Fasting: The Ancient Practices by Scot McKnight
Fasting is one of seven books in a series titled The Ancient Practices. McKnight covers many aspects of fasting, one of the first being what it is not. Fasting is not a means to gain something or a way to become a better person. He goes on to describe the different views of the body, how western Christians tend to disassociate the physical body with spirituality, and the potential benefits and problems with fasting.
I found the book to be very informative, and it provided me new insight into the practice of fasting. I’ve heard of people fasting during lent, and I know a couple who fasted while they listened to God for guidance as to the direction of their relationship, but I could not imagine myself giving up food for any period of time. However, after reading this book, I have included this practice into my repetoire of spiritual practices. I appreciate how McKnight broke the first part of the book into chapters of different forms of fasting, by which I mean different actions people took while fasting. For example, some people fast on a particular day each year as a remembrance to the church calendar, and some people fast as a means to remember the injustice so many people experience.
As stated earlier, McKnight points out that Western Christians approach spirituality and the human body differently than eastern Christians, and throughout the book, he provides scripture passages which relate to fasting therefore substantiating the topic as an ancient biblical practice. Overall the book was an easy read for me since examples, theological quotes and biblical references keep my interest, and oftentimes have me refer to the book at a later time.
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