Fasting: The Ancient Practices Series
Fasting from The Ancient Practices Series is another of the books that seeks to encourage the reader to consider a practice that most religious orders practiced regularly in the past. Fasting is one that has all but been forgotten in most Christian circles. The reasons for that are varied according to McKnight but primarily because of loss of the notion that the body and soul is an integrated unit.
He opens with a discussion of body image, one that focuses on the link between the body and the spirit and develops the theme from there. One development from that is the reason an individual fasts at all. It is not as he points out repeatedly to obtain some favor from God. It is he thinks an expression that comes from a significant or as he calls it “grievous” (xviii) sacred moment. His definition works but it will take the reader a while to understand what he means by it.
The book overall is gently written and well thought out. It certainly helped me get a better understanding of fasting. As some have noted the opening is slow. I found myself counting how many different ways he could say the same thing on one page early on in the book. Keep going it does get better and is worth your effort.