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Ploductivity: A Practical Theology of Tools & Wealth

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Plod, don't sprint. Be fruitful like a tree, not efficient like a machine. In this book, Douglas Wilson both considers the theology behind technology, work, and mission and advice on how to be productive—and to think about productivity—in the digital age. We should not rush to buy each and every new iPhone or fancy new gadget, but neither neither should we reject the new te Plod, don't sprint. Be fruitful like a tree, not efficient like a machine. In this book, Douglas Wilson both considers the theology behind technology, work, and mission and advice on how to be productive—and to think about productivity—in the digital age. We should not rush to buy each and every new iPhone or fancy new gadget, but neither neither should we reject the new technology out of nostalgia for the good ol' days when people worked with their hands or starved. Instead, we are called to see modern technology as wealth and tools that we can use, whether for good or for ill. The key is wisdom and the ability to create the right habits and the regular discipline to use what we have been given. Ploductivity: n, 1) the practice of plodding away at a pile of work, instead of frantically trying to sprint through it all 2) being stable and graceful, like a buffalo upon the plains, not frantic, like a prairie dog or roadrunner


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Plod, don't sprint. Be fruitful like a tree, not efficient like a machine. In this book, Douglas Wilson both considers the theology behind technology, work, and mission and advice on how to be productive—and to think about productivity—in the digital age. We should not rush to buy each and every new iPhone or fancy new gadget, but neither neither should we reject the new te Plod, don't sprint. Be fruitful like a tree, not efficient like a machine. In this book, Douglas Wilson both considers the theology behind technology, work, and mission and advice on how to be productive—and to think about productivity—in the digital age. We should not rush to buy each and every new iPhone or fancy new gadget, but neither neither should we reject the new technology out of nostalgia for the good ol' days when people worked with their hands or starved. Instead, we are called to see modern technology as wealth and tools that we can use, whether for good or for ill. The key is wisdom and the ability to create the right habits and the regular discipline to use what we have been given. Ploductivity: n, 1) the practice of plodding away at a pile of work, instead of frantically trying to sprint through it all 2) being stable and graceful, like a buffalo upon the plains, not frantic, like a prairie dog or roadrunner

30 review for Ploductivity: A Practical Theology of Tools & Wealth

  1. 5 out of 5

    Becky Pliego

    I am grateful to have read Pastor Wilson's book on "productivity" which is heavy with practical Theology. If Jesus is Lord of all, and He is, then all our efforts to be fruitful in this life should not begin with having the right planner, the right habit tracker, and the right productivity app, but with a right understanding of what the Bible says about the means (wealth) we have been given to be productive and fruitful. I was heavily convicted to use all the mini pockets of time through my day I am grateful to have read Pastor Wilson's book on "productivity" which is heavy with practical Theology. If Jesus is Lord of all, and He is, then all our efforts to be fruitful in this life should not begin with having the right planner, the right habit tracker, and the right productivity app, but with a right understanding of what the Bible says about the means (wealth) we have been given to be productive and fruitful. I was heavily convicted to use all the mini pockets of time through my day to advance the Kingdom of God and bear much fruit where God has planted me. We know we don't have a life to waste, but what do we do with the 10 mins of wait in the post office line? The 10 minutes in the coffee shop waiting for our friend to arrive? In the commutes we have? Are we wasting our lives in pockets of time of 10 minutes each?

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ivan

    “Plod, don't sprint. Be fruitful like a tree, not efficient like a machine.” The first half of this book is good; the second half is really good. “Plod, don't sprint. Be fruitful like a tree, not efficient like a machine.” The first half of this book is good; the second half is really good.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Aaron Ventura

    First off, thanks to my friend Shawn Paterson for letting me borrow his copy. This did however mean I restrained myself from highlighting and instead noted everything Shawn underlined. So maybe that skews my review...who knows? The Good: It's short (112 pages to be exact), to the point, and inspiring. I did not expect it to be as theological as it was, but Doug's forte is taking profound biblical insights and making them into memorable principles with his metaphors and examples. I actually enjoy First off, thanks to my friend Shawn Paterson for letting me borrow his copy. This did however mean I restrained myself from highlighting and instead noted everything Shawn underlined. So maybe that skews my review...who knows? The Good: It's short (112 pages to be exact), to the point, and inspiring. I did not expect it to be as theological as it was, but Doug's forte is taking profound biblical insights and making them into memorable principles with his metaphors and examples. I actually enjoyed Rebekah Merkle's forward more than the rest of the book simply because it is encouraging to see the fruit of a man who has learned and applied "ploductivity" to his own life for decades now. And come to think of it, I am a fruit of those labors (Greyfriars, NSA, Christ Church, CREC, his books, etc). In short, ploductivity is nothing less than redeeming every 15 minutes of your day by working in faith to the glory of God. The tools we have are a gift from our Father and we should steward them with an eye towards blessing others. This will usually mean that we slowly chip away at a project in tiny bits over the course of many years. But in the end, that faithfulness itself is worthy of praise. The Bad: I only wish there was an appendix with something like "Doug's Top 25 Tools" and how they have helped him. For example, I know he uses Scrivener to write books. I want to hear more about that and how he maximizes his favorite tools.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jacob Rush

    Really helpful. You can read it in a couple of hours. If you're looking for help knowing "which" tools to use, don't read this. Pastor Doug is more concerned that you know what tools are *for* and that you approach them with the kind of heart that God will multiply, thirty, sixty and a hundred-fold. If you can become the ploductive person, the ploductive tools reveal themselves. Along this vein, Tim Chailles has a helpful productivity book where he gives an overview of some of the best modern to Really helpful. You can read it in a couple of hours. If you're looking for help knowing "which" tools to use, don't read this. Pastor Doug is more concerned that you know what tools are *for* and that you approach them with the kind of heart that God will multiply, thirty, sixty and a hundred-fold. If you can become the ploductive person, the ploductive tools reveal themselves. Along this vein, Tim Chailles has a helpful productivity book where he gives an overview of some of the best modern tools. Read it in conjunction with Wordsmithy if you're looking for more applications of how to become a ploductive person in the realm of knowledge, reading, and writing.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jim Becker

    Short and to the point! Just like we need it. Loved it. I need to read it again. Here is one gem from the book: "...productive work requires a rhythm, a metronome. Long distant runners settle into a pace." Mr Wilson is talking about plodding. Read for 10 minutes a day and many pages will be read by the end of the year. Very good advice. Read it. Short and to the point! Just like we need it. Loved it. I need to read it again. Here is one gem from the book: "...productive work requires a rhythm, a metronome. Long distant runners settle into a pace." Mr Wilson is talking about plodding. Read for 10 minutes a day and many pages will be read by the end of the year. Very good advice. Read it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Father Steve

    Helpful Practical guide for a Christian view of technology, wealth, and productivity. Enjoyed thinking through technophile vs. technophobe discussions and the “Servants in your pocket.”

  7. 4 out of 5

    raffaela

    Short and practical. Main points: - We are created by God to do good works; therefore we should work diligently and strive to master our work. - Technology is a form of wealth and a blessing from God that we should use to advance His kingdom. - Wealth can also be a snare for us (Deuteronomy 8) that we must combat with gratitude and dependence on God. - Ambition and progress are good things if they are guided by the Lord and within His design, and bad if they are not. - Plodding, or working on somethin Short and practical. Main points: - We are created by God to do good works; therefore we should work diligently and strive to master our work. - Technology is a form of wealth and a blessing from God that we should use to advance His kingdom. - Wealth can also be a snare for us (Deuteronomy 8) that we must combat with gratitude and dependence on God. - Ambition and progress are good things if they are guided by the Lord and within His design, and bad if they are not. - Plodding, or working on something a little bit over a long time, reaps a huge harvest in the end even if it's hard to see the results day-to-day.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Christopher

    The first part is a chiropractic adjustment on how to think about work/tools/the universe. The second part is the "tip" part. A lot of valuable, original thinking. The first part is a chiropractic adjustment on how to think about work/tools/the universe. The second part is the "tip" part. A lot of valuable, original thinking.

  9. 5 out of 5

    G.M. Burrow

    I've been waiting for this book all my life. I recently described myself as the duck paddling like hell below the surface, but a friend corrected me: "You're a duck upside down, paddling like hell above the surface for all the world to see." This is true. And Doug's book is an fantastic escape from that lust of efficiency. I'm rather pleased to say I didn't exactly sprint through it, but chipped away at it throughout a busy day at work, reading a chapter whenever I got 5 minutes. A few golden on I've been waiting for this book all my life. I recently described myself as the duck paddling like hell below the surface, but a friend corrected me: "You're a duck upside down, paddling like hell above the surface for all the world to see." This is true. And Doug's book is an fantastic escape from that lust of efficiency. I'm rather pleased to say I didn't exactly sprint through it, but chipped away at it throughout a busy day at work, reading a chapter whenever I got 5 minutes. A few golden one-liners: "Do you want to be efficient like a machine, or fruitful like a tree?" (8) "Two words that do not go together are control and future." (48) "Every blessing a Christian ever receives is from a pierced hand." (50) "Whatever you worship in place of God is another thing you lose." (62) "If my body is a living sacrifice, this means that everything it rests upon is an altar." (67) "Finitude is one of our glories." (71) "The only way our work can be large enough is if it is submitted entirely to the will of God." (73) "With regard to starting things, the trick here is to act like you know what you're doing, make the decision to go for it, and then God sends capable people to help you implement the vision." (109) "The central work you should want [God] to bless is your labor as a father." (112)

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jared Mcnabb

    Some good principles here. Wilson argues that we should view our wealth (including tools and technology) with "glad suspicion." While I agree, Wilson's emphasis tends toward "glad," while mine tends toward the "suspicion." That being the case I think there's much more to be said about the need to master the tools of technology, in such a way that they don't end up mastering you. Some good principles here. Wilson argues that we should view our wealth (including tools and technology) with "glad suspicion." While I agree, Wilson's emphasis tends toward "glad," while mine tends toward the "suspicion." That being the case I think there's much more to be said about the need to master the tools of technology, in such a way that they don't end up mastering you.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Schultz

    plodding! into it

  12. 5 out of 5

    Brian

    Clear-headed reflections on economics, technology, wealth, work, and productivity, all written with Wilson’s usual wit and wisdom. There are a few things I’d quibble with here and there, but overall a fun and helpful read. My favorite part of the book may have been his daughter’s foreword.

  13. 4 out of 5

    John Rimmer

    Really enjoyed this book, and it delivered on everything it promised from the beginning. It is not a how-to guide to being more of anything. The how is summed up in the first four words of the title...PLOD along. I like that the book gets into the why and who questions that almost all other productivity guru books out there ignore or plead the fifth on. Regarding why...it integrates the concept of productivity into the midst of an entire worldview, deriving the motivations for your work in everyt Really enjoyed this book, and it delivered on everything it promised from the beginning. It is not a how-to guide to being more of anything. The how is summed up in the first four words of the title...PLOD along. I like that the book gets into the why and who questions that almost all other productivity guru books out there ignore or plead the fifth on. Regarding why...it integrates the concept of productivity into the midst of an entire worldview, deriving the motivations for your work in everything from your origin, your anthropology, your ethics, your purpose, and your ultimate destiny. The other mechanistic how-to experts wouldn't know how to connect these dots even if they were color coded and numbered inside of a Disney Princess Activity Book. Pragmatism gets no quarter in this book, and it shouldn't. If all that mattered was what works, then how come nothing they are selling...works? And another thing that's great about all that deep diving perspective is that Wilson barely needs 100 pages to do it. Quick and easy and now its time to get plodding along. Nice! Now regarding the who...most productivity books are all about being a better you by being a busier and more techno-savvy cyborg. But Ploductivity focuses its emphasis on making a person fruitful in life rather than merely productive. It would seem to be an irrelevant shift in the metaphor, but in it is a world of difference...both in what it says about who you are and about what you should expect. And since the book is so short, I'll leave it to the interested reader to go figure out the world of difference for him or herself. At the outset of the book the author states that his hope is for the reader to have a simple reminder to refer back to from time to time with this book. I think that is exactly what it will be for me. Highly recommended.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mike Prince

    Classic Wilson in every way. Thoughtful, provocative, winsome, and profound, all without actually being original in any way. Simply the Word of God applied to the issues of life, which, if I recall, used to be called wisdom.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Brandon

    Excellent. Wilson is clear, as usual, and full of insight for how Christians might view wealth & tools.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Emma Whear

    Super fun, super fast, super witty. Also, Wilson used the phrase "Just between us girls," and I lost it. I like his idea of 15 minutes/10 pages a day. Super fun, super fast, super witty. Also, Wilson used the phrase "Just between us girls," and I lost it. I like his idea of 15 minutes/10 pages a day.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Danny Joseph

    I feel that I'm something of a regular guy. I'm married, have a toddler and a baby on the way, am involved at church, and work 40 hours a week. If I want to get something done outside of my normal responsibilities, I need to take in account those responsibilities. I don't have a month off where I can write, or read, or learn a language, or have a concentrated time of evangelism or discipleship. And that's why I love this book. Doug Wilson writes for the normal guy and how the normal guy can accom I feel that I'm something of a regular guy. I'm married, have a toddler and a baby on the way, am involved at church, and work 40 hours a week. If I want to get something done outside of my normal responsibilities, I need to take in account those responsibilities. I don't have a month off where I can write, or read, or learn a language, or have a concentrated time of evangelism or discipleship. And that's why I love this book. Doug Wilson writes for the normal guy and how the normal guy can accomplish a lot. And the way he recommends is by "plodding" or doing a little bit every day. Read a few pages, make a phone call, drive a few nails, and then get back to your regular responsibilities. And it works, if you can be dedicated. I love his methods, but I think there may be a naivete about technology that I'm uncomfortable with. I think he overemphesizes how much we can redeem new technology. But all in all, really good book.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Gabe Mira

    Great and short read for every Christian. May the Lord bless the work of our hands. “Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before obscure men” (Proverbs 22:29, NASB). “The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord. Great and short read for every Christian. May the Lord bless the work of our hands. “Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before obscure men” (Proverbs 22:29, NASB). “The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 15:56, NASB) “Graveyards are full of indispensable men.” - Charles De Gaulle

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jeremiah

    Excellent read. Practical and encouraging for someone with many hobbies among growing responsibilities like myself. As I don't consider myself one with time to read, the main point of chipping away at a goal consistently rather than frantically or all at once proved itself as I read this book over 15 minute increments on my lunch break. Looking forward to applying the principle to many more areas of my life. Excellent read. Practical and encouraging for someone with many hobbies among growing responsibilities like myself. As I don't consider myself one with time to read, the main point of chipping away at a goal consistently rather than frantically or all at once proved itself as I read this book over 15 minute increments on my lunch break. Looking forward to applying the principle to many more areas of my life.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Anthony Locke

    Interesting premise that's argued well. He broadens our understanding of wealth to include our tools which are instrumental to being productive. This is a short book that I read in two nights. Some chapters are golden and all are written excellently. I don't always agree with Wilson (which was not really an issue in this book - though PostMillennialism somehow made it in) but I do think he's a good writer. Interesting premise that's argued well. He broadens our understanding of wealth to include our tools which are instrumental to being productive. This is a short book that I read in two nights. Some chapters are golden and all are written excellently. I don't always agree with Wilson (which was not really an issue in this book - though PostMillennialism somehow made it in) but I do think he's a good writer.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jarrod

    It had some good ideas to chew on. I appreciated the definition of wealth and a new paradigm to think about such things. Some of the chapters are a bumpy ride for reading pleasure. Typo on p. 40.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Timothy Nichols

    Seems like everywhere I turn I see an ad for another productivity book. Most of them are by people that...well, I've never seen anything else that they've done. This guy, though...this is a guy you want a book on productivity from. He was already pastoring a church when he started a school, then an entire movement in schooling. Then a liberal arts college, which also became a grad school. Somewhere in there, he also started a publishing house, a denomination, and a training program for ministers Seems like everywhere I turn I see an ad for another productivity book. Most of them are by people that...well, I've never seen anything else that they've done. This guy, though...this is a guy you want a book on productivity from. He was already pastoring a church when he started a school, then an entire movement in schooling. Then a liberal arts college, which also became a grad school. Somewhere in there, he also started a publishing house, a denomination, and a training program for ministers. And all the while, cranked out book after book -- on family life, marriage, church leadership, Bible commentaries, novels, and much more, while also writing articles faster than I can read them. There's a few hymns to his credit, and some poetry. Amongst all that, he raised three kids who are between them responsible for seventeen grandchildren and more than a few books themselves. It's an extraordinarily fruitful life, and in this book he tells you how he did it. Some of the techniques, it's true, rely on his extraordinary intellect. (I tried writing fiction in tiny increments long before he suggested it here, and I can't; it just turns into directionless drivel.) But the idea -- take your small, easily wasted units of time and do something that will add up over time instead -- is valid for anyone, and I've gotten many other things done in precisely that way. Beyond the specific techniques, the perspective and outlook Wilson gives here are priceless.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Anthony Ray

    Really exceptional. No step-by-step instructions on quick "How To" lists here, just Gospel saturated principles. Not one that will light a fire under you, but will help you hone in your productivity like a lazer beam. Really exceptional. No step-by-step instructions on quick "How To" lists here, just Gospel saturated principles. Not one that will light a fire under you, but will help you hone in your productivity like a lazer beam.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Eric Honsberger

    Enjoyable, helpful, much to chew on. Get to plodding.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Joshua Centanni

    Find good work. Imitate it regularly — a little every day. Repeat for decades. Watch the results pile up. Highly recommended.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Miska Wilhelmsson

    Excellent and concise book.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mark Christenson

    Helpful. Plodding is good.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    Insightful.

  29. 4 out of 5

    David

    Helpful theological grounding of work and productivity.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Cory Shumate

    Delightful! This was a joy to read. Profound and accessible and funny. A great book on how to view work/technology/productivity through the lens of the gospel.

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