Monday, December 21, 2009

Primal, Mark Batterson

Love the Lord Your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. (Mk. 12:30)

This is the passage that is explored in Mark Batterson's newest offering, Primal. The intent is to get back to what Christianity is really all about, take away all the unnecessary clutter, and be left with the basest tenant of the Faith. Primal Christianity is this, to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Batterson leads the reader on a journey to reach this point.

Part I: The Heart of Christianity

In his book "A Man After His Own Heart", Charles Siebert shares a scientific yet poetic depiction of a heart transplant he observed at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City. Not long after, Siebert attended an annual banquet for transplant recipients, and he was deeply moved by their profound appreciation for life. They spoke in reverent tones about the second chance at life they had been given. They humbly acknowledged their responsibility to honor the donors. And many of them talked about new desires that accompanied their new hearts.

Sieber concluded -- and his research is backed up by numerous medical studies -- that transplant recipients don't just receive a new heart. Along with that new heart, they receive whole new sensory responses, craving and habits. (pg. 16)

This is the beginning of primal Christianity, a change of heart.

Part II: The Soul of Christianity

The primal soul of Christianity is being aware of the presence of God. Batterson tells the story of the small, beautiful, island, Pingelap. This island is filled with every kind of beautiful plant. However, the inhabitants of the island are all colorblind. They live in the midst of all this beauty but have no idea how beautiful it really is.

...many of us are as blind to the wonder as the Pingelapians are to color. There are miracles all around us all the time, but we lack the perceptual capacity to perceive them. We are in the presence of God, but we are unaware of it. We are surrounded by the glory of God but can't see it. (pg. 59)

Part III: The Mind of Christianity

Loving God wit all your mind literally means loving God with all your mind. It means managing your mind. It means making the most of your mind. It means loving God logically and creatively, seriously and humorously, intuitively and thoughtfully. (pg. 94)

Imagination is a form of God worship. As we surrender our imaginations, and creativity to Him. We are worshipping, as we worship He fills our minds with more imaginations and creativity for His glory.

Part IV: The Strength of Christianity

God desires for our strength to be surrendered to Him. As we physically serve others (mission trips, work days, etc.) God is worshiped. A lot of people want to stay away from the "labor" ministries (set up/tear down, work and witness, service projects), and stick with the "easy" ministries. However, those people miss out on one of the four primal factors of our Faith. God desires our strength. As we work, and wear our physical bodies down, for Him, He is worshipped.

Let this be the first book you read in 2010! Return to the primal foundations of the faith. Embark on "A Quest for the Lost Soul of Christianity".

Let this book set your spiritual tone for 2010!

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