Dr. Richards truly hit a home run with Eat Fast Feast. On the one hand, his training in analytic philosophy shines through in his approach to researching and presenting the scientific and medical functions and benefits of fasting. On the other hand, the theologian in him presents compelling, encouraging, and an otherwise Scriptural case for the spiritual call and need for fasting. The thread tying these two approaches together is his personal journey with fasting as both a physical and spiritual discipline. Below, I will try to give a concise review following the "Good, Bad, and Ugly" format.
One of the best things about this book is that it is extremely readable. Since 2016, as a university student, I read at least two books a month (not counting books for personal interest). Many of these books are simply time consuming to read. They have terribly complex syntax, ridiculously small font, and an equally ridiculous number of pages per chapter. Conversely, I read Eat Fast Feast in under a week (under 10 hours total). Dr. Richards uses clear and simple language whenever possible, without any bravado or unnecessary academic speak. Also, the font is comfortably large, the line spacing is nice, and the chapters are relatively short.
A second good point is that he's not trying to sell us anything. He's not trying to make his living by marketing the Jay W. Richards Physically Spiritual Approach to Ketogenic Eating and Intermittent Fasting. To the contrary, he is simply trying to share something that has benefited himself greatly, for the purpose of showing people they too can make this thing that seems so hard easier to do and that it will boost their spirituality as well as benefit their body.
A third good point is that Dr. Richards consistently alternates between science and health aspect to fasting, and historical and spiritual aspects. There isn't much in the way of opinion or conjecture either. While not bogged down with foot notes, Richards provides sourced research and studies to support his presentation of the health benefits to fasting. Additionally, when presenting spiritual perspectives, he uses adequate and appropriate Scriptural citations, along with an informative inclusion of many historical practices of not only the church, but other religions throughout the ages.
Fourth, the book isn't solely about fasting. It is also about eating and feasting. This statement should stand alone without explanation, but simply put, it isn't just about mastering your body and spirit by denying it control over when you eat, but also about good and healthy pattern of eating during normal times, as well as good and healthy times of feasting.
For my fifth and final good point (although I could include many more) Dr. Richards writes to Christians of all stripes. While he himself is Catholic, and certainly speaks of Catholic traditions, his main point for Christians is that no matter what denomination one is, they are totally capable of fasting--and they absolutely should.
I really don't have anything bad to say about this book. Certainly, Dr. Richards could have perhaps gone deeper on some topics. Then again, this could easily been three or four books.
Perhaps the one thing that is a negative is that a companion guide would have been nice. The book presents a six-week plan which switches dietary focus and works through a progression of fasting. While all the information for basic dietary needs, fasting protocol and schedule are present in the book, it would be more convenient to spend a few bucks on a little companion book to have all that stuff readily handy.
I actually like this part because Dr. Richards is no stranger to writing and speaking on topics that, frankly, can get ugly. I have watched him give talks on climate, the fine tuning of the universe, and intelligent design, and I know he has much more material out there that I haven't read or watched. The point is, he's not afraid to talk about things that come with controversy. And he does so in this book.
Fasting itself is controversial. Many Christians simply don't do it, even though it is clear and present in Scripture (and Richards points this out). Also, many people believe it just is not a good way to live a healthy lifestyle. Dr. Richards discusses many finer points of both of these aspects. So, it should go without saying that what he presents stands in direct contrast to what others may think, believe, or practice on the subject.
This book is more than worth its cost; buy it. As one who has studied fasting as a health benefit for a couple years, and has been training academically in theology for a few years; this book nails these two areas together in a way that is engaging and invigorating.
- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins - US (15 January 2020)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 006290521X
- ISBN-13: 978-0062905215
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.2 x 21 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 318 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 38,437 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)