Evangelicals and the Mother of God


by Timothy George

It is time for evangelicals to recover a fully biblical appreciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and her role in the history of salvation-and to do so precisely as evangelicals. The question, of course, is how to do that. Can the evangelical reengagement with the wider Christian tradition include a place for Mary? Can we, without forsaking any of the evangelical essentials, including the great solas of the Reformation, echo Elizabeth’s acclamation, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!” (Luke 1:42), or resonate with the Spirit-filled maid of the Magnificat: “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on, all generations will call me blessed” (Luke 1:46-48)?..

So why should evangelicals participate in and celebrate the Marian moment that seems to be upon us? The answer is: Precisely because they are evangelicals, that is, gospel people and Bible people. Mary has a pivotal and irreducible place in the Bible, and evangelicals must reclaim this aspect of biblical teaching if we are to be faithful to the whole counsel of God. When it comes to the gospel, Mary cannot be shunted aside or relegated to the affectionate obscurity of the annual Christmas pageant. In the New Testament, she is not only the mother of the redeemer but also the first one to whom the gospel was proclaimed and, in turn, the first one to proclaim it to others. Mary is named a “herald” of God’s good news. We cannot ignore the messenger, because the message she tells is about the salvation of the world.


If Evangelicals rediscover the Virgin Mary, she will bring them closer to Christ which is to say she will bring them closer the Christ’s Church - the Catholic Church.

They are right to stay away from Mary if they want to stay in schism.


Timothy George
Dean and Professor of Divinity
A.B., University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
M.Div., Harvard Divinity School
Th.D., Harvard University

Timothy George is the founding dean of Beeson Divinity School and has been at Beeson since its inception in 1988. He teaches church history, historical theology, and theology of the Reformers. He is currently serving as executive editor for Christianity Today along with serving on the editorial advisory boards of The Harvard Theological Review, Christian History, and Books & Culture. He has served on the Board of Directors of Lifeway Christian Resources (formerly the Baptist Sunday School Board) of the Southern Baptist Convention. A prolific author, he has written more than 20 books and regularly contributes to scholarly journals. His textbook, Theology of the Reformers, is the standard textbook in many schools and seminaries on reformation theology. It has now been translated into several languages. He has been active in the evangelical dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church in addition to being a highly sought after preacher and conference speaker. As founding dean, George has been instrumental in shaping the character and mission of Beeson Divinity School. An ordained minister, he has pastored churches in Tennessee, Alabama, and Massachusetts. He and his wife, Denise, have two children, Christian and Alyce. | S O U R C E |


So true. These things don’t just happen by coincidence. The same spirit that started the Protestant revolt is the is also the one that harbors such a disdain for Mary.


[quote=exoflare]So true. These things don’t just happen by coincidence. The same spirit that started the Protestant revolt is the is also the one that harbors such a disdain for Mary.

Martin Luther maintained a Marian Devotion after he left the Catholic Church. I think it’s a positive thing that another ecclesial community, that obviously searches for truth, sees and expresses the import of Mary in the economy of salvation.


Yes, but Satan works gradually… Martin Luther did have a devotion to Mary, but we know old habits die hard. As his followers carried on the movement over time and it picked up steam, you notice a lot of the things that gradually were dropped were some of the most important aids in our spiritual journey: most notably the sacraments and devotion to Mary. Over time, and apart from the anchor of the Church, it became easier for Satan to manipulate their beliefs generation by generation.


So Im just wondering what you would like us to do. Im asking seriously. What can us evangelicals do that would be considered ok by catholics or the CC?:smiley:


Don’t project guilt on me, I’m just telling it like it is. Evangelicals are not a bad people in any way, but most have been deprived of a good portion of the truth. Without the anchor of the Church, like I said, the simple fact is that it makes them easier prey for Satan’s tactics of deception.


All I want for anyone (including Evangelicals) to do is to sincerely seek truth. And I know many who are, but for others pride or stubbornness gets in the way and keeps them retaining flawed beliefs even in the face of mounds of evidence to the contrary.

Of course, it takes God’s grace to conquer attitudes like that. That’s why Satan does his very best to separate Christians from all the primary means Jesus established to provide them with that grace.


Im sorry I really want to know what catholics think we have to do to be better at honoring Mary. I have no hidden agendas. Im sorry if it looked like I was projecting guilt.:o UGG It is so hard to communicate over the internet.:frowning:
You didnt asnwer my question:(


I did, sorry. Look at the post after that one.


Ah yes I answered back before this was posted.:slight_smile: I do sincerely seek the truth every day. I try to not have those attitudes that you are talking about, but I also guard myself against false doctrines as I sure you do as well.:smiley: So I guess I am doing at least what you want me to do.:thumbsup:


I could not agree with more.


How would Catholics like to see Evangelics change about Mary? What sort of thing would Catholics like to see incorporated into Protestant services or daily lives that would foster Marian devotion. As much as I’ve studied, the concept of Marian devotion still seems alien and unnatural to me, but I suppose that’s not what I’m used to.


Yes, and that’s actually the impression I’ve had of you as well. I wasn’t referring to specific people as being stubborn in holding on to erroneous beliefs but I just see it all the time. I think it’s because those types of people tend to be the most vocal…


Well for starters? Make a formal declaration every Sunday that she is “Blessed” not just diuring Advent.


Unless she is not blessed, but rather “highly favored”? :rolleyes:



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