When people offer to give away free books, it usually doesn’t take long for me to sign up. I recently accepted an offer from Mark Batterson. The offer was posted on his blog, so I took him up on it. Basically, if I agreed to read his book, Primal: A Quest for the Lost Soul of Christianity, and post a review on my blog, then he agreed to send me a freebie. The final review is to be published during the week of December 15-22, but I will offer my review in bits and pieces as I read the book.
I do not know Mark Batterson, at all. He is the pastor of National Community Church in Washington D.C., and he writes a blog and twits. That is the extent of my knowledge of Mark. And I am sure he doesn’t know me from Adam.
The basis for the book is a trip that he took to Rome where he had the opportunity to experience the ruins of a third century church located underneath the fourth century church. The church above ground was built during a time when Christianity was an approved religion in Rome; the church below ground was built during the days of persecution. Batterson writes,
I couldn’t help but wonder if our generation has conveniently forgotten how inconvenient it can be to follow in the footsteps of Christ. I couldn’t help but wonder if we have diluted the truths of Christianity and settled for superficialities. I couldn’t help but wonder if we have accepted a form of Christianity that is more educated but less powerful, more civilized but less compassionate, more acceptable but less authentic than that which our spiritual ancestors practiced. (3)
The rest of the book is a search for the primal essence of the Christian faith. When all is stripped away, what is the primal essence of Christianity? Batterson’s answer is the Greatest Commandment, which Batterson accepts as the Primal Commandment. The rest of the book is divided into exploring the primal essence of loving God with our heart, our soul, our mind, and our strength.
As I read more, I will post more.