Thursday, February 16, 2012

Primal, by Mark Batterson

Book Review: Primal, by Mark Batterson

I've read Mark Batterson's book,” In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day,” which was excellent. So, when I heard his new book was coming out and this publisher invited me to review it, I looked forward to reading this book. Unfortunately, it was a bit of a disappointment. Below are my thoughts, positive and negative.

What I liked about this book:
…Its introductory story about his trip to Rome and his visit to the Church of San Clemente and the catacombs. Having been there, his contrast of the catacombs with the majestic cathedrals that followed, and our lost of focus got my attention.
…Other illustrations throughout the book from science, psychology, and history, were excellent.
…I liked his focus the Great Commandment and what it means to love God with all our heart (compassion), soul (wonder), mind (curiosity), and strength (energy).

What I didn't like about this book:
…His train of thought is hard to follow. When a writer makes a statement my expectation is that he will explain it, defend it, illustrate it, apply it, or something to that effect. Batterson doesn't do much of that. He often makes a statement and then follows it with another statement. I found myself asking, "Why?" a lot.
…There’s a lot of repetition of thought. The book can be described as one thought, many pages.

If you are interested in a short book with good illustrations to use, then I would recommend it. If you are looking for new thoughts on Christianity or on how to teach the Greatest Commandment, then read something else, like N.T. Wright’s, “Simply Jesus”.

Book Review: I Am A Follower

Book Review: I am a Follower: The Way, Truth, and Life of Following Jesus, by Leonard Sweet

I am not a huge Leonard Sweet fan. His writing often tends to be clich├ęd and reruns of others thoughts, but this book is right on track for me. Sweet does a good job speaking about the issues in the church today…and on how Christ followers, Jesus followers, should live; following Jesus. Novel concept, right?

Sweet’s main theme is that today’s Christian culture spends a lot of time on leadership and very little time on followership. Sweet focuses on the fact that Jesus followers are called to serve, and when we are placed into a leadership position, we are to serve even more. We are to be servant leaders, who follow the only real leader, Jesus.

I recommend this book to those who follow Jesus. It is especially timely for those of us who think our opinion and what we feel is what counts, and that the church should line up behind those that are leading people, instead of behind Jesus.