Saturday, March 05, 2011

Book Review: Fasting by Scot McKnight

At any given time, if you ask me what I'm reading, I may respond with several different titles. I have books in my Kindle - books in my iPhone - books on my PC - and books strewn all over our home! But recently, this book by Scot McKnight has captivated my attention.

Fasting is a book which takes on the subject with profound clarity. Such as none other I have read on the subject. The author stated something very early on which grabbed my attention. He says that fasting is not to be a manipulative tool to see what we can get, but rather fasting should be a response to a very sacred moment or event.

Repentance often expressed itself in the physical act of fasting. The moment of turning away from sin and back to God was so sacred and so filled with God's grace that the Israelites chose to refrain from eating.

Our repentance today doesn't often lead to the same place. Very good points to ponder in this book. We should fast, not because the fasting is some magic bullet to insure that our prayer requests are granted, but rather because the request is something so intense and we desire something so deeply. Eating in the midst of that intense plea would be almost considered sacrilegious.

The author states that he believes there are very real, tanglible benefits from fasting. but not to be utilized for what we want. Rather the benefits will emerge out of the greater context of fasting as we respond to the sacred moment. It is in our response to these moments that as we turn to God in faith that He will bring about the results that undo the grievous situations in which we find ourselves.

A study guide is included at the end which poses questions to stimulate small group discussions. All in all - a very good book - I recommend it. A departure from the "name it - claim it - fast it and grab it" theologies that sometimes infiltrate Christianity.


Diane said...

Thank you Deb. We have been discussing this very subject among a group at church lately and praying about a good study. I will most definitely pass along your recommendation of this book. I am so weary of the 'name-it, claim-it' way of thinking and want a deeper and more intimate relationship with my Lord. God always gives what we need and I needed this recommendation!

Margie said...

I was thinking about getting this book!