Primal – Mark Batterson

About the Author

Sample Chapter


Mark 12: 30

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.”

The above verse is what Christianity is all about, or what it should be all about anyway. In his book Primal, Mark Batterson breaks down Mark 12:30 into four manageable sections: heart, soul, mind, and strength. He defines what loving God with each of these things is and what it looks like. It’s more than just head knowledge, it’s a lifestyle. We should hurt for what hurts the heart of God, we should stand in awe, we should use the creativity we’ve been given (even if we think it’s not worth it), and we should sweat it out for God’s glory.

Honestly, I didn’t find anything theologically wrong with Primal. Does it have things that people might not like to hear in it? Oh yeah. But it’s what we need to hear. Personally, I think it’s what “faith without works” is all about. When we are saved, we become new creations. We’re the same people physically but spiritually we’re so different, and we should live like it. One of my favorite quotes from the book comes in the 9th chapter and reads: “In its purest, most primal form, loving God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength is loving God for God. Nothing more. Nothing less. Nothing else.” (Batterson, 165)  Well written, well supported, and honest.

I love how Mark Batterson breaks each aspect of “The Great Commandment” down and explains it. I also really liked how he says we do have a spiritual love language but we need to be using all four spiritual love languages and not just one. That’s really what it is. Some people are more creative, some people are more heart oriented, some are more awed, and some are do-ers. BUT, in order to love God to the fullest, we need to be a little bit of each. And that totally makes sense. For me, I know things are heart oriented, awed, creative, and do-er. But I can be all four. I can be compassionate, I can be awed, I can use my photography or writing to worship God, and I can be a do-er even if all I do is strive to be a God honoring wife and mother. It’s do-able.

Would I recommend this book? Totally, in fact, I’m doing it now. Do you want to get back to your first love? Need an idea of how to do that? First I would suggest reading your Bible, but second, I would suggest reading Primal. Get a group together and go through it, or just think over the discussion questions on your own. But let’s be Primal, it’ll change our lives for the better. (And if, after my husband reads the book, we find anything terribly wrong with my assessment, I’ll post an update!)

You can rank my review here:

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers in exchange for an honest review.


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