- Yesterday was the first day of Lent. It kinda snuck up on me this year and I frankly don’t know how I’m going to observe it. I feel like I really need to observe it some way in these times of madness, to affirm the power of Christ in these our era of biotry, hatred and war.
- The Daily Texan: Lent — A growing number of Protestants observe Lent by fasting, abstaining from bad habits
The story has this quote from one of my old professors at ICS (now Austin Graduate School of Theology):
- According to Allan McNicol, a professor of the New Testament at the Austin Graduate School of Theology, Protestants have begun to incorporate fasting by associating it with the ancient church rather than the Catholic ritual.
“During the Reformation, there was a resistance to the tradition of the medieval church, particularly on the part of reformists like Calvin,” McNicol said. “Fasting is in the Bible. It’s an early Christian practice that got sidetracked by the Reformation because it was associated with what Catholics did.”
McNicol said that since the rise of the ecumenical movement – the acceptance and unity between various Christian denominations – hostilities between Protestants and Catholics lessened. He said within the past 10 years there has been a trend to adopt some of the ancient rituals so that modern Protestants can continue ancient Christian tradition.
“The dominant motivating factor that accounts for the increase in fasting among Protestants is a widespread search for spiritual depth in our culture,” McNicol said. “American life is a mile wide and an inch deep. Because of this, the idea of discipline and using this time for reflection and sharing has become more important.”