Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Fasting by Scot McKnight
Whoa! What a read! I have to say one of the better books about fasting that I have read. Not that I routinely pick up books on fasting, but I have read a few over the course of my Christian journey. What makes this book stand out is McKnight teaches as you are reading. The book has the feel of being in a teacher/student situation and that McKnight is pouring into the reader all he knows about fasting. The information is presented in an organized manner and easy to follow. One must understand his presentation of the "whole-body spirituality" and how he uses this analogy to describe different areas in your life. For example, McKnight calls the whole-body "Body Talk" or when fasting was performed to confess sin, he calls it "Body Turning". But once you understand the analogy, the layout of the material is good.
Another interesting point regarding this book is that McKnight notes early on that many people in Western cultures separate the spiritual from the physical. He found himself doing the same thing as he was writing about fasting. In other words, my paraphrase would be that he was in his head more than in his heart. So he decided to fast when he would write about fasting. A novel thought! I would like to believe that his fasting impacted his writing.
Included in this book is information on the history of fasting, how to fast, the types of fasts, and the various struggles people have with fasting. The author constantly addresses motivation issues in the one fasting and points us back to look inside ourselves to deal with improper motives. He addressses "results-based" fasting, too. Is that why we fast? So God will give us something? or do something for us? McKnight says we fast in response to a grievous sacred moment and in that response, we may be asking the Lord to move but our fasting is IN RESPONSE, not to get a result. This really changes your focus.
I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a good, foundational book on fasting. It isn't too deep theologically yet at the same time, it doesn't just skim the surface either. It is practical, with many how-tos if you should choose to fast.
I was provided this book by Thomas Nelson Publishers through their BookSneeze program in exchange for my fair and honest review. My opinions are my own.