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Fasting is the body talking what the spirit yearns, what the soul longs for, and what the mind knows to be true. Scot McKnight Christianity has traditionally been at odds with the human body. At times in the historyof the church, Christians have viewed the body and physical desires as the enemy. Now, Scot McKnight, best-selling author of "The Jesus Creed," reconnects the spi Fasting is the body talking what the spirit yearns, what the soul longs for, and what the mind knows to be true. Scot McKnight Christianity has traditionally been at odds with the human body. At times in the historyof the church, Christians have viewed the body and physical desires as the enemy. Now, Scot McKnight, best-selling author of "The Jesus Creed," reconnects the spiritual and thephysical in the ancient discipline of fasting. Inside You'll Find: In-depth biblical precedents for the practice of fasting;How to fast effectively and safely;Different methods of fasting as practiced in the Bible;Straight talk on pitfalls, such as cheating and motivation.Join McKnight as he explores the idea of whole-body spirituality, in which fasting plays acentral role. This ancient practice, he says, doesn t make sense to most of us until we havegrasped the importance of the body for our spirituality, until we can view it as a spiritualresponse to a sacred moment. Fasting simple, primitive, and ancient still demonstrates awhole person s earnest need and hunger for the presence of God, just as it has in the livesof God s people throughout history. The Ancient Practices There is a hunger in every human heart for connection, primitive and raw, to God.To satisfy it, many are beginning to explore traditional spiritual disciplines used forcenturies . . . everything from fixed-hour prayer to fasting to sincere observance of theSabbath. Compelling and readable, the Ancient Practices series is for every spiritualsojourner, for every Christian seeker who wants more."


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Fasting is the body talking what the spirit yearns, what the soul longs for, and what the mind knows to be true. Scot McKnight Christianity has traditionally been at odds with the human body. At times in the historyof the church, Christians have viewed the body and physical desires as the enemy. Now, Scot McKnight, best-selling author of "The Jesus Creed," reconnects the spi Fasting is the body talking what the spirit yearns, what the soul longs for, and what the mind knows to be true. Scot McKnight Christianity has traditionally been at odds with the human body. At times in the historyof the church, Christians have viewed the body and physical desires as the enemy. Now, Scot McKnight, best-selling author of "The Jesus Creed," reconnects the spiritual and thephysical in the ancient discipline of fasting. Inside You'll Find: In-depth biblical precedents for the practice of fasting;How to fast effectively and safely;Different methods of fasting as practiced in the Bible;Straight talk on pitfalls, such as cheating and motivation.Join McKnight as he explores the idea of whole-body spirituality, in which fasting plays acentral role. This ancient practice, he says, doesn t make sense to most of us until we havegrasped the importance of the body for our spirituality, until we can view it as a spiritualresponse to a sacred moment. Fasting simple, primitive, and ancient still demonstrates awhole person s earnest need and hunger for the presence of God, just as it has in the livesof God s people throughout history. The Ancient Practices There is a hunger in every human heart for connection, primitive and raw, to God.To satisfy it, many are beginning to explore traditional spiritual disciplines used forcenturies . . . everything from fixed-hour prayer to fasting to sincere observance of theSabbath. Compelling and readable, the Ancient Practices series is for every spiritualsojourner, for every Christian seeker who wants more."

30 review for Fasting: Fasting as Body Talk in the Christian Tradition

  1. 5 out of 5

    Brennan Penner

    This book was outside of my typical style of writing and based a lot more in church traditions/history but I appreciated it! I was glad to be challenged by theologians across generations and denominations. Scot does a good job giving a picture of fasting. I think he might focus more heavily on responsive fasting instead of longing fasting (which I think is more appropriate for the church era) but it was all really good.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Patrick Willis

    I must admit first off that I truly admire Scot McKnight and all that he's done to teach Bible and theology. One of my all time favorite books was "The Jesus Creed." In addition to content, his writing style is very easy to follow and conversational, and this book on fasting was no different. The most memorable part of his presentation of this discipline is how he defines fasting. The definition that he gives is "fasting is the natural, inevitable response of a person to a grievous sacred moment I must admit first off that I truly admire Scot McKnight and all that he's done to teach Bible and theology. One of my all time favorite books was "The Jesus Creed." In addition to content, his writing style is very easy to follow and conversational, and this book on fasting was no different. The most memorable part of his presentation of this discipline is how he defines fasting. The definition that he gives is "fasting is the natural, inevitable response of a person to a grievous sacred moment." He explains that for many Christians today, our focus has been on the wrong thing when it comes to fasting. He illustrates his point with the A->B->C model. A= sacred moment; B= Fasting; and C= Results. For many Christians today, and I would add for every other book on fasting that I've read so far in my life, the focus has been solely on the B->C connection. In other words, we fast TO GET something. McKnight argues that this mindset is flawed, [arguably] unbiblical, and risky. It's flawed and unbiblical because the examples proved throughout Scripture, always come about as a response to some situation that they are faced with (i.e. Jonah 3.4-10). It's also risky because there are some times when the results we are fasting for don't come. If fasting is only done to get something, and then we don't get it, how discouraging and damaging might that be for a person's continue discipline of fasting. Instead by focusing on the A->B relationship, all of those issues disappear. In connection with other teachings from Jesus, as Christians if we are truly seeking God's Kingdom first and we pray and truly desire for God's will to be done here on earth as in heaven, then when we look around and see just how far things are from that reality, we should experience a 'grievous, sacred moment.' Since we are beings comprised of BOTH inner and outer parts (soul/spirit and body), the grieving practice is not 'complete' without both parts participating. Thus our inner selves feel sorrow, frustration, and longing for God's Kingdom to come, while our outer selves grieves through the discipline of fasting. I agree with McKnight that for some reason many Christians today have tried to separate and divide the human being into two, separate things. Some even go as far as to say the whole person is really just the inner part and the body is just a shell (which sounds dangerously close to Gnosticism to me). In reality the two parts of part of a whole, and both are needed for the whole person to be whole. Overall, I highly recommend this book. I read it in two days, so it's not that difficult of a commitment to read. It certainly is going to be my 'go-to' whenever someone asks me about fasting!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Conor

    This book has changed my whole view on fasting. McKnight gently leads you to conviction and a deeper longing for Christ.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Bryan Neuschwander

    Here is, I think, the strength of the book: "Fasting along with our prayer requests is not some kind of magic bullet to ensure the answer we want. Fasting doesn't reinforce the crumbling walls of our prayers like a flying buttress, nor is it a manipulative device. We fast because a condition arises--what we are calling the sacred moment--that leads us to desire something deeply. We fast because our plea is so intense that in the midst of our sacred desire eating seems sacrilegious" (49). I'm gla Here is, I think, the strength of the book: "Fasting along with our prayer requests is not some kind of magic bullet to ensure the answer we want. Fasting doesn't reinforce the crumbling walls of our prayers like a flying buttress, nor is it a manipulative device. We fast because a condition arises--what we are calling the sacred moment--that leads us to desire something deeply. We fast because our plea is so intense that in the midst of our sacred desire eating seems sacrilegious" (49). I'm glad, however, that others have found the book helpful. Personally, I'd recommend Willard's Spirit of the Disciplines, Foster's Celebration of Discipline, or even Piper's Hungering for God over this title.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Adam Shields

    My full review is at http://bookwi.se/fasting-by-scot-mckn... Short version review: This is a very good book. I think the best of the three Ancient Practices books I have read. It is enough background and history to understand fasting while still being personal and relevant to fasting today. The majority of the book was really about how not to fast (bad motivation, bad theology, bad health, etc.). I have read or started a few books on fasting in the last week or so and the main addition of this bo My full review is at http://bookwi.se/fasting-by-scot-mckn... Short version review: This is a very good book. I think the best of the three Ancient Practices books I have read. It is enough background and history to understand fasting while still being personal and relevant to fasting today. The majority of the book was really about how not to fast (bad motivation, bad theology, bad health, etc.). I have read or started a few books on fasting in the last week or so and the main addition of this book was the focus on motivation. McKnight says that "fasting should always be the natural result to a grievous sacred moment." Something that draws us to fasting, not because of what we can learn or what we can get but something that causes us to fast because we don't have any other thing we can do.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Taylor

    Prayer has a bundle of natural companions -- like prayer and kneeling, prayer and pleading, prayer and pondering, prayer and struggling, prayer and praising -- and prayer and fasting. Sometimes it is necessary to check the delight of the flesh in respect to licit pleasures in order to keep if from yielding to illicit joys. -Augustine Fasting helps us to express, to deepen, and to confirm the resolution that we are ready to sacrifice anything, even ourselves, to attain the Kingdom of God. -Andrew M Prayer has a bundle of natural companions -- like prayer and kneeling, prayer and pleading, prayer and pondering, prayer and struggling, prayer and praising -- and prayer and fasting. Sometimes it is necessary to check the delight of the flesh in respect to licit pleasures in order to keep if from yielding to illicit joys. -Augustine Fasting helps us to express, to deepen, and to confirm the resolution that we are ready to sacrifice anything, even ourselves, to attain the Kingdom of God. -Andrew Murray Fasting was no longer a constraint and penance for me, but a joy and need of body and soul. I practiced it spontaneously because I loved it. -Adalbert de Vogue They were hungry enough for God's leading that they wanted to say it with the hunger of their bodies and not just the hunger of their hearts. -Piper about the early church Wrong body image: -a monster to be conquered -a celebrity to be glorified -a cornucopia to be filled -a wallflower to be ignored Fasting is the body talking what the spirit yearns, what the soul longs for, and what the mind knows to be true. Fasting is about pathos, taking on the emotions of God in a given event. The wisdom of the ages is that sensitive people fast to communicate with God during dry days. Body grief is perhaps the purest example of what fasting is all about: a human being, overwhelmed by the sacredness of a moment, chooses not to eat in order to sanctify his or her communion with God and participate fully in one of life's grievous moments. To love fasting is just that -- to delight in a life regulated by sacred rhythms and fasting. It is as if the man who fasts were more himself, in possession of his true identity, and less dependent on exterior objects and the impulses they arouse in him. Paul is an advocate for a total person (body and soul) battling with desire in order to "present your members to God" (Rom 6:13). Fasting, one might say, is the faithful person's pathos for and with the poor -- fasting embodies God's disposition to the poor. Fasting, then, is body poverty in response to injustice in our world. There are two companions to fasting, according to Isaiah 58. The first is that fasting be converted into justice and solidarity with others. The second is that fasting leads to holiness. So I would say that a more complete view of fasting suggests that it is the combination of our yearning to know God and our present state of not knowing God intimately enough that prompts the person to fast with the hope of encountering God. John the Baptist was well known for his fasting . . . He couldn't get settled into this world until God's will was more firmly established. The Christian era is an age of fasting and feasting, of holding the tension of unfinished business, while confessing in faith to the outcome. Christ has come -- we can feast. Christ is yet to come -- we should fast. The inflammation of things we will [supposedly] get from fasting is what I call benefit-itis. [Fasting] is a safeguard of a soul, a stabilizing companion to the body, a weapon for the brave, a discipline for champions. Fasting knocks over temptations, anoints for godliness. She is a companion for sobriety, the crafter of a sound mind. In wars she fights bravely, in peace she teaches tranquility. -Basil Half of Christian fasting is that our physical appetite is lost because of our homesickness for God is so intense. The other half is that our homesickness for God is threatened because our physical appetites are so intense. -Piper More than any other discipline, fasting reveals the things that control us. -Richard Foster

  7. 5 out of 5

    Bruce Colella

    This book is more about the history of fasting (e.g. one should never fast on a Sunday) and why we fast, rather than how to fast. There are ten chapters each with a different reason to fast; to list them would not be worthwhile unless you read the book. The types of fasting are followed by chapters on fasting and its problems, fasting and its benefits, and fasting and the body. Fasting is an ancient discipline practiced by Jews and later adopted by early Christians, most of whom were Jewish and p This book is more about the history of fasting (e.g. one should never fast on a Sunday) and why we fast, rather than how to fast. There are ten chapters each with a different reason to fast; to list them would not be worthwhile unless you read the book. The types of fasting are followed by chapters on fasting and its problems, fasting and its benefits, and fasting and the body. Fasting is an ancient discipline practiced by Jews and later adopted by early Christians, most of whom were Jewish and probably had fasted for most of their lives. The early Christians saw fasting as a sacred rhythm. In the middle ages Calvin called fasting an inner resolution. Fasting is also called a means of grace. Fasting has in the past few decades become trendy (McKnight's description). His basic formula for fasting begins with a Sacred Moment (e.g. death, sin, needs) leading to responsive fasting which is resolved by a result (e.g. life, forgiveness, answers). Fasting leads to results. Probably not as fast as one would wish it happen. And maybe God knows better than we do for the result that might not have been what we thought we needed, and when it happens.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Phillip Howell

    McKnight makes a good argument for A —> B —> C process for fasting. A = Sacred Moments (Sin, Grief, Absence from God, Lack of Clarity, etc...) A biblical response to these moments is... B = Fasting (the whole body talking to God) The results of fasting may include but are not guaranteed as some kind of magic power or manipulation tactic... C = Results (Intimacy with God, miraculous signs, guidance, healing, answered prayer, etc...) Additionally, the other major contribution this book makes is that he McKnight makes a good argument for A —> B —> C process for fasting. A = Sacred Moments (Sin, Grief, Absence from God, Lack of Clarity, etc...) A biblical response to these moments is... B = Fasting (the whole body talking to God) The results of fasting may include but are not guaranteed as some kind of magic power or manipulation tactic... C = Results (Intimacy with God, miraculous signs, guidance, healing, answered prayer, etc...) Additionally, the other major contribution this book makes is that he helpfully points out that we do not fast in response to sacred moments because of our deficient views of the human body. I think he is spot on with this observation and critique. I know I need more of an embodied spirituality and not merely an intellectual one. It’s a good short little read.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Gwin

    I found this book extremely helpful, balanced, and insightful. I feel it has reframed my view of this discipline and corrected some wrong thinking that is common among Christians in our time and culture in regards to fasting. McKnight talks about fasting from many angles and draws all of His points very clearly from Scripture. He emphasizes our motivations/heart and our thinking about fasting in order to encourage a more balanced and effective approach to it that focuses on intimacy with God and I found this book extremely helpful, balanced, and insightful. I feel it has reframed my view of this discipline and corrected some wrong thinking that is common among Christians in our time and culture in regards to fasting. McKnight talks about fasting from many angles and draws all of His points very clearly from Scripture. He emphasizes our motivations/heart and our thinking about fasting in order to encourage a more balanced and effective approach to it that focuses on intimacy with God and not manipulation for results. I would highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to grow in understanding and practice of fasting as well as spiritual disciplines in general.

  10. 4 out of 5

    John

    McKnight's book on fasting is a very practical step by step take on the sacred practice. It is very easy to read and understand. McKnight does a great job at bringing the Ancient Voices to light each step of the way while also illuminating contemporary concerns. I read this while I am doing a 21 day abstinence/fast. It helped a lot with my focus and warning me of my own pious weaknesses. I enjoyed the book. IT is a helpful resource for Christians and others to understand religious motivations an McKnight's book on fasting is a very practical step by step take on the sacred practice. It is very easy to read and understand. McKnight does a great job at bringing the Ancient Voices to light each step of the way while also illuminating contemporary concerns. I read this while I am doing a 21 day abstinence/fast. It helped a lot with my focus and warning me of my own pious weaknesses. I enjoyed the book. IT is a helpful resource for Christians and others to understand religious motivations and practices.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Almachius

    The little gems sprinkled throughout - quotes from the bible, saints and other fasting advocates - make the book worth picking up if only as a guide to further reading. I would have liked to have read much more about the history of Christian fasting and less of the author's own chatter. It should have been edited down to a decent 20 page booklet or a long blog post. The writing style is repetitive and inelegant. The science on fasting and ketosis is out of date, but this is forgivable to some ex The little gems sprinkled throughout - quotes from the bible, saints and other fasting advocates - make the book worth picking up if only as a guide to further reading. I would have liked to have read much more about the history of Christian fasting and less of the author's own chatter. It should have been edited down to a decent 20 page booklet or a long blog post. The writing style is repetitive and inelegant. The science on fasting and ketosis is out of date, but this is forgivable to some extent considering the date of publication (2009).

  12. 4 out of 5

    Nick Jordan

    I’m actually not totally convinced by McKnight’s narrow claim (which he never systematically argues) of the nature of Biblical fasting, especially because he tends to discount the Tradition (traditions) of Christian and Jewish (and Muslim) practice. Still, his focus on fasting on making a unity between the parts of the self (body and “spirit”) that Christians have so often divorced, is a great argument for embodied theological anthropology. Highly recommended, in conversation with other resource I’m actually not totally convinced by McKnight’s narrow claim (which he never systematically argues) of the nature of Biblical fasting, especially because he tends to discount the Tradition (traditions) of Christian and Jewish (and Muslim) practice. Still, his focus on fasting on making a unity between the parts of the self (body and “spirit”) that Christians have so often divorced, is a great argument for embodied theological anthropology. Highly recommended, in conversation with other resources on fasting.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Todd Brown

    A great guide and breakdown If you are looking for a how-to book this is not that to me. What it is is a great guide for why to and some of the pitfalls around fasting. I appreciate the author's candor about his bias or preference and yet still presenting many sides. I found this book when asked to teach on fasting and it really led to great conversation, learning, and a solid base to work from. A great guide and breakdown If you are looking for a how-to book this is not that to me. What it is is a great guide for why to and some of the pitfalls around fasting. I appreciate the author's candor about his bias or preference and yet still presenting many sides. I found this book when asked to teach on fasting and it really led to great conversation, learning, and a solid base to work from.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Rocky Woolery

    Very good insights on the spiritual practice of fasting. I especially like the definition McKnight gives to fasting, "Fasting is the natural, inevitable response of a person to a grievous sacred moment in life." It was also good to see that he says that fasting is not about what I can get from God, rather a response to who God is. Very good insights on the spiritual practice of fasting. I especially like the definition McKnight gives to fasting, "Fasting is the natural, inevitable response of a person to a grievous sacred moment in life." It was also good to see that he says that fasting is not about what I can get from God, rather a response to who God is.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Petermathieson

    A great book on Fasting I found this book to be smart and well thought out. However, McKnight launches into his definition of fasting without really establishing why his definition is correct. It required a little faith to go along with his premise. But over the course of the book I was won over to his way of approaching fasting.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jenna Knight

    Eye opening, thought provoking and perspective shifting! This book opened my eyes to so much and challenged many beliefs I had formed around Fasting. This is a good read for any and all Christ followers. Especially for those who are seeking knowledge on the lost practices and spiritual disciplines of the early church.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sydney

    A compelling little volume on the heart, history, and practice of fasting. McKnight brings theological clarity to a practice that has been often misunderstood and wielded into legalism. His argument is beautifully summarized in this line: "fasting is a natural and inevitable response... to a grievous sacred moment." A compelling little volume on the heart, history, and practice of fasting. McKnight brings theological clarity to a practice that has been often misunderstood and wielded into legalism. His argument is beautifully summarized in this line: "fasting is a natural and inevitable response... to a grievous sacred moment."

  18. 5 out of 5

    Joe McFadden

    Very helpful resource on the spiritual discipline of fasting. The book does well at unpacking the true heart and motives behind fasting while helping the reader navigate the potential pitfalls of an often overlooked spiritual discipline.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Bailey Gambill

    Strongly recommend for anyone learning about the spiritual disciplines and wanting to deep dive into fasting. Super good and an easy read. It’s written by a more modern writer so it doesn’t make you feel like it was written for people ages ago and it makes it practical for our time frame.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Pierre

    Powerful and profitable redefinition of what fasting is and why we fast. McKnight pushes the modern reader to redefine fasting as a response to life's moments, not a tool to get what we want. Powerful and profitable redefinition of what fasting is and why we fast. McKnight pushes the modern reader to redefine fasting as a response to life's moments, not a tool to get what we want.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Patrick Brentlinger

    A careful study I really enjoyed the moderate and spiritual focus of this book. The author gives much to meditate upon. It is refreshing to have someone take such care with this subject.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Michael Jarrell

    As is usually the case with McKnight, he balances the academic with the practical. A good series to read (The Ancient Practices) for considered the early church and its practices.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Zachary Barnes

    Great survey on the practice of fasting. Scot does a good job of explaining the biblical foundations for fasting as well as some of the benefits vs pitfalls to be avoided.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jesse Kane

    While it isn't THE book on fasting, it's a pretty damn good one. While it isn't THE book on fasting, it's a pretty damn good one.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Seth Comfort

    I just finished reading Scot McKnight's book Fasting, this book is one of the eight books in the Ancinet Practices Series and I thought it was excellent. Editor Phyllis Tickle warns in her forward that this book is not a book for the cowardly, instead it is for the corageous Christian who seeks to more fully understand and serve God. I think that is an appropriate warning. Scot starts off his book talking about fasting through different Christian voice through history. He talks about how fasting I just finished reading Scot McKnight's book Fasting, this book is one of the eight books in the Ancinet Practices Series and I thought it was excellent. Editor Phyllis Tickle warns in her forward that this book is not a book for the cowardly, instead it is for the corageous Christian who seeks to more fully understand and serve God. I think that is an appropriate warning. Scot starts off his book talking about fasting through different Christian voice through history. He talks about how fasting for King David, and everyone in the Bible, was a whole-body experience. He also talks about the prophet Isaiah and his warning to Isreal reminding them that fasting isn't about us, what we give up when we fast should be given to others. He also quotes John Calvin, "whenever men are to pray to God concerning any great matter, it would be expedient to appoint fasting along with prayer. Their sole purpose in this kind of fasting is to render themselves more eager and unencumbered for prayer...with a full stomach our mind is not so lifted up to God." He also points to recent reminders of fasting from authors such as Dallas Willard and John Piper. Scot then goes on to give his definition of fasting: Fasting is the natural, inevitable response of a person to a grievous sacred moment in life. He really unpacks this definition with the analogy that A -> B -> C, so A (sacred moment) leads us to B (fasting) that leads us to C (results). He explains that often times we try to get the results that we want from fasting and jump to B -> C, but reminds the reader that the Bible presents a responsive view of fasting. I fully agree with him about this statement, often times we try to use fasting as an instrument for results rather than a response to God. Scot then goes on to unpack the different forms of fasting. He really drives home his point that fasting is a whole-body experience, he explains that the Western mind tries to separate the body and spirit, we have a spiritual life and we have our regular life. The soul and the body are separate, the soul is spiritual and the body is of this world, which is why it is so difficult for us to see the importance in fasting, because that has a direct impact on the body, we don't see how it ties into our spiritual side. Scot talks about our body image and does a great job of reminding us that we are created in the image of God! In the next section of the book, McKnight unpacks the different types of fasting. He starts with Body Turning, the most common form of fasting is in response to the kind of sacred moment when Israel is called to confess sin. Body Plea, in the Bible, pleas and supplications and prayers were accompanied by the embodied act of fasting. Body Grief, overwhelmed by the sacredness of a moment we choose not to eat in order to sanctify our communion with God and participate fully in one of life's grievous moments. Body Discipline, the scheduled practice of fasting Body Calendar, vital fasts that respond properly to the story of God's redemptive ways that are observed in the church calendar. Body Poverty, response to injustice in our world. Body Contact, fasting to experience intimacies with God Body Hope, fasting because of the hope of Christ's return Scot finishes the book up with a section called Wisdom and Fasting, he unpacks the benefits of fasting such as making room for God, but also gives a warning about fasting in terms of health and extremes. All in all, I really enjoyed this book. I have been interested in the topic of fasting and curious to why it has fallen be the way side in our present day. Scot does a great job of unpacking fasting and all the benefits of returning to this ancient practice. I would highly recommend this book.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Charissa Howe

    Highly recommend this book! One of the book reviewing sites I'm working with is Booksneeze and today's review is a book I received from them. I was given a copy of the book to review, but am under no obligation to review it favorably. Fasting by Scott McKnight This book is a part of the Ancient Practices Series that the Sabbath book I reviewed comes from. I enjoyed and was convicted by that one and with Lent on the way, this was a great one to sign on for. McKnight's book talks about the discipli Highly recommend this book! One of the book reviewing sites I'm working with is Booksneeze and today's review is a book I received from them. I was given a copy of the book to review, but am under no obligation to review it favorably. Fasting by Scott McKnight This book is a part of the Ancient Practices Series that the Sabbath book I reviewed comes from. I enjoyed and was convicted by that one and with Lent on the way, this was a great one to sign on for. McKnight's book talks about the discipline of fasting, the history of it, the reasons for it and gives examples of different types of fasting. He breaks down how fasting relates to different aspects of our being in a logical and sensible way. I've read a great deal about spiritual disciplines, but have, for a variety of terrible reasons, avoided delving much into the world of fasting. I've not even read up on it much, to be honest, lest I be convicted to make it fit. I'm not a food addict, but I'm an American. We don't like anything that even looks remotely like inconvenience and fasting looks terribly inconvenient. For about 5 or so years, I was constantly pregnant or nursing, and that was my excuse. Then I started training for marathons, and nutrition is important and that's been my recent excuse. Before that, the most fasting I had done was for the 30 Hour Famine. McKnight isn't just talking about the giving up of chocolate or facebook or alcohol that so many folks do at Lent. While he doesn't have a problem with discipline abstinence of certain distractions, he is clear that when the Bible talks about fasting, it means not eating and sometimes it even means not drinking. Knowing that there are many folks who tout fasting as the healthy thing to do and others complain that it's not healthy at all, he spends the entire last chapter talking about fasting and the body. He also reiterates time and time again that we must not fast for results, but rather as a response to a sacred moment in life. Fasting is not primarily a way to add power to our prayer. It is an act of reverence. This book has certainly opened my eyes about the importance of the practice of fasting and has convicted me to make a careful effort to add the practice to my life and to beware that I'm fasting with the right motives. I highly recommend this book to all my Christian friends and family, especially those of you who, like me, haven't really taken fasting seriously in the past. And even if you have, this may give you an interesting new perspective on it. My full review can be found here: http://www.thesquirrelfactor.com/2011...

  27. 4 out of 5

    Bookworm1858

    Fasting by Scot McKnight Thomas Nelson, 2009 132 pages Inspirational; Non-fiction 4/5 stars Source: Received as a free ebook from booksneeze in exchange for an honest review. I wanted to read this because I've been thinking about my relationship with food lately and because I didn't know much about fasting, biblically and in more modern times. I was hoping to learn a lot more through reading this book--and I did! First McKnight outlines why we fast. There are two main reasons; one is in response to a g Fasting by Scot McKnight Thomas Nelson, 2009 132 pages Inspirational; Non-fiction 4/5 stars Source: Received as a free ebook from booksneeze in exchange for an honest review. I wanted to read this because I've been thinking about my relationship with food lately and because I didn't know much about fasting, biblically and in more modern times. I was hoping to learn a lot more through reading this book--and I did! First McKnight outlines why we fast. There are two main reasons; one is in response to a grievous spiritual moment such as a recognition of our own sin or death of a family member. The other main reason is through scheduled weekly fasting. Early Christians generally fasted on Wednesday and Friday to distinguish themselves from Jews fasting on Monday and Thursday. The most important point is to not fast in order to get something from God-that is exactly the wrong mindset to have. The idea of weekly fasts really intrigues and I'm thinking of implementing that this year. Another point McKnight makes is about how many Westerners experience a disconnect between body and soul which hinders them when practicing this spiritual discipline. Oftentimes the body is considered unimportant and thus fasting is not practiced. This is wrong, argues McKnight; we need to bring the body and soul together, something that fasting can do. Of course, fasting can also be dangerous and McKnight includes a chapter about the health risks excessive fasting can impose. It might be wise to fast from breakfast to dinner, which is how I'm going to start, rather than just jump into long-term fasting. That would be dangerous to your health! If there are any health concerns, a doctor should be consulted. Overall: An intriguing and illuminating look at the ancient practice of fasting: how it was practiced and how we might practice fasting now. I want to incorporate fasting in to my spiritual journey. Cover: I'm not a big fan of the picture; I chose the book solely based on the concept.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lance

    I'm not an Anabaptist as McKnight is, but I thought to pick up this little tome to see a different perspective on a basic practice of my own faith. And I was really impressed. Don't get me wrong. McKnight and I don't agree on everything. And I'm not completely buying everything McKnight says about fasting. But he said enough that made me challenge what I believe that I re-examined my own faith and found that some things I didn't think that I believe I actually do believe. The biggest example revol I'm not an Anabaptist as McKnight is, but I thought to pick up this little tome to see a different perspective on a basic practice of my own faith. And I was really impressed. Don't get me wrong. McKnight and I don't agree on everything. And I'm not completely buying everything McKnight says about fasting. But he said enough that made me challenge what I believe that I re-examined my own faith and found that some things I didn't think that I believe I actually do believe. The biggest example revolves around McKnight's main idea. Many fast with the intention of receiving something. McKnight argues that fasting should be a natural response to what McKnight calls "grievous sacred moments." These moments include sins (ours & others), moral disasters, severe sickness (ours & others), death, grief, a consciousness of our own weakness & need for God, and a lack of justice in the community. I would simply call those moments trigger events. In McKnight's view, fasting is not the point of spirituality; spirituality is the point of fasting. He quotes extensively from the Bible to show how fasting was practiced anciently as a response. That case convinced me to examine my own faith and my own scriptures. And I found that in some cases fasting was an expression to secure something from God and in many, many more cases as the natural response to a trigger event. I also enjoyed McKnight's perspective of fasting as a holistic experience. It's more than just the interplay between the spirit and the body. Fasting also involves the heart and the mind. And that holistic experience is more accessible when fasting is seen as a response rather than a request for divine intervention. Again, I don't agree with everything McKnight propounds. But I highly recommend his book. It helped me to re-examine my own faith, and I feel that I am now more grounded that I was previously.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    Fasting isn’t a popular spiritual discipline. It’s not the sort of thing people get excited about: feasting, yes; but fasting, no. Particularly at this time of year! This excellent book by Scot McKnight, part of The Ancient Practices Series under the general editorship of Phyllis Tickle, takes a fresh look at fasting. Is fasting a form of trying to twist God’s arm? Is it a way of showing God how serious we are? No. McKnight stresses that fasting isn’t a manipulative tool that guarantees results. I Fasting isn’t a popular spiritual discipline. It’s not the sort of thing people get excited about: feasting, yes; but fasting, no. Particularly at this time of year! This excellent book by Scot McKnight, part of The Ancient Practices Series under the general editorship of Phyllis Tickle, takes a fresh look at fasting. Is fasting a form of trying to twist God’s arm? Is it a way of showing God how serious we are? No. McKnight stresses that fasting isn’t a manipulative tool that guarantees results. Indeed results are not important. This approach is refreshingly contrary to many other books on fasting that focus on the benefits and rewards of fasting. McKnight rightly stress that fasting is a response - a response to a grievous 'sacred moment'. These moments include death, grief, impending or actual disaster, the absence of justice, a lack of holiness and so on. The book is in two main parts: Spirituality and fasting and Wisdom and fasting. The first looks at different aspects of fasting as ... the second at fasting and... . He notes that fasting is not something we should do lightly as it is potentially damaging to the body. The first part looks at the theology of fasting and the second the practice of fasting. For many fasting is a way of denying the body so they can focus on the so-called ‘spiritual’; it is for many an outworking of a nature/ grace dualism. However, McKnight contends that that fasting is not popular because we have exiled the body from spirituality. He is wanting an embodied form of spirituality. A spirit/ body dualism has denied the body and so fasting, a bodily function, has been ignored. Rather than denying the body, the kind of fasting that McKnight stresses is one that embraces the body. There is a brief study guide and a list of recommended reading. This is certainly the best book I've read on fasting.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Fasting, written by Scot McKnight, analyzes Christians’ view of the body and the role of fasting in a person’s spiritual walk. According to McKnight, when the body, soul, spirit, and heart come together in unity, fasting is a natural response to a relationship with God. Throughout the book, McKnight shares a formula for fasting: A—a grievous, sacred moment; B—fasting; C—results. Many Christians believe that if they will fast, God will answer them in a certain way. McKnight argues that fasting fo Fasting, written by Scot McKnight, analyzes Christians’ view of the body and the role of fasting in a person’s spiritual walk. According to McKnight, when the body, soul, spirit, and heart come together in unity, fasting is a natural response to a relationship with God. Throughout the book, McKnight shares a formula for fasting: A—a grievous, sacred moment; B—fasting; C—results. Many Christians believe that if they will fast, God will answer them in a certain way. McKnight argues that fasting for a result becomes a “manipulative device instead of a genuine, Christian discipline” (page xxi). Instead, it is the other way around. When a person goes through a sacred moment, the only response is fasting. These sacred moments can be a physical need, a realization of sin, or just the desire to grow closer to God. Throughout the book, McKnight backs up his ideas with scripture, logic, and words from other Biblical scholars. I found the book to be thought-provoking. Most of the book was devoted to spiritual ramifications of fasting, but it was valuable that physical consequences and warnings were examined as well. While fasting is an important part of a Christian’s walk, it should not be done to an extreme that may cause death. The overall theme that fasting is a natural response, demonstrating a person’s hunger for more of Jesus is a powerful message for Christians who are often hungrier for the things of the world than the savior of the world. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers 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.”

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