Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Now that the book is hitting the bookshelves it's time to get word out about it. This is the third Mark Batterson book I have read, and I can honestly say they just keep getting better. Although I did enjoy, "In a Pit with A Lion On A Snowy Day" and "Wild Goose Chase," his latest, "Primal" is his best yet. This book captures Mark's passion and flair for story telling like his first two, but Primal feels more practical. Mark communicates a growing passion for God, the church, and the Christian faith in an age when people just want to be "spiritual," whatever that means. Mark taps into the history and richness of the Christian faith while bringing a new flavor. For example, in the section "Seventy Faces" on engaging Scripture he names the one word he would use to describe the Scriptures, kaleidoscope, which struck me immediately. The idea that you can continually read the same passage, yet at different times in our Christian experience, and the scripture seems to be rotated and a new color and pattern shine into your soul. He pushes us beyond reading the Bible and invites the reader to meditate on it. As he puts it, "If the goal of reading is to get through the Bible, the goal of meditation is to get the Bible through us." Then he takes it a step further and invites the reader to put the Bible into practice, a much needed call to followers of Jesus today.

This book, to me, is a perfect blend of the old and the new. Rather than just question everything for question sake, Mark writes, "I think many of us doubt Scripture simply because we haven't done it. The way you master a text is by submitting to it. You have to let it master you." As a church planter in today's postmodern post Christian culture, I think he nails it on the head. Many young people want to question everything, but sadly do nothing about it. Or maybe just act in ways that communicate what they are against, specifically tradition, and forget to get around to what, or who, they are for. This book invites us to worship in heart, soul, and action, which seems to be the original call of Jesus. This is a book that inspires and gives us some legs to run with. It's about rediscovering or uncovering the beauty of the Christian faith with out attacking and tearing down all the tradition along the way. And on a literary note, I think Mark just keeps getting better and better as a writer with each book. I plan on rereading Primal again and then look forward to Mark's next serving. Last minute shoppers, I highly encourage you to head to randomhouse.com or your favorite book store and stuff some stockings this Christmas with Mark Batterson's "Primal."

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