Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Chemnitz on the Final Purpose of Fasting

Fasting per se and on its own account is not worship of God.  But if fasting is joined to repentance and prayer, that is, if fasting is ordered to this end, that the flesh may be coerced, subjugated, and reduced to servitude, lest it contend against the spirit and hinder and disturb its actions either by its willfulness or its indifference, but that we have a body obedient and fit for spiritual things and for the performance of its duties, that the mind be admonished and become more fit for spiritual desires, so that the spirit may be able the more ardently and willingly to give and devote itself to repentance, prayer, and other exercises of piety, if fasting is practiced to this end, then finally it is pleasing to God. (Examination of the Council of Trent, Vol. 4, p 263-264)

Monday, October 5, 2015

Chemnitz on Fasting

Fasting is abstinence from food and renunciation of bodily delights until such a time when both the body has been castigated and the mind humbled.  (All Quotes here and previous from Volume 4 of Examination of the Council of Trent, pp 258-263)

Friday, October 2, 2015

Chemnitz on Fasting

3.  Scripture shows that fasting also includes the affliction of the flesh or castigation of the body, and humbling of the mind.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Chemnitz on Fasting

2. Fasting is when we do not abstain altogether from lunch or dinner but remove something when we lunch or dine, either in the quantity or the quality of the food, or do not take as much or also as rich as cold be done even while maintaining temperance.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Quotes from Chemnitz on Fasting

Fasting properly so called, is voluntary abstinence from food, which according to Scripture is exercised in three ways: 1. when such moderation in food and drink is obsessed that the body is not burdened or hearts weighed down with gluttony and drunkeness. This virtue is properly called temperance, frugality, and sobriety. As Isidore has it: "Fasting is sparing the matter of victuals and abstinence from foods

Thursday, September 24, 2015


I recently watched online a seminar where Dr. John Kleinig spoke on the subject of the spiritual disciplines. One such discipline that he encouraged was fasting. Fasting is not a subject that I have normally preached or taught on at Redeemer. On the occasion where I have spoken on fasting, it has always been in the context of the Lenten fast, or giving something up for Lent. In the lecture I watched, Dr. Kleinig spoke highly of Martin Chemnitz and his writings on fasting which appear in the Examination of the Council of Trent; Part IV. I will make this a part of my daily reading, and hopefully will cite passages of interest on the topic. One such passage is where Chemnitz begins laying out the Scriptural doctrine on fasting. He writes: "Fasting of itself and its origin is not a work prohibited by a command of God, or one that militates against the Word of God....On account of the papalist abuses some are so afraid of the teaching about fasting that they shrink back when they only hear the term fasting mentioned, as though they had heard either murder or adultery ; and some reject the whole teaching about fasting..." How true that is today! Many don't know about fasting. I will admit, I don't know a lot about it, other than it is Scriptural and a fine discipline. I plan to learn more about it in the weeks ahead, and hopefully share some insights here.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

A quote from Luther as it appears in Treasury of Daily Prayer for August 16: "Everyone myst benefit and serve every other by means of his own work or office so that in this way many kinds of work may be done for the bodily and spiritual welfare of the community, just as all the members of the body serve one another (I Cor. 12: 14-26)"