Fasting: Spiritual Freedom Beyond Our Appetites, By Lynne M. Baab


Spiritual Freedom Beyond Our Appetites

by Lynne M. Baab

  • Length: 152 pages
  • Published: November 30, 2006
  • Imprint: IVP Formatio
  • Item Code: 3501
  • ISBN: 9780830835010

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"You're blessed when you've worked up a good appetite for God."

Matthew 5:6 The Message

We live in hungry times. Ours is a consumer culture, predisposed to quickly fill the cravings of body and mind. The idea of fasting--the voluntary denial of something for a specific time, for a spiritual purpose--sets us immediately on edge. But Lynne Baab makes the case that anyone can fast.

Fasting is an expression of freedom. Free from the patterns and habits that mark everyday life, from time to time we can move beyond our appetites into meaningful encounter with God.

In Fasting you'll discover an ancient Christian practice that extends beyond giving up food to any regular activity in our contemporary lives. You'll see how taking a break from eating--or driving, or checking e-mail, or watching television--opens us up to discover new things about ourselves and God and the world around us. You'll see that while not everyone should forgo food, anyone can step out of routine to feed the soul.

In a time of great spiritual hunger, God invites us all to a feast: fellowship with the Creator of the universe, where all our truest needs are identified and attended to.

"America is a culture obsessed with freedom and rights, so why do so many find themselves in bondage? Jesus came to set us free from sin and death--but how can we live in the freedom he secured for us? Lynne Baab's wonderful book reminds us that Christians throughout history have used fasting as a path to freedom--for it enables God to speak in fresh ways and fills us anew with his Spirit. In a style we've come to expect from Baab, her book is intellectually stimulating, spiritually enriching, historically and biblically informative, and practical. Fasting leaves the reader feeling not I ought to do this but I want to do this!"

Rebecca Pippert, author of Out of the Saltshaker

"Combining biblical and historical data with the experiences of modern-day people, Lynne Baab offers insights into the purposes, motivations, expectations and results of fasting. In this lovely book discover how fasting from food, or shopping, or reading, or TV, can lead you into a deeper encounter with Jesus! Reclaim this spiritual practice--it may be one of the best gifts you give yourself."

Adele Ahlberg Calhoun, author of Spiritual Disciplines Handbook

"As someone who has struggled with slavery to my appetites and desires, and who seeks a life free of them, Fasting was a life-giving breath of fresh air. It is easy in this world of fast food, fast living and fast spirituality to forget that we are holistic creations who need to cease from our striving and spend some time fasting from the things that keep us enslaved. Lynne Baab has created a book that can help us explore our appetites, discover the history behind 'the fast,' and learn how to abstain and seek God."

Renee Altson, author of Stumbling Toward Faith

"Lynne Baab takes a very insightful and helpful look at the often neglected spiritual practice of fasting. Her suggestions about fasting other than from food are particularly relevant for our culture today. As a physician I also appreciated her practical and helpful tips on how to fast from food. This is an important book for anyone wanting to become more intimate with God."

Christine Sine, M.D., executive director, Mustard Seed Associates

Not a long or difficult read and extremely practical, Fasting will challenge you to rethink your view of this spiritual discipline.

Natalie Klein, Young Ladies Christian Fellowship, January 29, 2008

Integrating scholarly research with shared and personal anecdotes, Baab makes a persuasive case for the development of a concept of definitely Christian fasting that is biblically based and historically informed.

Congregations, Summer 2007

Baab introduces readers to an inviting and challenging spiritual discipline that is about freedom and produces joyful spiritual growth.

Libraries Alive, June 2007

This book is an excellent resource to learn about how to fast. It provides details, motivation and encouragement to pursue a spiritual fast, draw close to God, and share intimate moments with Him. I recommend it.

Gail Welborn, The Northwest Book Reviewer, March 2007

Baab, along with personal stories from many others, truly gives us "an invitation to freedom." . . . A wealth of helpful information, backed with godly encouragement, leaves the reader desiring to include some sort of fasting in their daily walk with God. Recommended.

Rosalee Stent, The Lamplighter, May 2007

"This slender volume packs a surprising amount of content. . . . [W]ill help novice Christians dip in . . . and more seasoned practitioners become more creative and intentional."

Publishers Weekly, starred review


1. An Invitation to Freedom
2. Food and Fasting Today
3. Motives
4. A Look at Christian History
5. A Photo Album of Biblical Stories
6. Abstaining from Food
7. Other Fasts
8. Fasting in Community
9. Today More Than Ever
Appendix A: For Further Reading
Appendix B: The Challenge of Finding Fasting in the Bible
Scripture Index

Lynne M. Baab

Lynne M. Baab is the author of numerous books and Bible studies. A Presbyterian minister, she completed a PhD in communication at the University of Washington in 2007 and moved with her husband to Dunedin, New Zealand, where she taught pastoral theology at the University of Otago for ten years. She returned to her home city, Seattle, in 2017 and still supervises graduate students for her university in New Zealand. Lynne is the author of several novels and ten Christian books, including A Renewed Spirituality, Sabbath Keeping, Fasting, and Friending. She has written three LifeGuide Bible Studies: Prayers of the Old Testament, Prayers of the New Testament, and Sabbath: The Gift of Rest.