Book Review: The Ancient Practices Series, Fasting by Scot Mcknight

Having a handful of questions about “Fasting,” the book on it by Scot Mcknight was my default pick from the number of books available for review via Thomas Nelson. It is the first book I have read on “fasting” and I appreciate the biblical truths shared within. I have learned a lot of things about this particular spiritual discipline that was practiced back in the Old Testament times.

The book “Fasting” by Scot Mcknight inspired me right from the introduction where he mentioned about the fasting our early Christian fathers have practiced. To mention one, a writer about the Psalms, John Goldingay, tells about David on Psalm 35:13-14, “The psalm assumes that merely to feel sadness is not enough; because we are physical creatures and not just minds and spirits, it would be odd not to express sorrow in abstention from food and then afflicting one’s spirit and one’s self.”

Chapter after chapter, Mcknight reiterates the A–>B–>C Framework of fasting. It begins with A, the grievous sacred moment. That sacred moment generates a response, which is B (fasting). Only when the sacred moment is given its full power does the response of fasting generate the results, which is C. But not always. Simply put, fasting is a response to an encounter with God – whether it be of repentance from sin, a yearning for supplication or out of a grieving heart.

While I am no scholar to these things, as I went to read through the book, I have encountered examples of fasting brought about by a sacred moment, but not necessarily grievous. And while I do agree with the A–>B–>C framework that Mcknight shared, being not much of a fan of legalism, I am more compelled to believe that fasting should be a response to a sacred moment, God’s leading of a person to fast.

Allow me to close with what Scot Mcknight mentions in page 11:

Fasting is the body talking what the spirit yearns, what the soul longs for and what the mind knows to be true. It is body talk – not the body simply talking for the spirit, for the mind or for the soul in some symbolic way, but for the person, the whole person, to express himself completely. Fasting is one way you and I bring our entire selves into complete expression.

My encouragement is to make sure to have your Bible with to reconcile teachings as you read these kinds of books. Scot Mcknight’s book on Fasting is a thought provoking one and it sure has satisfied a lot of my questions pertaining to this particular spiritual discipline.

Disclosure: I received this book from Thomas Nelson Publishing for review purposes. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Book Review: The Ancient Practices Series, Fasting by Scot Mcknight

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