My friend Mark Batterson leads a very exciting church in Washington D.C. with nine weekend services, writes a great blog, and in recent years has penned several outstanding books, most of which I’ve read. His latest book is Primal, released in December 2009. I’m just now reading it.
His subtitle is A Quest for the Lost Soul of Christianity. He develops the quest by exploring ways we’ve unnecessarily cluttered and complicated our faith, causing us to lose a vital focus:
That, I believe, is our primal problem. That is the lost soul of Christianity. If Jesus said that loving God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength is the most important commandment, then doesn’t it logically follow that we ought to spend an inordinate amount of our time and energy trying to understand and obey it? (Primal, page 7)
Ouch. That’s probably the only “ought” statement in the book. Otherwise he tells stories – from his life, from his church, from Scripture, from culture, and from the many books he’s read. In a highly engaging style he goes back to the core values of life in Christ and the passion many of us experienced when we first became a follower of Christ. He probably says nothing new in the book, but he voices it in a way that grabs us, challenges us and motivates us that nothing is more important than loving God. As he says:
The last reformation was a reformation of creeds. The next reformation will be a reformation of deeds. The last reformation was symbolized by one central figure. The next reformation will be led by millions of reformers living compassionately, creatively, and courageously for the cause of Christ. It will be marked by broken hearts and sanctified imaginations. And the driving force will be the love of God.
The book was good for me personally, and if you think it might be helpful for your own spiritual quest, check out Mark’s website that introduces the book further: PrimalMovement.