Tuesday, December 29, 2009


A quick review of Primal, A Quest for the Lost Soul of Christianity by Mark Batterson. Okay, full disclosure: I was expecting to put this book down after a couple of pages. The publisher sent it to me so I felt obliged to give it a try. I wasn't judging the book by its cover but rather by its title (actually its subtitle). I read "Quest for the Lost Soul of Christianity" and I thought, great, another book on how to be "real" Christians, we just need to go back to the early days and live like they did in the opening pages of Acts (without the falling down dead for incorrectly reporting your income to giving ratio.) Had I paid a little more attention to the author, I would have realized how wrong I was. Batterson is the lead pastor of National Community Church in Washington D.C. a cutting edge ministry in our nation's capital. I should have realized that he would offer us something a little more forward thinking and that he did.

The author bases his quest for the soul of Christianity on what Jesus proclaims to be the greatest commandment, that we love God with our heart, soul, mind and strength and then dedicates the four sections of the book to considering what that would actually look like. This is not another manifesto on "what the church needs to do" but a clear challenge on what we are really supposed to do to live out our faith as followers of Jesus.

Mark Batterson is profoundly intelligent and very well read so his insight is reflected in great examples, analogies and stories from science, history, psychology, sociology, etc.

More full disclosure: I could not put this book down. It was compelling and convicting. For our University folks, this is a great recommendation for the mission phase of our Pathway to Discipleship. That is the phase where we listen for our call from Jesus and consider what we are supposed to do about it. This whole book is about what we are to do when we really decide to listen to Jesus' call on our lives.


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