A few weeks ago I received an advanced copy of Mark Batterson’s new book,Primal, in my mailbox.
I must admit, I received this book with much anticipation and expectation. I am an avid reader of his blog. I recently got the chance to hear Mark speak at the Catalyst conference and absorbed his words. He said great stuff and he was just…so…cool. Also, to make him even cooler in my book, he gavecampus ministers, like myself, free copies of the book as a way of saying “thanks” for the work we do on campus. Bonus points.
Often times I am quickly disappointed when I build a book up in my mind before I start reading. Allow me to quickly say, I was not disappointed with this book.
The premise of the book is simple: to rediscover the lost soul of Christianity. “The quest for the lost soul of Christianity rediscovers what it means to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.” (p. 7) The remainder of the pages of the book are dedicated to finding the heart of our faith, in primal compassion, primal wonder, primal curiosity, and primal energy.
Mark writes in a conversational tone. He uses two kinds of illustrations:
Everyday life illustrations (observing his sleep-walking son and remarking that many of us are spiritual sleepwalkers; eyes open, but only half awake.)
Not-Everyday life illustrations (discussing the differences between alpha and beta waves that our brain produces and their wavelengths and oscillation cycles to illustrate, literally, getting on the right wavelength with God and his word.)
Both types of illustrations work. I find it warmly refreshing. You can tell Mark is an observer of life and a researcher. Yet the book never reads too sweetly or too stuffy.
The book officially releases next Tuesday, December 22nd. I recommend pre-ordering it here and putting it at the top of your reading list for 2010. While you are putting it places, maybe put it in a few stockings or in your New Year’s resolution list