Cruciform Press, 2015
Reviewed by Mark Powell
Tim Challies is prolific in his output – he is a pastor, writer, father of three young children, as well as being engaged in a few other significant para-church leadership responsibilities. As such he is eminently well-placed to write a book like this because he is, quite clearly, a very productive man!
The book itself is mercifully short (a touch over 100 pages) which means that it could easily be read in one or two sittings. What’s more, his style is easy to read and, as the title suggests, the content is intentionally practical.
One of the great strengths of everything that Tim Challies writes, though, is that it is also profoundly biblical. Hence, rather than just arguing that we should be more productive simply for productivity’s sake, Challies challenges the reader theologically to see our productivity in the light of what it means to glorify God by being fruitful in good works (see Matthew 25:14-30).
There is much practical wisdom to be found in this little book. In particular, there are a couple of real gems about how to deal with the constant demand of email as well as turning off all those alluring but ultimately distracting “notifications” that constantly pop up on our electronic devices.
Rather than run away from technology, Challies advises on strategies to better manage it. Like anything, that which can be a good servant can also very easily turn into a horrible master.
I did at times feel his approach was so developed that it would cause me more stress to try to follow it. However, he acknowledges the freedom and flexibility that we should employ, depending on our personality type. What’s more, his book is a wonderful challenge and at times rebuke for us to redeem the time which we have been given (Eph 5:15-16).
Buy it here from Reformers Bookshop.
Mark Powell is associate pastor at Cornerstone Presbyterian Church