By Donna Savaki, Special to Backseat Writer There are times when a book is a B12 shot to one’s weak and discouraged spirit—Primal: A Quest for the Lost Soul of Christianity by Mark Batterson is that kind of book. Urging Christian to abandon all their pre-conceived notions, Batterson wants readers to find pure faith—one that is both instinctual and integrated into our design. We as humans were created not only to love and worship God, but discover His mysteries as well.
Batterson starts by reminding readers of Jesus’ command to “Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength” by discovering the four primal dimensions of love in compassion, wonder, curiosity and energy. He tells us that we need to “be great at the Great Commandment.” In ten chapters, Batterson leads us in a quest into the heart of God and in that journey we begin to discover Him, His love for us and others, and ourselves. He says sin isn’t the problem in the church; it’s the lack of catching fire in who God is. If we’re doing what God calls us to do, we won’t be worried about sin.
In reading Primal, it was obvious that Batterson has a penchant for science and uses that area to explain just how marvelous God and His creation are. Scientific explanations baffle me and I don’t follow the flow of ideas, but I do understand that this is one more way to more fully know God. Batterson writes about loving God with our minds and speaks about having a sanctified imagination. He says that God plants a “God idea” in us, which is much better than a good idea. We need to take a God idea and prayerfully consider it as we look around as we share in the world. God will give us a vision to look for opportunities to serve him. As we discover more about him, we will discover more of the world. Truly, the things that break His heart will also break our hearts as we see infinitely more ways God can use us to reach broken people
Batterson continues by saying that Christians need to be the best at what we do, so we can discover more mysteries of God. He puts all these mysteries of His being into his creations for us to discover and yet we’ll never be discovering him because of who He is. Still, we have this quest. I found myself finding deeper understanding with the master design of the universe that God made and how can we know God through his creation.
Primal is a marvelous book. You should read a chapter, and then read it, and read it again. By giving illustrations that tie in with Scripture shedding new light on familiar passages, Batterson helped me see the Bible in a completely new way. Forty years ago, as a young Christian J.B Philips’ Your God Is Too Small awakened my soul and spirit to the holy, infinite, and omniscient God of the universe and was a clarion call to my generation to focus our view of God. Now, for this generation we have the challenge of Primal.
Donna Savaki is a retired teacher (over 30 years of teaching kindergarteners was enough). She has one daughter, Amy, who is the head honcho of Backseat Writer. She lives with her husband and two dogs, Katie and Clifford, in Pennsylvania.
*This book was provided for review by WaterBrook Multnomah. My mom highlighted it, so I guess she’s keeping it.*