A Review of Matt Perman’s What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done (Zondervan: 2014)
By David H. Leonard, Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Apologetics, Luther Rice University, Atlanta, GA
It might be tempting to think that productivity is a topic more suitable for business leaders and entrepreneurs, for whom it’s essential to “get things done” as efficiently as possible. As Matt Perman argues in What’s Best Next, however, productivity is mainly about loving others by putting their needs first. Such an emphasis results not only in greater productivity, but is also consistent with a Christian view of such matters. Indeed, the implication is that all Christians, regardless of their vocation, are called to excel in their productivity. To achieve that goal, it’s not sufficient that we’re merely aware of the relevant skills of productivity; rather, our employment of these skills must be motivated and informed by a proper theological foundation. In this regard, Perman’s book offers readers a unique and insightful perspective on the topic of productivity, explicitly informed by the Christian faith.
Christian scholars, in particular, ought to take seriously Perman’s insights on productivity, for the ideas and principles he develops have direct relevance for the quality of their teaching and research. Whereas Andreas Köstenberger, for example, has challenged scholars to pursue their work with excellence, in terms of demonstrating boldness amidst the pressures of “academic respectability” and displaying integrity in their scholarly activities, Perman highlights for readers the practical steps that might be taken to clear the way for such excellence to be achieved. Continue Reading…