Admittedly, I am intrigued by the topic of fasting. As sparse the evidence in the New Testament may be for pragmatism, I honestly believe the symphony of scripture provides plenty examples for our own personal implementation. What is addressed in this particular book treating the topic, is obviously anecdotal.
What exactly is fasting, its past manifestations and origins, its contemporary examples, and just how do some of humans conduct ourselves while doing it? Jews, Christians, Muslims, and many other world religions, practice fasting. The question this book seeks to answer is, what in the world is your point? If you are fasting, is it to convince God to create a result in your favor? Or do you fast in response to something requiring the practice of body submission?
This is the first time reading any works by the author Scot McKnight. This particular offering was well balanced and demonstrated scholarly aptitude worthy of examination. At times, the book does begin to smell of ecumenism, but only to the extent of acceptance of ancient Catholic scholars and authorities on the practice of fasting. The author also systematically treats the various pros and cons related to the abundant forms of fasting we see occurring today.
One of the examples treated in the book are a comparison of abstinence to fasting. This reminded me of my employment with McDonald’s Restaurant and the purposeful marketing of the Double Filet O’Fish during Lent. It was amazing how many fasting Christians would demonstrate their piety with their manners and super-sized fish meals. I mostly enjoyed this book and found it interesting to see a fair treatment of the variety of fasting one could observe in practice in most every given circumstance fasting occurs.
In Fasting, The Ancient Practices by Scot McKnight, you will find that he is consistent with his thesis, critically treats the text, and concludes the book with a fair view of the ‘medical’ impact fasting has on the human body. The most interesting nugget of them all came in knowing that physiologically, the human body can hold out during a fast for 40 days before all things go haywire. Pick this book up today if you are at all interested in learning about fasting and what it really is about biblically. Hint, it is not about what you will get, it is about why you do it. Sorry Jentezen Franklin, I’m going to have to go with the Anabaptist Scholar on this one.
I received Fasting: The Ancient Practices Series as part of the Book Sneeze program in return for posting an unbiased review.