Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Primal by Mark Batterson

Be Astonished Again

We have a tendency to complicate Christianity. Jesus simplified it: Love God with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength. If we are to live out the essence of Christianity, we must commit to being great at this Great Commandment.

In Primal, Mark Batterson explores the four elements of Great Commandment Christianity: compassion, wonder, curiosity, and power. Along the way, he calls you to be a part of God’s reformation, starting in your own life.

As Mark writes, “Is there a place in your past where you met God and God met you? A place where your heart broke for the things that break the heart of God? Maybe it was a sermon that became more than a sermon. Maybe it was a mission trip or retreat. Maybe it was a vow you made at an altar. In that moment, God birthed something supernatural in your spirit. You knew you’d never be the same again. My prayer is that this book would take you back to that burning bush—and reignite a primal faith.”

Primal will help you live in light of what matters most and discover what it means to love God. It will help you become great at the Great Commandment.

The author of Wild Goose Chase and In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day, Mark Batterson serves as lead pastor of National Community Church in Washington, D.C. One church with nine services in five locations, NCC is focused on reaching emerging generations and meets in movie theaters at metro stops throughout the D.C. area. Mark has two Masters degrees from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Chicago. He and his wife, Lora, live on Capitol Hill with their three children. www.markbatterson.com

In the past, I've made it pretty clear that non-fiction books are not my genre of choice. However, this past year, I've read several non-fiction books that I've LOVED. Primal is one such book! I loved ever single word of this book - sometimes I found myself reading back over a page - not because missed something the first time or quickly skimmed it - but just because I wanted more. The author, Mark Batterson, takes one of the most important verses in Scripture - the Great Commandment - and expands on it. He gives you ideas and ways to put the Great Commandment to work in your life.

Do you know how to love God with all your heart? Sounds easy enough, right? Not so much! I guarantee that, if you read this book, you'll feel convicted to work on your heart and loving God more. What about your soul? mind? strength? Read the book! I'm just sayin . . . If you choose to read only one non-fiction book in the year 2010, may I be so bold as to suggest that Primal be that book. Seriously! This book has changed the way I look at myself and my Christian walk, it's convicted me in many areas of life (one of which is my study of the Bible), and it one that I'll pick up and read again and again. That's saying a lot, for a non-fiction book!

I've not read either of Mr. Batterson's other books, but I'll be picking them up when I find them. I appreciated his "real" and transparent writing style - he's not "preaching to the masses" but speaking from experience. If I lived in Washington, D.C., I'd be worshipping in a movie theater, that's for sure.

NOTE: This was book was provided for review by WaterBrook Multnomah.

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