When he quotes from the church's fathers, he let's them inspire his readers, as I certainly was. He also quotes from less ancient, and even contemporary writers who, likewise, make me look forward to finding a rhythm of fasting. I used to fast lunches regularly years ago, as a way to focus my prayers on missionaries I support around the world. But I found myself skipping lunch, but snacking after 1PM. McKnight talks about fasting and legalism and failure in the last chapter. He is very graceful. For that I am grateful.
The one big drawback in the book is his thesis statement that fasting should occur in response to a "grievous sacred moment." But chapter after chapter, I kept waiting for McKnight to address Jesus's 40 day fast and temptation in the wilderness, Luke 4. He mentions this only once, in chapter 9 near the end of the book. I think an admission that there are exceptions to his thesis, such as Jesus. The exception I see to McKnight's thesis is that we sometimes fast because God compels us, but it's not a grievous thing.
Nevertheless, I am adding new books to my Amazon wish list thanks to McKnight's recommended reading to learn more about fasting from all three branches of Christendom. I am also eager to ease back into the earliest prescribed fasts on Wednesdays and Fridays from the Didache 8:1. And maybe, by Lent, I will be ready for the more rigorous fasts of one meal a day. However, as a low church guy, I have more to learn. If you know little about this aspect of the Christian life then I think this book is a good entrance to the topic.
Thanks to Booksneeze for the complimentary copy to review.