Primal: A Quest for the Lost Soul of Christianity is a challenging book. Mark Batterson, a pastor and author, has set about a serious self examination. He isn’t just looking at his own spiritual journey and asking the question, “am I stepping into God’s will?” He is truly confronting the global Church at large, looking American Christianity directly in the eye as if to say, “you know what I’m talking about.” Allow me to let Batterson speak for himself for a moment:
It goes without saying that Christianity has a perception problem. At the heart of the problem is the simple fact that Christians are more known for what we’re against than what we’re for.
Forgiving Batterson for his grammatically incorrect prepositional usage, I want to loudly support his assessment of the Church in Western culture. Batterson offers a fresh perspective for Christians struggling in the mire of dogmatism and stagnation. His views on understanding Scripture, especially his kaleidoscopic comparison, resonated with me enormously. His views on ideas and physical realities were also a welcome relief in a world of rehashed doctrinal statements which seem to contribute nothing to the discussion or say anything different.
It is not that Batterson and I agree on everything. Far from it. For instance, his perspective that much of the Western Church’s problems stem from engaging the minds and not the hearts is something I think is misguided. In my own experience, the exact opposite has been true (generally speaking). However, the points offered by Batterson are still very valuable.
Overall, this is a book that I would highly recommend to ALL Christians. Whether you’re fine as things are, discontent with the state of affairs, or simple seeking to draw closer to God, this is a book that will challenge and inspire you. I echo Batterson’s words, “do we need a reformation? The short answer is yes…The last Reformation was a reformation of creeds. The next reformation will be a reformation of deeds.” May these words be the coming of such a movement.