Book Review: Busy – Tackling the Problem of an Overloaded Christian Life (by Ian Carmichael)

I enjoyed this book.

Whilst not a book that helped me be less busy, it is a book that helped me to be well-directed in my busyness – and that is Ian Carmichael’s stated goal.

Over eleven quick chapters, Ian takes us through a systematic treatment of a biblical view of work and rest. Each chapter finishing with a set of reflection questions (helpful if reading this book individually, with someone, or using it as a discussion guide for a group) and then a progressive chapter by chapter summary (helpful when returning to each chapter). At times it is most insightful, both on the biblical text and of the culture that shapes me (and feels very ‘busy’). Across the book we move from theology to application. And with this biblical framework, Ian suggested ways for me to make day-to-day decisions about what I make myself busy with – so that I might be effectively gospel minded with my time, relationships and energy (the time and relationships audit is a helpful tool).

If you read this, make sure you read the footnotes where Ian’s refreshing and self-depreciating sense of humour emerges most clearly. And whilst the book finishes on page 135, there are another 46 pages with three very valuable appendices on a) Paid Employment (with some helpful comments about vocation and calling), b) Church (often a source of Christian busyness), and c) Family Life (which can rightly and wrongly make us busy).

Do yourself a favour. Buy this book. And make some time to read it with a friend.

Purchase from Matthias Media – here

Reviewed by Ken D Noakes