Primal (a review)

Several days ago, I received an advanced copy of the book “Primal” written by Mark Batterson. This was sent free of charge by the publishers to a number of bloggers to be part of a blog tour during this week of December 15-22.

This is an incredible book. It is one quote after another. For the last week or so, lines from this book have been popping up all over Twitter and Facebook as other bloggers and church leaders who also received advanced copies were posting  something that stood out to them.

Someone asked recently what makes this different than Mark’s other books. In simplest form, it is much more about being than doing. That is the whole essence of this book. Sure, it touches on some of the doing aspects, but it focuses greatly on who a person is and their relationship with God.

“Primal” is the perfect name for this book as it goes beyond a back-to-the-basics discussion of Christianity. Mark cuts to the very essence of life in Christ. He breaks it down to the raw and the real. The emotions and depth with which one must go in themselves to deal with what is written on these pages is easily paralleled to simple survival. It is primary. It is foundational.

Yet, this book isn’t overbearing or judgmental in any way. It simply states the truth and brings Scripture to light. The work of life change and conviction is left solely between the reader and the Holy Spirit. Mark makes no attempts at a guilt trip or accusations. Rather, the way this book is written is inspiring. It leaves the reader ready to conquer and move forward in victory while causing one to look soberly and intently at the areas that need to be changed and improved.

The mastery with which Mark weaves stories and personal insight with science, literature, history, and theology keeps the reader engaged throughout the pages. This is a hard/can’t put down type of book.

Primal walks the reader through the Great Commandment “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” Mark 12:30. Each one of the elements that we are to love God through and with our lives is unpacked with precision and skill. It’s not enough to get one right, all four must be at work as we journey through life and grow in our love of and for God. On page 156, these words can be found, “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.”

Whether the reader has been walking this journey for mere days or for decades, this book will guide every Christ follower into a deeper and more meaningful relationship with their Heavenly Father.

Obviously, I recommend this book highly. In fact, I will be giving it to a few people and have some other ways we will be using it at Capital City Church this coming year. In this post on his blog, Mark wrote, “I want to invite you to be part of the primal movement. Not sure what you have on your reading list for 2010, but I think Primal would be a great way to start 2010.”

That is a good idea.

You can order the book at:

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