OK, this is officially my second review of a Mark Batterson book (or any book for that matter!). As an avid reader, I have several authors that I enjoy. But I don't have too many that I can relate to on a level that is "real", for lack of a better term. I'm not a lot younger than Pastor Mark, and on that point alone I have a lot more in common with him than other authors I read. Pastor Mark's first book challenged me to chase a lion in the biggest move of my then 30-year old life, uprooting my family from our comfortable home in southeast Michigan to sunny central Florida, where we have really seen the providence of God in our lives and ministry. Now comes the chance to review yet another great book, Primal: The Quest for the Lost Soul of Christianity. So here goes.
For some time, deep inside me, I've sensed a longing for what Mark conveys in the pages of this book, though I couldn't quite place a finger on it till now. Do you sense in your spirit and heart the need to reflect back on what a relationship with the Lord should be? That is exactly what this book is doing for me. It is a call for us to get past a surface faith that can develop in even the most seasoned Christian. This book calls us to descend back to what the heart of our faith is all about, namely, loving God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength.
So, taking the Great Commandment referenced above that the Lord gave us, Mark takes us on a journey through each one, looking at the ways we love God in them. Do the things that break God's heart break ours? Does the wonder of God's creation awe us? The soul of our faith is often expressed in the wonder and amazement of what God has made. How about loving Him with our minds? We have the ability to continually grow in knowledge. But too many of us allow ourselves to stop learning at some point in life. God is honored when we don't stop trying to understand Him, His ways and His universe. Finally, love God with all our strength. In other words, putting some elbow grease into our faith. I used to attend a church that operated a large warehouse for benevolence ministry. We stored food and drinks there that we gave out both locally and around the world. But people had to maintain the warehouse, lest it fall into poor shape. Things needed to be put in order. I did that for a while, and each time I went home, I left with the sense that I had done something of value eternally. I was tired, but I felt that I had loved God with my strength.
Our faith isn't simply reading a few verses, saying a few prayers and calling it a day. Our faith is living and real. It finds outlet in our experiences and practices on a daily basis. Primal
takes you to the place that you look at the foundational things that make our faith. So pick up a copy today and start digging down into the primal roots of Christianity!P