Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Primal by Mark Batterson

Mark Batterson is one of the current crop of young and innovative pastors who are not only seeing the Kingdom grow where they serve, but are also helping other churches by writing books to equip, enlighten, and encourage. As pastor of NCC in Washington DC, he has seen God grow a congregation from 25 to several thousand over the past few years. NCC is making an impact there, and around the world as they reach out on mission. Mark has written two other books - "In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day" and "Wild Goose Chase".

Primal contains everything that readers have grown to expect from Mark.

There's a clear focus and articulation of what he wants to achieve with the book. There are lots of references from other disciplines, particularly science and medicine. And there are stories about people and how God has worked in their lives. If I have a beef with Mark, it's that he shares more of the references than he needs too. Yes, it's fascinating stuff - how the brain works, how much blood the body pumps,etc. But the material he's sharing is better. Having to slow down and digest the scientific tidbits hurts the flow. But I'll tell you this - I wouldn't ever play trivia against Mark. :)

That's not to say that anything about Primal is trivial. His call for a new reformation centered on love for God is right on track. The way he gets the reader to that conclusion winds through chapters that pose challenges to the heart, soul, and mind. He does it in a vibrant and accessible way. I can see this book providing great discussion for small groups and real value for personal spiritual growth.

There have been quite a few books this year I have recommended to people in my church. It's late in the year now, but Primal has to get added to the list. I managed to get a copy free from the publisher so I could review it, but go buy a copy. It's worth the bucks and the time.

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