*** DEBUG END ***

Less speed indeed

03 February 2017

Penny Seabrook on a book about creativity which proves its point


Too Fast to Think: How to reclaim your creativity in a hyper-connected work culture
Chris Lewis
Kogan Page £14.99
Church Times Bookshop £13.50


CHRIS LEWIS, author, chief executive, and founder of a global communications agency, argues that, in the hyper-connected world we live in, speed is the enemy of creativity and depth. This book, written in a frenetic six weeks, bears witness to the wisdom of his diagnosis.

It opens well by drawing attention to the dangers of instantaneous communication and reactionary nature of our responses to it; maintains interest when explaining the neurological patterns thus engendered; but, ironically, begins to irritate when Lewis gets into his flow and forgets the critical voice that typically constrains creative thinking. Like many a passionate preacher, he loses the thread in the excitement of putting words on the page, closing with a series of interviews that are blind to any sense of ethical ambiguity. In his profit-driven world, what looks good is good.

Those with the stamina for a more scientifically rigorous treatment of the subject will learn more by reading the Nobel Prize-winning Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow; but Chris Lewis writes for his own kind: for people whose creativity is essential to economic success. In other words, he offers a means to an end that typically undermines human spirituality.

I closed the book with a renewed appreciation of the merits of taking time out to enhance the quality of ministry, but am not convinced those who might enjoy this book would have time for a sermon on the subject.

The author makes passing reference to faith, religion, prayer, and mystery, but the merit of his case lies elsewhere. As a Church, we need to think more creatively about how to speak to people whose freedom is constrained by sacrosanct secular values, to remind them that human creativity is a God-given gift, best used when harnessed to a tradition of service and praise.


The Revd Penny Seabrook is Associate Vicar of All Saints’, Fulham, in west London.

Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

Church Times Bookshop

Save money on books reviewed or featured in the Church Times. To get your reader discount:

> Click on the “Church Times Bookshop” link at the end of the review.

> Call 0845 017 6965 (Mon-Fri, 9.30am-5pm).

The reader discount is valid for two months after the review publication date. E&OE

Forthcoming Events

Green Church Awards

Awards Ceremony: 6 September 2024

Read more details about the awards


Festival of Preaching

15-17 September 2024

The festival moves to Cambridge along with a sparkling selection of expert speakers

tickets available


Inspiration: The Influences That Have Shaped My Life

September - November 2024

St Martin in the Fields Autumn Lecture Series 2024

tickets available



Festival of Faith and Literature

28 February - 2 March 2025

The festival programme is soon to be announced sign up to our newsletter to stay informed about all festival news.

Festival website


Visit our Events page for upcoming and past events 

The Church Times Archive

Read reports from issues stretching back to 1863, search for your parish or see if any of the clergy you know get a mention.

FREE for Church Times subscribers.

Explore the archive

Welcome to the Church Times


To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)