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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A Hunger for God

Written by John Piper in 1997, A Hunger for God is an excellent book to understand the importance of prayer and fasting in our pursuit of God.  With 181 pages of compelling insights and discussion Piper takes the reader through the Biblical arguments for an often forgotten part of worship and desiring God, FASTING. He includes many historical theologians in his narrative and ends the book with a 29 page appendix of quotes from Ignatus to Bill Bright.

I enjoyed and was challenged by this book to begin adding a fast into my pursuit of God.  Piper makes it clear that while traditional fasting is focused on food, that does not have to be the case.  I can fast from anything that is a part of my life that I would actually miss such as running, food, and computer-time.  He also said that you don't even need to abstain from your chosen fast for a whole day, it could be as simple as skipping lunch and using that time to spend in communion with God. 

Piper is clear and pretty adamant that fasting be done only as a way to purify ourselves and to make us weak in front of God to "express to him our need and our great longing that he would manifest himself more fully in our lives for the joy of our soul and the glory of his name."

The only part of the book I really didn't like was the last chapter which was entitled "Fasting for the Little Ones: Abortion and the Sovereignty of God over False Worldviews."  I appreciate and agree with the overall argument of the chapter that we can use fasting as a way to change the community and "corporate values." I just personally don't think that using the issue of abortion was a smart choice.  I think Piper could have found a less controversial issue within Christendom to make his point. 

I would recommend this book to everyone who hungers for God and wants to learn a different method of getting fed.



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