John Ortberg described one of his books as ‘Dallas for Dummies’, this book is ‘Ortberg for Millennials.’ Ortberg graciously provides a foreword to a book that takes its title from something Dallas Willard said to Ortberg. Ortberg rightly says that it almost unthinkable for modern people to adopt Jesus’s teaching to hurry and busyness. Comer then picks up the baton and shows how a. modernity is obsessed with achievement at speed b. how Jesus’s approach was very different c. how he amongst others has made a resolution to slow down.
The strength of this book is Comer’s own personality and intention to follow Jesus in his context. This is very much a book by a West Coast millennial for his people. The book is full of very specific references that will connect with his peers. He is self-revealing (we are told about his Myer’s Brigg temperament, how many books he reads a week and how he only answers email once a week…) But he has put into practise (with his family) a slower pace of life. He is honest that is probably much easier for him to do as senior pastor. This strength is of course partly a weakness: the writing style is often irritating (he has Ortberg’s weakness for jokey asides), many of the best observations are quotations from other people (especially Willard and Ortberg) and some of the cultural references are just baffling to ‘outsiders’. Good to read quickly (!) and be challenged by, but hard to recommend to the general reader.