Primal: A Quest for the Lost Soul of Christianity
By Mark Batterson
Waterbrook Multnomah, 2009
Reviewed by Jen Baker
Challenging, funny and smart – words to aptly describe this slim volume packed with pithy, quotable insights on the Great Commandment: love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. We all know what it means, we sing about loving God with all that we are, but are we really giving everything we have within us to love God? If you love someone you want to know them better; you spend as much of your time as you can listening and talking to them. When you love someone, whatever hurts them hurts you, too. The highest power in the entire universe wants to be your source of energy, of creativity and intelligence. Is that what you want, too? Batterson ramps up the heat, not to make readers feel guilty, but to point out how lukewarm love insults God, how complacence traps us in spiritual numbness while God (and the world) waits for His people to wake up and get moving. You’ll find yourself with pen in hand as you read, taking notes and noting quotes. Christians are challenged to rise above the fundamentalist image we’ve created by, as the author says, “tak[ing] potshots at our culture from the comfortable confines of our Christian subculture.” We need a “love that turns work into worship,” and a “sanctified imagination to serve His purposes.” If this book doesn’t energize you, then pick out your coffin, you’re dead! Dare to envision yourself as a walking talking translation of Scripture for people around you to read.