Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Book Review: Primal

This book was provided for review by WaterBrook Multnomah.

I'll confess: I've only read about half of this book so far (I started Andrew Peterson's North! Or Be Eaten! and could.not.put.it.down.  It's that good--seriously).  The first chapter was a bit slow (maybe due to the fact that I was raised in the church), but Primal gets better as you go along.

Batterson has some good things to say--I especially liked his concept of an income ceiling.  Basically, you set an amount you need to live on and then any money you make over that is given away.  Obviously, it will need to be adjusted at times for having kids, etc., but Chris and I love the idea and are hoping to implement it in our budget.  I also appreciated his desire to get rid of the clutter found in much of Western Christianity.

My biggest issues with the book are two fold, and one is really more of a pet peeve than big issue.  I don't like it when authors quote Scripture without citing it in the text. I really don't like it.  It may stem from my Bible quizzing days, but I want to see the reference!  Batterson isn't using Scripture out of context (that I saw), but still...this girl wants references in the text and not the footnotes.  Also, the fact that every chapter starts with an anecdote or illustration is a bit tiring, but again, that's probably just me.

Secondly (and this comes up mostly in the money chapter), I'm a bit uneasy with linking generosity and the blessing of God as Batterson does.  Specifically, on page 48 he talks about how he believes "God will bless National Community Church [the church he pastors] in proportion to two things: how much money we give to missions and how we care for the poor in our city."  I could be wrong (certainly wouldn't be the first time), but I think God will bless on His own terms, and not ours.

So, read with a grain of salt--that's my advice thus far.

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