Book Review: Primal by Mark Batterson

As I began to read this book I wasn’t quite sure of where it was going to lead me, that is, until I came upon the premise of the book; Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. Of course I had heard this verse many times and in various places along my walk with Christ. But did I ever consider if to be of first importance? Mark Batterson leads us on a journey through this book to rediscover the primal beginnings of what is now reformation of epic proportions. As Mark says, “The last reformation was a reformation of creeds. The next reformation will be a reformation of deeds”.

After the first chapter I was immediately thrown into the heart of Christianity and became one of the Tribe of the Transplanted, where compassion and justice led me to press further in. From there I was punched in the gut with the onset of the awe of God in creation. Matt did an excellent job to describe his experiences with creation in a way that sat very personally with me. From there a primal view of scripture came to light and the forefront urgency at which we should cling to it, meditate on it and, not only that, but then begin to live it out.

There has been some seasons in my life where I have learned much of God yet failed to seek him personally. When I got to the Mind of Christianity it all set on me heavily and I caught of glimpse of myself within a couple of paragraphs. Though I was looking back, Mark encouraged me to press in to know God and live as if I would die tomorrow. We must let our holy curiosity be the flame in which we ignite our passion to know God on a more personal and deeper level and  to take those God-given ideas and begin to seek the fruit of those seeds. The mind I believe is where many people go wrong with God, thinking that they can fit him into some mental mindset and have it all figured out. Let it not be so among the church of God.

From the exhortation of being a mindful christian, Mark moved me to break a sweat and do something with all the knowledge about God. Many times in the Bible we are called to not be complacent and I think Mark does a good job in this section to do the same. He says, “Breaking a sweat for a God-given vision is the key to fulfillment and fruitfulness. It’s also the difference between making a living and making a life”. From breaking a sweat and doing something we move on to seeing the purpose of God and serving His instead of being so self-centred that we continue to serve our own. Mark points to the fact that we often put ourselves on the throne of our lives, and thus find ruin, but when Christ is exalted and enthroned then we find the most perfect place in which our understanding and experience of God grows.

Overall I enjoyed this book and connected with the primal places it took me. I recommend it if you are looking for an encouraging and uplifiting call to seek the true Christ. Mark Batterson is an excellent author and his video teaching is also very good. Let me encourage you to seek out his video teaching in order that you may grow in your faith.

In compensation for this reveiew I receieved this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers.

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