February 4, 2011
Fasting by Scot McKnight - a book review
This book is part of "The Ancient Practices Series"
Fasting has always been such an odd Christian discipline for me to understand. I have previously approached fasting with the end goal of receiving something for my hard work - even though at the end of my fasting, I would not see that goal come to fruition. I have spent years absolutely STUCK on Isaiah 58, the Biblical chapter that talks about a fast acceptable to the Lord. STUCK!!
When I saw this book available, I got excited because Isaiah 58 has been in the forefront of my studies lately, and I really desired to see a viewpoint that was different than my own....I desire to see God's viewpoint on this subject.
Mr. McKnight defines fasting this way: "Fasting is a response to a sacred moment, not an instrument designed to get desired results."
Okay, so he just blew my thinking totally out of the water!
Mr. McKnight uses many references in the book, many from Isaiah 58 and other Biblical references. He has also done tremendous research on the subject, going back to writings of monks and early church leaders, i.e. St. Augustine, to contemporary authors as John Piper and Dallas Willard.
This is not just a sit down and read book - it is very educational and invites the readers to examine why we feel the way we do and to see how that lines up with God's Word.
I could sit here and type quote after quote that tugged at my spirit but I want you to read the book - not just take my experience for yourself. Mr. McKnight shows the benefits and dangers of fasting, not just the spiritual side. However, he always emphasizes that our body and spirit come together in a sacred moment to naturally fast.
I want to end with a quote that sums up the book, for Mr. McKnight and for me (since my heart and mind has changed through reading this), "Communication with God is, in my opinion, the intent of fasting."
I desire to seek God with my whole heart(Jeremiah 29:13), and sometimes that includes pulling my body into the seeking by fasting. I pray that I do it according to God's ways and not my own!
Praise God from whom all blessings flow...
I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”