Archives For Rest


A More Productive, Fulfilling Life.
A Feature Review of 
Rest: Why You Get More Done
When You Work Less
Alex Soojung-Kim Pang

Hardback: Basic Books, 2016
Buy Now:  [ Amazon ]   [ Kindle ]
Reviewed by Emma Sleeth Davis

In Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less, author Alex Soojung-Kim Pang starts with a simple premise: working more hours does not mean getting the most—or best—work done.  Part self-help, part scientific findings, part biographical anecdotes, Rest is an engaging, well written and researched read for white collar workers interested in improving their productivity.

The book is organized into three parts: an introduction and two opening chapters; the pith of the book, concerning the schedules and techniques of successful workers; and a concluding section on sustaining productivity.

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Just Say “No” to Productive Cruise Ship Churches


A review of

The Radical Pursuit of Rest: Escaping the Productivity Trap
John Koessler

Paperback: IVP Books, 2016
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Sam Edgin


Right now, all I really want to do is rest. That is, I want to do what I would call rest in this moment, which mostly involves ignoring the things I should be doing – like writing this review – so that I can gorge on potato chips and watch unhealthy amounts of Netflix. The darkly lurking knowledge of misspent time would damage most true rest that I would get out of Netflix and chips, but I want those things anyway. It wouldn’t be rest, really, but I’m tired from a long day at work and it sounds brilliantly lazy.

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A Well-developed Kingdom Imagination

A Feature Review of

The Rest of Life: Rest, Play, Eating, Studying, Sex from a Kingdom Perspective

Ben Witherington

Paperback: Eerdmans, 2012.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]

Reviewed by Ben Simpson


The nature of God as Trinity, the meaning of Christ’s atonement, the significance and right understanding of baptism and the Lord’s meal, and other concerns often dominate theological discussion. But those matters, while vitally important, often consume such immense amounts of energy that other matters pertaining to everyday life are left untended. Sensing the gap, Ben Witherington steps in.


In The Rest of Life, we find an exploration of rest, play, study, eating, and sex in light of the reign of God. Each of these areas of life is seldom focused upon at length, though it is in these areas our deepest yearnings are found. Who among us does not wish for more peaceful rest? Who has not wondered how to observe Sabbath in light of Jesus, the fulfillment of the Sabbath? If seen as part of life with God, how might our play, study, food choices, and sexual lives be enriched, fostering a more wholistic experience of life in the Kingdom of God?

*** Books by Ben Witherington
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Robert Chambers

Iste terraram mini preter omntj Angulus ridet –Horace

Written during a visit at the Nook, near Airth, Stirlingshire

One thing seems agreed on in speech and in book,
That, if comfort exists, ‘twill be found in a nook ;
All seems dreary and cold in an open area,
But a corner – how charming the very idea!
Hence, when, weary with toiling, we think of retreat ,
A nook is the spot that we ask for our seat – Continue Reading…


“A Palace in Time”

A Review of
The Sabbath World:
Glimpses of a Different Order of Time
by Judith Shulevitz

Reviewed by Ragan Sutterfield

[ Read an excerpt of this book here… ]

The Sabbath World: Glimpses of a Different Order of Time
Judith Shulevitz
Hardback: Random House, 2010.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

Sabbath World by Judith ShulevitzChristians have all too often ignored the Sabbath.  Ours is the Lord who questioned the keeping of the Sabbath, lowering its status, one could argue.  Paul, in helping spread Christianity, also set the stage for a diminished view of the Sabbath as he tried to wrangle diaspora Jews and gentiles into one church by saying that there was nothing special about one day over another.  Though both Jesus and Paul seem to have actually kept the Sabbath for the most part, it has been all too easy, outside of the very Sabbatarian context in which they were acting, to make the Sabbath a disposable idea, easily ignored or compromised when need be.

But if “the Sabbath was made for man” as Jesus says, most Christians have not accepted this gift of God. We have not learned to practice the Sabbath and so we are easily swayed by our kids’ soccer schedule or the mounting housework that we need one more day to complete.  Most of us acknowledge that the Sabbath is important, but we find ourselves easy Sabbath breakers if something better comes along. We need a voice to call us back—a voice from the outside who understands all of our ambivalence.

Judith Shulevitz’s The Sabbath World: Glimpses of a Different Order of Time is just the right sort of book.  Shulevitz is Jewish, with an experience of Sabbath few gentiles ever get a chance to have, and yet she is secular, agnostic, and has struggled with a deep ambivalence toward the Sabbath.  She brings us the gifts of the Jewish tradition and yet understands the struggles of the modern gentile with a day set aside for a kind of rest that, on the surface, seems like a lot of work.

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“A Sabbath-infused Way of Life
for Families”

A Review of
The Idle Parent:
Why Laid-Back Parents Raise
Happier and Healthier Kids
By Tom Hodgkinson.

Reviewed by
Chris Smith.

The Idle Parent:
Why Laid-Back Parents Raise
Happier and Healthier Kids
Tom Hodgkinson.

Paperback: Tarcher, 2010.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

THE IDLE PARENT - Tom HodgkinsonI’ll admit that I was a little skeptical when I first heard about Tom Hodgkinson’s newest book, The Idle Parent.  I have appreciated Hodgkinson’s work in previous books (e.g., How to be Idle and The Freedom Manifesto) and will occasionally read The Idler, the magazine for which he is the editor, but the idea of idle parenting didn’t sit well with me at first, as I have seen far too many self-absorbed, idle parents here in this urban neighborhood who don’t care at all where their kids are or what they are doing.  However, by the time I had wandered leisurely through the pages of this new book Hodgkinson had won me over.

The roots of this philosophy of idle parenting lie not with any of the familiar parenting gurus of the hour, but with noted enlightenment philosophers Locke and Rousseau (though Hodgkinson is quick to note his points of disagreement).  Freedom lies at the heart of Hodgkinson’s approach – freedom from the oppressive forces of television, toys, school and other cultural expectations – and indeed one gets the sense, though Hodgkinson himself wouldn’t likely use this sort of language, of what a sabbath-infused way of life might look like for families.  In a world where the struggle against the oppressive powers of greed, isolation and consumption too often grinds us down, Hodgkinson suggests a life of joy that is marked by virtues that resonate with Christian tradition: simplicity, rest and community.  Many readers might prejudge this book, as I admittedly did, as driven more by the vice of sloth than by any virtue, but what Hodgkinson is advocating here is not complete apathy, but rather freedom from over-parenting.  Consider, for instance, his take on family routines:

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An excerpt from

Sabbath World:
Glimpses of A Different Order of Time
Judith Shulevitz.
Hardback:  Random House, 2010.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

Read our review by Ragan Sutterfield here