Book review: Scot McKnight’s Fasting – a good study on a needed practice

With his book Fasting, Scot McKnight has provided something evangelical churches in America very much need right now – solid teaching based on careful research regarding the practice of fasting. After years of neglect, it is encouraging to see fasting making something of a comeback in American church life. For too long it had been confined to the holiness and peace church traditions, and of course the Catholic church. But as fasting has garnered new interest, there has been a good deal of misunderstanding and questionable practices surrounding it. McKnight confronts these gently but firmly and grounds his writing in the ancient practices of the church. While not the easiest read for the lay person, it is quite manageable and is organized very well. I think it would make a particularly good subject for a small group study, especially for groups that might think of doing a group fast at the beginning of next year or for the Lenten season. I recommend this book and I especially recommend the spiritual discipline of fasting, which will transform your life. I think it is especially necessary and powerful in north American culture; fasting relativizes and calls into question so much that is both wrong and accepted as good and normal in our culture. The follower of Jesus in this culture needs (now more than ever) to be an active faster.