“Fasting” by Scot Mcknight, published by Thomas Nelson
By the number of books published in the last few years, fasting has become a popular subject. Mcknight in this book believes that people fast for the wrong reasons. He believes that fasting is a ‘natural, inevitable response of a person to a grievous sacred moment in life’. We do not fast for the purpose of manipulating God or for certain expected results. Fasting is a natural thing that happens and should occur during times of grief such as the death of a loved one, sickness, sin, fear etc. He uses scripture, along with some early church practices, to back up and to support his definition.
He also believes that fasting is one of the most misunderstood of the Christian disciplines. The reason being that we have either lost or distorted the ancient idea of there being a unity between body and spirit. We have made a dichotomy between the 2, thus making the body evil and the spirit good (dualism). He goes on to show through scripture the unity that exist between body and spirit.
In his explanation and use of scripture to show the unity of body and spirit he fails to mention or use the verses in
1Co 6:13,18 Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body….Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. An explanation of the meaning of these verses would have been nice and would have went along way in showing the unity of body and spirit.
I liked that he emphasised the fact that fasting is only food and drink related it is not doing without TV, facebook or some other item of interest. Those type of things that we do without he calls abstentance but not fasting.
He also ties fasting in with the church calendar and the practice of fasting among the early church, to encourage us to pick up/ start the practice of fasting.
The writer mentioned his feeling of hypocrisy as he was writing on the subject of ‘fasting’ then taking a break for lunch. I can understand those feelings for I felt the same way in just reading the book. This is not a book that you can read and set aside without putting it into practice.