Monday, December 21, 2009

'Primal' by Mark Batterson - Book Review and Giveaway

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I first learned of Mark Batterson while attending the 2008 Group Life Conference at Willow Creek Community Church in S. Barrington IL. Mark, the senior pastor of National Community Church in Washington D.C., was there with Heather Zempel, the discipleship pastor at NCC. I can say without reservation that they were the highlight of the conference for me. The focus of their church is to reach the unchurched in the Nation’s Capitol – a high calling indeed! They are so innovative and insightful, brilliant and committed to the Lord! So I was excited when I found out Mark had a new book coming out!

I had the opportunity to receive an advance copy of ‘Primal.' It exceeded my high expectations! Mark’s purpose in this book is to take Christians back to the basics of their faith. He believes Christians have lost the soul of Christianity, and it is detrimental to us and to those who are still outside of the faith. We need a new reformation – to get back to ‘primal’ Christianity. He encourages us to lay aside our differences in doctrine, etc… and instead to focus on the four elements of Great Commandment Christianity: compassion, wonder, curiosity and power. He bases these four elements on Jesus’ teaching in Mark 12:30: “…30Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. 31The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these" (NIV).

Mark’s primary motivator is to show more people the love of the Lord, and to have them see that He is what they need. He makes the observation that many young people are very turned off on church and Christianity because of judgmental attitude and ‘unlovely’ behavior of those who profess Christ as their Lord. We need to return to our first love, and allow Him to reflect through us by the power of His Holy Spirit – the same power which raised Him from the dead. As Christians, we have that power available to us, and we need to use that gift! I love Mark’s quote on page 150 – “Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. Go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention. Break a sweat.”

A big ‘take away’ for me is that Mark thinks our love for God grows when we learn more about all subjects. He is especially drawn to the Lord when he thinks about astronomy and the vastness and majesty of the universe. That really impressed me. I have over the years put myself in a small ‘sacred’ box, and rejected a lot of what I categorize as ‘secular’ – and, by default, have put the Lord in an equally small box. Mark’s observations, along with the teachings at our church, have ‘allowed’ me to broaden my horizons. It is so freeing – and honoring to the Lord, in my opinion!

I highly recommend this book. I think if we all read this book, and put the practices into action(which are very solidly biblical), I think it will definitely draw more people to the Lord, and will help us to live a life that is more honoring to Him! It will also give us the freedom to learn and explore and discovering how God wired us and what He wants us to do with our lives!

This book was provided to me by Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Company. There was no remuneration involved and this review is based strictly on my own thoughts and opinions.

This book’s release date is December 22, 2009. You can order a copy from Waterbrook here.

You can also order from or


I have a copy of this book that I would love to give to one of you! You can receive entries in several ways:

1) Leave a comment on this post – please make sure to include your email address in this form – 

2) Follow me on this blog – please make me aware of that ‘follow’ in your blog post!

3) Follow me on Twitter. Please make me aware of your ‘follow’ in your blog post!

Or any combination of the three!  Please limit one entry per option!

The winner will be chosen by the Random Number Generator.  Each separate entry will be assigned a number.

Due to the holidays, the contest will run two weeks. The deadline for entry is January 4, 2010 at 6:00 pm Eastern Time. The winner will be notified by January 5 via email. So please be sure to leave your email address in your blog comment!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Linda said...

You definitely have my interest piqued! Please enter me. I have to admit I don't see the 4 items he lists in the Scripture he bases it on, but I'm curious enough to read it.

desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Andrea said...

Hi Linda -
He definitely has a neat and unique spin on the Scriptures!
Blessings - Andrea

Stacie said...

Please count me in.


Twitter follower (mysticconn)

simplystacieblog at gmail dot com

Melissa Burmester said...

Please enter me


Melissa Burmester said...

I am a follower


Anonymous said...

Sounds good....please enter me. Am a follower. Thanks!!!

Winning Readings said...

I'd love to read this! I'm a follower, and also a twitter follower (moziesme).

We posted about this giveaway at Winning Readings:

janemaritz at yahoo dot com

Mocha with Linda said...

Sounds like a great book!

Anonymous said...

This book intrigues me...please add me to your drawing. thanks.


Janet Ruth said...

I would love to read this book, and I am just reading another book by the same author "In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day", and it is great. Please count me in.

I am a follower


The Unsell Family said...

I've never heard of this author and would love to win a copy of this book. Thanks for the opportunity.
~Jen Unsell

The Unsell Family said...

I am now following your blog.
~Jen Unsell

Andrea said...

Janet - I haven't read any of Mark's other books yet, but I love his heart, so can imagine they're great also.
Thanks for coming by, ladies!

pixie13 said...

I would very much like to read this book. Please accept my entry. Thank you for this beautiful giveaway.


Kerry Nietz said...

Sounds interesting! Count me in:


rubynreba said...

Carman sent me.
Please enter me!

rubynreba said...

I am a new follower

Andrea said...

Ladies -
Thanks for the follows and for the comments!
Happy Twenty Ten!

Anonymous said...

Never read any books from this author but the book sounds very interesting. Please add my name to your drawing.

Heidi V said...

I'm new and I found the review very interesting I would love to read this one.

heidivargas [at] live dot com

Jaime said...

Carman sent me
I would love to read this one
copperllama at yahoo dot com

Jaime said...

I'm following
copperllama at yahoo dot com

Jaime said...

follow on twitter
copperllama at yahoo dot com

Deborah said...

I have really great things about this book! I have been wanting to read it for awhile too. Please enter me in the drawing. I am a follower.

Janna said...

I'm actually starting Mark's book "Wild Goose Chase" as my non-fiction book of the new year... I'd love to read this one as well.

ryanx6 at msn dot com

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