Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Posted by Erin Posted on 12:55 PM | No comments

Becoming Primal: A Book Review

Mark Batterson's new book, Primal, has hit shelves and my bedside table. In his book, Mark poses the question, "What would your Christianity look like if it were stripped down to the simplest, rawest, purest faith possible?" His answer? " You would have more, not less...you would have primal Christianity."

But what is the simplest form of Christianity? My first thought was along the lines of facts... You know, the basics of the gospel. I'm a sinner. I can't save myself. Jesus came, lived without sin, and died in my place so I can be reconciled with God. But Mark takes the reader beyond the facts to the heart. Once you know the facts, there are 4 elements in us that are stirred. The problem is as we get further away from the point where we were changed by the cross, we tend to become numb to these elements. Mark invites the reader to rediscover compassion, wonder, curiosity, and power.

Now, I must admit that I have not finished the book and that what I have read thus far, I have read with my mind. And in reading with my mind, there have been some good thoughts and interesting points, but sadly, I have not allowed it to change my heart. My plan is to re-read Primal in the new year and approach it with a prayerful heart, ready to learn. Even in reading with my mind I can recognize that I have lost my compassion. Things that used to make me weep now only make me shake my head at the most. And I have lost my wonder. I don't take the time ( because I don't have any to spare as my logic would argue) to sit and be amazed at the creativity that made the sky or trees or the endless colors in creation. I don't risk thinking of what could be because I am afraid of what I might lose. And I certainly don't live as though the Most High Powerful God accepts me and offers me access to Him.

If you are like me, and find yourself bored and numb, or possibly annoyed with Christianity as we are currently experiencing it, you should pick up a copy of Primal. But let's read it with humility, expecting it to open our eyes and even more, expecting The Holy Spirit to renew the primal heart of Christianity that we first experienced at the cross.