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Curt Hobbs
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Piper, Is Fasting Christian?

on Tue Jan 23, 2018 2:48 pm
I found the second part of this chapter hard to stick with because I could not imagine fasting not being Christian. And I could not imagine Piper arguing against fasting. In the first section, I understood that fasting is used for religious, political and health reasons, but the arguments against fasting not being Christian seemed lacking, but the second section was difficult. Piper does conclude the chapter with clarifying several of the arguments and how fasting Christianly is both biblical and for now.

I am reminded of Gordon Fee describing the Kingdom of God as being "Already-not yet." Piper does a good job of describing the Kingdom having come in Jesus and there is another part that is not yet -when we will know Him face to face. Looking ahead to being present with Jesus, was one of the strengths for this chapter.
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Re: Piper, Is Fasting Christian?

on Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:18 pm
I'm glad I'm not the only one who had an issue with Piper in this chapter. When I was reading the first part of the chapter, I was wondering where he was going because, as you said, his arguments against were kind of weak. As I was reading I kept thinking of the verses in Matthew about the bridegroom, and I am glad that he finally quoted them. Perhaps there are those who question whether fasting is Biblical, or whether we should still fast today, so perhaps this first chapter will help them to continue reading (and hopefully fasting).
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Re: Piper, Is Fasting Christian?

on Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:39 pm
Yeah I think Piper really belabored the point of trying to be teh devil's advocate. I believe what he was doing was trying to voce what he knew are some common arguments in evangelicalism against fasting. But he dwelled on the negative view for so long that he obviously gave some the impression he was against it. I think this is a fundamental pitfall of some theologians THey want to present so many sides that somtimes they forget to leave their listeners/readers with a strong idea of where themselves land on an issue. I think you would see from the rest of the book that he is infact a great advocate of fasting. JUst so you know, the reason I wanted to include this chapter was so that if any of us had any reservations or concerns, at least he would touch on it and give us valid reasons why fasting, when done biblically, is definitely for today
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Re: Piper, Is Fasting Christian?

on Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:07 pm
PIper is always hard for me to read, but I agree this article seemed especially long and belabored. He seemed more interested in proving Main wrong and making sure the reader couldn't accuse him of seeing fasting as having anything to do with works or self discipline, than actually making a case for Christian fasting.

However, since food is a big part of my life, I love this quote from the article:

Fasting is not a no to the goodness of food or the generosity
of God in providing it. Rather, it is a way of saying, from time
to time, that having more of the Giver surpasses having the gift.
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Re: Piper, Is Fasting Christian?

on Wed Jan 24, 2018 4:27 pm
John Piper seems to always be extremely (maybe overly) concerned with the smallest jot and tittle of doctrine...I'm sure he makes the Father chuckle at times. (Me too, I'm sure the Father shakes his head at my emotionalism at times). While we probably don't encounter it much in the A/G - I do think there are lots of denominations out there who think that fasting is OT, and crazy/extreme. My oldest brother, raised in a church where we fasted, told me about 10 years ago "Dalene, you don't need to be a martyr for God to hear you" (in response to the fact that I was fasting). Which gave me an opportunity to respond...and funnily enough, years later, he now fasts regularly.

Truthfully, I completely skimmed the chapter...(can you say "belabor the point"?). But. I do think that as we disciple secularists, who filter everything through their intellect and cannot see the value in limitations/suffering - I think we will encounter more people who need a summarization of John's point (how fasting is OT and NT) so they can embrace it.
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Re: Piper, Is Fasting Christian?

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