In his new book Primal (Multnomah), Mark Batterson talks about reclaiming the core of the Christian faith. Early in the book he observes: “It goes without saying that Christianity has a perception problem. At the heart of the problem is the simple fact that Christians are more known for what we’re against than what we’re for.

“But the real problem isn’t perception. We as Christians are often quick to point out what’s wrong with our culture. And we certainly need the moral courage to stand up for what’s right in the face of what’s wrong. I live in the bastion of political correctness, where it is wrong to say something is wrong. And that’s wrong. If we have to choose between political correctness and biblical correctness, we must choose biblical correctness every time. But before confronting what’s wrong with our culture, we need to be humble enough, honest enough, and courageous enough to repent of what’s wrong with us.

“I pastor a church in Washington, D.C., that is nearly 70 percent single, 20-somethings. Unfortunately, our demographics are an anomaly. By and large, 20-somethings are leaving the church at an alarming rate. According to some statistics, 61 percent of 20-somethings who grew up going to church will quit going to church in their 20s. And the temptation is to ask this question: What’s wrong with this generation? But that is the wrong question. The right question is this: What’s wrong with the church?

“My answer is simply this: We’re not great at the Great Commandment. In too many instances, we’re not even good at it.

“That, I believe, is our primal problem. That is the lost soul of Christianity. If Jesus said that loving God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength is the most important commandment, then doesn’t it logically follow that we ought to spend an inordinate amount of our time and energy trying to understand it and obey it? We can’t afford to be merely good at the Great Commandment. We’ve got to be great at the Great Commandment.

“The quest for the lost soul of Christianity begins with rediscovering what it means to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength.”

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