Mary for Evangelicals
Is Mary for evangelicals? Should there be such a thing as an evangelical Mariology? Is she Our Lady, too?
With his feet planted firmly in the evangelical tradition, Timothy Perry began to think that there must be more to Mary than generally meets the evangelical eye. Should we maintain that two thousand years of Christian thought on Mary is almost wholly wrong? How could the mother of our Lord, simply by virtue of the fact that she was God's chosen means of the incarnation, not deserve more serious theological reflection? And where might this lead?
This book addresses the increasing evangelical interest in Mary and contributes to the current discussion of Mariology in evangelical-Roman Catholic dialogue.
Beginning with Scripture, Perry probes the texts and traces the lengthy development of Christian thinking and practice related to Mary. From the earliest church fathers through the medieval thinkers and Protestant Reformers, and then on through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to present-day Catholic thought, Perry takes us on a fascinating and informative tour. Finally he concludes with a constructive--and even surprising--theological proposal for an evangelical Mariology that is rooted in, and demanded by, a high Christology.
Sure to be discussed and debated, this is a book that will leave you in a different place from where you began.
"Tim Perry has provided Protestants, Catholics and Orthodox believers with a rich, informative account of the development of Marian teaching and issues a call to a sound, wise and holy appropriation of Mary for the church's life today. If you're wondering why the fuss about Mary, Perry's book is an excellent place to broaden your knowledge base. I warmly recommend it."
"This critical study of the Virgin Mary will be invaluable to evangelicals who wish to know Mary better; yet Perry also speaks a truth when he humbly admits that, after all this study, she is still a mystery. May this volume help readers to encounter this 'mysterious' woman whom Jesus loved so much."
"For too long Protestant evangelicals have ignored Gabriel's assessment of Jesus' mother as the one who is 'blessed among women.' Mary for Evangelicals impressively addresses this deficiency, developing a Mariology that has biblical, historical and theological integrity. In addition, Tim Perry makes a positive contribution to the larger Protestant evangelical-Roman Catholic dialogue by addressing the right issues and taking them on with sensitivity and fairness to all. Most significantly, Perry's constant refrain that Marian doctrine has evolved largely as an implication of orthodox Christology stands as a needed corrective for many Protestants who misunderstand Roman Catholic doctrine. Perry has done the Protestant evangelical community and the 'God-bearer' a great service."
"Deeply informed by Scripture and by two millennia of Christian tradition, Tim Perry offers Protestants--evangelical and otherwise--a patient, mature and engaging account of the necessity of theological reflection on Mary. For those who want to take seriously the Bible's own declaration that all generations will call Mary blessed, this book is required reading."
"It is one sign of the strength of this book by Tim Perry that I can heartily recommend it, even though I disagree with one of his conclusions. Perry's work is fascinating--offering many new insights for reading biblical accounts of Mary and surveying historical developments, in order to show us how and why churches have become so divided over her place in God's work of salvation. This book will make you think deeply and question your assumptions--in doing so it will contribute toward uniting the community of faith and helping us all to see and follow as Mary 'directs the faithful away from herself [and] always to her Son.'"
"From the fathers to the feminists, Tim Perry surveys the history of Marian traditions and comes to some conclusions that are bound to prod and provoke. I strongly agree with his two main points that evangelicals need to take a fresh look at Mary in light of the biblical witness, and that such reflection must be christologically grounded. This is an important study that deserves serious consideration."
. . .a valuable and groundbreaking contribution.
Evangelicals who desire to have a better understanding of why their Orthodox and Roman Catholic brothers and sisters hold the Virgin Mary in such high esteem will greatly benefit from this scholarly yet accessible work.
Mary for Evangelicals should serve as an important contribution to the Catholic-Protestant dialogue for decades to come.
Readers will undoubtedly be challenged to reconsider Mary in new ways, even if full agreement is not forthcoming. Therefore, I heartily recommend this book to all interested Evangelicals . . . to theological students and ministers who are in regular contact with Roman Catholics.
Foreword by William J. Abraham
Introduction: "So how's Mary today?"
Part 1: Mary in Holy Scripture
1. Anonymous Mother of the Heavenly Man: Mary in the Letters of Paul
2. Ambiguous Protector of the Family: Mary in the Gospel of Mark
3. Scandalous Mother of the Messiah: Mary in the Gospel of Matthew
4. Poor Prophet, Pondering Mother, Persistent Disciple: Mary in Luke/Acts
5. Woman of the Hour: Mary in the Johannine Literature
Part 2: Mary in the History of Christian Thought
6. New Eve: Patristic Roots of Mariology
7. Mother of God: Formalizing the Patristic Heritage
8. Queen Mother: Mary and the Medieval Imagination
9. Decline and Exaltation: Mary from the Reformation to the Nineteenth Century
10. Queen of Heaven, Mother of the Church, Sister in the Struggle: Mary Through the Twentieth Century to Today
Part 3: Toward an Evangelical Mariology
11. Virgin Mother: Mary in the Mystery of the Incarnation
12. Chosen One: Toward a Doctrine of Mary's Person
13. Advocate: Toward a Doctrine of Mary's Work