Book Review: Crazy Busy

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Crazy Busy Kevin DeYoung

This book is written for people like me. This book is written for busy people. For this reason, I’m giving you two reviews for the price of one.

– 1 – the shorter review –

This book is perfect for busy people. It is short, readable and hard hitting. If you take Kevin’s advice (he wrote an excellent short book about the will of God, too) then you might end up living for Jesus better, even if you are busy.

Use screens less. Talk to Jesus and people more.

Review ends.

– 2 – the proper review – 

The second of my two reviews is for those of you, like me, who would rather procrastinate with something noble than recognise just how much there is to do. Seriously. Kevin DeYoung is one of my favourite young(ish) Reformed and Gospel-focused writers/preachers. His ‘Just Do Something’ was pivotal when I was working out what to do after university, and his other books have been helpful too. This new little green book, then

This is a book for busy people. Kevin DeYoung, it turns out, is one of us. DeYoung goes through his life – school, university, ministry – and shows that, even by modern standards, he is pretty busy. But this isn’t how we are made to be. DeYoung has been challenged – indeed, he writes the book as someone who is not sorted in this area, as a fellow-sufferer – that being this busy is not good. More importantly, it is not Godly. Because man is made to work and rest, because we are not invincible.

Crazy Busy cuts a careful (and thus biblical) line between pragmatic self-help and over-spiritualization. DeYoung is aware of all sorts of books on the topic – and comments quite wryly about some of them – but seeks to bring something new to the table. I think he does, not least because Crazy Busy is short and hard-hitting enough not to get in the way of living out the great ideas he shares. I read it in an afternoon sitting, and I could have gone faster. I was going slower because it is a convicting book.

The small size, punchy nature, and autobiographical tone of Crazy Busy mean that this book is easy to recommend. The medicine within is good, in Gospel terms, and the small and slim size means that this is a book that anyone who can read, can read. This is not a theology of work and rest – you’d need to look elsewhere for that, perhaps Tim Keller’s ‘Every Good Endeavour’ and C. J. Mahaney’s ‘Humility’ would be good stepping stones – but this is  a book that could make a genuine difference to those who find the time to read it.

There is a brilliant chapter, which I honoured with an entire sentence in my smaller review, on tech/screens/the internet and busyness. Regular readers of this blog will know that I value technology, in various shapes and sizes, and sometimes this does negatively affect my real life relationships and activities. DeYoung is old enough to remember a time before technology ruled the world, but has fallen under its spell. As a fellow user/addict, this was a convicting and challenging chapter.

Overall, then, at the end of this longer review, my conclusions are pretty much the same. This is a short, excellent and enjoyably readable book that does what its author sets out to do. Rather than making you feel guilty for busyness, DeYoung acknowledges that and gets to the solution. I’ll let you read it to find out what his solution is. And I’d recommend this for everyone – especially busy people.

Review ends.

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