Sasse: “Mary-worship is reheated paganism!”

In my previous post, we’ve seen how the Lutheran Confessions take a much less minimalist approach to the Blessed Virgin Mary than do, say, many evangelicals today. Mary is affirmed to be the Mother of God, and her “Ever-Virginity” is presented as (at the very least) a permissible “pious opinion” for Lutherans to hold.

This high view of Mary does not, however, lead us to accept the post-Reformation developments of Marian doctrine and devotion within Roman Catholicism. The 20th century Lutheran theologian, Dr Hermann Sasse, responded to the 1950 promulgation of the dogma of the Assumption with a letter to his fellow pastors in which he takes a very strong line against such theological innovations and the parallel expansion of Marian devotion.

He opens by noting the irony of how an action as divisive and schismatic as that papal proclamation does in fact demonstrate a deep underlying unity among Christians:

Time and again at various points in the history of the church, in spite of all the divisions, in spite of the confessional differences, which reach right to the heart of the faith, it becomes evident that some unity of Christianity does exist. The proclamation of the dogma of the bodily assumption Mary into heaven in the Apostolic Constitution “Munificentissimus Deus” of 1 November 1950 was felt as an event by all of Christianity, Roman and non-Roman alike, which affects all churches, and all Christians.

And it is quite right that this announcement should have had the impact it did, because it goes to the heart of the Reformation’s (and, indeed, Orthodoxy’s) disagreement with Rome. It presents all Christians with a choice that cannot be avoided:

For this dogma is either true or it is false. Either it really is “divinely revealed dogma, that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever-virgin Mary, after the completion of the course of her earthly life, was taken body and soul into heavenly glory,” or this assertion is blasphemy against God.

This in turn gives us a stark choice about the nature of the Papacy:

Either it is actually the vicar of Christ who declares in this doctrinal assertion directed at all of Christianity that anyone who “denies or casts doubt,” has defected from the “divine and Catholic faith,” or the correct faith – who else could pronounce such a dogma as revealed by God and demand its acceptance at the cost of eternal life? – or it is the Antichrist who speaks here, the Antichrist who in this “last,” “evil” time, the time in which Christianity on earth awaits the parousia of her Lord, has sat down in the temple of God, in the church of Christ, and seeks to deceive the faithful, and bring about apostasy from the correct faith. Tertium non datur [“There is no third way”].

Dr Sasse argues that the Marian cult arose following the adoption of Christianity as the official cult of the Roman Empire. As the previously pagan masses streamed into the church, “Mary, the apostles and martyrs took the place of the old gods”. He points to the “religio-historical correspondence between the popular uprising in Acts 19:23ff and the scene at the Council of Ephesus”: the Ephesian mob that ran through the streets after the condemnation of Nestorius, shouting “Thenemy of the Virgin is conquered!”, consisted of the descendants of those who had, almost four centuries earlier, cried “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” for about four hours.

The Marian cult might not have proved such a problem had it merely been a Christian alternative to the pagan goddess cults. However, Sasse argues that it was more than this:

[U]nfortunately it was not only a Christian replacement for a pagan religion, it was likewise a pagan religion in Christian guise … The Marian cult is Christianized paganism, a paganism which lives, closely bound up in a form of symbiosis with the Christian faith, and from which it draws ever-new power. It is as though the super-human powers which stand behind the pagan religions, after the collapse of the pagan cults and myths, had taken refuge in the Christian religion.

Dr Sasse does not deny that the Roman Catholic Church has many strengths: after all, as he points out, it is principally Protestant theologians who have been responsible for attacking historic Christian doctrines such as the virgin birth, the Incarnation and the Trinity.

But “the unspeakable tragedy of church history” is precisely that errors such as Mariolatry, the sacrifice of the Mass and the Papacy have arisen, “not merely in one confessional church which is separated from us”, but in “the one holy church of God, which is indeed also there as certainly as the gospel and the sacraments of Christ are there”. That is precisely what makes the Marian cult so dangerous and so powerful:

No pagan madonna cult outside of Christianity would concern us … But a madonna cult in which the mother of the Lord is the madonna, is a power in the world … As is the case in every church, so also the Roman Church does not live from her errors, but from her truths. The fearful thing in her history is this: these truths have been used to justify those errors.

Dr Sasse goes on to ask how the “Christianized paganism” of the Marian cult could have “forced its way into the church”. He argues that it was the unbiblical parallel drawn by the early church between Christ as the “New Adam” and Mary as the “New Eve” that lies at the root of this:

That Christ is the New Adam is taught in the New Testament. But the New Testament knows nothing of a New Eve.

This concept of the “New Eve” has taken on a life of its own, and (as Dr Sasse could see as soon as the dogma of the Assumption was promulgated) has as its inevitable destination the declaration of Mary as “Co-Redemptrix” and “Mediatrix”.

Finally Dr Sasse argues that there is an intimate link between the Marian cult and the Papacy, despite the fact that the Marian cult arose in the Christian East, which has always rejected Papal pretensions. This “deep connection” is the belief in the divinized man, the belief that man can be his own co-redeemer:

The doctrine of the Vicarius Christi and the infallible teaching office is an expression of that natural religion which ascribes to man that which can only be said of the God-man Jesus Christ. Therefore they both belong together, the corredemptrix and the Vicarius Christi, the Roman view of the Mary and of the pope.

So how are Lutherans to respond to all this? Dr Sasse argues that the first task of the Lutheran Church in this situation “is certainly rejection”:

For what is said here is indeed said for the entirety of Christianity and for all times. The Roman Church must and will stand by this decision to the end of time. It is therefore quite appropriate that non-Roman Christianity speak very plainly what it has to say.

But there is also a need for the Lutheran Church and her leaders to remove “the log from their own eyes, namely that fearful laissez faire with which they face the loss of doctrine in their own church”. “[T]he rejection of heresy is only the flip side of the confession of pure doctrine”, Sasse argues, because:

How will one who does not confess the spiritual realities of the believing and confessing church of the gospel, which actually lives from the Word and Sacrament, face the powerful spiritual and intellectual realities of the Roman Church?

The closing words of Dr Sasse’s letter make an interesting contrast with words that have been repeated a lot in recent days, “Habemus Papam”, “we have a Pope”. Instead, Dr Sasse declares:

Verbum solum habemus. We will hold to the Word of God.

Amen to that.

As for the rest of Dr Sasse’s letter as summarised above, my view is that he explains with great clarity and force why the wrong type of devotion to Mary is indeed very, very wrong. But he doesn’t really address the positive question of the right approach to take towards Mary.

As John Stott (I think) has written in a different context, “the answer to abuse is not non-use but right use”. But Sasse’s hard line would appear to rule out even the level of devotion to Mary practised by someone like Martin Luther, or even Zwingli and Calvin, all of whom retained the use of the Ave Maria in its pre-Reformation form (of which more in my next post).

Perhaps that should be ruled out, but it’s a shame Sasse couldn’t have addressed that issue more precisely rather than appearing to paint all forms of veneration towards the Blessed Virgin as “Christianized paganism”.

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176 Responses to Sasse: “Mary-worship is reheated paganism!”

  1. JS Bangs says:

    This is a good post, John. The only thing that I notice is that the Marianism = paganism accusation might hold up for some of the excesses, but all of the central elements of Marian devotion predate Constantine. The ever-virginity of Mary is asserted in the 2nd century, and I believe that the Assumption is testified to as early as the 3rd. There’s good reason to think that Mary is invoked in pre-Constantinian liturgy as well. Of course, I have this information from the Catholics, so you can dispute my sources if you want.
    What I really want to know is what _right_ Marian devotion looks like. Should we say the Ave Maria? How about, “Through the prayers of the Theotokos, O Savior, save us”, from the EO liturgy? These are very serious questions to me, and something that I personally am dealing with.

  2. JS Bangs says:

    This is a good post, John. The only thing that I notice is that the Marianism = paganism accusation might hold up for some of the excesses, but all of the central elements of Marian devotion predate Constantine. The ever-virginity of Mary is asserted in the 2nd century, and I believe that the Assumption is testified to as early as the 3rd. There’s good reason to think that Mary is invoked in pre-Constantinian liturgy as well. Of course, I have this information from the Catholics, so you can dispute my sources if you want.
    What I really want to know is what _right_ Marian devotion looks like. Should we say the Ave Maria? How about, “Through the prayers of the Theotokos, O Savior, save us”, from the EO liturgy? These are very serious questions to me, and something that I personally am dealing with.

  3. JS Bangs says:

    This is a good post, John. The only thing that I notice is that the Marianism = paganism accusation might hold up for some of the excesses, but all of the central elements of Marian devotion predate Constantine. The ever-virginity of Mary is asserted in the 2nd century, and I believe that the Assumption is testified to as early as the 3rd. There’s good reason to think that Mary is invoked in pre-Constantinian liturgy as well. Of course, I have this information from the Catholics, so you can dispute my sources if you want.
    What I really want to know is what _right_ Marian devotion looks like. Should we say the Ave Maria? How about, “Through the prayers of the Theotokos, O Savior, save us”, from the EO liturgy? These are very serious questions to me, and something that I personally am dealing with.

  4. JS Bangs says:

    This is a good post, John. The only thing that I notice is that the Marianism = paganism accusation might hold up for some of the excesses, but all of the central elements of Marian devotion predate Constantine. The ever-virginity of Mary is asserted in the 2nd century, and I believe that the Assumption is testified to as early as the 3rd. There’s good reason to think that Mary is invoked in pre-Constantinian liturgy as well. Of course, I have this information from the Catholics, so you can dispute my sources if you want.
    What I really want to know is what _right_ Marian devotion looks like. Should we say the Ave Maria? How about, “Through the prayers of the Theotokos, O Savior, save us”, from the EO liturgy? These are very serious questions to me, and something that I personally am dealing with.

  5. John H says:

    What I really want to know is what _right_ Marian devotion looks like.
    Watch this space. My next post will address this point, to some extent, though I have no clear answers on this question.
    Personally I am still coming from quite a strongly Protestant background on this one, and even the EO prayer you mention raises my hackles a little – “What, the merits and mediation of the Saviour alone aren’t enough? I need His Mother to put in a word for me, too?”
    Chris Jones will no doubt tell me that my interpretation of that prayer is unfair and mistaken, but so much of this comes down to one’s gut feelings, and part of my reason for posting this series is to find out, from other people’s comments, whether I need to re-educate my gut a little on this one!

  6. John H says:

    What I really want to know is what _right_ Marian devotion looks like.
    Watch this space. My next post will address this point, to some extent, though I have no clear answers on this question.
    Personally I am still coming from quite a strongly Protestant background on this one, and even the EO prayer you mention raises my hackles a little – “What, the merits and mediation of the Saviour alone aren’t enough? I need His Mother to put in a word for me, too?”
    Chris Jones will no doubt tell me that my interpretation of that prayer is unfair and mistaken, but so much of this comes down to one’s gut feelings, and part of my reason for posting this series is to find out, from other people’s comments, whether I need to re-educate my gut a little on this one!

  7. John H says:

    What I really want to know is what _right_ Marian devotion looks like.
    Watch this space. My next post will address this point, to some extent, though I have no clear answers on this question.
    Personally I am still coming from quite a strongly Protestant background on this one, and even the EO prayer you mention raises my hackles a little – “What, the merits and mediation of the Saviour alone aren’t enough? I need His Mother to put in a word for me, too?”
    Chris Jones will no doubt tell me that my interpretation of that prayer is unfair and mistaken, but so much of this comes down to one’s gut feelings, and part of my reason for posting this series is to find out, from other people’s comments, whether I need to re-educate my gut a little on this one!

  8. John H says:

    What I really want to know is what _right_ Marian devotion looks like.
    Watch this space. My next post will address this point, to some extent, though I have no clear answers on this question.
    Personally I am still coming from quite a strongly Protestant background on this one, and even the EO prayer you mention raises my hackles a little – “What, the merits and mediation of the Saviour alone aren’t enough? I need His Mother to put in a word for me, too?”
    Chris Jones will no doubt tell me that my interpretation of that prayer is unfair and mistaken, but so much of this comes down to one’s gut feelings, and part of my reason for posting this series is to find out, from other people’s comments, whether I need to re-educate my gut a little on this one!

  9. Alex says:

    I’m quite enjoying these posts. I think I pretty much sit in Sasse’s camp. Especially since it makes sense that we always look for “mother” goddesses to add to our pantheons. I remember in high school watching some video in English class about reclaiming the goddess or some hideous such notion. While I’m not saying that honouring the Blessed Virgin is goddess worship, yet there is a sense in which that can certainly be where it ends up. (cf. Israel’s repeated desire to add Asherah to their worship…)
    Yet, it is an issue on which the Scripture speaks very little (the amount depends on how you exegete certain passages, it appears) and so I am content to honour St. Mary yet not worship her.

  10. Alex says:

    I’m quite enjoying these posts. I think I pretty much sit in Sasse’s camp. Especially since it makes sense that we always look for “mother” goddesses to add to our pantheons. I remember in high school watching some video in English class about reclaiming the goddess or some hideous such notion. While I’m not saying that honouring the Blessed Virgin is goddess worship, yet there is a sense in which that can certainly be where it ends up. (cf. Israel’s repeated desire to add Asherah to their worship…)
    Yet, it is an issue on which the Scripture speaks very little (the amount depends on how you exegete certain passages, it appears) and so I am content to honour St. Mary yet not worship her.

  11. Alex says:

    I’m quite enjoying these posts. I think I pretty much sit in Sasse’s camp. Especially since it makes sense that we always look for “mother” goddesses to add to our pantheons. I remember in high school watching some video in English class about reclaiming the goddess or some hideous such notion. While I’m not saying that honouring the Blessed Virgin is goddess worship, yet there is a sense in which that can certainly be where it ends up. (cf. Israel’s repeated desire to add Asherah to their worship…)
    Yet, it is an issue on which the Scripture speaks very little (the amount depends on how you exegete certain passages, it appears) and so I am content to honour St. Mary yet not worship her.

  12. Alex says:

    I’m quite enjoying these posts. I think I pretty much sit in Sasse’s camp. Especially since it makes sense that we always look for “mother” goddesses to add to our pantheons. I remember in high school watching some video in English class about reclaiming the goddess or some hideous such notion. While I’m not saying that honouring the Blessed Virgin is goddess worship, yet there is a sense in which that can certainly be where it ends up. (cf. Israel’s repeated desire to add Asherah to their worship…)
    Yet, it is an issue on which the Scripture speaks very little (the amount depends on how you exegete certain passages, it appears) and so I am content to honour St. Mary yet not worship her.

  13. Peter John says:

    >>>”The closing words of Dr Sasse’s letter make an interesting contrast with words that have been repeated a lot in recent days, “Habemus Papam”, “we have a Pope”. Instead, Dr Sasse declares:
    Verbum solum habemus. We will hold to the Word of God.”
    This comment irks me. Trying to draw any sort of contrast between these two statements as if it has to be one or the other seems silly. “Habemus Papem” is not at odds with “Verbum solum habemus”. I’ll take both, thanks.
    I’ll try to post later on some of the rest of the post.

  14. Peter John says:

    >>>”The closing words of Dr Sasse’s letter make an interesting contrast with words that have been repeated a lot in recent days, “Habemus Papam”, “we have a Pope”. Instead, Dr Sasse declares:
    Verbum solum habemus. We will hold to the Word of God.”
    This comment irks me. Trying to draw any sort of contrast between these two statements as if it has to be one or the other seems silly. “Habemus Papem” is not at odds with “Verbum solum habemus”. I’ll take both, thanks.
    I’ll try to post later on some of the rest of the post.

  15. Peter John says:

    >>>”The closing words of Dr Sasse’s letter make an interesting contrast with words that have been repeated a lot in recent days, “Habemus Papam”, “we have a Pope”. Instead, Dr Sasse declares:
    Verbum solum habemus. We will hold to the Word of God.”
    This comment irks me. Trying to draw any sort of contrast between these two statements as if it has to be one or the other seems silly. “Habemus Papem” is not at odds with “Verbum solum habemus”. I’ll take both, thanks.
    I’ll try to post later on some of the rest of the post.

  16. Peter John says:

    >>>”The closing words of Dr Sasse’s letter make an interesting contrast with words that have been repeated a lot in recent days, “Habemus Papam”, “we have a Pope”. Instead, Dr Sasse declares:
    Verbum solum habemus. We will hold to the Word of God.”
    This comment irks me. Trying to draw any sort of contrast between these two statements as if it has to be one or the other seems silly. “Habemus Papem” is not at odds with “Verbum solum habemus”. I’ll take both, thanks.
    I’ll try to post later on some of the rest of the post.

  17. John H says:

    Peter John: unless I’m mistaken in my understanding of the Latin (very, very probable, I admit), “Verbum solum habemus” – which I assume translates as “we have the Word alone” – in fact sits pretty uncomfortably with claims for Papal authority. So to that extent the contrast holds.
    I am aware that there is no tension for a Roman Catholic between “Verbum habemus” and “Habemus Papam”; it’s the “solum” I would have thought caused the problems.
    If however I am misunderstanding the Latin then please let me know, and I will go and crawl under a rock somewhere…

  18. John H says:

    Peter John: unless I’m mistaken in my understanding of the Latin (very, very probable, I admit), “Verbum solum habemus” – which I assume translates as “we have the Word alone” – in fact sits pretty uncomfortably with claims for Papal authority. So to that extent the contrast holds.
    I am aware that there is no tension for a Roman Catholic between “Verbum habemus” and “Habemus Papam”; it’s the “solum” I would have thought caused the problems.
    If however I am misunderstanding the Latin then please let me know, and I will go and crawl under a rock somewhere…

  19. John H says:

    Peter John: unless I’m mistaken in my understanding of the Latin (very, very probable, I admit), “Verbum solum habemus” – which I assume translates as “we have the Word alone” – in fact sits pretty uncomfortably with claims for Papal authority. So to that extent the contrast holds.
    I am aware that there is no tension for a Roman Catholic between “Verbum habemus” and “Habemus Papam”; it’s the “solum” I would have thought caused the problems.
    If however I am misunderstanding the Latin then please let me know, and I will go and crawl under a rock somewhere…

  20. John H says:

    Peter John: unless I’m mistaken in my understanding of the Latin (very, very probable, I admit), “Verbum solum habemus” – which I assume translates as “we have the Word alone” – in fact sits pretty uncomfortably with claims for Papal authority. So to that extent the contrast holds.
    I am aware that there is no tension for a Roman Catholic between “Verbum habemus” and “Habemus Papam”; it’s the “solum” I would have thought caused the problems.
    If however I am misunderstanding the Latin then please let me know, and I will go and crawl under a rock somewhere…

  21. Josh S says:

    Unless, you know, the pope’s bulls are as much inspired as the Scriptures. Good thing we have a pope to continually add to what we must believe to be saved, right?

  22. Josh S says:

    Unless, you know, the pope’s bulls are as much inspired as the Scriptures. Good thing we have a pope to continually add to what we must believe to be saved, right?

  23. Josh S says:

    Unless, you know, the pope’s bulls are as much inspired as the Scriptures. Good thing we have a pope to continually add to what we must believe to be saved, right?

  24. Josh S says:

    Unless, you know, the pope’s bulls are as much inspired as the Scriptures. Good thing we have a pope to continually add to what we must believe to be saved, right?

  25. Chris Jones says:

    Two quick points:
    1. Sasse’s characterization of the Marian cult as “Christianized paganism” is a commonplace among Protestant apologists, but I do not believe it stands up to historical scrutiny. At the end of the day it is a post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy.
    2. The problem at the heart of Sasse’s essay is a profound misunderstanding of the Church’s doctrine of theosis. When Sasse says that the veneration of Mary at its very deepest essence, is finally the deification of man, he is right; but he says it like it’s a bad thing. He goes on to say that the idea of deification indicates that man places himself as his own co-redeemer; but nothing could be further from the truth.
    If theosis is to be rejected, then how could St Athanasius have written that God became what we are, that we should become what He is? I respect Sasse, but I’ll stick with Athanasius, thanks.

  26. Chris Jones says:

    Two quick points:
    1. Sasse’s characterization of the Marian cult as “Christianized paganism” is a commonplace among Protestant apologists, but I do not believe it stands up to historical scrutiny. At the end of the day it is a post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy.
    2. The problem at the heart of Sasse’s essay is a profound misunderstanding of the Church’s doctrine of theosis. When Sasse says that the veneration of Mary at its very deepest essence, is finally the deification of man, he is right; but he says it like it’s a bad thing. He goes on to say that the idea of deification indicates that man places himself as his own co-redeemer; but nothing could be further from the truth.
    If theosis is to be rejected, then how could St Athanasius have written that God became what we are, that we should become what He is? I respect Sasse, but I’ll stick with Athanasius, thanks.

  27. Chris Jones says:

    Two quick points:
    1. Sasse’s characterization of the Marian cult as “Christianized paganism” is a commonplace among Protestant apologists, but I do not believe it stands up to historical scrutiny. At the end of the day it is a post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy.
    2. The problem at the heart of Sasse’s essay is a profound misunderstanding of the Church’s doctrine of theosis. When Sasse says that the veneration of Mary at its very deepest essence, is finally the deification of man, he is right; but he says it like it’s a bad thing. He goes on to say that the idea of deification indicates that man places himself as his own co-redeemer; but nothing could be further from the truth.
    If theosis is to be rejected, then how could St Athanasius have written that God became what we are, that we should become what He is? I respect Sasse, but I’ll stick with Athanasius, thanks.

  28. Chris Jones says:

    Two quick points:
    1. Sasse’s characterization of the Marian cult as “Christianized paganism” is a commonplace among Protestant apologists, but I do not believe it stands up to historical scrutiny. At the end of the day it is a post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy.
    2. The problem at the heart of Sasse’s essay is a profound misunderstanding of the Church’s doctrine of theosis. When Sasse says that the veneration of Mary at its very deepest essence, is finally the deification of man, he is right; but he says it like it’s a bad thing. He goes on to say that the idea of deification indicates that man places himself as his own co-redeemer; but nothing could be further from the truth.
    If theosis is to be rejected, then how could St Athanasius have written that God became what we are, that we should become what He is? I respect Sasse, but I’ll stick with Athanasius, thanks.

  29. John H says:

    Chris: I think you are right to say that Marian devotion is not simply and wholly Christianised paganism. After all, the “Christianised paganism” argument begs the question of why Mary should have attracted such attention from newly-converted pagans – answer, because there was already truly Christian veneration of Mary taking place, which they could then latch onto and, sadly, corrupt. I think that’s what Sasse is saying (especially when he acquits the doctrine of the Mother of God from being to blame for the Marian cult).
    But regardless of the historical origins of the Marian cult, “Christianised paganism” sounds just the term to describe what I posted in my first item on Fatima last week, and in the following remarks from Pope John Paul II in 1980, on the subject of the tribulations predicted by the third secret of Fatima:
    At this point, the Holy Father took hold of his Rosary and said: “Here is the remedy against the evil! Pray, pray and ask for nothing else. Put everything in the hands of the Mother of God!”…
    “We must be strong, we must prepare ourselves, we must entrust ourselves to Christ and to His holy Mother, and we must be attentive, very attentive, to the prayer of the Rosary.”

    It’s precisely this sort of thing that makes me, and many other people, feel pretty jumpy about the whole issue of Marian devotion. Perhaps that means we miss some of the nuances – well, that’s why I’m doing this series now, as I said above. Re-educating my gut’s instincts.

  30. John H says:

    Chris: I think you are right to say that Marian devotion is not simply and wholly Christianised paganism. After all, the “Christianised paganism” argument begs the question of why Mary should have attracted such attention from newly-converted pagans – answer, because there was already truly Christian veneration of Mary taking place, which they could then latch onto and, sadly, corrupt. I think that’s what Sasse is saying (especially when he acquits the doctrine of the Mother of God from being to blame for the Marian cult).
    But regardless of the historical origins of the Marian cult, “Christianised paganism” sounds just the term to describe what I posted in my first item on Fatima last week, and in the following remarks from Pope John Paul II in 1980, on the subject of the tribulations predicted by the third secret of Fatima:
    At this point, the Holy Father took hold of his Rosary and said: “Here is the remedy against the evil! Pray, pray and ask for nothing else. Put everything in the hands of the Mother of God!”…
    “We must be strong, we must prepare ourselves, we must entrust ourselves to Christ and to His holy Mother, and we must be attentive, very attentive, to the prayer of the Rosary.”

    It’s precisely this sort of thing that makes me, and many other people, feel pretty jumpy about the whole issue of Marian devotion. Perhaps that means we miss some of the nuances – well, that’s why I’m doing this series now, as I said above. Re-educating my gut’s instincts.

  31. John H says:

    Chris: I think you are right to say that Marian devotion is not simply and wholly Christianised paganism. After all, the “Christianised paganism” argument begs the question of why Mary should have attracted such attention from newly-converted pagans – answer, because there was already truly Christian veneration of Mary taking place, which they could then latch onto and, sadly, corrupt. I think that’s what Sasse is saying (especially when he acquits the doctrine of the Mother of God from being to blame for the Marian cult).
    But regardless of the historical origins of the Marian cult, “Christianised paganism” sounds just the term to describe what I posted in my first item on Fatima last week, and in the following remarks from Pope John Paul II in 1980, on the subject of the tribulations predicted by the third secret of Fatima:
    At this point, the Holy Father took hold of his Rosary and said: “Here is the remedy against the evil! Pray, pray and ask for nothing else. Put everything in the hands of the Mother of God!”…
    “We must be strong, we must prepare ourselves, we must entrust ourselves to Christ and to His holy Mother, and we must be attentive, very attentive, to the prayer of the Rosary.”

    It’s precisely this sort of thing that makes me, and many other people, feel pretty jumpy about the whole issue of Marian devotion. Perhaps that means we miss some of the nuances – well, that’s why I’m doing this series now, as I said above. Re-educating my gut’s instincts.

  32. John H says:

    Chris: I think you are right to say that Marian devotion is not simply and wholly Christianised paganism. After all, the “Christianised paganism” argument begs the question of why Mary should have attracted such attention from newly-converted pagans – answer, because there was already truly Christian veneration of Mary taking place, which they could then latch onto and, sadly, corrupt. I think that’s what Sasse is saying (especially when he acquits the doctrine of the Mother of God from being to blame for the Marian cult).
    But regardless of the historical origins of the Marian cult, “Christianised paganism” sounds just the term to describe what I posted in my first item on Fatima last week, and in the following remarks from Pope John Paul II in 1980, on the subject of the tribulations predicted by the third secret of Fatima:
    At this point, the Holy Father took hold of his Rosary and said: “Here is the remedy against the evil! Pray, pray and ask for nothing else. Put everything in the hands of the Mother of God!”…
    “We must be strong, we must prepare ourselves, we must entrust ourselves to Christ and to His holy Mother, and we must be attentive, very attentive, to the prayer of the Rosary.”

    It’s precisely this sort of thing that makes me, and many other people, feel pretty jumpy about the whole issue of Marian devotion. Perhaps that means we miss some of the nuances – well, that’s why I’m doing this series now, as I said above. Re-educating my gut’s instincts.

  33. Atwood says:

    Peter John:
    Sasse’s article clarifies the issue of authority vis a vis the assumption of Mary, and makes it clear that yes, after 1950 if not before, one can Word alone or Papacy, not both.
    Here is a dogma asserted solely on the basis of papal authority as binding on consciences with no credible Scriptural backing. (And I’m sorry if you feel that way, but yes, there is NO CREDIBLE Scriptural backing for the assumption of Mary.)
    As a result, we have to accept that such a declaration is either right, in which case there are doctrines, belief in which (or at least non-rejection of which) is essential to our salvation, which are nowhere taught in Scripture, but only by the Pope on his own authority. And in that case, we cannot hold to the Word “alone”, the Pope is infallible and we all ought to be Catholics today.
    Or else he is wrong; in which case, we have a man bogusly claiming by his office to speak infallibly for God and proclaiming things about salvation. And in that case, then his office is an evil and pernicious institution that blasphemes God and Christ. Sasse is right, there really is no middle course. If we hold to Scripture alone we can’t believe the Assumption of Mary has been spoken by God as necessary to salvation (since it obviously hasn’t), and hence we must categorically reject the whole office of the Papacy as an anti-Christian sham.
    If anyone has a “third way” out of this, I’d like to see it.

  34. Atwood says:

    Peter John:
    Sasse’s article clarifies the issue of authority vis a vis the assumption of Mary, and makes it clear that yes, after 1950 if not before, one can Word alone or Papacy, not both.
    Here is a dogma asserted solely on the basis of papal authority as binding on consciences with no credible Scriptural backing. (And I’m sorry if you feel that way, but yes, there is NO CREDIBLE Scriptural backing for the assumption of Mary.)
    As a result, we have to accept that such a declaration is either right, in which case there are doctrines, belief in which (or at least non-rejection of which) is essential to our salvation, which are nowhere taught in Scripture, but only by the Pope on his own authority. And in that case, we cannot hold to the Word “alone”, the Pope is infallible and we all ought to be Catholics today.
    Or else he is wrong; in which case, we have a man bogusly claiming by his office to speak infallibly for God and proclaiming things about salvation. And in that case, then his office is an evil and pernicious institution that blasphemes God and Christ. Sasse is right, there really is no middle course. If we hold to Scripture alone we can’t believe the Assumption of Mary has been spoken by God as necessary to salvation (since it obviously hasn’t), and hence we must categorically reject the whole office of the Papacy as an anti-Christian sham.
    If anyone has a “third way” out of this, I’d like to see it.

  35. Atwood says:

    Peter John:
    Sasse’s article clarifies the issue of authority vis a vis the assumption of Mary, and makes it clear that yes, after 1950 if not before, one can Word alone or Papacy, not both.
    Here is a dogma asserted solely on the basis of papal authority as binding on consciences with no credible Scriptural backing. (And I’m sorry if you feel that way, but yes, there is NO CREDIBLE Scriptural backing for the assumption of Mary.)
    As a result, we have to accept that such a declaration is either right, in which case there are doctrines, belief in which (or at least non-rejection of which) is essential to our salvation, which are nowhere taught in Scripture, but only by the Pope on his own authority. And in that case, we cannot hold to the Word “alone”, the Pope is infallible and we all ought to be Catholics today.
    Or else he is wrong; in which case, we have a man bogusly claiming by his office to speak infallibly for God and proclaiming things about salvation. And in that case, then his office is an evil and pernicious institution that blasphemes God and Christ. Sasse is right, there really is no middle course. If we hold to Scripture alone we can’t believe the Assumption of Mary has been spoken by God as necessary to salvation (since it obviously hasn’t), and hence we must categorically reject the whole office of the Papacy as an anti-Christian sham.
    If anyone has a “third way” out of this, I’d like to see it.

  36. Atwood says:

    Peter John:
    Sasse’s article clarifies the issue of authority vis a vis the assumption of Mary, and makes it clear that yes, after 1950 if not before, one can Word alone or Papacy, not both.
    Here is a dogma asserted solely on the basis of papal authority as binding on consciences with no credible Scriptural backing. (And I’m sorry if you feel that way, but yes, there is NO CREDIBLE Scriptural backing for the assumption of Mary.)
    As a result, we have to accept that such a declaration is either right, in which case there are doctrines, belief in which (or at least non-rejection of which) is essential to our salvation, which are nowhere taught in Scripture, but only by the Pope on his own authority. And in that case, we cannot hold to the Word “alone”, the Pope is infallible and we all ought to be Catholics today.
    Or else he is wrong; in which case, we have a man bogusly claiming by his office to speak infallibly for God and proclaiming things about salvation. And in that case, then his office is an evil and pernicious institution that blasphemes God and Christ. Sasse is right, there really is no middle course. If we hold to Scripture alone we can’t believe the Assumption of Mary has been spoken by God as necessary to salvation (since it obviously hasn’t), and hence we must categorically reject the whole office of the Papacy as an anti-Christian sham.
    If anyone has a “third way” out of this, I’d like to see it.

  37. Peter John says:

    >>>Unless, you know, the pope’s bulls are as much inspired as the Scriptures. Good thing we have a pope to continually add to what we must believe to be saved, right?
    I will try to stay on topic after this post. Papal bulls on not “God-breathed”. They are not positive or additive nor new Revelation. Papal bulls are in no way “inspired”.

  38. Peter John says:

    >>>Unless, you know, the pope’s bulls are as much inspired as the Scriptures. Good thing we have a pope to continually add to what we must believe to be saved, right?
    I will try to stay on topic after this post. Papal bulls on not “God-breathed”. They are not positive or additive nor new Revelation. Papal bulls are in no way “inspired”.

  39. Peter John says:

    >>>Unless, you know, the pope’s bulls are as much inspired as the Scriptures. Good thing we have a pope to continually add to what we must believe to be saved, right?
    I will try to stay on topic after this post. Papal bulls on not “God-breathed”. They are not positive or additive nor new Revelation. Papal bulls are in no way “inspired”.

  40. Peter John says:

    >>>Unless, you know, the pope’s bulls are as much inspired as the Scriptures. Good thing we have a pope to continually add to what we must believe to be saved, right?
    I will try to stay on topic after this post. Papal bulls on not “God-breathed”. They are not positive or additive nor new Revelation. Papal bulls are in no way “inspired”.

  41. Peter John says:

    Quick excerpt from Cardinal Newman (don’t roll your eyes or get nauseous just yet).
    “I begin by making a distinction which will go far to remove good part of the difficulty of my undertaking, as it presents itself to ordinary inquirers,—the distinction between faith and devotion. I fully grant that devotion towards the blessed Virgin has increased among Catholics with the progress of centuries; I do not allow that the doctrine concerning her has undergone a growth, for I believe that it has been in substance one and the same from the beginning.
    By “faith” I mean the Creed and assent to the Creed; by “devotion” I mean such religious honours as belong to the objects of our faith, and the payment of those honours. Faith and devotion are as distinct in fact, as they are in idea. We cannot, indeed, be devout without faith, but we may believe without feeling devotion.”
    … “so in the Catholic Church it is the one Virgin Mother, one and the same from first to last, and Catholics may have ever acknowledged her; and yet, in spite of that acknowledgment, their devotion to her may be scanty in one time and place, and overflowing in another.”
    I don’t think a minimum or maximum of devotion is really possible to quantify objectively, and certainly varies between different places and through different times and varies between different individuals and communions.

  42. Peter John says:

    Quick excerpt from Cardinal Newman (don’t roll your eyes or get nauseous just yet).
    “I begin by making a distinction which will go far to remove good part of the difficulty of my undertaking, as it presents itself to ordinary inquirers,—the distinction between faith and devotion. I fully grant that devotion towards the blessed Virgin has increased among Catholics with the progress of centuries; I do not allow that the doctrine concerning her has undergone a growth, for I believe that it has been in substance one and the same from the beginning.
    By “faith” I mean the Creed and assent to the Creed; by “devotion” I mean such religious honours as belong to the objects of our faith, and the payment of those honours. Faith and devotion are as distinct in fact, as they are in idea. We cannot, indeed, be devout without faith, but we may believe without feeling devotion.”
    … “so in the Catholic Church it is the one Virgin Mother, one and the same from first to last, and Catholics may have ever acknowledged her; and yet, in spite of that acknowledgment, their devotion to her may be scanty in one time and place, and overflowing in another.”
    I don’t think a minimum or maximum of devotion is really possible to quantify objectively, and certainly varies between different places and through different times and varies between different individuals and communions.

  43. Peter John says:

    Quick excerpt from Cardinal Newman (don’t roll your eyes or get nauseous just yet).
    “I begin by making a distinction which will go far to remove good part of the difficulty of my undertaking, as it presents itself to ordinary inquirers,—the distinction between faith and devotion. I fully grant that devotion towards the blessed Virgin has increased among Catholics with the progress of centuries; I do not allow that the doctrine concerning her has undergone a growth, for I believe that it has been in substance one and the same from the beginning.
    By “faith” I mean the Creed and assent to the Creed; by “devotion” I mean such religious honours as belong to the objects of our faith, and the payment of those honours. Faith and devotion are as distinct in fact, as they are in idea. We cannot, indeed, be devout without faith, but we may believe without feeling devotion.”
    … “so in the Catholic Church it is the one Virgin Mother, one and the same from first to last, and Catholics may have ever acknowledged her; and yet, in spite of that acknowledgment, their devotion to her may be scanty in one time and place, and overflowing in another.”
    I don’t think a minimum or maximum of devotion is really possible to quantify objectively, and certainly varies between different places and through different times and varies between different individuals and communions.

  44. Peter John says:

    Quick excerpt from Cardinal Newman (don’t roll your eyes or get nauseous just yet).
    “I begin by making a distinction which will go far to remove good part of the difficulty of my undertaking, as it presents itself to ordinary inquirers,—the distinction between faith and devotion. I fully grant that devotion towards the blessed Virgin has increased among Catholics with the progress of centuries; I do not allow that the doctrine concerning her has undergone a growth, for I believe that it has been in substance one and the same from the beginning.
    By “faith” I mean the Creed and assent to the Creed; by “devotion” I mean such religious honours as belong to the objects of our faith, and the payment of those honours. Faith and devotion are as distinct in fact, as they are in idea. We cannot, indeed, be devout without faith, but we may believe without feeling devotion.”
    … “so in the Catholic Church it is the one Virgin Mother, one and the same from first to last, and Catholics may have ever acknowledged her; and yet, in spite of that acknowledgment, their devotion to her may be scanty in one time and place, and overflowing in another.”
    I don’t think a minimum or maximum of devotion is really possible to quantify objectively, and certainly varies between different places and through different times and varies between different individuals and communions.

  45. Rick Ritchie says:

    That quotation is actually very helpful. The right level of devotion will, however, be limited by the right Marian doctrine.
    That can be illustrated as follows. The Roman Catholic who takes Marian veneration to a maximalist level would be considered heretical by other Catholics if he worshipped Mary as Creator of heaven and earth, would he not? So proper doctrine will at least set the appropriate maximum level in any church. Then it’s a matter of prudence which level we choose among the allowed ones.

  46. Rick Ritchie says:

    That quotation is actually very helpful. The right level of devotion will, however, be limited by the right Marian doctrine.
    That can be illustrated as follows. The Roman Catholic who takes Marian veneration to a maximalist level would be considered heretical by other Catholics if he worshipped Mary as Creator of heaven and earth, would he not? So proper doctrine will at least set the appropriate maximum level in any church. Then it’s a matter of prudence which level we choose among the allowed ones.

  47. Rick Ritchie says:

    That quotation is actually very helpful. The right level of devotion will, however, be limited by the right Marian doctrine.
    That can be illustrated as follows. The Roman Catholic who takes Marian veneration to a maximalist level would be considered heretical by other Catholics if he worshipped Mary as Creator of heaven and earth, would he not? So proper doctrine will at least set the appropriate maximum level in any church. Then it’s a matter of prudence which level we choose among the allowed ones.

  48. Rick Ritchie says:

    That quotation is actually very helpful. The right level of devotion will, however, be limited by the right Marian doctrine.
    That can be illustrated as follows. The Roman Catholic who takes Marian veneration to a maximalist level would be considered heretical by other Catholics if he worshipped Mary as Creator of heaven and earth, would he not? So proper doctrine will at least set the appropriate maximum level in any church. Then it’s a matter of prudence which level we choose among the allowed ones.

  49. alan says:

    John,
    Perhaps following Luther on Mary might prove more fruitful than following Sasse. 😉
    As Confessional, Orthodox Presbyterianism has suffered from spiritual myopia by overemphazing the importance of 19th and 20th century scholastic theologians (Hodge, Warfield, Thornwell), so perhaps Confessional Lutherans might be a little constricted by an over-dependence on Sasse, Walther and Pieper.
    Not that these men aren’t spiritual giants — and I think they are — but, perhaps, a return to the *Reformational* thought and spirit, which is curiously more catholic than we tend to be comfortable with.

  50. alan says:

    John,
    Perhaps following Luther on Mary might prove more fruitful than following Sasse. 😉
    As Confessional, Orthodox Presbyterianism has suffered from spiritual myopia by overemphazing the importance of 19th and 20th century scholastic theologians (Hodge, Warfield, Thornwell), so perhaps Confessional Lutherans might be a little constricted by an over-dependence on Sasse, Walther and Pieper.
    Not that these men aren’t spiritual giants — and I think they are — but, perhaps, a return to the *Reformational* thought and spirit, which is curiously more catholic than we tend to be comfortable with.

  51. alan says:

    John,
    Perhaps following Luther on Mary might prove more fruitful than following Sasse. 😉
    As Confessional, Orthodox Presbyterianism has suffered from spiritual myopia by overemphazing the importance of 19th and 20th century scholastic theologians (Hodge, Warfield, Thornwell), so perhaps Confessional Lutherans might be a little constricted by an over-dependence on Sasse, Walther and Pieper.
    Not that these men aren’t spiritual giants — and I think they are — but, perhaps, a return to the *Reformational* thought and spirit, which is curiously more catholic than we tend to be comfortable with.

  52. alan says:

    John,
    Perhaps following Luther on Mary might prove more fruitful than following Sasse. 😉
    As Confessional, Orthodox Presbyterianism has suffered from spiritual myopia by overemphazing the importance of 19th and 20th century scholastic theologians (Hodge, Warfield, Thornwell), so perhaps Confessional Lutherans might be a little constricted by an over-dependence on Sasse, Walther and Pieper.
    Not that these men aren’t spiritual giants — and I think they are — but, perhaps, a return to the *Reformational* thought and spirit, which is curiously more catholic than we tend to be comfortable with.

  53. Atwood says:

    Maybe Sasse is more anti-Mariolatry than Luther was, because the Papacy in the twentieth century is more extreme in Mariolatry than it was in Luther’s time.
    Seriously, an “infallible” declaration by the Pope that one must believe in a teaching nowhere found in Scripture and that is inseparable from the idea of a person other than Christ being conceived utterly without sin–that would have sent Luther around the bend too.

  54. Atwood says:

    Maybe Sasse is more anti-Mariolatry than Luther was, because the Papacy in the twentieth century is more extreme in Mariolatry than it was in Luther’s time.
    Seriously, an “infallible” declaration by the Pope that one must believe in a teaching nowhere found in Scripture and that is inseparable from the idea of a person other than Christ being conceived utterly without sin–that would have sent Luther around the bend too.

  55. Atwood says:

    Maybe Sasse is more anti-Mariolatry than Luther was, because the Papacy in the twentieth century is more extreme in Mariolatry than it was in Luther’s time.
    Seriously, an “infallible” declaration by the Pope that one must believe in a teaching nowhere found in Scripture and that is inseparable from the idea of a person other than Christ being conceived utterly without sin–that would have sent Luther around the bend too.

  56. Atwood says:

    Maybe Sasse is more anti-Mariolatry than Luther was, because the Papacy in the twentieth century is more extreme in Mariolatry than it was in Luther’s time.
    Seriously, an “infallible” declaration by the Pope that one must believe in a teaching nowhere found in Scripture and that is inseparable from the idea of a person other than Christ being conceived utterly without sin–that would have sent Luther around the bend too.

  57. Peter John says:

    >>>So proper doctrine will at least set the appropriate maximum level in any church. Then it’s a matter of prudence which level we choose among the allowed ones.
    I agree. I may post a few more excerpts from Newman, as they relate to this thread.

  58. Peter John says:

    >>>So proper doctrine will at least set the appropriate maximum level in any church. Then it’s a matter of prudence which level we choose among the allowed ones.
    I agree. I may post a few more excerpts from Newman, as they relate to this thread.

  59. Peter John says:

    >>>So proper doctrine will at least set the appropriate maximum level in any church. Then it’s a matter of prudence which level we choose among the allowed ones.
    I agree. I may post a few more excerpts from Newman, as they relate to this thread.

  60. Peter John says:

    >>>So proper doctrine will at least set the appropriate maximum level in any church. Then it’s a matter of prudence which level we choose among the allowed ones.
    I agree. I may post a few more excerpts from Newman, as they relate to this thread.

  61. JS Bangs says:

    RE the Assumption and the papal decree thereof, it’s not as if the pope made up the doctrine _ex nihilo_ and then infallibly declared it to be true. Rather, the belief has existed since at least the 4th century IIRC, with possible references in the 3rd century or earlier. All the pope did was change this from a “pious opinion” to an official dogma.
    The question still remains whether it was true in the first place, and whether the Pope has the power to make it a dogma.

  62. JS Bangs says:

    RE the Assumption and the papal decree thereof, it’s not as if the pope made up the doctrine _ex nihilo_ and then infallibly declared it to be true. Rather, the belief has existed since at least the 4th century IIRC, with possible references in the 3rd century or earlier. All the pope did was change this from a “pious opinion” to an official dogma.
    The question still remains whether it was true in the first place, and whether the Pope has the power to make it a dogma.

  63. JS Bangs says:

    RE the Assumption and the papal decree thereof, it’s not as if the pope made up the doctrine _ex nihilo_ and then infallibly declared it to be true. Rather, the belief has existed since at least the 4th century IIRC, with possible references in the 3rd century or earlier. All the pope did was change this from a “pious opinion” to an official dogma.
    The question still remains whether it was true in the first place, and whether the Pope has the power to make it a dogma.

  64. JS Bangs says:

    RE the Assumption and the papal decree thereof, it’s not as if the pope made up the doctrine _ex nihilo_ and then infallibly declared it to be true. Rather, the belief has existed since at least the 4th century IIRC, with possible references in the 3rd century or earlier. All the pope did was change this from a “pious opinion” to an official dogma.
    The question still remains whether it was true in the first place, and whether the Pope has the power to make it a dogma.

  65. Chris Jones says:

    All the pope did was change this from a “pious opinion” to an official dogma.
    Oh, is that all? Well then, it’s all OK. My mistake.

  66. Chris Jones says:

    All the pope did was change this from a “pious opinion” to an official dogma.
    Oh, is that all? Well then, it’s all OK. My mistake.

  67. Chris Jones says:

    All the pope did was change this from a “pious opinion” to an official dogma.
    Oh, is that all? Well then, it’s all OK. My mistake.

  68. Chris Jones says:

    All the pope did was change this from a “pious opinion” to an official dogma.
    Oh, is that all? Well then, it’s all OK. My mistake.

  69. Peter John says:

    >>> (Dr. Sasse) “That Christ is the New Adam is taught in the New Testament. But the New Testament knows nothing of a New Eve.”
    Newman on the Second Eve:
    “What is the great rudimental teaching of Antiquity from its earliest date concerning her? By “rudimental teaching,” I mean the primâ facie view of her person and office, the broad outline laid down of her, the aspect under which she comes to us, in the writings of the Fathers. She is the Second Eve [Note 1]. Now let us consider what this implies. Eve had a definite, essential position in the First Covenant. The fate of the human race lay with Adam; he it was who represented us. It was in Adam that we fell; though Eve had fallen, still, if Adam had stood, we should not have lost those supernatural privileges which were bestowed upon him as our first father. Yet though Eve was not the head of the race, still, even as regards the race, she had a place of her own; for Adam, to whom was divinely committed the naming of all things, named her “the Mother of all the living,” a name surely expressive, not of a fact only, but of a dignity; but further, as she thus had her own general relation to the human race, so again had she her own special {32} place, as regards its trial and its fall in Adam. In those primeval events, Eve had an integral share. “The woman, being seduced, was in the transgression.” She listened to the Evil Angel; she offered the fruit to her husband, and he ate of it. She co-operated, not as an irresponsible instrument, but intimately and personally in the sin: she brought it about. As the history stands, she was a sine-qua-non, a positive, active, cause of it. And she had her share in its punishment; in the sentence pronounced on her, she was recognized as a real agent in the temptation and its issue, and she suffered accordingly. In that awful transaction there were three parties concerned,—the serpent, the woman, and the man; and at the time of their sentence, an event was announced for a distant future, in which the three same parties were to meet again, the serpent, the woman, and the man; but it was to be a second Adam and a second Eve, and the new Eve was to be the mother of the new Adam. “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed.” The Seed of the woman is the Word Incarnate, and the Woman, whose seed or son He is, is His mother Mary. This interpretation, and the parallelism it involves, seem to me undeniable; but at all events (and this is my point) the parallelism is the doctrine of the Fathers, from the earliest times; and, this being established, we are able, by the position and office of Eve in our fall, to determine the position and office of Mary in our restoration.”

  70. Peter John says:

    >>> (Dr. Sasse) “That Christ is the New Adam is taught in the New Testament. But the New Testament knows nothing of a New Eve.”
    Newman on the Second Eve:
    “What is the great rudimental teaching of Antiquity from its earliest date concerning her? By “rudimental teaching,” I mean the primâ facie view of her person and office, the broad outline laid down of her, the aspect under which she comes to us, in the writings of the Fathers. She is the Second Eve [Note 1]. Now let us consider what this implies. Eve had a definite, essential position in the First Covenant. The fate of the human race lay with Adam; he it was who represented us. It was in Adam that we fell; though Eve had fallen, still, if Adam had stood, we should not have lost those supernatural privileges which were bestowed upon him as our first father. Yet though Eve was not the head of the race, still, even as regards the race, she had a place of her own; for Adam, to whom was divinely committed the naming of all things, named her “the Mother of all the living,” a name surely expressive, not of a fact only, but of a dignity; but further, as she thus had her own general relation to the human race, so again had she her own special {32} place, as regards its trial and its fall in Adam. In those primeval events, Eve had an integral share. “The woman, being seduced, was in the transgression.” She listened to the Evil Angel; she offered the fruit to her husband, and he ate of it. She co-operated, not as an irresponsible instrument, but intimately and personally in the sin: she brought it about. As the history stands, she was a sine-qua-non, a positive, active, cause of it. And she had her share in its punishment; in the sentence pronounced on her, she was recognized as a real agent in the temptation and its issue, and she suffered accordingly. In that awful transaction there were three parties concerned,—the serpent, the woman, and the man; and at the time of their sentence, an event was announced for a distant future, in which the three same parties were to meet again, the serpent, the woman, and the man; but it was to be a second Adam and a second Eve, and the new Eve was to be the mother of the new Adam. “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed.” The Seed of the woman is the Word Incarnate, and the Woman, whose seed or son He is, is His mother Mary. This interpretation, and the parallelism it involves, seem to me undeniable; but at all events (and this is my point) the parallelism is the doctrine of the Fathers, from the earliest times; and, this being established, we are able, by the position and office of Eve in our fall, to determine the position and office of Mary in our restoration.”

  71. Peter John says:

    >>> (Dr. Sasse) “That Christ is the New Adam is taught in the New Testament. But the New Testament knows nothing of a New Eve.”
    Newman on the Second Eve:
    “What is the great rudimental teaching of Antiquity from its earliest date concerning her? By “rudimental teaching,” I mean the primâ facie view of her person and office, the broad outline laid down of her, the aspect under which she comes to us, in the writings of the Fathers. She is the Second Eve [Note 1]. Now let us consider what this implies. Eve had a definite, essential position in the First Covenant. The fate of the human race lay with Adam; he it was who represented us. It was in Adam that we fell; though Eve had fallen, still, if Adam had stood, we should not have lost those supernatural privileges which were bestowed upon him as our first father. Yet though Eve was not the head of the race, still, even as regards the race, she had a place of her own; for Adam, to whom was divinely committed the naming of all things, named her “the Mother of all the living,” a name surely expressive, not of a fact only, but of a dignity; but further, as she thus had her own general relation to the human race, so again had she her own special {32} place, as regards its trial and its fall in Adam. In those primeval events, Eve had an integral share. “The woman, being seduced, was in the transgression.” She listened to the Evil Angel; she offered the fruit to her husband, and he ate of it. She co-operated, not as an irresponsible instrument, but intimately and personally in the sin: she brought it about. As the history stands, she was a sine-qua-non, a positive, active, cause of it. And she had her share in its punishment; in the sentence pronounced on her, she was recognized as a real agent in the temptation and its issue, and she suffered accordingly. In that awful transaction there were three parties concerned,—the serpent, the woman, and the man; and at the time of their sentence, an event was announced for a distant future, in which the three same parties were to meet again, the serpent, the woman, and the man; but it was to be a second Adam and a second Eve, and the new Eve was to be the mother of the new Adam. “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed.” The Seed of the woman is the Word Incarnate, and the Woman, whose seed or son He is, is His mother Mary. This interpretation, and the parallelism it involves, seem to me undeniable; but at all events (and this is my point) the parallelism is the doctrine of the Fathers, from the earliest times; and, this being established, we are able, by the position and office of Eve in our fall, to determine the position and office of Mary in our restoration.”

  72. Peter John says:

    >>> (Dr. Sasse) “That Christ is the New Adam is taught in the New Testament. But the New Testament knows nothing of a New Eve.”
    Newman on the Second Eve:
    “What is the great rudimental teaching of Antiquity from its earliest date concerning her? By “rudimental teaching,” I mean the primâ facie view of her person and office, the broad outline laid down of her, the aspect under which she comes to us, in the writings of the Fathers. She is the Second Eve [Note 1]. Now let us consider what this implies. Eve had a definite, essential position in the First Covenant. The fate of the human race lay with Adam; he it was who represented us. It was in Adam that we fell; though Eve had fallen, still, if Adam had stood, we should not have lost those supernatural privileges which were bestowed upon him as our first father. Yet though Eve was not the head of the race, still, even as regards the race, she had a place of her own; for Adam, to whom was divinely committed the naming of all things, named her “the Mother of all the living,” a name surely expressive, not of a fact only, but of a dignity; but further, as she thus had her own general relation to the human race, so again had she her own special {32} place, as regards its trial and its fall in Adam. In those primeval events, Eve had an integral share. “The woman, being seduced, was in the transgression.” She listened to the Evil Angel; she offered the fruit to her husband, and he ate of it. She co-operated, not as an irresponsible instrument, but intimately and personally in the sin: she brought it about. As the history stands, she was a sine-qua-non, a positive, active, cause of it. And she had her share in its punishment; in the sentence pronounced on her, she was recognized as a real agent in the temptation and its issue, and she suffered accordingly. In that awful transaction there were three parties concerned,—the serpent, the woman, and the man; and at the time of their sentence, an event was announced for a distant future, in which the three same parties were to meet again, the serpent, the woman, and the man; but it was to be a second Adam and a second Eve, and the new Eve was to be the mother of the new Adam. “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed.” The Seed of the woman is the Word Incarnate, and the Woman, whose seed or son He is, is His mother Mary. This interpretation, and the parallelism it involves, seem to me undeniable; but at all events (and this is my point) the parallelism is the doctrine of the Fathers, from the earliest times; and, this being established, we are able, by the position and office of Eve in our fall, to determine the position and office of Mary in our restoration.”

  73. Peter John says:

    Newman (cont.)
    “If there is an Apostle on whom, à priori, our eyes would be fixed, as likely to teach us about the Blessed Virgin, it is St. John, to whom she was committed by our Lord on the Cross;—with whom, as tradition goes, she lived at Ephesus till she was taken away. This anticipation is confirmed à posteriori; for, as I have said above, one of the earliest and fullest of our informants concerning her dignity, as being the second Eve, is Irenæus, who came to Lyons from Asia Minor, and had been taught by the immediate disciples of St. John. The Apostle’s vision is as follows:—
    “A great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the Sun, and the Moon under her feet; and on her head a crown of twelve stars. And being with child, {58} she cried travailing in birth, and was in pain to be delivered. And there was seen another sign in heaven; and behold a great red dragon … And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to be delivered, that, when she should be delivered, he might devour her son. And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with an iron rod; and her son was taken up to God and to His throne. And the woman fled into the wilderness.” Now I do not deny of course, that under the image of the Woman, the Church is signified; but what I would maintain is this, that the Holy Apostle would not have spoken of the Church under this particular image, unless there had existed a blessed Virgin Mary, who was exalted on high, and the object of veneration to all the faithful.
    No one doubts that the “man-child” spoken of is an allusion to our Lord: why then is not “the Woman” an allusion to His Mother? This surely is the obvious sense of the words; of course they have a further sense also, which is the scope of the image; doubtless the Child represents the children of the Church, and doubtless the Woman represents the Church; this, I grant, is the real or direct sense, but what is the sense of the symbol under which that real sense is conveyed? who are the Woman and the Child? I answer, they are not personifications but Persons. This is true of the Child, therefore it is true of the Woman.
    But again: not only Mother and Child, but a serpent is introduced into the vision. Such a meeting of man, woman, and serpent has not been found in Scripture, since the beginning of Scripture, and now it is found {59} in its end. Moreover, in the passage in the Apocalypse, as if to supply, before Scripture came to an end, what was wanting in its beginning, we are told, and for the first time, that the serpent in Paradise was the evil spirit. If the dragon of St. John is the same as the serpent of Moses, and the man-child is “the seed of the woman,” why is not the woman herself she, whose seed the man-child is? And, if the first woman is not an allegory, why is the second? if the first woman is Eve, why is not the second Mary?”

  74. Peter John says:

    Newman (cont.)
    “If there is an Apostle on whom, à priori, our eyes would be fixed, as likely to teach us about the Blessed Virgin, it is St. John, to whom she was committed by our Lord on the Cross;—with whom, as tradition goes, she lived at Ephesus till she was taken away. This anticipation is confirmed à posteriori; for, as I have said above, one of the earliest and fullest of our informants concerning her dignity, as being the second Eve, is Irenæus, who came to Lyons from Asia Minor, and had been taught by the immediate disciples of St. John. The Apostle’s vision is as follows:—
    “A great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the Sun, and the Moon under her feet; and on her head a crown of twelve stars. And being with child, {58} she cried travailing in birth, and was in pain to be delivered. And there was seen another sign in heaven; and behold a great red dragon … And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to be delivered, that, when she should be delivered, he might devour her son. And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with an iron rod; and her son was taken up to God and to His throne. And the woman fled into the wilderness.” Now I do not deny of course, that under the image of the Woman, the Church is signified; but what I would maintain is this, that the Holy Apostle would not have spoken of the Church under this particular image, unless there had existed a blessed Virgin Mary, who was exalted on high, and the object of veneration to all the faithful.
    No one doubts that the “man-child” spoken of is an allusion to our Lord: why then is not “the Woman” an allusion to His Mother? This surely is the obvious sense of the words; of course they have a further sense also, which is the scope of the image; doubtless the Child represents the children of the Church, and doubtless the Woman represents the Church; this, I grant, is the real or direct sense, but what is the sense of the symbol under which that real sense is conveyed? who are the Woman and the Child? I answer, they are not personifications but Persons. This is true of the Child, therefore it is true of the Woman.
    But again: not only Mother and Child, but a serpent is introduced into the vision. Such a meeting of man, woman, and serpent has not been found in Scripture, since the beginning of Scripture, and now it is found {59} in its end. Moreover, in the passage in the Apocalypse, as if to supply, before Scripture came to an end, what was wanting in its beginning, we are told, and for the first time, that the serpent in Paradise was the evil spirit. If the dragon of St. John is the same as the serpent of Moses, and the man-child is “the seed of the woman,” why is not the woman herself she, whose seed the man-child is? And, if the first woman is not an allegory, why is the second? if the first woman is Eve, why is not the second Mary?”

  75. Peter John says:

    Newman (cont.)
    “If there is an Apostle on whom, à priori, our eyes would be fixed, as likely to teach us about the Blessed Virgin, it is St. John, to whom she was committed by our Lord on the Cross;—with whom, as tradition goes, she lived at Ephesus till she was taken away. This anticipation is confirmed à posteriori; for, as I have said above, one of the earliest and fullest of our informants concerning her dignity, as being the second Eve, is Irenæus, who came to Lyons from Asia Minor, and had been taught by the immediate disciples of St. John. The Apostle’s vision is as follows:—
    “A great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the Sun, and the Moon under her feet; and on her head a crown of twelve stars. And being with child, {58} she cried travailing in birth, and was in pain to be delivered. And there was seen another sign in heaven; and behold a great red dragon … And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to be delivered, that, when she should be delivered, he might devour her son. And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with an iron rod; and her son was taken up to God and to His throne. And the woman fled into the wilderness.” Now I do not deny of course, that under the image of the Woman, the Church is signified; but what I would maintain is this, that the Holy Apostle would not have spoken of the Church under this particular image, unless there had existed a blessed Virgin Mary, who was exalted on high, and the object of veneration to all the faithful.
    No one doubts that the “man-child” spoken of is an allusion to our Lord: why then is not “the Woman” an allusion to His Mother? This surely is the obvious sense of the words; of course they have a further sense also, which is the scope of the image; doubtless the Child represents the children of the Church, and doubtless the Woman represents the Church; this, I grant, is the real or direct sense, but what is the sense of the symbol under which that real sense is conveyed? who are the Woman and the Child? I answer, they are not personifications but Persons. This is true of the Child, therefore it is true of the Woman.
    But again: not only Mother and Child, but a serpent is introduced into the vision. Such a meeting of man, woman, and serpent has not been found in Scripture, since the beginning of Scripture, and now it is found {59} in its end. Moreover, in the passage in the Apocalypse, as if to supply, before Scripture came to an end, what was wanting in its beginning, we are told, and for the first time, that the serpent in Paradise was the evil spirit. If the dragon of St. John is the same as the serpent of Moses, and the man-child is “the seed of the woman,” why is not the woman herself she, whose seed the man-child is? And, if the first woman is not an allegory, why is the second? if the first woman is Eve, why is not the second Mary?”

  76. Peter John says:

    Newman (cont.)
    “If there is an Apostle on whom, à priori, our eyes would be fixed, as likely to teach us about the Blessed Virgin, it is St. John, to whom she was committed by our Lord on the Cross;—with whom, as tradition goes, she lived at Ephesus till she was taken away. This anticipation is confirmed à posteriori; for, as I have said above, one of the earliest and fullest of our informants concerning her dignity, as being the second Eve, is Irenæus, who came to Lyons from Asia Minor, and had been taught by the immediate disciples of St. John. The Apostle’s vision is as follows:—
    “A great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the Sun, and the Moon under her feet; and on her head a crown of twelve stars. And being with child, {58} she cried travailing in birth, and was in pain to be delivered. And there was seen another sign in heaven; and behold a great red dragon … And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to be delivered, that, when she should be delivered, he might devour her son. And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with an iron rod; and her son was taken up to God and to His throne. And the woman fled into the wilderness.” Now I do not deny of course, that under the image of the Woman, the Church is signified; but what I would maintain is this, that the Holy Apostle would not have spoken of the Church under this particular image, unless there had existed a blessed Virgin Mary, who was exalted on high, and the object of veneration to all the faithful.
    No one doubts that the “man-child” spoken of is an allusion to our Lord: why then is not “the Woman” an allusion to His Mother? This surely is the obvious sense of the words; of course they have a further sense also, which is the scope of the image; doubtless the Child represents the children of the Church, and doubtless the Woman represents the Church; this, I grant, is the real or direct sense, but what is the sense of the symbol under which that real sense is conveyed? who are the Woman and the Child? I answer, they are not personifications but Persons. This is true of the Child, therefore it is true of the Woman.
    But again: not only Mother and Child, but a serpent is introduced into the vision. Such a meeting of man, woman, and serpent has not been found in Scripture, since the beginning of Scripture, and now it is found {59} in its end. Moreover, in the passage in the Apocalypse, as if to supply, before Scripture came to an end, what was wanting in its beginning, we are told, and for the first time, that the serpent in Paradise was the evil spirit. If the dragon of St. John is the same as the serpent of Moses, and the man-child is “the seed of the woman,” why is not the woman herself she, whose seed the man-child is? And, if the first woman is not an allegory, why is the second? if the first woman is Eve, why is not the second Mary?”

  77. Peter John says:

    The above excerpts are from “A Letter Addressed to the Rev. E. B. Pusey”/Anglican Difficulties Vol 2
    I would heartily recommend Newman’s writings on the Blessed Virgin from the above work as well as from his “Meditations and Devotions”. All of these can be read at http://www.newmanreader.org

  78. Peter John says:

    The above excerpts are from “A Letter Addressed to the Rev. E. B. Pusey”/Anglican Difficulties Vol 2
    I would heartily recommend Newman’s writings on the Blessed Virgin from the above work as well as from his “Meditations and Devotions”. All of these can be read at http://www.newmanreader.org

  79. Peter John says:

    The above excerpts are from “A Letter Addressed to the Rev. E. B. Pusey”/Anglican Difficulties Vol 2
    I would heartily recommend Newman’s writings on the Blessed Virgin from the above work as well as from his “Meditations and Devotions”. All of these can be read at http://www.newmanreader.org

  80. Peter John says:

    The above excerpts are from “A Letter Addressed to the Rev. E. B. Pusey”/Anglican Difficulties Vol 2
    I would heartily recommend Newman’s writings on the Blessed Virgin from the above work as well as from his “Meditations and Devotions”. All of these can be read at http://www.newmanreader.org

  81. Larry says:

    Peter John: wonderful stuff from Newman. I’ve never read much from him, although I’ve always known he was a giant. Now I see a small illustration why.
    It doesn’t settle the “argument”. But at least it shows that Catholics aren’t arguing from a position of whimsy or caprice. They have evidence and a spiritual and intellectual tradition for their beliefs on Mary.
    Solid, orthodox, mainstream Catholic teaching on Mary is light years removed from being any sort of threat to the primacy of Jesus.
    As Newman says, or implies, different individuals may feel called to different levels of Marian devotion, in accordance with their own spiritual topography.
    I’ve never been a huge Marian person, but neither do I feel threatened by others’ Marian devotion.

  82. Larry says:

    Peter John: wonderful stuff from Newman. I’ve never read much from him, although I’ve always known he was a giant. Now I see a small illustration why.
    It doesn’t settle the “argument”. But at least it shows that Catholics aren’t arguing from a position of whimsy or caprice. They have evidence and a spiritual and intellectual tradition for their beliefs on Mary.
    Solid, orthodox, mainstream Catholic teaching on Mary is light years removed from being any sort of threat to the primacy of Jesus.
    As Newman says, or implies, different individuals may feel called to different levels of Marian devotion, in accordance with their own spiritual topography.
    I’ve never been a huge Marian person, but neither do I feel threatened by others’ Marian devotion.

  83. Larry says:

    Peter John: wonderful stuff from Newman. I’ve never read much from him, although I’ve always known he was a giant. Now I see a small illustration why.
    It doesn’t settle the “argument”. But at least it shows that Catholics aren’t arguing from a position of whimsy or caprice. They have evidence and a spiritual and intellectual tradition for their beliefs on Mary.
    Solid, orthodox, mainstream Catholic teaching on Mary is light years removed from being any sort of threat to the primacy of Jesus.
    As Newman says, or implies, different individuals may feel called to different levels of Marian devotion, in accordance with their own spiritual topography.
    I’ve never been a huge Marian person, but neither do I feel threatened by others’ Marian devotion.

  84. Larry says:

    Peter John: wonderful stuff from Newman. I’ve never read much from him, although I’ve always known he was a giant. Now I see a small illustration why.
    It doesn’t settle the “argument”. But at least it shows that Catholics aren’t arguing from a position of whimsy or caprice. They have evidence and a spiritual and intellectual tradition for their beliefs on Mary.
    Solid, orthodox, mainstream Catholic teaching on Mary is light years removed from being any sort of threat to the primacy of Jesus.
    As Newman says, or implies, different individuals may feel called to different levels of Marian devotion, in accordance with their own spiritual topography.
    I’ve never been a huge Marian person, but neither do I feel threatened by others’ Marian devotion.

  85. Atwood says:

    The woman in Revelation is Israel.
    crown of 12 stars=12 tribes
    labor pains=common prophetic image of Israel’s suffering leading up to the Messiah (Mary by the semper virgo theory did not undergo labor pains, since as sinless she was not subject to the curse)
    Dragon: Satan working through the Roman dominion (Rome never attacked or destroyed Mary so far as we know, but Israel was desolated by Rome in 70 AD.
    Woman flees into the desert: the exile of Israel (Mary never fled into the desert), 1,260 days=42 months or 3.5 years (counting with 12 moons and 30 days a moon), that is the “times, time, and half a time” of Daniel 7:25, which was interpreted a 3 and a half years and is used throughout Revelation to mark the “time of the Gentiles”: cf. Rev. 11:1-3 after the destruction of the temple.
    The Roman empire, having been thwarted in destroying Israel, even after the destruction of the temple, now rages against the (Gentile Christian) saints.
    In every single particular, the woman of Revelation 13 fits Israel, NOT Mary specifically. If that’s the best Newman can do for Biblical witness, his best isn’t good enough.

  86. Atwood says:

    The woman in Revelation is Israel.
    crown of 12 stars=12 tribes
    labor pains=common prophetic image of Israel’s suffering leading up to the Messiah (Mary by the semper virgo theory did not undergo labor pains, since as sinless she was not subject to the curse)
    Dragon: Satan working through the Roman dominion (Rome never attacked or destroyed Mary so far as we know, but Israel was desolated by Rome in 70 AD.
    Woman flees into the desert: the exile of Israel (Mary never fled into the desert), 1,260 days=42 months or 3.5 years (counting with 12 moons and 30 days a moon), that is the “times, time, and half a time” of Daniel 7:25, which was interpreted a 3 and a half years and is used throughout Revelation to mark the “time of the Gentiles”: cf. Rev. 11:1-3 after the destruction of the temple.
    The Roman empire, having been thwarted in destroying Israel, even after the destruction of the temple, now rages against the (Gentile Christian) saints.
    In every single particular, the woman of Revelation 13 fits Israel, NOT Mary specifically. If that’s the best Newman can do for Biblical witness, his best isn’t good enough.

  87. Atwood says:

    The woman in Revelation is Israel.
    crown of 12 stars=12 tribes
    labor pains=common prophetic image of Israel’s suffering leading up to the Messiah (Mary by the semper virgo theory did not undergo labor pains, since as sinless she was not subject to the curse)
    Dragon: Satan working through the Roman dominion (Rome never attacked or destroyed Mary so far as we know, but Israel was desolated by Rome in 70 AD.
    Woman flees into the desert: the exile of Israel (Mary never fled into the desert), 1,260 days=42 months or 3.5 years (counting with 12 moons and 30 days a moon), that is the “times, time, and half a time” of Daniel 7:25, which was interpreted a 3 and a half years and is used throughout Revelation to mark the “time of the Gentiles”: cf. Rev. 11:1-3 after the destruction of the temple.
    The Roman empire, having been thwarted in destroying Israel, even after the destruction of the temple, now rages against the (Gentile Christian) saints.
    In every single particular, the woman of Revelation 13 fits Israel, NOT Mary specifically. If that’s the best Newman can do for Biblical witness, his best isn’t good enough.

  88. Atwood says:

    The woman in Revelation is Israel.
    crown of 12 stars=12 tribes
    labor pains=common prophetic image of Israel’s suffering leading up to the Messiah (Mary by the semper virgo theory did not undergo labor pains, since as sinless she was not subject to the curse)
    Dragon: Satan working through the Roman dominion (Rome never attacked or destroyed Mary so far as we know, but Israel was desolated by Rome in 70 AD.
    Woman flees into the desert: the exile of Israel (Mary never fled into the desert), 1,260 days=42 months or 3.5 years (counting with 12 moons and 30 days a moon), that is the “times, time, and half a time” of Daniel 7:25, which was interpreted a 3 and a half years and is used throughout Revelation to mark the “time of the Gentiles”: cf. Rev. 11:1-3 after the destruction of the temple.
    The Roman empire, having been thwarted in destroying Israel, even after the destruction of the temple, now rages against the (Gentile Christian) saints.
    In every single particular, the woman of Revelation 13 fits Israel, NOT Mary specifically. If that’s the best Newman can do for Biblical witness, his best isn’t good enough.

  89. Tom R says:

    Moreover, the woman in Rev cries out from labour pains, which Genesis tells us are Eve’s punishment for the original sin. If the woman in Rev is Mary, then Mary was not free from original sin.
    To me, it comes down to: why did St Paul not even so much as mention Mary in his various description, from many angles, of the process of salvation? It’s one thing to ridicule sola Scriptura by saying “you can’t reconstruct Temple worship from the OT alone”. (True. Nor can you reconstruct a US Presidential election from reading the Constitution alone. That doesn’t give COngress any authority to declare the Senate “co-equal with” the Electoral College. Your details must fit within the broad outlines of what does stand written).
    But the Catholic and Orthodox views on the continuing role of Mary in our salvation seem, by inescapable implication, to put St Paul in the same position as a doctor who tells patients that aspirin is sufficient for them, when in fact taking penicillin and chemotherapy are also essential for their being healed. “Pray to the Mother of Christ as your intercessor” is simply never mentioned. And St Paul tells us that he did not preach one gospel in public and in his letters, but a different one in private.

  90. Tom R says:

    Moreover, the woman in Rev cries out from labour pains, which Genesis tells us are Eve’s punishment for the original sin. If the woman in Rev is Mary, then Mary was not free from original sin.
    To me, it comes down to: why did St Paul not even so much as mention Mary in his various description, from many angles, of the process of salvation? It’s one thing to ridicule sola Scriptura by saying “you can’t reconstruct Temple worship from the OT alone”. (True. Nor can you reconstruct a US Presidential election from reading the Constitution alone. That doesn’t give COngress any authority to declare the Senate “co-equal with” the Electoral College. Your details must fit within the broad outlines of what does stand written).
    But the Catholic and Orthodox views on the continuing role of Mary in our salvation seem, by inescapable implication, to put St Paul in the same position as a doctor who tells patients that aspirin is sufficient for them, when in fact taking penicillin and chemotherapy are also essential for their being healed. “Pray to the Mother of Christ as your intercessor” is simply never mentioned. And St Paul tells us that he did not preach one gospel in public and in his letters, but a different one in private.

  91. Tom R says:

    Moreover, the woman in Rev cries out from labour pains, which Genesis tells us are Eve’s punishment for the original sin. If the woman in Rev is Mary, then Mary was not free from original sin.
    To me, it comes down to: why did St Paul not even so much as mention Mary in his various description, from many angles, of the process of salvation? It’s one thing to ridicule sola Scriptura by saying “you can’t reconstruct Temple worship from the OT alone”. (True. Nor can you reconstruct a US Presidential election from reading the Constitution alone. That doesn’t give COngress any authority to declare the Senate “co-equal with” the Electoral College. Your details must fit within the broad outlines of what does stand written).
    But the Catholic and Orthodox views on the continuing role of Mary in our salvation seem, by inescapable implication, to put St Paul in the same position as a doctor who tells patients that aspirin is sufficient for them, when in fact taking penicillin and chemotherapy are also essential for their being healed. “Pray to the Mother of Christ as your intercessor” is simply never mentioned. And St Paul tells us that he did not preach one gospel in public and in his letters, but a different one in private.

  92. Tom R says:

    Moreover, the woman in Rev cries out from labour pains, which Genesis tells us are Eve’s punishment for the original sin. If the woman in Rev is Mary, then Mary was not free from original sin.
    To me, it comes down to: why did St Paul not even so much as mention Mary in his various description, from many angles, of the process of salvation? It’s one thing to ridicule sola Scriptura by saying “you can’t reconstruct Temple worship from the OT alone”. (True. Nor can you reconstruct a US Presidential election from reading the Constitution alone. That doesn’t give COngress any authority to declare the Senate “co-equal with” the Electoral College. Your details must fit within the broad outlines of what does stand written).
    But the Catholic and Orthodox views on the continuing role of Mary in our salvation seem, by inescapable implication, to put St Paul in the same position as a doctor who tells patients that aspirin is sufficient for them, when in fact taking penicillin and chemotherapy are also essential for their being healed. “Pray to the Mother of Christ as your intercessor” is simply never mentioned. And St Paul tells us that he did not preach one gospel in public and in his letters, but a different one in private.

  93. Peter John says:

    >>>Moreover, the woman in Rev cries out from labour pains, which Genesis tells us are Eve’s punishment for the original sin. If the woman in Rev is Mary, then Mary was not free from original sin.
    Mary still would have had labor pains and still would have been subject to physical death even if born without the stain of original sin.

  94. Peter John says:

    >>>Moreover, the woman in Rev cries out from labour pains, which Genesis tells us are Eve’s punishment for the original sin. If the woman in Rev is Mary, then Mary was not free from original sin.
    Mary still would have had labor pains and still would have been subject to physical death even if born without the stain of original sin.

  95. Peter John says:

    >>>Moreover, the woman in Rev cries out from labour pains, which Genesis tells us are Eve’s punishment for the original sin. If the woman in Rev is Mary, then Mary was not free from original sin.
    Mary still would have had labor pains and still would have been subject to physical death even if born without the stain of original sin.

  96. Peter John says:

    >>>Moreover, the woman in Rev cries out from labour pains, which Genesis tells us are Eve’s punishment for the original sin. If the woman in Rev is Mary, then Mary was not free from original sin.
    Mary still would have had labor pains and still would have been subject to physical death even if born without the stain of original sin.

  97. Peter John says:

    >>>”Pray to the Mother of Christ as your intercessor” is simply never mentioned. And St Paul tells us that he did not preach one gospel in public and in his letters, but a different one in private.”
    Have the Catholic or Orthodox ever stated that requesting Mary’s intercession is essential for salvation?

  98. Peter John says:

    >>>”Pray to the Mother of Christ as your intercessor” is simply never mentioned. And St Paul tells us that he did not preach one gospel in public and in his letters, but a different one in private.”
    Have the Catholic or Orthodox ever stated that requesting Mary’s intercession is essential for salvation?

  99. Peter John says:

    >>>”Pray to the Mother of Christ as your intercessor” is simply never mentioned. And St Paul tells us that he did not preach one gospel in public and in his letters, but a different one in private.”
    Have the Catholic or Orthodox ever stated that requesting Mary’s intercession is essential for salvation?

  100. Peter John says:

    >>>”Pray to the Mother of Christ as your intercessor” is simply never mentioned. And St Paul tells us that he did not preach one gospel in public and in his letters, but a different one in private.”
    Have the Catholic or Orthodox ever stated that requesting Mary’s intercession is essential for salvation?

  101. Peter John says:

    >>>In every single particular, the woman of Revelation 13 fits Israel, NOT Mary specifically. If that’s the best Newman can do for Biblical witness, his best isn’t good enough.
    The main point is that the Early Fathers saw a direct parallelism between Adam and Christ, and Eve and Mary, and their roles and participation in such. Attack the Early Fathers if you wish, but I will take the witness of the Early Fathers over anyone spouting their private exegesis 20 centuries removed.

  102. Peter John says:

    >>>In every single particular, the woman of Revelation 13 fits Israel, NOT Mary specifically. If that’s the best Newman can do for Biblical witness, his best isn’t good enough.
    The main point is that the Early Fathers saw a direct parallelism between Adam and Christ, and Eve and Mary, and their roles and participation in such. Attack the Early Fathers if you wish, but I will take the witness of the Early Fathers over anyone spouting their private exegesis 20 centuries removed.

  103. Peter John says:

    >>>In every single particular, the woman of Revelation 13 fits Israel, NOT Mary specifically. If that’s the best Newman can do for Biblical witness, his best isn’t good enough.
    The main point is that the Early Fathers saw a direct parallelism between Adam and Christ, and Eve and Mary, and their roles and participation in such. Attack the Early Fathers if you wish, but I will take the witness of the Early Fathers over anyone spouting their private exegesis 20 centuries removed.

  104. Peter John says:

    >>>In every single particular, the woman of Revelation 13 fits Israel, NOT Mary specifically. If that’s the best Newman can do for Biblical witness, his best isn’t good enough.
    The main point is that the Early Fathers saw a direct parallelism between Adam and Christ, and Eve and Mary, and their roles and participation in such. Attack the Early Fathers if you wish, but I will take the witness of the Early Fathers over anyone spouting their private exegesis 20 centuries removed.

  105. Tom R says:

    Peter John,
    “Have the Catholic or Orthodox ever stated that requesting Mary’s intercession is essential for salvation?”
    Basically — yes. At least, in the same sense that baptism or Church membership are ordinarily “essential” — “invincible ignorance” may be an excuse, but deliberate rejection of the dogma is not. Believing that Mary is a co-redemptrix is not an “optional extra” for Catholics (and, it seems, Orthodox) in the same way that devotion to a particular patron saint is, or that (say) Friday fasting or clerical celibacy are for the church lawmakers. Would a Pope have bothered to make a (rare) explicit infallible declaration on the matter if it were not seen as central to the Catholic faith? It is put not only beyond the power of any individual believer to opt out of, but beyond the power of any future Pope to repeal (at least, not without giving even the most Newmanite Catholic a “wizard of Oz” moment).
    As Pope Pius XII wrote, “45. Hence if anyone, which God forbid, should dare willfully to deny or to call into doubt that which we have defined, let him know that he has fallen away completely from the divine and Catholic Faith.” MUNIFICENTISSIMUS DEUS (1950), sec. 45.
    Remember that an earlier Pius wanted anyone who might “express in words or writing or by any other outward means the errors” of denying the Immaculate Conception, to “incur[] the penalties established by law”. Fortunately, between 1854 and 1950, the Papacy’s secular power was so reduced that his successor did not repeat this threat, although it remains beyond any later Pope’s power to rescind it.

  106. Tom R says:

    Peter John,
    “Have the Catholic or Orthodox ever stated that requesting Mary’s intercession is essential for salvation?”
    Basically — yes. At least, in the same sense that baptism or Church membership are ordinarily “essential” — “invincible ignorance” may be an excuse, but deliberate rejection of the dogma is not. Believing that Mary is a co-redemptrix is not an “optional extra” for Catholics (and, it seems, Orthodox) in the same way that devotion to a particular patron saint is, or that (say) Friday fasting or clerical celibacy are for the church lawmakers. Would a Pope have bothered to make a (rare) explicit infallible declaration on the matter if it were not seen as central to the Catholic faith? It is put not only beyond the power of any individual believer to opt out of, but beyond the power of any future Pope to repeal (at least, not without giving even the most Newmanite Catholic a “wizard of Oz” moment).
    As Pope Pius XII wrote, “45. Hence if anyone, which God forbid, should dare willfully to deny or to call into doubt that which we have defined, let him know that he has fallen away completely from the divine and Catholic Faith.” MUNIFICENTISSIMUS DEUS (1950), sec. 45.
    Remember that an earlier Pius wanted anyone who might “express in words or writing or by any other outward means the errors” of denying the Immaculate Conception, to “incur[] the penalties established by law”. Fortunately, between 1854 and 1950, the Papacy’s secular power was so reduced that his successor did not repeat this threat, although it remains beyond any later Pope’s power to rescind it.

  107. Tom R says:

    Peter John,
    “Have the Catholic or Orthodox ever stated that requesting Mary’s intercession is essential for salvation?”
    Basically — yes. At least, in the same sense that baptism or Church membership are ordinarily “essential” — “invincible ignorance” may be an excuse, but deliberate rejection of the dogma is not. Believing that Mary is a co-redemptrix is not an “optional extra” for Catholics (and, it seems, Orthodox) in the same way that devotion to a particular patron saint is, or that (say) Friday fasting or clerical celibacy are for the church lawmakers. Would a Pope have bothered to make a (rare) explicit infallible declaration on the matter if it were not seen as central to the Catholic faith? It is put not only beyond the power of any individual believer to opt out of, but beyond the power of any future Pope to repeal (at least, not without giving even the most Newmanite Catholic a “wizard of Oz” moment).
    As Pope Pius XII wrote, “45. Hence if anyone, which God forbid, should dare willfully to deny or to call into doubt that which we have defined, let him know that he has fallen away completely from the divine and Catholic Faith.” MUNIFICENTISSIMUS DEUS (1950), sec. 45.
    Remember that an earlier Pius wanted anyone who might “express in words or writing or by any other outward means the errors” of denying the Immaculate Conception, to “incur[] the penalties established by law”. Fortunately, between 1854 and 1950, the Papacy’s secular power was so reduced that his successor did not repeat this threat, although it remains beyond any later Pope’s power to rescind it.

  108. Tom R says:

    Peter John,
    “Have the Catholic or Orthodox ever stated that requesting Mary’s intercession is essential for salvation?”
    Basically — yes. At least, in the same sense that baptism or Church membership are ordinarily “essential” — “invincible ignorance” may be an excuse, but deliberate rejection of the dogma is not. Believing that Mary is a co-redemptrix is not an “optional extra” for Catholics (and, it seems, Orthodox) in the same way that devotion to a particular patron saint is, or that (say) Friday fasting or clerical celibacy are for the church lawmakers. Would a Pope have bothered to make a (rare) explicit infallible declaration on the matter if it were not seen as central to the Catholic faith? It is put not only beyond the power of any individual believer to opt out of, but beyond the power of any future Pope to repeal (at least, not without giving even the most Newmanite Catholic a “wizard of Oz” moment).
    As Pope Pius XII wrote, “45. Hence if anyone, which God forbid, should dare willfully to deny or to call into doubt that which we have defined, let him know that he has fallen away completely from the divine and Catholic Faith.” MUNIFICENTISSIMUS DEUS (1950), sec. 45.
    Remember that an earlier Pius wanted anyone who might “express in words or writing or by any other outward means the errors” of denying the Immaculate Conception, to “incur[] the penalties established by law”. Fortunately, between 1854 and 1950, the Papacy’s secular power was so reduced that his successor did not repeat this threat, although it remains beyond any later Pope’s power to rescind it.

  109. greg bourke says:

    Tertullian, b 160AD.
    On the Pallium,
    bk 1, ch. VI. The parallel case of Mary considered [The Woman].
    Let us now see whether the apostle withal observes the norm of this name in accordance with Genesis, attributing it to the sex; calling the virgin Mary a woman, just as Genesis (does) Eve. For, writing to the Galatians, ?God,? he says, ?sent His own Son, made of a woman,? who, of course, is admitted to have been a virgin, albeit Hebion resist (that doctrine). I recognise, too, the angel Gabriel as having been sent to ?a virgin.? But when he is blessing her, it is ?among women,? not among virgins, that he ranks her: ?Blessed (be) thou among women.? The angel withal knew that even a virgin is called a woman.
    bk 1, ch. 17. The similarity of circumstances between the first and the second Adam, as to the derivation of their flesh. An analogy also pleasantly traced between Eve and the Virgin Mary.
    Let us confine our inquiry to a single point?Whether Christ received flesh from the virgin?–that we may thus arrive at a certain proof that His flesh was human… why is Christ called Adam by the apostle, unless it be that, as man, He was of that earthly origin? And even reason here maintains the same conclusion, because it was by just the contrary operation that God recovered His own image and likeness, of which He had been robbed by the devil. For it was while Eve was yet a virgin, that the ensnaring word had crept into her ear which was to build the edifice of death. Into a virgin?s soul, in like manner, must be introduced that Word of God which was to raise the fabric of life; so that what had been reduced to ruin by this sex, might by the selfsame sex be recovered to salvation. As Eve had believed the serpent, so Mary believed the angel. The delinquency which the one occasioned by believing, the other by believing effaced. But (it will be said) Eve did not at the devil?s word conceive in her womb. Well, she at all events conceived; for the devil?s word afterwards became as seed to her that she should conceive as an outcast, and bring forth in sorrow. Indeed she gave birth to a fratricidal devil; whilst Mary, on the contrary, bare one who was one day to secure salvation to Israel, His own brother after the flesh, and the murderer of Himself. God therefore sent down into the virgin?s womb His Word, as the good Brother, who should blot out the memory of the evil brother. Hence it was necessary that Christ should come forth for the salvation of man, in that condition of flesh into which man had entered ever since his condemnation.

  110. greg bourke says:

    Tertullian, b 160AD.
    On the Pallium,
    bk 1, ch. VI. The parallel case of Mary considered [The Woman].
    Let us now see whether the apostle withal observes the norm of this name in accordance with Genesis, attributing it to the sex; calling the virgin Mary a woman, just as Genesis (does) Eve. For, writing to the Galatians, ?God,? he says, ?sent His own Son, made of a woman,? who, of course, is admitted to have been a virgin, albeit Hebion resist (that doctrine). I recognise, too, the angel Gabriel as having been sent to ?a virgin.? But when he is blessing her, it is ?among women,? not among virgins, that he ranks her: ?Blessed (be) thou among women.? The angel withal knew that even a virgin is called a woman.
    bk 1, ch. 17. The similarity of circumstances between the first and the second Adam, as to the derivation of their flesh. An analogy also pleasantly traced between Eve and the Virgin Mary.
    Let us confine our inquiry to a single point?Whether Christ received flesh from the virgin?–that we may thus arrive at a certain proof that His flesh was human… why is Christ called Adam by the apostle, unless it be that, as man, He was of that earthly origin? And even reason here maintains the same conclusion, because it was by just the contrary operation that God recovered His own image and likeness, of which He had been robbed by the devil. For it was while Eve was yet a virgin, that the ensnaring word had crept into her ear which was to build the edifice of death. Into a virgin?s soul, in like manner, must be introduced that Word of God which was to raise the fabric of life; so that what had been reduced to ruin by this sex, might by the selfsame sex be recovered to salvation. As Eve had believed the serpent, so Mary believed the angel. The delinquency which the one occasioned by believing, the other by believing effaced. But (it will be said) Eve did not at the devil?s word conceive in her womb. Well, she at all events conceived; for the devil?s word afterwards became as seed to her that she should conceive as an outcast, and bring forth in sorrow. Indeed she gave birth to a fratricidal devil; whilst Mary, on the contrary, bare one who was one day to secure salvation to Israel, His own brother after the flesh, and the murderer of Himself. God therefore sent down into the virgin?s womb His Word, as the good Brother, who should blot out the memory of the evil brother. Hence it was necessary that Christ should come forth for the salvation of man, in that condition of flesh into which man had entered ever since his condemnation.

  111. greg bourke says:

    Tertullian, b 160AD.
    On the Pallium,
    bk 1, ch. VI. The parallel case of Mary considered [The Woman].
    Let us now see whether the apostle withal observes the norm of this name in accordance with Genesis, attributing it to the sex; calling the virgin Mary a woman, just as Genesis (does) Eve. For, writing to the Galatians, ?God,? he says, ?sent His own Son, made of a woman,? who, of course, is admitted to have been a virgin, albeit Hebion resist (that doctrine). I recognise, too, the angel Gabriel as having been sent to ?a virgin.? But when he is blessing her, it is ?among women,? not among virgins, that he ranks her: ?Blessed (be) thou among women.? The angel withal knew that even a virgin is called a woman.
    bk 1, ch. 17. The similarity of circumstances between the first and the second Adam, as to the derivation of their flesh. An analogy also pleasantly traced between Eve and the Virgin Mary.
    Let us confine our inquiry to a single point?Whether Christ received flesh from the virgin?–that we may thus arrive at a certain proof that His flesh was human… why is Christ called Adam by the apostle, unless it be that, as man, He was of that earthly origin? And even reason here maintains the same conclusion, because it was by just the contrary operation that God recovered His own image and likeness, of which He had been robbed by the devil. For it was while Eve was yet a virgin, that the ensnaring word had crept into her ear which was to build the edifice of death. Into a virgin?s soul, in like manner, must be introduced that Word of God which was to raise the fabric of life; so that what had been reduced to ruin by this sex, might by the selfsame sex be recovered to salvation. As Eve had believed the serpent, so Mary believed the angel. The delinquency which the one occasioned by believing, the other by believing effaced. But (it will be said) Eve did not at the devil?s word conceive in her womb. Well, she at all events conceived; for the devil?s word afterwards became as seed to her that she should conceive as an outcast, and bring forth in sorrow. Indeed she gave birth to a fratricidal devil; whilst Mary, on the contrary, bare one who was one day to secure salvation to Israel, His own brother after the flesh, and the murderer of Himself. God therefore sent down into the virgin?s womb His Word, as the good Brother, who should blot out the memory of the evil brother. Hence it was necessary that Christ should come forth for the salvation of man, in that condition of flesh into which man had entered ever since his condemnation.

  112. greg bourke says:

    Tertullian, b 160AD.
    On the Pallium,
    bk 1, ch. VI. The parallel case of Mary considered [The Woman].
    Let us now see whether the apostle withal observes the norm of this name in accordance with Genesis, attributing it to the sex; calling the virgin Mary a woman, just as Genesis (does) Eve. For, writing to the Galatians, ?God,? he says, ?sent His own Son, made of a woman,? who, of course, is admitted to have been a virgin, albeit Hebion resist (that doctrine). I recognise, too, the angel Gabriel as having been sent to ?a virgin.? But when he is blessing her, it is ?among women,? not among virgins, that he ranks her: ?Blessed (be) thou among women.? The angel withal knew that even a virgin is called a woman.
    bk 1, ch. 17. The similarity of circumstances between the first and the second Adam, as to the derivation of their flesh. An analogy also pleasantly traced between Eve and the Virgin Mary.
    Let us confine our inquiry to a single point?Whether Christ received flesh from the virgin?–that we may thus arrive at a certain proof that His flesh was human… why is Christ called Adam by the apostle, unless it be that, as man, He was of that earthly origin? And even reason here maintains the same conclusion, because it was by just the contrary operation that God recovered His own image and likeness, of which He had been robbed by the devil. For it was while Eve was yet a virgin, that the ensnaring word had crept into her ear which was to build the edifice of death. Into a virgin?s soul, in like manner, must be introduced that Word of God which was to raise the fabric of life; so that what had been reduced to ruin by this sex, might by the selfsame sex be recovered to salvation. As Eve had believed the serpent, so Mary believed the angel. The delinquency which the one occasioned by believing, the other by believing effaced. But (it will be said) Eve did not at the devil?s word conceive in her womb. Well, she at all events conceived; for the devil?s word afterwards became as seed to her that she should conceive as an outcast, and bring forth in sorrow. Indeed she gave birth to a fratricidal devil; whilst Mary, on the contrary, bare one who was one day to secure salvation to Israel, His own brother after the flesh, and the murderer of Himself. God therefore sent down into the virgin?s womb His Word, as the good Brother, who should blot out the memory of the evil brother. Hence it was necessary that Christ should come forth for the salvation of man, in that condition of flesh into which man had entered ever since his condemnation.

  113. greg bourke says:

    all punctuation is belong ?

  114. greg bourke says:

    all punctuation is belong ?

  115. greg bourke says:

    all punctuation is belong ?

  116. greg bourke says:

    all punctuation is belong ?

  117. greg bourke says:

    What say ye of Tertullian?
    Is there an earlier exposition than his of the Mary-Eve-Woman idea?
    The area of Mary is an acid test. Mary is the domains where I ask myself if Eastern Orthodoxy AND Western Catholicism have BOTH got it so very very wrong then what else have they made a complete hash of?
    Christ’s divinity? Trinitarism? Rising from the dead? Sacraments? Creeds? Canons? The tonsure and date of Easter?
    Seriously though, I hope you perceive the dilemma…

  118. greg bourke says:

    What say ye of Tertullian?
    Is there an earlier exposition than his of the Mary-Eve-Woman idea?
    The area of Mary is an acid test. Mary is the domains where I ask myself if Eastern Orthodoxy AND Western Catholicism have BOTH got it so very very wrong then what else have they made a complete hash of?
    Christ’s divinity? Trinitarism? Rising from the dead? Sacraments? Creeds? Canons? The tonsure and date of Easter?
    Seriously though, I hope you perceive the dilemma…

  119. greg bourke says:

    What say ye of Tertullian?
    Is there an earlier exposition than his of the Mary-Eve-Woman idea?
    The area of Mary is an acid test. Mary is the domains where I ask myself if Eastern Orthodoxy AND Western Catholicism have BOTH got it so very very wrong then what else have they made a complete hash of?
    Christ’s divinity? Trinitarism? Rising from the dead? Sacraments? Creeds? Canons? The tonsure and date of Easter?
    Seriously though, I hope you perceive the dilemma…

  120. greg bourke says:

    What say ye of Tertullian?
    Is there an earlier exposition than his of the Mary-Eve-Woman idea?
    The area of Mary is an acid test. Mary is the domains where I ask myself if Eastern Orthodoxy AND Western Catholicism have BOTH got it so very very wrong then what else have they made a complete hash of?
    Christ’s divinity? Trinitarism? Rising from the dead? Sacraments? Creeds? Canons? The tonsure and date of Easter?
    Seriously though, I hope you perceive the dilemma…

  121. greg bourke says:

    As Peter John says above, I understand (from the ECF) that the connection of Mary-Eve is an argument to buttress Jesus Christ as the new Adam, really fully human, born of the Earth, flesh, and Son of Man.
    Remarks about Tertullian concern my long quote of him in 10.59am post.

  122. greg bourke says:

    As Peter John says above, I understand (from the ECF) that the connection of Mary-Eve is an argument to buttress Jesus Christ as the new Adam, really fully human, born of the Earth, flesh, and Son of Man.
    Remarks about Tertullian concern my long quote of him in 10.59am post.

  123. greg bourke says:

    As Peter John says above, I understand (from the ECF) that the connection of Mary-Eve is an argument to buttress Jesus Christ as the new Adam, really fully human, born of the Earth, flesh, and Son of Man.
    Remarks about Tertullian concern my long quote of him in 10.59am post.

  124. greg bourke says:

    As Peter John says above, I understand (from the ECF) that the connection of Mary-Eve is an argument to buttress Jesus Christ as the new Adam, really fully human, born of the Earth, flesh, and Son of Man.
    Remarks about Tertullian concern my long quote of him in 10.59am post.

  125. John H says:

    Greg,
    I understand your point about the dilemma that results from saying both EOs and RCs have got it wrong on Mary.
    But against that has to be set the fact that the most objectionable Marian dogmas – and it is doctrine with which we are principally concerned here – have been declared only in modern times and only by the Roman Catholic Church. The EOs reject this papal imposition of fresh dogma no less strongly than Lutherans and Protestants.
    So by rejecting such innovations we are not saying that the church as a whole has erred in doctrine for almost the whole of Christian history.
    As for the “New Eve” – was Justin Martyr earlier than Tertullian? Too lazy to look it up, but I think he may have been earlier with this idea. Ditto Irenaeus.
    Anyroad up, the New Eve may be an interesting piece of analogy, but the danger with analogies is always that they will take on a life of their own, over and beyond the point they were illustrating. The fact remains that the New Eve is not NT teaching, and to the extent it results in new/contradictory teachings it is to be rejected, however useful and illuminating a comparison it may be within its proper bounds.
    And I don’t see how the parallel holds anyway, or how it protects Christology – after all, Eve wasn’t Adam’s mother, and she came out of Adam rather than vice versa.

  126. John H says:

    Greg,
    I understand your point about the dilemma that results from saying both EOs and RCs have got it wrong on Mary.
    But against that has to be set the fact that the most objectionable Marian dogmas – and it is doctrine with which we are principally concerned here – have been declared only in modern times and only by the Roman Catholic Church. The EOs reject this papal imposition of fresh dogma no less strongly than Lutherans and Protestants.
    So by rejecting such innovations we are not saying that the church as a whole has erred in doctrine for almost the whole of Christian history.
    As for the “New Eve” – was Justin Martyr earlier than Tertullian? Too lazy to look it up, but I think he may have been earlier with this idea. Ditto Irenaeus.
    Anyroad up, the New Eve may be an interesting piece of analogy, but the danger with analogies is always that they will take on a life of their own, over and beyond the point they were illustrating. The fact remains that the New Eve is not NT teaching, and to the extent it results in new/contradictory teachings it is to be rejected, however useful and illuminating a comparison it may be within its proper bounds.
    And I don’t see how the parallel holds anyway, or how it protects Christology – after all, Eve wasn’t Adam’s mother, and she came out of Adam rather than vice versa.

  127. John H says:

    Greg,
    I understand your point about the dilemma that results from saying both EOs and RCs have got it wrong on Mary.
    But against that has to be set the fact that the most objectionable Marian dogmas – and it is doctrine with which we are principally concerned here – have been declared only in modern times and only by the Roman Catholic Church. The EOs reject this papal imposition of fresh dogma no less strongly than Lutherans and Protestants.
    So by rejecting such innovations we are not saying that the church as a whole has erred in doctrine for almost the whole of Christian history.
    As for the “New Eve” – was Justin Martyr earlier than Tertullian? Too lazy to look it up, but I think he may have been earlier with this idea. Ditto Irenaeus.
    Anyroad up, the New Eve may be an interesting piece of analogy, but the danger with analogies is always that they will take on a life of their own, over and beyond the point they were illustrating. The fact remains that the New Eve is not NT teaching, and to the extent it results in new/contradictory teachings it is to be rejected, however useful and illuminating a comparison it may be within its proper bounds.
    And I don’t see how the parallel holds anyway, or how it protects Christology – after all, Eve wasn’t Adam’s mother, and she came out of Adam rather than vice versa.

  128. John H says:

    Greg,
    I understand your point about the dilemma that results from saying both EOs and RCs have got it wrong on Mary.
    But against that has to be set the fact that the most objectionable Marian dogmas – and it is doctrine with which we are principally concerned here – have been declared only in modern times and only by the Roman Catholic Church. The EOs reject this papal imposition of fresh dogma no less strongly than Lutherans and Protestants.
    So by rejecting such innovations we are not saying that the church as a whole has erred in doctrine for almost the whole of Christian history.
    As for the “New Eve” – was Justin Martyr earlier than Tertullian? Too lazy to look it up, but I think he may have been earlier with this idea. Ditto Irenaeus.
    Anyroad up, the New Eve may be an interesting piece of analogy, but the danger with analogies is always that they will take on a life of their own, over and beyond the point they were illustrating. The fact remains that the New Eve is not NT teaching, and to the extent it results in new/contradictory teachings it is to be rejected, however useful and illuminating a comparison it may be within its proper bounds.
    And I don’t see how the parallel holds anyway, or how it protects Christology – after all, Eve wasn’t Adam’s mother, and she came out of Adam rather than vice versa.

  129. greg bourke says:

    This is where we need an EO expert to enter-stage-right and give some thoughts on, say, the Assumption. Is the Dormition (going to sleep) at all similar or not? What is meant when similar scenes are portrayed in Orthodox and Coptic art?
    Take a glance at this for example…

    ooh, interesting…
    Or maybe it’s only the artistic license?
    … and has anyone asked that incomparable time-capsule, the Ethiopian EO Christians of Aksum?

  130. greg bourke says:

    This is where we need an EO expert to enter-stage-right and give some thoughts on, say, the Assumption. Is the Dormition (going to sleep) at all similar or not? What is meant when similar scenes are portrayed in Orthodox and Coptic art?
    Take a glance at this for example…

    ooh, interesting…
    Or maybe it’s only the artistic license?
    … and has anyone asked that incomparable time-capsule, the Ethiopian EO Christians of Aksum?

  131. greg bourke says:

    This is where we need an EO expert to enter-stage-right and give some thoughts on, say, the Assumption. Is the Dormition (going to sleep) at all similar or not? What is meant when similar scenes are portrayed in Orthodox and Coptic art?
    Take a glance at this for example…

    ooh, interesting…
    Or maybe it’s only the artistic license?
    … and has anyone asked that incomparable time-capsule, the Ethiopian EO Christians of Aksum?

  132. greg bourke says:

    This is where we need an EO expert to enter-stage-right and give some thoughts on, say, the Assumption. Is the Dormition (going to sleep) at all similar or not? What is meant when similar scenes are portrayed in Orthodox and Coptic art?
    Take a glance at this for example…

    ooh, interesting…
    Or maybe it’s only the artistic license?
    … and has anyone asked that incomparable time-capsule, the Ethiopian EO Christians of Aksum?

  133. John H says:

    I don’t doubt that most EOs believe in the Assumption. The point is they have not made it a dogma of the Faith.
    Myself, I don’t know one way or the other whether Mary was assumed bodily into heaven or not. Scripture doesn’t say so one way or another.
    It would not surprise me at all if she was, however, given that Enoch and Elijah both were. And the lack of even claimed relics of Mary (other than, of course, dried milk :-/) is not insignificant.
    But this is just a question of what happened in history. Even if Mary is lying cold in a lost Ephesian grave, the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches had made no doctrinal error in this matter, until 1950 when suddenly it got turned into a doctrine.
    Similarly, if Mary was received bodily into heaven, then this doesn’t actual imply doctrinal error on the part of the Reformational churches, since (AFAIK) none of the Reformation confessions deny the Assumption as a matter of doctrine. The Lutheran Confessions certainly don’t, and frankly, if paragraph VIII.234.ii of the Seventh Helvetic Confession rules it out, then that’s scarcely my problem ;-).

  134. John H says:

    I don’t doubt that most EOs believe in the Assumption. The point is they have not made it a dogma of the Faith.
    Myself, I don’t know one way or the other whether Mary was assumed bodily into heaven or not. Scripture doesn’t say so one way or another.
    It would not surprise me at all if she was, however, given that Enoch and Elijah both were. And the lack of even claimed relics of Mary (other than, of course, dried milk :-/) is not insignificant.
    But this is just a question of what happened in history. Even if Mary is lying cold in a lost Ephesian grave, the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches had made no doctrinal error in this matter, until 1950 when suddenly it got turned into a doctrine.
    Similarly, if Mary was received bodily into heaven, then this doesn’t actual imply doctrinal error on the part of the Reformational churches, since (AFAIK) none of the Reformation confessions deny the Assumption as a matter of doctrine. The Lutheran Confessions certainly don’t, and frankly, if paragraph VIII.234.ii of the Seventh Helvetic Confession rules it out, then that’s scarcely my problem ;-).

  135. John H says:

    I don’t doubt that most EOs believe in the Assumption. The point is they have not made it a dogma of the Faith.
    Myself, I don’t know one way or the other whether Mary was assumed bodily into heaven or not. Scripture doesn’t say so one way or another.
    It would not surprise me at all if she was, however, given that Enoch and Elijah both were. And the lack of even claimed relics of Mary (other than, of course, dried milk :-/) is not insignificant.
    But this is just a question of what happened in history. Even if Mary is lying cold in a lost Ephesian grave, the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches had made no doctrinal error in this matter, until 1950 when suddenly it got turned into a doctrine.
    Similarly, if Mary was received bodily into heaven, then this doesn’t actual imply doctrinal error on the part of the Reformational churches, since (AFAIK) none of the Reformation confessions deny the Assumption as a matter of doctrine. The Lutheran Confessions certainly don’t, and frankly, if paragraph VIII.234.ii of the Seventh Helvetic Confession rules it out, then that’s scarcely my problem ;-).

  136. John H says:

    I don’t doubt that most EOs believe in the Assumption. The point is they have not made it a dogma of the Faith.
    Myself, I don’t know one way or the other whether Mary was assumed bodily into heaven or not. Scripture doesn’t say so one way or another.
    It would not surprise me at all if she was, however, given that Enoch and Elijah both were. And the lack of even claimed relics of Mary (other than, of course, dried milk :-/) is not insignificant.
    But this is just a question of what happened in history. Even if Mary is lying cold in a lost Ephesian grave, the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches had made no doctrinal error in this matter, until 1950 when suddenly it got turned into a doctrine.
    Similarly, if Mary was received bodily into heaven, then this doesn’t actual imply doctrinal error on the part of the Reformational churches, since (AFAIK) none of the Reformation confessions deny the Assumption as a matter of doctrine. The Lutheran Confessions certainly don’t, and frankly, if paragraph VIII.234.ii of the Seventh Helvetic Confession rules it out, then that’s scarcely my problem ;-).

  137. John H says:

    Just to comment on my own comment… there’s a parallel here with justification by faith. However much that may have been obscured over the centuries, it was never entirely lost (Canon of the Mass: “Do not weigh our merits, but pardon our offences”). The Roman Catholic Church only fell into doctrinal error on this at Trent.
    So the developments of the 16th Century concerning this doctrine can be read as follows: the Catholic Church of the West had obscured, but never wholly lost, this doctrine. But then in the 16th Century, part of the Catholic Church recovered this doctrine with fresh and vivid clarity, and ultimately this became the Evangelical Church (i.e. Lutheran). Another part of the Catholic Church condemned the doctrine and became the Roman Catholic Church. And lots of fragments in the middle (i.e. Switzerland) became, well, all sorts of things.

  138. John H says:

    Just to comment on my own comment… there’s a parallel here with justification by faith. However much that may have been obscured over the centuries, it was never entirely lost (Canon of the Mass: “Do not weigh our merits, but pardon our offences”). The Roman Catholic Church only fell into doctrinal error on this at Trent.
    So the developments of the 16th Century concerning this doctrine can be read as follows: the Catholic Church of the West had obscured, but never wholly lost, this doctrine. But then in the 16th Century, part of the Catholic Church recovered this doctrine with fresh and vivid clarity, and ultimately this became the Evangelical Church (i.e. Lutheran). Another part of the Catholic Church condemned the doctrine and became the Roman Catholic Church. And lots of fragments in the middle (i.e. Switzerland) became, well, all sorts of things.

  139. John H says:

    Just to comment on my own comment… there’s a parallel here with justification by faith. However much that may have been obscured over the centuries, it was never entirely lost (Canon of the Mass: “Do not weigh our merits, but pardon our offences”). The Roman Catholic Church only fell into doctrinal error on this at Trent.
    So the developments of the 16th Century concerning this doctrine can be read as follows: the Catholic Church of the West had obscured, but never wholly lost, this doctrine. But then in the 16th Century, part of the Catholic Church recovered this doctrine with fresh and vivid clarity, and ultimately this became the Evangelical Church (i.e. Lutheran). Another part of the Catholic Church condemned the doctrine and became the Roman Catholic Church. And lots of fragments in the middle (i.e. Switzerland) became, well, all sorts of things.

  140. John H says:

    Just to comment on my own comment… there’s a parallel here with justification by faith. However much that may have been obscured over the centuries, it was never entirely lost (Canon of the Mass: “Do not weigh our merits, but pardon our offences”). The Roman Catholic Church only fell into doctrinal error on this at Trent.
    So the developments of the 16th Century concerning this doctrine can be read as follows: the Catholic Church of the West had obscured, but never wholly lost, this doctrine. But then in the 16th Century, part of the Catholic Church recovered this doctrine with fresh and vivid clarity, and ultimately this became the Evangelical Church (i.e. Lutheran). Another part of the Catholic Church condemned the doctrine and became the Roman Catholic Church. And lots of fragments in the middle (i.e. Switzerland) became, well, all sorts of things.

  141. Atwood says:

    A) “Mary occupies a position analogous to the New Eve, just as Christ is the New Adam.”
    B) “Mary was conceived sinless and so never suffered the penalty of sin, which is death, and was received up into heaven bodily.”
    Maybe I’m slow, but I just don’t see how we get from A (which I believe is indeed a legitimate extrapolation from Scripture) to B.
    I have to say, also, that somehow just dismissing argument based on the actual facts of the case about Revelation 13 as “private opinion” does not impress me as the viewpoint of someone who actually cares about what the Bible (as opposed to the Fathers) says. You can argue like that if you like, but just don’t ask me then to accept the idea that “Catholics care just as much about the Bible as Evangelicals do.”
    And finally I find it hard to believe that Mary could give birth so miraculously that she did not lose her virginity, and yet still had labor pains, especially as such labor pains (like the death which she never underwent) are the penalty of original sin, which she never had. I think you are pulling my leg about what the Catholic church actually teaches here.

  142. Atwood says:

    A) “Mary occupies a position analogous to the New Eve, just as Christ is the New Adam.”
    B) “Mary was conceived sinless and so never suffered the penalty of sin, which is death, and was received up into heaven bodily.”
    Maybe I’m slow, but I just don’t see how we get from A (which I believe is indeed a legitimate extrapolation from Scripture) to B.
    I have to say, also, that somehow just dismissing argument based on the actual facts of the case about Revelation 13 as “private opinion” does not impress me as the viewpoint of someone who actually cares about what the Bible (as opposed to the Fathers) says. You can argue like that if you like, but just don’t ask me then to accept the idea that “Catholics care just as much about the Bible as Evangelicals do.”
    And finally I find it hard to believe that Mary could give birth so miraculously that she did not lose her virginity, and yet still had labor pains, especially as such labor pains (like the death which she never underwent) are the penalty of original sin, which she never had. I think you are pulling my leg about what the Catholic church actually teaches here.

  143. Atwood says:

    A) “Mary occupies a position analogous to the New Eve, just as Christ is the New Adam.”
    B) “Mary was conceived sinless and so never suffered the penalty of sin, which is death, and was received up into heaven bodily.”
    Maybe I’m slow, but I just don’t see how we get from A (which I believe is indeed a legitimate extrapolation from Scripture) to B.
    I have to say, also, that somehow just dismissing argument based on the actual facts of the case about Revelation 13 as “private opinion” does not impress me as the viewpoint of someone who actually cares about what the Bible (as opposed to the Fathers) says. You can argue like that if you like, but just don’t ask me then to accept the idea that “Catholics care just as much about the Bible as Evangelicals do.”
    And finally I find it hard to believe that Mary could give birth so miraculously that she did not lose her virginity, and yet still had labor pains, especially as such labor pains (like the death which she never underwent) are the penalty of original sin, which she never had. I think you are pulling my leg about what the Catholic church actually teaches here.

  144. Atwood says:

    A) “Mary occupies a position analogous to the New Eve, just as Christ is the New Adam.”
    B) “Mary was conceived sinless and so never suffered the penalty of sin, which is death, and was received up into heaven bodily.”
    Maybe I’m slow, but I just don’t see how we get from A (which I believe is indeed a legitimate extrapolation from Scripture) to B.
    I have to say, also, that somehow just dismissing argument based on the actual facts of the case about Revelation 13 as “private opinion” does not impress me as the viewpoint of someone who actually cares about what the Bible (as opposed to the Fathers) says. You can argue like that if you like, but just don’t ask me then to accept the idea that “Catholics care just as much about the Bible as Evangelicals do.”
    And finally I find it hard to believe that Mary could give birth so miraculously that she did not lose her virginity, and yet still had labor pains, especially as such labor pains (like the death which she never underwent) are the penalty of original sin, which she never had. I think you are pulling my leg about what the Catholic church actually teaches here.

  145. greg bourke says:

    Atwood.
    Re. Eve-Mary-Woman.
    Have a glance at the 10.59am post by Tertullian above. He was one person who easily made the connection when expounding at length on Chist-Adam-Son of Man.
    John H thinks the idea may appear earlier than Tertullian (b 160), perhaps Justin Martry, Irenaeus of Lyon, or Beckham of Madrid.

  146. greg bourke says:

    Atwood.
    Re. Eve-Mary-Woman.
    Have a glance at the 10.59am post by Tertullian above. He was one person who easily made the connection when expounding at length on Chist-Adam-Son of Man.
    John H thinks the idea may appear earlier than Tertullian (b 160), perhaps Justin Martry, Irenaeus of Lyon, or Beckham of Madrid.

  147. greg bourke says:

    Atwood.
    Re. Eve-Mary-Woman.
    Have a glance at the 10.59am post by Tertullian above. He was one person who easily made the connection when expounding at length on Chist-Adam-Son of Man.
    John H thinks the idea may appear earlier than Tertullian (b 160), perhaps Justin Martry, Irenaeus of Lyon, or Beckham of Madrid.

  148. greg bourke says:

    Atwood.
    Re. Eve-Mary-Woman.
    Have a glance at the 10.59am post by Tertullian above. He was one person who easily made the connection when expounding at length on Chist-Adam-Son of Man.
    John H thinks the idea may appear earlier than Tertullian (b 160), perhaps Justin Martry, Irenaeus of Lyon, or Beckham of Madrid.

  149. Therese Z says:

    Some time up the post, there is a comment about whether Mary had labor pains. Whether or not she did is not salvific knowledge, it’s an interesting “Angels? meet pin!” discussion.
    The Immaculate Conception of Mary means that she was saved in advance of her conception, evidence being that she also refers to God as her Savior. All including her (a regular human being made full of grace by this Immaculate Conception), are in need of a Savior.
    Re all the Marian dogmas, and all dogmatic teaching: I hope I’m not repeating myself from an earlier post, but consider the analogy of the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment. The Government is being forced to consider defining by Constitutional amendment that marriage is between one man and one woman. We know that this is present and past and ancient knowledge (let’s skip over old polygamous societies, which at least has the biology right).
    If the FMA must be passed to protect marriage, does this mean that on that day will marriage suddenly become the union of a man and a woman? No, we know that it doesn’t create anything new, it defines what has been known from of old.
    Maybe the last dogma was named in 1950, but you can go back and look at surviving artwork and poetry on the subject from 500 years before, and writings and prayers from centuries and centuries before that. The Pope didn’t get up, brush his teeth, run a comb through his hair, and suddenly decide to promulgate something new.

  150. Therese Z says:

    Some time up the post, there is a comment about whether Mary had labor pains. Whether or not she did is not salvific knowledge, it’s an interesting “Angels? meet pin!” discussion.
    The Immaculate Conception of Mary means that she was saved in advance of her conception, evidence being that she also refers to God as her Savior. All including her (a regular human being made full of grace by this Immaculate Conception), are in need of a Savior.
    Re all the Marian dogmas, and all dogmatic teaching: I hope I’m not repeating myself from an earlier post, but consider the analogy of the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment. The Government is being forced to consider defining by Constitutional amendment that marriage is between one man and one woman. We know that this is present and past and ancient knowledge (let’s skip over old polygamous societies, which at least has the biology right).
    If the FMA must be passed to protect marriage, does this mean that on that day will marriage suddenly become the union of a man and a woman? No, we know that it doesn’t create anything new, it defines what has been known from of old.
    Maybe the last dogma was named in 1950, but you can go back and look at surviving artwork and poetry on the subject from 500 years before, and writings and prayers from centuries and centuries before that. The Pope didn’t get up, brush his teeth, run a comb through his hair, and suddenly decide to promulgate something new.

  151. Therese Z says:

    Some time up the post, there is a comment about whether Mary had labor pains. Whether or not she did is not salvific knowledge, it’s an interesting “Angels? meet pin!” discussion.
    The Immaculate Conception of Mary means that she was saved in advance of her conception, evidence being that she also refers to God as her Savior. All including her (a regular human being made full of grace by this Immaculate Conception), are in need of a Savior.
    Re all the Marian dogmas, and all dogmatic teaching: I hope I’m not repeating myself from an earlier post, but consider the analogy of the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment. The Government is being forced to consider defining by Constitutional amendment that marriage is between one man and one woman. We know that this is present and past and ancient knowledge (let’s skip over old polygamous societies, which at least has the biology right).
    If the FMA must be passed to protect marriage, does this mean that on that day will marriage suddenly become the union of a man and a woman? No, we know that it doesn’t create anything new, it defines what has been known from of old.
    Maybe the last dogma was named in 1950, but you can go back and look at surviving artwork and poetry on the subject from 500 years before, and writings and prayers from centuries and centuries before that. The Pope didn’t get up, brush his teeth, run a comb through his hair, and suddenly decide to promulgate something new.

  152. Therese Z says:

    Some time up the post, there is a comment about whether Mary had labor pains. Whether or not she did is not salvific knowledge, it’s an interesting “Angels? meet pin!” discussion.
    The Immaculate Conception of Mary means that she was saved in advance of her conception, evidence being that she also refers to God as her Savior. All including her (a regular human being made full of grace by this Immaculate Conception), are in need of a Savior.
    Re all the Marian dogmas, and all dogmatic teaching: I hope I’m not repeating myself from an earlier post, but consider the analogy of the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment. The Government is being forced to consider defining by Constitutional amendment that marriage is between one man and one woman. We know that this is present and past and ancient knowledge (let’s skip over old polygamous societies, which at least has the biology right).
    If the FMA must be passed to protect marriage, does this mean that on that day will marriage suddenly become the union of a man and a woman? No, we know that it doesn’t create anything new, it defines what has been known from of old.
    Maybe the last dogma was named in 1950, but you can go back and look at surviving artwork and poetry on the subject from 500 years before, and writings and prayers from centuries and centuries before that. The Pope didn’t get up, brush his teeth, run a comb through his hair, and suddenly decide to promulgate something new.

  153. greg bourke says:


    A Coptic “Assumption” dating from before the Internet and some scholars insist from even before television!
    As Theresa suggests and as I now explicitly say, “The Assumption” has always been linked to “human dignity” and our ultimate destination. Mary is a type for the Church and all humanity.
    As Theresa says, passing the USA Federal Marriage Amendment will not suddenly fabricate the idea of man-woman partnerships from thin air and enforce a novelty.
    Likewise, I argue, it is no accident that “The Assumption” was emphasised following World War 2 and at the opening of the Cold War for the purpose of reminding us of something always known but now forgotten.

  154. greg bourke says:


    A Coptic “Assumption” dating from before the Internet and some scholars insist from even before television!
    As Theresa suggests and as I now explicitly say, “The Assumption” has always been linked to “human dignity” and our ultimate destination. Mary is a type for the Church and all humanity.
    As Theresa says, passing the USA Federal Marriage Amendment will not suddenly fabricate the idea of man-woman partnerships from thin air and enforce a novelty.
    Likewise, I argue, it is no accident that “The Assumption” was emphasised following World War 2 and at the opening of the Cold War for the purpose of reminding us of something always known but now forgotten.

  155. greg bourke says:


    A Coptic “Assumption” dating from before the Internet and some scholars insist from even before television!
    As Theresa suggests and as I now explicitly say, “The Assumption” has always been linked to “human dignity” and our ultimate destination. Mary is a type for the Church and all humanity.
    As Theresa says, passing the USA Federal Marriage Amendment will not suddenly fabricate the idea of man-woman partnerships from thin air and enforce a novelty.
    Likewise, I argue, it is no accident that “The Assumption” was emphasised following World War 2 and at the opening of the Cold War for the purpose of reminding us of something always known but now forgotten.

  156. greg bourke says:


    A Coptic “Assumption” dating from before the Internet and some scholars insist from even before television!
    As Theresa suggests and as I now explicitly say, “The Assumption” has always been linked to “human dignity” and our ultimate destination. Mary is a type for the Church and all humanity.
    As Theresa says, passing the USA Federal Marriage Amendment will not suddenly fabricate the idea of man-woman partnerships from thin air and enforce a novelty.
    Likewise, I argue, it is no accident that “The Assumption” was emphasised following World War 2 and at the opening of the Cold War for the purpose of reminding us of something always known but now forgotten.

  157. John H says:

    Greg,
    Like I said on the other thread where you posted that picture, and somewhere above – it may have been widely, indeed almost universally, believed among Christians that Mary was assumed into heaven, just as it is widely believed that St Peter was crucified upside-down at Rome, for example.
    But to turn that into a doctrine that has (in principle) to be believed as a matter of salvation is not the same thing as simply encouraging people to maintain a historical belief.
    I have no doubt that St Peter was crucified in Rome, but would be appalled at being told I had to believe it as a matter of saving doctrine. That’s the issue.

  158. John H says:

    Greg,
    Like I said on the other thread where you posted that picture, and somewhere above – it may have been widely, indeed almost universally, believed among Christians that Mary was assumed into heaven, just as it is widely believed that St Peter was crucified upside-down at Rome, for example.
    But to turn that into a doctrine that has (in principle) to be believed as a matter of salvation is not the same thing as simply encouraging people to maintain a historical belief.
    I have no doubt that St Peter was crucified in Rome, but would be appalled at being told I had to believe it as a matter of saving doctrine. That’s the issue.

  159. John H says:

    Greg,
    Like I said on the other thread where you posted that picture, and somewhere above – it may have been widely, indeed almost universally, believed among Christians that Mary was assumed into heaven, just as it is widely believed that St Peter was crucified upside-down at Rome, for example.
    But to turn that into a doctrine that has (in principle) to be believed as a matter of salvation is not the same thing as simply encouraging people to maintain a historical belief.
    I have no doubt that St Peter was crucified in Rome, but would be appalled at being told I had to believe it as a matter of saving doctrine. That’s the issue.

  160. John H says:

    Greg,
    Like I said on the other thread where you posted that picture, and somewhere above – it may have been widely, indeed almost universally, believed among Christians that Mary was assumed into heaven, just as it is widely believed that St Peter was crucified upside-down at Rome, for example.
    But to turn that into a doctrine that has (in principle) to be believed as a matter of salvation is not the same thing as simply encouraging people to maintain a historical belief.
    I have no doubt that St Peter was crucified in Rome, but would be appalled at being told I had to believe it as a matter of saving doctrine. That’s the issue.

  161. greg bourke says:

    Still, it’s a nice picture. I like pictures.

  162. greg bourke says:

    Still, it’s a nice picture. I like pictures.

  163. greg bourke says:

    Still, it’s a nice picture. I like pictures.

  164. greg bourke says:

    Still, it’s a nice picture. I like pictures.

  165. Peter John says:

    Atwood,
    >>>I have to say, also, that somehow just dismissing argument based on the actual facts of the case about Revelation 13 as “private opinion” does not impress me as the viewpoint of someone who actually cares about what the Bible (as opposed to the Fathers) says. You can argue like that if you like, but just don’t ask me then to accept the idea that “Catholics care just as much about the Bible as Evangelicals do.”
    You have a point here. Sorry.
    >>>And finally I find it hard to believe that Mary could give birth so miraculously that she did not lose her virginity, and yet still had labor pains, especially as such labor pains (like the death which she never underwent) are the penalty of original sin, which she never had. I think you are pulling my leg about what the Catholic church actually teaches here.
    But Our Lord was not immune from pain, suffering, and death (all resulting from the fall of our first parents), why would it be inconsistant to allow that the Blessed Virgin also was not immune from the same, even if born without the stain of original sin. I think the Protestant and Catholic notions of original sin are quite different as well, which would make an interesting discussion sometime.

  166. Peter John says:

    Atwood,
    >>>I have to say, also, that somehow just dismissing argument based on the actual facts of the case about Revelation 13 as “private opinion” does not impress me as the viewpoint of someone who actually cares about what the Bible (as opposed to the Fathers) says. You can argue like that if you like, but just don’t ask me then to accept the idea that “Catholics care just as much about the Bible as Evangelicals do.”
    You have a point here. Sorry.
    >>>And finally I find it hard to believe that Mary could give birth so miraculously that she did not lose her virginity, and yet still had labor pains, especially as such labor pains (like the death which she never underwent) are the penalty of original sin, which she never had. I think you are pulling my leg about what the Catholic church actually teaches here.
    But Our Lord was not immune from pain, suffering, and death (all resulting from the fall of our first parents), why would it be inconsistant to allow that the Blessed Virgin also was not immune from the same, even if born without the stain of original sin. I think the Protestant and Catholic notions of original sin are quite different as well, which would make an interesting discussion sometime.

  167. Peter John says:

    Atwood,
    >>>I have to say, also, that somehow just dismissing argument based on the actual facts of the case about Revelation 13 as “private opinion” does not impress me as the viewpoint of someone who actually cares about what the Bible (as opposed to the Fathers) says. You can argue like that if you like, but just don’t ask me then to accept the idea that “Catholics care just as much about the Bible as Evangelicals do.”
    You have a point here. Sorry.
    >>>And finally I find it hard to believe that Mary could give birth so miraculously that she did not lose her virginity, and yet still had labor pains, especially as such labor pains (like the death which she never underwent) are the penalty of original sin, which she never had. I think you are pulling my leg about what the Catholic church actually teaches here.
    But Our Lord was not immune from pain, suffering, and death (all resulting from the fall of our first parents), why would it be inconsistant to allow that the Blessed Virgin also was not immune from the same, even if born without the stain of original sin. I think the Protestant and Catholic notions of original sin are quite different as well, which would make an interesting discussion sometime.

  168. Peter John says:

    Atwood,
    >>>I have to say, also, that somehow just dismissing argument based on the actual facts of the case about Revelation 13 as “private opinion” does not impress me as the viewpoint of someone who actually cares about what the Bible (as opposed to the Fathers) says. You can argue like that if you like, but just don’t ask me then to accept the idea that “Catholics care just as much about the Bible as Evangelicals do.”
    You have a point here. Sorry.
    >>>And finally I find it hard to believe that Mary could give birth so miraculously that she did not lose her virginity, and yet still had labor pains, especially as such labor pains (like the death which she never underwent) are the penalty of original sin, which she never had. I think you are pulling my leg about what the Catholic church actually teaches here.
    But Our Lord was not immune from pain, suffering, and death (all resulting from the fall of our first parents), why would it be inconsistant to allow that the Blessed Virgin also was not immune from the same, even if born without the stain of original sin. I think the Protestant and Catholic notions of original sin are quite different as well, which would make an interesting discussion sometime.

  169. Peter John says:

    >>>”Mary was conceived sinless and so never suffered the penalty of sin, which is death, and was received up into heaven bodily.”
    The dogma of the Assumption does not state that Mary never suffered death (it leaves it open). I think the majority of Catholic scholars believed she did die, and then was assummed. I believe this was the case myself.

  170. Peter John says:

    >>>”Mary was conceived sinless and so never suffered the penalty of sin, which is death, and was received up into heaven bodily.”
    The dogma of the Assumption does not state that Mary never suffered death (it leaves it open). I think the majority of Catholic scholars believed she did die, and then was assummed. I believe this was the case myself.

  171. Peter John says:

    >>>”Mary was conceived sinless and so never suffered the penalty of sin, which is death, and was received up into heaven bodily.”
    The dogma of the Assumption does not state that Mary never suffered death (it leaves it open). I think the majority of Catholic scholars believed she did die, and then was assummed. I believe this was the case myself.

  172. Peter John says:

    >>>”Mary was conceived sinless and so never suffered the penalty of sin, which is death, and was received up into heaven bodily.”
    The dogma of the Assumption does not state that Mary never suffered death (it leaves it open). I think the majority of Catholic scholars believed she did die, and then was assummed. I believe this was the case myself.

  173. Peter John says:

    >>>But to turn that into a doctrine that has (in principle) to be believed as a matter of salvation is not the same thing as simply encouraging people to maintain a historical belief. I have no doubt that St Peter was crucified in Rome, but would be appalled at being told I had to believe it as a matter of saving doctrine. That’s the issue.
    But Catholics don’t view the Assumptions as simply a bare historical fact. Whereas Peter’s martyrdom has no direct impact on the doctrine of the Faith, the Assumption intersects and bolsters other dogmas.
    For lack of space and time, I’ll refer you to a page that deals generally with the Marian dogmas. Probably a fifteen minute read and should give you a general idea where Catholics are coming from.
    http://www.christendom-awake.org/pages/marian/intromary2.htm

  174. Peter John says:

    >>>But to turn that into a doctrine that has (in principle) to be believed as a matter of salvation is not the same thing as simply encouraging people to maintain a historical belief. I have no doubt that St Peter was crucified in Rome, but would be appalled at being told I had to believe it as a matter of saving doctrine. That’s the issue.
    But Catholics don’t view the Assumptions as simply a bare historical fact. Whereas Peter’s martyrdom has no direct impact on the doctrine of the Faith, the Assumption intersects and bolsters other dogmas.
    For lack of space and time, I’ll refer you to a page that deals generally with the Marian dogmas. Probably a fifteen minute read and should give you a general idea where Catholics are coming from.
    http://www.christendom-awake.org/pages/marian/intromary2.htm

  175. Peter John says:

    >>>But to turn that into a doctrine that has (in principle) to be believed as a matter of salvation is not the same thing as simply encouraging people to maintain a historical belief. I have no doubt that St Peter was crucified in Rome, but would be appalled at being told I had to believe it as a matter of saving doctrine. That’s the issue.
    But Catholics don’t view the Assumptions as simply a bare historical fact. Whereas Peter’s martyrdom has no direct impact on the doctrine of the Faith, the Assumption intersects and bolsters other dogmas.
    For lack of space and time, I’ll refer you to a page that deals generally with the Marian dogmas. Probably a fifteen minute read and should give you a general idea where Catholics are coming from.
    http://www.christendom-awake.org/pages/marian/intromary2.htm

  176. Peter John says:

    >>>But to turn that into a doctrine that has (in principle) to be believed as a matter of salvation is not the same thing as simply encouraging people to maintain a historical belief. I have no doubt that St Peter was crucified in Rome, but would be appalled at being told I had to believe it as a matter of saving doctrine. That’s the issue.
    But Catholics don’t view the Assumptions as simply a bare historical fact. Whereas Peter’s martyrdom has no direct impact on the doctrine of the Faith, the Assumption intersects and bolsters other dogmas.
    For lack of space and time, I’ll refer you to a page that deals generally with the Marian dogmas. Probably a fifteen minute read and should give you a general idea where Catholics are coming from.
    http://www.christendom-awake.org/pages/marian/intromary2.htm

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