Wednesday, September 30, 2015
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.