transformative faith â€” while helpful in a general sense â€” didn't live up to the sense of wonder and intrigue he created in the opening of the book. Although it seemed like he had a map to forgotten artifacts, it ended up feeling more like following your GPS to the local museum.
That said, maybe the secret to a vibrant faith isn't dependent on unearthing lost spiritual practices. Maybe we just need to value and utilize the gifts of God that are hiding in plain sight.
The publisher provided a complimentary copy of this book for review. The blogger provided a complimentary blog of said book. Sound about right, doesn't it?