Tuesday, July 26, 2011

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

I have been a big fan of author Mark Batterson after I read his first book, In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day: How to Survive and Thrive When Opportunity Roars.

Primal is about how when all the superficialities are stripped away, what is the primal essence of Christianity? Batterson breaks the book down into four parts to answer this intriguing question:
1. The Heart of Christianity
2. The Soul of Christianity
3. The Mind of Christianity
4. The Strength of Christianity

Batterson is masterful at using illustrations and this book includes many science illustrations to get his points across. While he also utilizes Scripture in the book, I wish he would have used more Scripture. The science stories seem to trump Scripture stories throughout the book.

Nevertheless, I found myself making notes, underlining and dog earring almost every other page in the book. It is just chocked full of so many nuggets of wisdom. One chunk that I was drawn to was when Batterson asks the question: “So how do you stay energized?” I was captivated by that question, as I am sure many others are, because life sometime saps the energy out us. Well, Batterson answers the question this way: “Stay in the will of God…pursuing God-ordained passions and going after God-sized dreams is the way we produce energy. Nothing is more energizing.” (p.146) What a great answer and reminder that God will give us sustaining energy when we serve Him.

A Discussion Questions section at the end is also a nice feature of the book—it can be used with small groups to explore the concepts even deeper and more personally.

While it is a very good read, if you have only one choice, I prefer and highly recommend Batterson’s first book In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day over Primal.

*I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.