Prodigal Christianity: Review

Prodigal Christianity: Review

“As we will show throughout this book, emergent and neo-reformed run on the same ‘operating system’. Although each has promised us a third way beyond the conservative-liberal theological wars, they nonetheless keep us trapped within a bygone cultural consensus of … Continue reading

Three Books to Read Before 2011

A Challenge

We are halfway through October and it would be ashamed to let go of the gas pedal and wait till 2011 to kick-start your motivation again. Somewhere between last January and now I learned to appreciate the value of reading books (I should go tell my 4th grade teacher she was right). During this time the following three books stuck out to me. Take it as a challenge to pick up at least two of these books and read them before the new year.

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1.) Barbarian Way by Erwin McManus

This book will only take you a few hours to read (a good warm-up if you haven’t read in a while). But it is an amazing few hours. This book almost reads like a sermon and will challenge you on many different levels. McMannus will argue that Christianity has become too “civilized” and is very unlike a barbaric faith that a person who has the Spirit of God living in them might live out. If you hate reading you could still make it through this book. Read it!

2.) Untamed by Alan and Debra Hirsch

This book will certainly take more commitment to read but will take the passion that you will have from the Barbarian Way and give it some theology and direction. The Hirsch’s will build also build off of the idea that our Christianity has become too “domesticated” and that we ought to be living more untamed lives. This book goes more in depth uncovering how idolatry has slowly crept into the way we do things. There is way too much great stuff that they go into in this book that I cannot cover in this short summary. But trust me, this book will really help you discover the untamed Jesus and the untamed self that God wants you to have.

3.) unChristian by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons

Passion and solid direction will only get you so far. But if you have a good grasp on how our culture views the Christian faith than you will all the more prepared. Bottom line: This is an important book. Backed by a incredibly thorough research project, unChristian reveals that Americans mostly look at the Christian faith and say that it is antihomosexual, hypocritical, too political, sheltered, and judgmental among other negative things. Kinnaman writes, “The church has an image problem…” And I agree. These obviously do not represent the characteristics of Jesus and understanding what this book has to say will guide our passion and direction with awareness.

Let me know if you actually decide to take my challenge and read these books 🙂

Cheers,

Austin

Primal: A Quest for the Lost Soul of Christianity

Allow me to first apologize to those of you who have read my blog in the past on my recent lack of musing.  The end of the school year has proved to be a formidable opponent of my time.  But hopefully I will be back and writing again here over the Winter Break!

This post is a Book Review on a brand new book that I had the opportunity to read by Pastor Mark Batterson.  I have never written any sort of book review in the past, however, I can assure you is that this new book, Primal: A Quest for the Lost Soul of Christianity, is a great read.

Batterson opens the book describing an experience he had over while spending time with is wife in Rome.  After seeing all the “must sees” of the city, he and his wife took a trip off the beaten path and found themselves in an ancient church which was not one of the hot tourist destinations.  Batterson goes on to describe the experience of walking down the stairs into the basement of this 4th century church.  As he was descending the stairs he could appreciate what he was about to see: the church in original state.  Later reflecting on this experience, he compared what he felt in that old church to what we see today in our churches.  This led him to the question and the thesis of this book, “when all the superficiality are stripped away, what is the primal essence of Christianity?” (3).

Honestly I think this book is for everyone.  Though it is written towards a Christian audience with the goal of making them rethink church, I think this also could be a great book for skeptics and critics of Christianity.  Over the year we (Christians) have added so much to such a simple message.  We have done terrible things in the name of the faith and have often lost focus our original purpose.  This book aims to rediscover the original faith that those 4th century Christians had in the basement of that ancient church.  Batterson goes on this quest by rediscovering the true meaning of the Great Commandment: Love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.  This he writes, is primal Christianity.

In conclusion, I believe this book is a great one for the new year.  It will challenge you to rethink how you approach God and your religion in general.  With practical solutions on how to fulfill the Great Commandment and love God with our entire being.  I would highly encourage those of you who are bothered with today’s status quo Christianity to dive into this book.  It is a quick and captivating read that will benefit your faith and your mind.  Once again the book is called Primal: A Quest for the Lost Soul of Christianity and it is by Pastor Mark Batterson.

To purchase this book you can go to http://www.randomhouse.com