Fasting By Scot McKnight – Book Review
“My Dear Wormwood,…At the very least, they [humans] can be persuaded that the bodily position makes no difference to their prayers; for they constantly forget, what you must constantly remember, that they are animals and whatever their bodies do affects their soul.” C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters
Does our physical body play a role in our spiritual formation? And if so, are there intentional ways in which I can use my body in the hopes to grow spiritually?
In his book Fasting, Scot McKnight explains how the spiritual and the physical are connected and explores the idea of “whole-body spirituality.” McKnight would suggest that the body and spirit are intrinsically interconnected and explains how this relationship works, specifically through the discipline of fasting.
“Fasting is the body talking what the spirit yearns, what the soul longs for, and what the mind knows to be true.” ― Scot McKnight
The act of fasting, he argues, should not be focused on results or used as a tool to manipulate God into action (as if it could work that way). It’s a practice to be used in response to sacred moments, just as it has in the lives of God’s people throughout history. David and Isaiah fasted along with their prayer for others because, for them, prayer was enriched through a full body experience. Jesus fasted as a way to prepare himself for ministry. Our early church fathers used the church calendar to weave in rhythms of dedicated feasting and fasting. McKnight argues that in these important moments, the natural response should be to dedicate our entire self to the practice of prayer.
Throughout Fasting, McKnight gives us Scriptural accounts of fasting, along with practical wisdom on benefits and pitfalls, when we should fast, and what happens to our bodies as a result.
You too can include your body in the pursuit of God during your most sacred moments and Fasting, is a helpful guide to navigating that time.
In the book you’ll find:
- In-depth biblical precedents for the practice of fasting
- How to fast effectively – and safely
- Different methods of fasting as practiced in the Bible
- Straight talk on pitfalls, such as cheating and motivation.
written by Matt Hodgson, Spiritual Life Development, USA East