Fasting, by Scot McKnight, is a book that every preacher should read before tackling the topic of fasting. Fasting, as McKnight explains is a discipline that has been misrepresented and abused for hundreds of years. People have traditionally seen fasting as a means to an end "Instrumental Fasting" and not what fasting is meant to be which is a response to a sacred moment in life "Resopnsive Fasting"
There are two main parts to McKnight's book, and they are named perfectly. The first section is called “Spirituality and Fasting” it's a nine part section that deals with all of the Biblical reasons to fast with examples of appropriate and inappropriate manifestations of each. McKnight deals with issues of prayer, repentance, grief, pleading, discipline and hope among others. The second section is called “Wisdom and Fasting” where McKnight very carefully goes over the human reasons why and why not to fast.
McKnight's book is an excellent example of balance and careful consideration. He's ascetic without being crazy, liturgical without leaving evangelicalism. McKnight rightly sees that fasting is not a denominational or sectarian issue but one of simply Christianity. It is an ancient practice that may have faded in practice but not in efficacy. I highly recommend this book.
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