Skip to comments.A Protestant Discovers Mary
Posted on 03/14/2010 12:14:46 PM PDT by NYer
Romano Guardini wrote in his book on the Rosary, To linger in the domain of Mary is a divinely great thing. One does not ask about the utility of truly noble things, because they have their meaning within themselves. So it is of infinite meaning to draw a deep breath of this purity, to be secure in the peace of this union with God.
Guardini was speaking of spending time with Mary in praying the Rosary, but David Mills, in his latest book, Discovering Mary, helps us linger in the domain of Mary by opening up to us the riches of divine revelation, both from tradition and Scripture. Mills, a convert from the Episcopal Church, former editor of the Christian journal Touchstone and editor of the 1998 book of essays commemorating the centennial of C.S. Lewis birth The Pilgrims Guide: C. S. Lewis and the Art of Witness, as well as the author of Knowing the Real Jesus (2001), has written a rock-solid introduction to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and done so with intellectual rigor and an affable tone.
His book begins with an introduction in which he describes how he came to discover the riches of the Churchs teachings on Mary: I began to see how a sacred vessel is made holy by the sacred thing it carries, he writes. I began to feel this in a way I had not before. I found myself developing an experiential understanding of Mary and indeed a Marian devotion. Which surprised me. It surprised me a lot.
Unfortunately, he notes, he did not learn about Mary from contemporary Catholics, nor in homilies, even on Marian feast days. It seems he learned on his own by reading magisterial documents and going back to Scriptures in light of those documents.
This book shares the fruit of that study. Mills examines the life of Mary, Mary in the Bible, Mary in Catholic doctrine, Marian feast days and the names of Mary. He includes an appendix full of references to papal documents and books on Mary.
Most of the book is done in a question-and-answer format, which usually works well, although at times it feels awkward. Would someone really ask, for instance, What is happening in the liturgy on the Marian feast days?
But most of the questions are natural. What is the point of Marian devotion? Mills asks. It is to live the Catholic life as well as we can, he answers. This means going ever more deeply into the mystery of Christ, to become saintlier, more conformed to his image, by following Marys example and by turning to her for help and comfort.
Next question: Does devotion to Mary detract from our devotion to Christ?
Christians since the beginning of serious Marian devotion have been careful to emphasize Marys subordination to her son, Mills replies. In fact, they have said it so often that the reader begins to expect it. In the fifth century St. Ambrose put it nicely: Mary was the temple of God, not the god of the temple.
David Mills, with the same radical clarity he showed in Knowing the Real Jesus, has written what has to be one of the best, if not the very best, short introductions to Catholic teaching on Mary, the Mother of God. Discovering Mary is ideal for those wanting to know more about her, whether they be skeptics, Protestants, or Catholics who dont know the Mother of the Church well enough.
Franklin Freeman writes from Saco, Maine.
Answers to Questions About the Mother of God
By David Mills
Servant Books, 2009
148 pages, $12.99
To order: servantbooks.org
And yet these are not individual interpretations -- this is what the community of Christians has believed since the apostles. Do you honestly believe that your individual interpretation is better than that of the 1st century Christians who lived and knew the apostles? Or the generation after that?
You're wrong that they are not individual interpretations. They are individuals writing and including stories and myths that were going on amongst the people. Not once do they prove that those stories and teachings came from the Apostles. They do not substantiate their sources and when they do, they simply repeat what earlier writers have said - which leads to errors.
Yes, these traditions are what birthed the Bible -- these sacred traditions were canon before the Bible was compiled. These sacred traditions are subject to scripture in the same way Mary is subject to Jesus Christ her God -- scripture and tradition do not contradict each other.
Again, you're reading back into the Scriptures stories and myths (traditions) that came years or centuries after the people were already reading the books of the Bible.
How about naming just one of your "Sacred Traditions" that you can prove to have been taught by the Apostles or Jesus? If you can't you will never convince those who read the Scriptures that the majority of Christians approved way before they were included in a compiled book - the Bible. I realize that this will be a challenge to you, but do your best :-)
Prove it was not "individuals" who wrote what they did that you rely upon.
Prove that Mary was held in "high esteem" (I agree that she was 'full' of grace) and elevated to the extent one sees among devotees today.
Substantiate your (and your churches) claim that the "tradition" about Anne and Joachim were factual, and not simply stories put forth by later writers.
1500 or 2000 years later, you seek to contradict those who heard the apostles?
Not at all! It's just that your churches claim of "Tradition" has no basis in fact. Quote any writer who personally knew an Apostle and mentioned or wrote something that they taught that was not included in the Scriptures. I anxiously await your response on this!
BTW, are you indicating that your church may be only 1500 years old? Ya know, I may just agree that that is much more closer to the actual truth.
Political party is certainly not a litmus test for being a Christian.
35In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.' "
which is an oral tradition handed down to Paul.
Anyone can pick and choose Scriptures, as you demonstrate, and complain against those who do that very same thing to prove their stance.
Okay, we know that what is said in the books of the Bible is what was "orally" taught by Jesus and His Apostles. There is no disagreement on that. But, what is in disagreement is the contention on your part that "Sacred Tradition" is directly from Jesus and the Apostles. Most of your church's Traditions date thier conception many decades and/or centuries later. I especially have in mind the IC of Mary - teachings that have no foundation in the Scriptures or in any of the earliest non-biblical works of individuals that are extant.
And that hold true for all your church's teachings (Traditions) that are not found in the Scriptures. In fact, even the term "Pope" is not found for a century or so later as a term for a "bishop who loved to be first" - see what John said about Diotrephes in his third letter!
You have described double pre-destination, which is a hyper Calvinist, what might be termed a fatalist view.
Phil Johnson provides an excellent treatment of supralapsarianism, infralapsarianism, and Arminianism at
Ultimately, no one disagrees that the saved are called by God. It is the order of the decrees that are significant.
The traditional Calvinist view is that if God only chooses those who already believe, then His sovereignty is non-existent, and so is His omniscience. He must foreknow His own, because He created all things and knows all things.
Certainly there are many adherents to the Arminian view, which Catholicism espouses. My experience with that view, weak as that may sound, and my reading, indicate that the Arminian view that we choose God is man-centered, and by extension, provides for the loss of salvation, so that no one can ever be secure in God.
Do you retract that statement?
I don't see any evidence that Ambrose was a Christian prior to his baptism and his behavior following is mixed at best. I realize RC's want to put this guy up on a pedestal because he played such a big role in establishing the church/state connection. However, if he was a Christian coming from a Christian home why wasn't he baptized until 8 days before becoming bishop of Milan?
RC's argue infant baptism has always been practiced and imparts Grace. It's not like he was way out in the middle of nowhere until 8 days before becoming bishop and hadn't gotten the memo. All the objective information we have points to the conclusion that he was a political figure that was able to get the state to allow persecution of those who held to different beliefs.
It is better to phrase what Confessional Lutherans believe by what is contained in their confessional documents. Since God works faith in man referring to Jesus as 'the Author and Perfector' of ones faith and God will 'save who He will' save, it is incumbent upon the Christian to humbly kneel and stay out of that which would be considered God's business.
Luther's statement 'Justification by faith' is a Scriptural echo of the Apostle Paul. As far as having to be chosen to have faith, how does a human quantify the mind of God in this matter? We KNOW from Scripture that election to salvation occurs, it is a fact. As the segment 'Of the Election of Grace' states that the 'Universal Gracious Will of God embraces all men' but the 'Election of Grace' embraces some. The seeming disparity has to wait for the light of heaven to be resolved.
Not all things are knowable, but the things needed for salvation and a God-pleasing life are; they reside in the pages of Scripture.
Your first staement appears that Luther thought faith was a 'work'. If it is a 'work' it is God's work not man's.
‘Traditional Lutheran’ summary:
Arminius: If I end up in heaven our hell it is my doing.
Calvin: If I end up in heaven or hell I’ll praise God because His Will was done.
Luther: If I end up in hell it is my fault, if I end up in heaven, Praise God!.
Both Luther and Calvin are right under that analysis! Well said.
1 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time, 7 for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostleI am speaking the truth in Christ[a]and not lyinga teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.
As the above shows, the universal grace of God is extended to all men. This universal grace and God's election to grace of some is a matter beyond human reason and rightly belongs in the unknowable counsel of God.
This universal grace and God’s election to grace of some is a matter beyond human reason and rightly belongs in the unknowable counsel of God.
If universal gracious will is God's desire, not all people in hell are there at the direction of God's Will.
Correction: People in hell are not there at God's Will.
No, 1500 years after Christ, the 1st gen reformation came up with ideas different from apostolic and 2000 years later came the 4th/5th gen reformers (Pentecostals etc.)
The Tradition about Anne and Joachim are documented from the 1st and 2nd century Christians.
Tradition and scripture do not contradict.
The term “Pope” is used not only for the Bishop of Rome but also for the Bishop of Alexandria. The term “Methodist” is not used in the bible either, but that doesn’t mean that they are not Christian.
there is a difference between the Church view and the Arminian view — I just need to read up on what that is!
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