Monday, February 14, 2011

Booksneeze Book Review: 'Fasting' by Scott Mcknight

Publishers' Book Description:
Building a body and mind that hungers for God.

Is the practice of faith centered solely on the spirit? Is the body an enemy, or can it actually play a role in our pursuit of God? In this installation of the Ancient Practices Series, Dr. Scot McKnight reconnects the spiritual and the physical through the discipline of fasting.

The act of fasting, he says, should not be focused on results or used as a manipulative tool. It is a practice to be used in response to sacred moments, just as it has in the lives of God's people throughout history. 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.

For those who have wondered how to grasp the value of this most misunderstood ancient practice, this book is a comprehensive guide.

A volume in the eight book classic series, The Ancient Practices, with a foreword by Phyllis Tickle, General Editor.

I wanted to like this book.  No, I wanted to love this book. It sounded absolutely fascinating to me and I couldn't wait to read it. My husband also wanted to read it and kept asking me to hurry up so it would be 'his turn'. Finally, this books' ticket came up and I dove in, eager to soak up everything Scott Mcknight had to offer. I gave up about halfway through - and my husband lasted about 40 pages. Neither one of us could finish it - although my husband says he may try again.

The book, to be perfectly honest, was one of the most dry, repetitive, and redundant books I've ever read. It had all of the potential in the world and it fell way short of expectations. It was very critical of the modern perceptions and treatment of fasting and, while I agreed with a good chunk of his positions, it came across as quite negative sometimes. That's not the feeling I would think you'd generally be going for when you're writing about something as spiritual in nature as this. Mr Mcknight also tended to repeat the same subject matter over and over in each chapter, adding very little new information - just re-formatting and repeating what had already been said. My opinion is that people could understand the main viewpoint from the book in the 2 page conclusion at the end.

As much as it pains me to write a bad review (and, I assure you, it does pain me), I can't help but be honest with you. I think this book is one that can be skipped. Now, in the spirit of full disclosure, I must tell you that according to the reviews on - I'm in the minority when it comes to my opinions on this book. As of the time this post is being written, 'Fasting' has 4 stars with 67 reviews.

What can I say? I've never been one that goes along with the crowd...

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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