“Primal”—Book review

Read a sample chapter of Primal by Mark BattersonWhat’s the most important thing?

To love God with Primal by Mark Batterson
all your heart
all your soul
all your mind
all your strength
     Mark 12:30

It’s primal—“of first importance”—per Mark Batterson. I just finished reading an advance copy of Mark’s latest book, Primal, and I highly recommend it for a spiritual boost.

We’re not great at the Great Commandment. In too many instances, we’re not even good at it. That, I believe is our primal problem. 

…Loving God in one way isn’t enough. It’s not enough to love God with just your heart or soul or mind or strength. We are called, even commanded, to love Him in all four ways. Think of it as love to the fourth power.

How do we love God to the fourth power? Mark suggests these 4 ways:

  • With the heart of Christianity: compassion
  • With the soul of Christianity: wonder
  • With the mind of Christianity: curiosity
  • With the strength of Christianity: energy

He divides the book into four sections to give each element its due. He weaves scriptures, stories, and practical suggestions into each chapter to help you turn the nouns of compassion, wonder, curiosity, and energy into verbs, which, as Mark puts it, “is our highest calling and greatest privilege.”

On Mark’s blog, Evotional, he’s asking that Primal be the first book you read in 2010. You can read a sample chapter to see what you think.

Here are a few of my favorite excerpts below to get you started:

We are far too analytical in our reading of Scripture. We dissect Scripture instead of letting Scripture dissect us. p 80

Maybe we’ve been offering the wrong thing. We offer answers. God offers a relationship through Jesus Christ. His answer to our questions isn’t knowledge. It’s a relationship. And that relationship is the answer to every question. p 106

Love doesn’t play it safe; it takes risks. Love doesn’t make excuses; it takes responsibility. Love doesn’t see problems; it seizes opportunities to step up and step in. p 143

Sin is a waste of energy...It’s wasting your energy on things you can’t have or can’t control. p 145

The most primal form of love is not doing things for God. It is receiving with gratitude what He has already done for us. And then reflecting it in our lives. p 156

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