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Friday, January 15, 2010

Primal Book Study

I am joining one of my sweet blog friends Jenilee over at

my awake journey

as she leads us through a study of the Mark Batterson's latest book "Primal:  A Quest for the Lost Soul of Christianity".  I won a copy of this book from Angela when she was giving away a copy on her blog Refresh My Soul.  Thank you Angela!

Mr. Batterson is the Senior Pastor of National Community Church in Washington DC.  I've never read anything written by him until now.  I have to say that the first chapter of this book has me interested in what he has to say!

The scriptural premise of the ideas he presents in the book is Mark 12:30:
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength."
Batterson calls this the Primal Commandment and asks those reading to think of it as love to the fourth power, a love worth living for and dying for.  As I considered that last part, I thought not so much of physical death, but of the kind of dying to self Luke 9:23-24 calls for:
"If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.  For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it." 

There were several things he said in chapter one that really struck a chord with me.  I'll present them in the form of questions I'm asking myself:
  • Have we diluted the truths of Christianity and settled for superficialities?  Have we accepted a form of Christianity that is more educated but less powerful, more civilized but less compassionate, more acceptable but less authentic?
  • Those around me know what I'm against, because I can be quite verbal about that, but do they know what I'm for?
  • I can get real worked up about confronting what's wrong with our culture, especially since I'm raising three children, but am I willing to be humble enough and honest enough and courageous enough to repent of what's wrong with me?  
  • Does my heart break for the things that break the heart of God?
  • How maybe have I lost my soul while serving God?
  • Not that things like the methods of ministry we use are wrong, or the traditions we follow are bad, but have we complicated Christianity?
  • Mr. Batterson says, "God calls us to simplicity on the far side of complexity.  For that matter, He calls us to faith on the far side of doubt, joy on the far side of sorrow, and love on the far side of anger. So how do we get there?"
Mr. Batterson says we get there by "being great at the Great Commandment".  
I'm tying to evaluate as I read on through this book, with the help of the Holy Spirit, how great I am at the Great Commandment.
So, what do you think?

Coram Deo,



Jenilee said...

Love your post! isn't it an amazing thing to break down the great commandment and ask the holy spirit to show us if we are great at all four parts. can't wait to do more of this study with you!!