Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?

Still bugging me. I'm listening to the Church History podcast of Reformed Theological Seminary, and we've gotten to Nestorius and the Council of Ephesus. It seems that the "proper" interpretation of the events is that Nestorius was a heretic, because he believed in two persons in Christ, which we know because he opposed the term Theotokos (literally 'God-bearer', but translated 'Mother of God') used for Mary.

Let's get this straight: Mary is not Theotokos.

"But then you deny Christ's divinity!"

No. Calling Mary Theotokos makes her divine. I don't care how many Church Fathers used that term and had in the back of their mind the proper understanding of Mary as just a woman and of Jesus as the God-man. The blasphemy is written in the words up front. For Mary to "bear" God, she has to be the source of the material God is made out of, she has to feed God with spiritual food (since God is spirit) while nurturing Him in her spiritual womb or in her spiritual arms. Mother, Father, Sister, Brother, are all relationships of like kinds. They can only be used in that context. To say that "Mary is the Mother of God only means Jesus is simultaneously fully God and fully man," breaks this proper usage of the term. Only God could be the Mother of God.

You have a war of conundra here. One side says that to deny that Mary is the Mother of God logically leads to a denial of the Hypostatic union of divine and human natures in the one person of Christ. My side says that to affirm that Mary is the Mother of God logically (and with fewer logical steps) leads to the blasphemy that Mary is God.

By the way, I completely affirm the hypostatic union of divinity and humanity in the one person of Christ.

Here's what really bugs me. Why is there a 'term' in the first place? Since when did she come on the scene? Why is she that important that we should have epic arguments of her title? Why the pressure? Could it be that Semiramis/Aphrodite/Diana of the Ephesians/Ashtoreth/Artemis is trying to rear her ugly head and usurp the position that properly belongs to God?

17 comments:

Jonathan said...

But none of the Fathers used the term "God-bearer" of Mary to attribute to her equal status with God. If anyone used the term in this sense in the early church, they would join with you in declaring the term and whoever used it in this sense blasphemous.

The term "Theotokos" is important. If Christ was truly God, and Mary bore him, then Mary bore God in human flesh. To deny this really is to deny the orthodox doctrine of the hypostatic union, which states that the person Jesus Christ consists of the divine nature *united* with human nature in one person, which person was born of a historical woman, whose name was Mary. Thus, that woman gave birth to God, not in the sense that the divine nature has its origin with her, but in the sense that the eternal Logos was united to human flesh and entered into humanity through her womb.

This is why the term Theotokos was so important to the Fathers, because it ensured belief in a proper conception of the union of the two natures in one real, historical person. Not just two natures merely associated in some sort of moral or outward union, but rather in a real, substantial union.

The man Jesus Christ who was born of a virgin is God. This is the issue. To reject this conception of the union is to run into the error of Nestorius. You're free to do so, of course, but I'd think twice before exalting my own opinions above the time tested understanding of the church (East and West: Roman, Greek, and Protestant) through the ages.

Grace and Peace,

Jonathan Bonomo

John said...

Bonomo>>But none of the Fathers used the term "God-bearer" of Mary to attribute to her equal status with God. If anyone used the term in this sense in the early church, they would join with you in declaring the term and whoever used it in this sense blasphemous.>>
It doesn't matter to me how they used the term. The term itself, on its surface, is blasphemous.
Think of it. People are used to hearing the term “Son of God”. Then they hear “Mother of God” and what are they to think? The former title refers to a divine being, so the natural conclusion upon hearing the latter is to think that somehow Mary deserves special attention, if not worship. Now you have to do a little backpedaling to disabuse people of the notion that Mary is divine.

And why is there a term, or a title, at all, for Mary? Why the undue attention? I submit that there was pagan pressure from the enemy of truth to get people to accept the Mother Goddess into their imaginations. This is evidenced by the existence of the Collyridians.

Bonomo>>The term "Theotokos" is important. If Christ was truly God, and Mary bore him,>>
It all hinges on what you mean by the verb "bore". Mary bore the humanity of Jesus, not His divinity. Only God could do that. Indeed, according to the creed of Nicea, God begets God. Granted, 'to beget' is the masculine counterpart of the feminine 'to bear', but the point is the same. You can say this without separating the two natures in the one person of Christ, but then the orthodox position has always been one of distinction without separation.

Bonomo>>then Mary bore God in human flesh.>>
What does this mean? Does it mean that a human divinely bore divinity? Mary had no divine capacity to do so. She only *humanly* bore divinity. Unfortunately you can't sum this up in a neat little term like Theotokos.

Bonomo>>To deny this really is to deny the orthodox doctrine of the hypostatic union, which states that the person Jesus Christ consists of the divine nature *united* with human nature in one person, which person was born of a historical woman, whose name was Mary. >>
What's wrong with the Bible formulation, "Born of woman"? The Scriptures never use a term for Mary (other than ‘woman’), much less "God-bearer".

Bonomo>>This is why the term Theotokos was so important to the Fathers, because it ensured belief in a proper conception of the union of the two natures in one real, historical person. Not just two natures merely associated in some sort of moral or outward union, but rather in a real, substantial union.>>
At the price of potential blasphemy, and a whole lot of backpedaling.

Bonomo>>The man Jesus Christ who was born of a virgin is God. This is the issue.>>
It’s not the only issue. The other issue is bringing someone else (i.e., Mary) into the picture. What’s behind that?

Bonomo>>To reject this conception of the union is to run into the error of Nestorius.>>
Two things. First, there is good evidence that Nestorius was not a “Nestorian.” According to Professor Frank James of Reformed Theological Seminary (and many others), Nestorius’s later writing, “The Bazaar of Heraclides” presents an orthodox outlook. Second, rejection of the application of the term Theotokos does not imply rejection of the hypostatic union of divine and human in the one person of Christ. Jesus Christ is the God-man, whose humanity and divinity are really and substantially inseparably united. Mary humanly bore the God-man. She is not the Mother of God, for that would make her divine. (Incidentally, I understand ‘Mother of God’ to be a correct English term for Theotokos. Also incidentally, I understand the Eastern Orthodox idea of theosis, that all Christians become divine. I’m not referring to that.)
Bonomo>>You're free to do so, of course, but I'd think twice before exalting my own opinions above the time tested understanding of the church (East and West: Roman, Greek, and Protestant) through the ages.>>
I always think carefully about such things. It’s best to stay Biblical, even if the greats fail to do so at times. I still acknowledge my enormous debt to them.

Bonomo>>Grace and Peace, Jonathan Bonomo>>
Right back atcha!

John Warren

Jonathan said...

John,

First, you are right to say that Nestorius may very well not have been a "Nestorian," but the fact remains that the term "Nestorianism" has been used for many centuries to describe a specific heresy regarding the hypostatic union.

Second, here is the real issue: you state: "Mary bore the humanity of Jesus, not His divinity." This statement, simply put, is Nestorianism in a nutshell. It is exactly this idea which the Fathers argued against when they were arguing against "the heresy of Nestorius" (as they called it). You have here separated the two natures of Christ, saying that what was born of Mary was not God, but man as separate from God. Under this conception, the divine and human are only united in Christ by way of a moral, or outward, union--*not* a *hypostatic* union.

I'm glad to see that you have equivocated (equivocations toward more orthodox conceptions are usually a good thing!) on this later, stating that "Jesus Christ is the God-man, whose humanity and divinity are really and substantially inseparably united." But, please tell me, if the humanity and divinity are truly "really and substantially inseparably united," then was Mary the mother of a human being, or of God? The answer the orthodox have always given to this mysterious question is, "Yes." And the reason this has always been the answer is precisely *because* the two natures are inseparably united in one person.

If the natures are hypostatically united, Mary cannot be said to have born human nature separate from the divine nature. This is the issue. It was a person who was born of Mary, not just a nature. This person is divine as well as human. Thus, Mary is the mother of a being who can truly, without qualification, be referred to as God.

I understand your quip that this seems to make her the origin of the divine essence, but this has never been and is not now the way the term is used or understood (by the orthodox or the unorthodox). So, your quip here is really against thin air, because no one has ever believed what you are arguing against, and no rationally thinking person has ever thought that the orthodox mean what you are arguing against in their use of the term you are arguing against.

So, you are quilty of one of two things: either of 1. Wanting to, of your own authority, alter a term which has had an established theological meaning in the Church for at least 1,600 years, or 2. you truly are a Nestorian, as that label has been historically understood, which is that: the union of the two natures in Christ is only moral and outward, and not hypostatic (and it is not enough to say the term "hypostatic"--you must also mean what the term has historically meant: the two natures being so united in one person as to be, from the moment of the incarnation, utterly inseparable, so that he who was born of a woman may be referred to without qualification as God).

Perhaps you are guilty of both of these thing. I'm not sure, because what you've written here is too inconsistent for me to really get a handle on what is conditioning your thought.

I'd encourage you to study the christological controversies of the fourth and fifth century more. You may wind up disagreeing with the orthodox position, but at least you would know where exactly your own position really stands with reference to these historic conflicts.

If you haven't yet read them, I'd commend to you by way of introduction: vol. 1 of Jaroslav Pelikan's "The Christian Tradition," J.N.D. Kelly's "Early Christian Doctrines," and especially Leo Donald Davis' "The First Seven Ecumenical Councils." Also, if you're really adventurous, Hans Boersma's article in the WTJ, vol. 54, 1992, pp. 47-93 entitled "The Chalcedonian Definition: Its Soteriological Implications" is quite good.

Peace!

Jonathan

John said...

You're not listening to me. Right before the sentence "Mary bore the humanity of Jesus, not His divinity," I wrote the sentence,
"It all hinges on what you mean by the verb "bore"." And later I wrote, "She only *humanly* bore divinity." How is this separating the two natures of Christ?

Later you say I equivocated. Careful, now: the first definition in Merriam-Webster is to be unclear with intent to deceive.

You end your comment with 'Peace!', yet you use language like, "guilty", "equivocation", and you accuse me of being inconsisent, when I'm not. You say I'm guilty either of being a Nestorian, or of wanting, of my own authority, to change an accepted term. I want nothing of my own authority. My ultimate authority is Scipture (alone). This term has no authority from Scriptures and is borderline blasphemy, so I reject it. If there's any waffling I'm doing, it's in whether I deem the term blasphemous or only potentially blasphemous.

Perhaps you can understand my point if I say that I almost completely agree with you statement, "Thus, Mary is the mother of a being who can truly, without qualification, be referred to as God." I would amend it to, "Thus, Mary is the *physical* mother of a being who can truly, without qualification, be referred to as God." This being has two natures perfectly united in a real inseparable union, not an outward union or association. And then I would leave it at that, and *not* go on to conclude that therefore I can call her Mother of God. She never spiritually bore God.

You never answered my question as to why Mary should have a title at all. Why should she have such attention on her that she deserves a title, much less such an equivocal, charged one?

Jonathan said...

John,

I apologize if the strength of my language offended you. I assure you, this was not the intention. I only meant the term equivocation in the sense that you went back on the apparent meaning of something stated previously.

As for the "title" Theotokos, the reason the Fathers used this term is similar to the reason they used terms not found in Scripture to describe the biblical doctrine of the Trinity (most significantly, homoousios); that is, the term gets to the heart of the matter better than any other.

This issue has to do specifically with the incarnation, an event in which Mary was intimately (even if passively) invlolved. Thus, the incarnation has to do with Jesus' relation to Mary, and accordingly also with the rest of the race. And according to the best Christian historians, "Theotokos" was not, as you have insinuated, a term introduced in order to conciliate with certain aspects of paganism. This may be seen by referring to the sources to which I pointed you in my previous comment. Pelikan, for one, has stated that for the early Christians, the term "Theotokos" was "a way of speaking about Christ *at least* as much as a way of speaking about Mary." ("The Christian Tradition," vol. 1, 240.)

This is also why the term is entrenched in the great creedal tradition of the church, in the Definition of Chalcedon, which has always been accepted as the orthodox the orthodox formulation on the doctrine of the hypostatic union, and states that Jesus was,

"begotten before all ages of the Father according to the Godhead, for us and for our salvation, born of the Virgin Mary, Mother of God [Theotokos], according to the Manhood; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only Begotten, to be acknowledged in two natures, inconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseperably; the distinction of natures being by no means taken away by the union, but rather the property of each nature being preserved, and concurring in one Person and one Subsistence."

Once again, the statement, "Mary bore Christ's humanity but not his divinity," *is* a Nestorian statement. You have scruples about the term "Mother of God." Fine. I'm not one to prolong a quarrel over words. However, If you cannot confess without qualification that Mary gave birth to God incarnate (which is all that is meant by the term "mother of God"), you do not hold to the orthodox position as delinneated by the definition of Chalcedon.

This is what it means that Mary is mother of God. This is what Chalcedon and the holy Fathers meant by it. It has no less clear a meaning than when the Fathers spoke of being redeemed by the "blood of God," or that "God died for us." These things could be stated because due to the hypostatic union, the union of natures is so intimate that whatever can be predicated of either nature can be predicated of the whole person (for Jesus Christ is a whole person, though consisting of two natures).

You say your authority is Scripture. That is great--it is mine as well. But Scripture must be interpreted by someone. I choose to interpret it through the lens of the accepted understanding of the (small "o") orthodox church (small "c") catholic through the ages (Roman, Eastern, and Protestant), which has never wavered in its adherence to the Chalcedonian definition. To change this interpretation because you think it unwise is in fact to do so on your own authority, against the consensus of the church both past and present. It is your interpretation against the interpretation of the historic orthodox church. I'll go with the church.

John said...

Apology accepted.

Well, we've beaten this one to death.

In sum, I believe this title is defective in that it diverts our attention away from Jesus and smuggles a mere mortal into our heart's devotion to God, no matter how much theologians may try to alleviate such concerns.

Jonathan said...

John,

Thanks for the conversation. I understand your concern (was there once myself), though I believe it to be misguided.

Anything can be perverted. Completely right and pure theology can itself become perverted and be made into an idol by the deceitfulness of our hearts. But let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

The problem of idolatrous Marian devotion has unfortunately clouded over the true significance of Mary for Protestants and Romanists alike in our day. But the extremes of Roman devotion of Mary and modern evangelical neglect of her true place are not the only options. I would argue that a healthy perspective on the part Mary has played in the history of redemption, much to the contrary of steering our hearts away from God, can help us see the glory of our Lord's incarnation all the more.

The eternal Word became flesh and made his dwelling with men. Acknowledging Mary as His (the Word incarnate's) actual mother is very important here. She was not just a portal through which God came to us in pristine fashion. He (the Word!) had a real, living mother, underwent a real-life painful and messy birth, and entered this world subjec to all the hungers, trials, sufferings, and temptations that we are (yet without sin). God became a real human being. He resided in her womb for nine months. He was dependent upon her for his food. She raised him. Mary was *really* his mother. And she still is! (Jesus did not cease to be human after the resurrection.) Thus, God really and truly became one of us, and remains one of us for all eternity.

To me, this is what is implied in the term "mother of God." And I wouldn't give up the glory of this truth for anything.

Peace,

Jonathan

Lucian said...

Why then do You believe in the homoousisos? -- NO, I'm NOT "being mean" here ... Let me explain my question:

- the Theotokos was used for centuries before Chalcedon. (even before Nicaea). It had no meaning whatsoever which the Church then (or now) has ever perceived as heretical ...

- the homoousios, however, was used by Sabellians prior to the respective council at Nicaea. And its orthodox/catholic patristical support is almost nonexistent (prior to the first Ecumenical Synod).

... do You *now* get my point?

THE REASON FOR PUTTING YOU THIS QUESTION IN THE FIRST PLACE IS :

The Protestants repeatedly claim to adhere to the first seven Ecumenical Councils. -- GIVEN WHAT YOU JUST WROTE IN YOUR ARTICLE, don't You rather think that a DISTINCTION that "we, as Protestants, *PARTLY* agree with the Ecumanical Synods" should be made? (for the sake of common-sense, at least?)

Lucian said...

For Mary to "bear" God, she has to be the source of the material God is made out of

Uhm, ok, John, er ...

Did your mother gave birth also to your soul? Then to your spirit, maybe? Or, maybe to your thoughts? To your feelings, then, maybe? No? ... Well, ... then she isn't your mother then? Right? ... What do you mean I'm wrong? Or maybe You don't believe in the existence of souls and spirits, then?

Lucian said...

It's my third consecutive comment, I know, but ... consider this as anticipatory in nature: vis-a-vis my point on Protestants maintaining that they accept the 6 Ecumenical Councils: they actually shouldn't accept even the 6th, because the condemnation of mono-tellism and mono-energism: Maxim Martyr rejected these two heretical teachings through the Patristical doctrine of syn-ergism ... which the Protestants clearly reject.

My two cents: Protestants should admit to what they actually are, and renounce their UN-willingly deceitful camouflage.

It's also bothering me that:

1) they don't or won't accept that Luther wasn't in ALL respects like them : they constantly and repeatedly complain about our Catholic brothers "twisting" either Luther's own words, or certain historical accounts or facts, with regard to -let's say- his own, private and personal veneration of Mary ...

What I don't understand here is this: THEY THEMSELVES BELIEVE IN THE CONCEPT AND SLOGAN OF "ECCLESIA *SEMPER* REFORMANDA" -- SO WHY WOULD THEY EVEN CARE ABOUT WHAT *EXACTLY* LUTHER DID OR DIDN'T DO ???

2) They even have a hard time accepting that -for instance- the Sadducees rejected everything but the Torah ...

Why is that? With what exactly would THAT touch and/or harm their religion ??? -- (I *REALLY* DON'T understand them ... ).

P.S.: and please DON'T reply to this by "those are just exceptions", because -guess what!- they aren't !!! -- OK?

John said...

I stick with Scripture. I believe in Scripture much more fundamentally than I believe in the Homoousious formulation. Homoousious is a nice approximation to what is laid out in Scripture. Probably the best approximation (even if the Sabellian modalists used the term to prop up their own error).

Which leads to the question, why approximate, when you have Scripture? Scripture clearly portrays Jesus as eternal and as God ("Before Abraham was, I am," and "I and the Father are one."). It also clearly portrays Him as human: born of a woman, grew in wisdom, stature, in favor with God and with man. There are many scripture references to provide a very strong statement of both His humanity and His divinity. What's wrong with taking those? That's the revelation that God in his loving kindness gave us. He's much wiser than we are. Not only are Creeds approximations, they also suffer the danger of getting people to think that faith is simply a matter of mental assent, because they're so distilled and ivory-tower and academic. Instead of memorizing Creeds, why not memorize Scripture? It's much richer.

In humility, I thank the cloud of witnesses that went before us (Athansius, Augustine, Tertullian, etc.) that hammered things out (often in the face of great hardship and suffering) and labored to understand God's revelation in Christ, and submit to their authority as elders in the faith. But it's not the same submission as my submission to Scripture. I leave open the possibility that they can err, and that councils can err. I don't leave open the possibility that Scripture could err (at least in matters of faith). So I would partly agree with the 7 Ecumenical Synods and do not place ultimate importance on them. All Sola Scriptura Protestants do the same, when they say the Scripture is the only Infallible Rule of faith. The key word is Infallible.

Oh, on to Theotokos. Not used in Scripture, so not for me, especially since it *at face value* is a heretical term, regardless of how some great minds who went before me used it. Scripture does not elevate Mary above the status of a favored human. In fact, as the title of this blogpost alludes to, Jesus actually dismisses her at one point because she's interfering the work of the kingdom. So much for the Mother of God. Also, in Luke 11, "27 As he said these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed! 28 But he said, Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!" Again, so much for the exalted position of the so-called Mother of God. Jesus repeatedly gets our eyes onto heaven and off of earth.

The Scriptures never inflated Mary, and in fact don't say too much about her. Mary was a faithful follower, extraordinarily blessed with the opportunity to bear Jesus and raise him. But far greater than that blessing was that she was one of those blessed 120 in the upper room when the Holy Spirit fell on Pentecost.

Lucian said...

I understand Your opinions (and yet, I don't). Needless, to say, the Arians had their own little interpretation of the above proof-texts.

"Before Abraham was, I was": they didn't deny that; they didn't deny that Christ was the I AM either. (They believed, -just as the Orthodox-, that "the Angel of the Lord" that had appeared to Moses in the burning bush, and who said not only of God, but also of himself 'I AM', was the pre-incarnational Jesus Christ; and that -in his status there as messenger- he was one with Him Who sent the mesage: in this particular aspect, they were one).

The same goes for "I and the Father are one": we're all called to be one with God: that's what salvation is all about.

And THE *EXACT* SAME goes for the "three are those that bear witness in heaven ... and these three are one" -- one in what? According to the 'naked text', one in their testimony.

They also had no problem calling Christ "God", "Lord", "God of God", "true God of true God" in their creeds also. -- they just gave those words a different interpretation, that's all ...

"My Lord and my God!" --> "I've made you, [Moses,] God over Pharaoh"; "I've said: Ye all are Gods; all of you sons of the Most-High"; etc.

Basically, the Fathers that met at Nice wnated to stick to Scriptural expressions in their Creed (e.g.: "the Son IS *OF* the Father"); ... BUT when they've heard that the Arian bishops would've interpreted these words using 1 Corinthians 8:6  "But to us there is but one God, the Father, *OF* WHOM ARE ALL THINGS ... " , then they gave it up, and used THE *ONE* WORD the Arians were *NOT* able to distort, not even if someone would've beaten them to death ... :D -- gotta love them 318 sneaky little "meanies". ;D

-----

As for "Mother of [my] Lord", it's 100% Biblical ... unlike the word "Trinity", one might add ...

The fact that mothers are said to bare more than they actually do is common parlance: "my mother" didn't bear my soul, nor my spirit. Yet I call shamelessly call her "my mother". -- and so did Christ, by the way.

WHETEHER YOU ACCEPT IT OR NOT, THIS TERM WAS *NEVER* ABUSED ... NOT EVEN BY HERETICS [LESS SO BY THE CHURCH FATHERS, OR BY ANY GOOD-BELIEVING CHRISTIAN], WHICH [HERETICS] SEEMED TO ABUSE JUST ABOUT ANYTHING ... -- to deny this fact is to deny history.

Why do You understand Luke 11 as a negation? (It's beyond me). Luke himself testifies to the fact that the Mother of God was THE FIRST to say "Amen" to God's will. If there would've been any persons that would have had a GREATER spiritual openness or disponibility than her, then God [who controls time and space] would've arranged for this/these one[s] to have been born then & there, instead of Mary, and this/these one[s] would He have chosen for Him to be His mother.

We all are called upon to become sons of God [by adoption of the Holy Ghost]; we all are called upon to become gods (Psalms 82:6) by resembling Him in holiness (Matthew 5:48); -- does this mean that "God is just like one of us" ? I beg to differ ...
We're also all of us called upon to give birth to Christ in the [stinking] mangers of our [sinful] hearts ... does this bereave then MARY of her uniquely important and most-holy role in history? Again, I beg to differ ...

John said...

Lucian said...

For Mary to "bear" God, she has to be the source of the material God is made out of

Uhm, ok, John, er ...

Did your mother gave birth also to your soul? Then to your spirit, maybe? Or, maybe to your thoughts? To your feelings, then, maybe? No? ... Well, ... then she isn't your mother then? Right? ... What do you mean I'm wrong? Or maybe You don't believe in the existence of souls and spirits, then?

This is in answer to Lucian's second comment. "Uhm, ok, John, er ..." I don't get your befuddlement. You could disagree, but your stammering is unwarranted, because what I said isn't so flabbergasting.

No. No. No. No. No. Wrong about what? No (i.e., I do believe in the existence of souls and spirits).

She is my mother. But I'm used to earthly categories. In heaven, I don't know what I'll call her, because I make no claims to know more than barely anything of what life is like there. I suspect that more and more, without getting Greekly Gnostic, physical realities will pale as I get more and more caught up into the diving life. So that earthly categories will pale by comparison, and I'll realize my true home and my true Father and my true older Brother, and these realities will be the foundational relational realities for me.

When you say, "Son of God," you automatically think of the divine Son of the divine Father, do you not? Eternally begotten. Okay, then in Catholic and Orthodox circles you'll hear Mother of God soon enough. So that means divine Mother of the Divine God, right? No--you gotta backpedal.

Again, why put Mary on such a pedestal, when the Bible does not? Why should she have a title?

John said...

This is in response to Lucian's third comment.

You're starting to get random...

What does the synergism of the early church so-called fathers have to do with anything? Understand me that I do see a remote connection, but it's far afield from my post on Mary.

Not all Protestants reject Synergism. I don't understand your two-cents comment. What, in your opinion, *are* Protestants, actually, and what is our deceitful camouflage?

Why do *you* care about what Luther did or didn't do? What does he have to do with this topic. Though he is one of my heroes, I would disagree with any veneration of Mary that he did (which in fact seemed to wane as the years went on). And why are you yelling on my blog?

What do the Sadducees have to do with anything? You're all over the map, and this is becoming fruitless.

Lucian said...

I personally care to finding out more about Luther because I was totally bewildered by his personality. (There were some cartoons about the history of Europe I was watching while a young child, and the episode about him totally caught my attention ... I think I was in the 5th grade back then). [I'm curious by nature, therefore many ask me (sometimes exasperately) the exact same question as you: "and why d'ya even care??!". :p ]

... And sorry for yellin' on your blog :D

My point was that there's a unique God [yet we will reign with Him], a unique Son of God [yet we're all adopted], a unique Spirit of God [yet me must have the same spirit as Christ Jesus], a unique Body of Christ [yet that's what the Church is called], a unique Mother of God ... etc.

The Holy King and Prophet David is called "the Father (Parent) of God", James "the Brother of God", etc. -- as You can see, we're pretty consistent.

And as for the Church doing something "pretty soon" ... well, let me just put it this way: for us, "new" means 500 to 1,000 yrs old ... if not even older: the New Testament, St. Symeon the New Theologian, St. John the New Martyr from Suceava, etc.

There's a UNIQUE way in which Mary is His Mother ... that's practically what I was gettin' at. And our [spiritual] sharing in this motherhood does NOT, by all means, bereave her of ANYTHING ... God forbid!


The Bible says rather explicitely that not even man gets his 'breath of life from the blood of his mother, as the animals do' ... so your remark about the Biblical appelation Mother of God (Luke 1:43) >implying< God-knows-what seemed rather ludicrous. (You DO understand that the Greek Kyrios translated the Hebrew Adonai, which in its turn replaced the Tetragram, don't You?).

As for the Nestorians [who call themselves "The Assyrian Orthodox Church"], they venerate the Mother of Christ just as much as we do ... the only difference being that they don't address her as Mother of God, but Mother of Christ ... They're also very fond of saints, relics, icons and other such trivia ...

Brian said...

Ruprecht!
NOT MOTHER!

John said...

Brian,
Hear! Hear! Well spoken!

"May I go to the bathroom first?.........Thank you"