Friday, December 18, 2009

Primal: A Review of Mark Batterson's Latest Book

2010 should begin with you reading Mark Batterson's latest book, Primal: A Quest for the Lost Soul of Christianity.  In this book Mark looks at the Great Commandment as the definition of the soul of Christian [loving God with all of our heart, soul mind and strength].  Mark takes these four ways of loving God and expounds on how each is essential for a Christian to mature into the follower of Christ.

In each book that Mark has written he has displayed a thirst for knowledge and biblical truth.  It is quite clear the he reads across several genres, from physics and biology to pop culture and theology.  And while this book is easy to read and process, it is also challenging.  It is likely the type of book that you read through quickly, but will want to pick up and read again as soon as you are done.

Mark's gift at communication is clearly seen in his ability to take enormous truths and pack them into a few words.  There are so many scattered throughout the book, but here are few of my favorites:
1. "If the goal of reading is to get through the Bible, the goal of meitation is to get the Bible through us."
2. "Sin is a waste of energy. It's wasting your energy on things you can't have or can't control."
3. "Lack of faith is not a failure of logic. It's a failure of imagination."
4. "Most of us are alreay educated beyond the level of our obedience."
5. "You can't listen to just half of what the Holy Spirit has to say. If you aren't willing to listen to everything He has to say, you won't hear anything He has to say."

I hope you enjoy the taste of Primal and will add it you Christmas shopping list.  The book is due to make it's official release on December 22.

This was book was provided for review by WaterBrook Multnomah.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Liturgal Year

Just in time for the Advent season I have wrapped up The Liturgical Year by Joan Chittister.  This book was a little bit of challenge for me because I don't come from a tradition that follows any type of liturgy. Nor do we follow any "church calendar." So thinking about the flow of the year in connection with the life of Christ is new to me.  Coming in as an outsider there were some terms that I wish had been better defined, but they are probably quite elementary for those whose traditions follow the liturgical year.
There are many great challenges within this short book which is part of the Ancient Practices Series.  One of the first, and most powerful to me is this,
"The liturgical year is an adventure in bringing the Christian life to fullness, the heart to alert, the soul to focus. It does not concern itself with the questions of how to make a living. It concerns itself with the questions of how to make a life."
Isn't that what we are searching for, how to make our lives meaningful?
I would highly recommend The Liturgical Year for the reader who wants a deeper look into the experience of someone who has followed the liturgical calendar for a number of years.  Sister Joan Chittister is a gifted communicator who brings this Christian practice to life.  It has certain challenged me to rethink the way I spend the Sabbath, special days in the life of Christ, and time in general.


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