All In

Gavin Ortlund | October 18, 2013


Mark Batterson. All In: You Are One Decision Away From a Totally Different Life. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2013. 192 pp. $22.99.

Mark Batterson is the lead pastor of National Community Church in Washington, D.C. His All In: You Are One Decision Away From a Totally Different Life follows closely on the heels of his earlier The Circle Maker, which he refers to as this book’s prequel (18). The Circle Maker was a call for boldness in prayer, drawing on the image of the Israelites surrounding Jericho as a metaphor for targeted, strategic praying. All In, written in the same readable style, is a call for wholehearted obedience, drawing on a number of biblical images (typically one per chapter), such as Abraham sacrificing Isaac, Moses throwing down his staff, Elisha burning his plowing equipment, and so forth. A key word in the book is consecration, which Batterson defines as “going all in and all out for the All in All” (19, italics his). This sentence also structures the book’s chapters.

Though I think it could be strengthened in a few areas, All In is a welcome and needed challenge for comfortable, consumer-driven American Christianity.

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