Christian Book of the Year. (Courtesy of Publisher) Christian Book of the Year. (Courtesy of Crossway)

In a sign of our hectic times, Kevin DeYoung’s “Crazy Busy” has been named the Christian Book of the Year by the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association.

With chapter headings such as “You’d Better Rest Yourself Before Your Wreck Yourself,” the pastor’s “mercifully short” self-help book mixes references to the Bible with chatty advice about handling the demands of an over-connected life. “If Jesus were alive today, he’d get more e-mail than any of us,” writes DeYoung, who describes himself as “the worst possible person to write this book.” The tireless pastor blogstweets, serves as minister of the University Reformed Church in East Lansing, Mich., and is the father of six children.

“Most everyone I know feels frazzled and overwhelmed most of the time,” he writes. “When we are crazy busy we put our souls at risk.… Setting priorities is an expression of love for others and for God.” 

Like the poor, this is a subject we have always with us. Psychiatrist Edward Hallowell published a secular book on the subject with the same title back in 2006. Last month Washington Post reporter Brigid Schulte released “Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time.”

The  Book of the Year award was presented at the ECPA’s 40th anniversary banquet in Colorado Springs on Monday, April 28. Jerry Jenkins, co-author of the mega-selling “Left Behind” series, served as the host.

The Christian Book Awards are the oldest prizes in the religious publishing industry. To be eligible, nominated titles must “include explicit Christian content, an overtly Christian message, and/or a distinctively Christian world view.” Further, the books must be in harmony with the ECPA’s statement of faith, which includes belief in the Trinity, the infallibility of the Bible, the Virgin Birth, the Atonement, the Resurrection, heaven, and the eternal damnation of busy sinners. 

DeYoung largely avoids anything controversial in “Crazy Busy,” but elsewhere he has taken a strong stand against liberalizing the church’s attitude toward homosexuality. 

The ECPA also presented awards in seven categories:

Fiction: “Iscariot: A Novel of Judas,” by Tosca Lee (Howard).

Non-Fiction: “C.S. Lewis: A Life,” by Alister McGrath (Tyndale).

Bibles: “The MacArthur Study Bible NIV,” by John MacArthur, General Editor (Thomas Nelson)

Bible Reference: “Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels,” by Joel B. Green, Jeannine K. Brown and Nicholas Perrin (InterVarsity, 2nd edition).

Children: “The Sparkle Box,” by Jill Hardie (Ideals).

Inspiration: “He Walks Among Us: Encounters with Christ in a Broken World,” by Richard and Renee Stearns (Thomas Nelson).

New Author: “Falling Into Place,” by Hattie Kauffman (Baker).

The ECPA, founded in 1974, is an international trade organization of about 200 Christian publishers and book distributors with a combined revenue of nearly $1.4 billion.