I regularly read Mark Battersons blog and a few months ago, he began to give away free copies of his new book: “Primal”. I ordered a free copy for my Pastor and for myself. I must admit, the free copy sat on the bookshelf until my pastor Chip began talking about how great the book was. I have wanted to read through a book with Pastor Chip for a long time now, so I grabbed the book and jumped right into it.
The foundation of this book focuses on the Great Commandment: “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 disects that verse explaining the significance of loving God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength.
Bastterson begins by explaining that Christians are too good at complaining about what is wrong with cultural without addressing what is wrong with themselves. He says: “We’re not great at the Great Commanment. In too many instances, we’re not even good at it.”
There are four main divisions in this book. I will share them along with my favorite quotes from each section.
The heart of Christianity is primal compassion.
- ” Suffering helps us become less absorbed. A little suffering can produce a lot of compassion”
- “What is your God ordained passion? What will kill you if you don’t do it?”
- “We are blessed to bless”
- “God doesn’t bless you so that you can drive an expensive car, join the junky car club” 🙂
- “Your want’s determine your reality. If you focus on your want’s, enough will never be enough.”
- “If you focus on the needs of others, you’ll discover you have more than enough”
- “The most important decisions you make are pre-decisions. Pre-decisions are the decisions you make before you have to make the decision.”
The soul of Christianity is primal wonder. (GREAT SECTION)
- “Have you ever had an epiphany? A Moment when heaven seemed to invade earth? A Moment when eternity seemed to invade time? A moment when the presence of God was so tangible that it almost felt like a cool breeze on a hot day?”
- “The Holy Spirit compensates for our sensory limits by enabling us to conceive of things we cannot perceive with our five senses.”
- “The emotions we experience don’t reflect external reality; they reflect internal reality. We don’t see the world as it is, but as we are”
- “If our souls are full of wonder, then our life will be wonderful”
- “A relationship with Christdoesn’t always change our circumstances, but it does change the way we see ourselves, see others, and see God”
- “To love God is to love his voice, or to put it another way, to love God is to love His Word”
- “All scripture is equally inspired, but not all scripture is equally applicable.”
- “It’s the daily discipline that will ultimately determine our destiny . And if you maintain the discipline long enough, the discipline will turn into desire.”
- “We are what we read.”
The mind of Christianity is primal curiosity. (FAVORITE… AMAZING)
- “A mind stretched by a new idea never returns to its original shape.”
- “Learning isn’t a luxury; it’s a stewardship issue.”
- “We stop creating the future and start repeating the past. And that is the day we stop living and start dying”
- “The God who conveniently fits within the confines of your mind will never fill your soul with wonder”
- “Einstein himself said: “I have no special gift. I am only passionately curious.””
- “The church ought to be the most curious place on the planet”
- “Most academic programs revolve around force-feeding knowledge rather than unleashing curiosity. The result? We learn some things. But we lose what is most important: the love of learning”
- “Quality of worship is determined by quantity of knowledge”
- “love is not a mindless thing, you cannot truly love what you do not really know. That is called ignorance.”
- “Maintaining the status quo is not good stewardship”
- “One God idea is worth more than a thousand good ideas”
- Change of pace + Change of place = Change of perspective
- “If you want to think new thoughts, then read new things, meet new people, and go new places.”
- “God won’t grow us beyond our ability to disciple people”
The strength of Christianity is primal energy.
- “At the end of the day, God isn’t going to say, “Well said, good and faithful servant.”
- “Most of us are not creative, not because we’re not creative. We’re not creative because it’s too hard.”
- “I’m absolutely convinced that the greatest predictor of success in any endeavor is persistence.”
- “Life is too short to sit at green lights”
- “Overanalysis always results in spiritual paralysis.”
- “Is God’s ultimate plan a weekly pilgrimage to the pew?”
- C.S. Lewis: “We are half-hearted creatures fooling around with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us.”
- “Nothing is more de-energizing than sin”
- “Vision acts as a preservative. It keeps us young. It keeps us energized. It keeps us on the offensive.”
- “None of us can imagine what God is capable of. Which means none of us can imagine what we’re capable of if we give God control of our lives.”
- “I am absolutely convinced that our biggest problem is our small view of God. Every other problem is a symptom.”
- “G.K. Chesterton, “How much happier you would be, how much more of you there would be, if the hammer of a higher God could smash your small cosmos.”
This was a great read that was very challenging and a great reminder of how Great our God is and how small we are. This book motivates one to learn, so that we can love God better.The balance of science and theology in this book is terrific. There was a part in the book where Batterson explains that when he has fallen away from the Lord, he “goes back to the place” where God worked greatly in his life. I have been motivated by that in great ways. I am striving to go back to the place where maybe God was a little bit more special to me than he is right now.
Primal: Great Read!