Book Review : Primal; A Quest for the Lost Soul of Christianity

I am a fan of Mark Batterson. His previous works, SoulPrint, Wild Goose Chase and In a Pit With a Lion on a Snowy Day area few of the book I love the most. I recently finished Batterson’s new book, “Primal: A Quest for the Lost Soul of Christianity”. A recent trip to Rome and an exploration of the catacombs brought Batterson face-to-face with one of the earliest Christian communities. This “rediscovery” as he calls it, of the primal beginnings of the faith changed the way he viewed Christianity. He begins by putting forth what he believes is the central problem facing the church today. His assessment is that the church is failing at the Great Commandment found in Mark 12:30, “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.” In his words, “We can’t afford to be merely good at the Great Commandment, we must be great at the Great Commandment”. What follows is an unpacking of the Great Commandment where he breaks the book, and the Great Commandment, down into four central elements. Those elements are: the heart of Christianity is primal compassion, the soul of Christianity is primal wonder, the mind of Christianity is primal curiosity, and the strength of Christianity is primal energy.

“Primal” is a challenge to rediscover the basic and driving forces behind the Christian faith. That most basic desire is to love Christ with all you have. This book is vintage Mark Batterson. It is written with an easy to follow style that is both addicting and challenging. I believe this book is Batterson’s most practical book to date. “Primal” is both convicting and encouraging, passionate and practical. Two chapters each are given to unpack these four elements. Batterson uses a brilliant mixture of scripture, illustration, personal experience, and outside quotations to drive his point home. If your faith has become common place and academic, this book is for you.

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