Fasting by Scot McKnight
I was interested in fasting and was glad to see this title available. To start with, let me say that this is an excellent book. You do need to know that the beginning may be a little bit repetitive; however, I believe the author intends to do this in order to stress certain points.
There is an abundance of history of fasting in the first few chapters. Much I did not know about the practice of fasting. At times I felt as though I were simply studying the practice without much of a spiritual context, but this changed later in the book. So I do encourage readers to press on and finish the book. The later chapters covering the problems and benefits of fasting focused on the fact that God is sovereign and not manipulated by fasting and that fasting does not always produce the desired outcome of prayers. I liked the honesty of the author regarding this and the acknowledgement of the Lord’s ways being higher than our ways.
I found the chapter on fasting as body calendar very interesting and applicable.
The author’s main point is that fasting is not a tool; it is a response to a sacred moment in life (defined in a variety of ways). He also makes excellent points regarding hypocrisy in fasting. For example, if fasting leads to anger, bitterness, pride or irritability, then the person fasting should be learning some important things about their spiritual state. Fasting should lead to good and to love, to a deeper relationship with the Lord.
The author also discusses the differences between fasting and abstaining, honesty in fasting, and fasting as body discipline. All in all, I believe this is an excellent resource for anyone desiring to study fasting and to have a well-rounded intellectual understanding of the discipline as well as a spiritual understanding of fasting and its purpose.
There were a few typos in the book, misspelled words, but just a handful. Not enough to make the book difficult to read by any means.