Thursday, August 06, 2009

Transcript of Veneration of Mary Debate

The following is a transcript of the "Veneration of Mary" Debate that Mr. William Albrecht (GNRHead) and I conducted with Mr. Lane Chaplin moderating (the audio may be found here). Thanks very much to Matthew Lankford for providing this transcript. I've tried to smooth out irregularities of speech as much as possible without deviating from what the speakers were saying. If anyone notes any problems with this transcript, please let me know. The subtitle of the debate is my own creation, not an "official" subtitle to the debate.

Veneration of Mary Debate: Does the Bible Command Hyper-Dulia of Mary?

Lane: Welcome to today's debate. Today's debate is entitled: Does the Bible Teach Veneration of Mary? We have two debaters today: Mr. William Albrecht, who will be taking the affirmative position. He's a Roman Catholic Apologist who runs Youtube.com/GNRHead And TurretinFan who will be taking the negative position. He runs Youtube.com/TurretinFan and also TurretinFan.blogspot.com -- he's also a contributor to AOmin.org. We will now begin the debate.

Mr. Albrecht you now have seven minutes for your first affirmative constructive, you may begin.

William: Today my goal is one that is quite simple. My goal is to simply see what the Bible says about the blessed Virgin Mary and repeat it. Today my goal is not to attempt to prove any of the Marian dogmas, but merely to show that true veneration, true honor, is due to the Mother of God and that such can be found within the New Testament.

While it is clear that Jesus Christ definitely honored his mother, since being a faithful Jew he would have not of broken the commandment to honor your father and your mother, we come to the question if it is the Christian's duty to honor his mother Mary.

Today I will make an attempt to come to the Scriptures as one who merely picks up the Bible and reads it and attempt to understand its plain meaning. There will be no hearkening to Church Fathers, Church Councils, or Papal encyclicals, or anything of the sort. Rather we will see that no matter what denomination you come from, that you can see the plain truth of Mary in Scripture.

Our first passage of examination is that of Luke chapter one verse twenty-eight (Luke 1:28). And the passage reads "And coming in he said to her, hail having been graced, the Lord is with you."

What we have here is a Greek word kecharitōmenē, which is a Greek perfect passive participle. Kecharitōmenē is from the Greek word charitoō. Mary is called having been graced, or woman who has been graced, since the gender is that of the feminine type. Whereas we may find the usage of this term in other places, it is only used in the titular form for Mary in all of Scripture, even including that of the Septuagint. This is what makes its appearance in Luke chapter one verse twenty-eight so unique. The Lord is with Mary. God is in Mary's womb.

We are told that Mary is the mother of our Messiah, our Savior, our God, in this direct address from the angel. This is quite significant. The goal of the Holy Spirit is to show us that God has chosen Mary for this special role in salvation history. Mary is chosen is chosen to bring our great God and Savior into the world and it is because of this that she has been graced. She is called kecharitōmenē because God's grace is in her. God is in her womb. She's blessed because of Christ and Christ alone. We must be quite clear: without Jesus Christ in Mary's womb, Mary would not be called kecharitōmenē.

Our next passage of examination is commonly called Mary's "Magnificat." And we'll be examining Luke chapter one, verse forty-six to forty-nine. Starting off with forty six. "And Mary said 'My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me-holy is his name.'"

It is clear the New Testament shows us that we are to honor and venerate Mary for all generations, because, as Mary tells us, the Mighty One has done great things for her. It is because of this very reason that we can call Mary blessed and any other Christian that the Lord has done great things for. Mary is special, though, because she alone brought forth our Messiah and our God, Jesus Christ. We're told that all generations will call Mary "blessed." The actual Greek word -- Greek uses the word makariousin from makarizō, meaning just what our English translations tell us: that Mary was to be called blessed.

Of particularly interest is that even in the beatitudes -- where we can find those that are called blessed -- are the listener followers of Christ called blessed. The Greek word makarioi (from makarios) can be found used in the Gospel of Matthew. But there is a great variance of degree when we compare those in the beatitudes and Mary. Mary in verse forty-nine in the first chapter of Luke's Gospel tells us "for the Mighty One has done great things for me" and it is because of these great things that have been done for Mary, Christians are to honor and venerate her and to call her blessed for all generations.

Mary is blessed because of Christ and Christ alone. Be not mistaken: none of the grace and favor that have fallen upon Mary came to her through her own will. Nor are we honoring Mary and Mary alone. Our honor and respect for the Virgin Mary is because of the great things that have been done for her. From what is clearly shown in the Scriptures it is right to show veneration to Mary. No mere human ordained such honor or respect to be given to the blessed Virgin, but God Himself.

The Bible tells us in Galatians chapter five at verses thirteen to fourteen (Gal. 5:13-14), that we should serve one another in love. Here we find the plural from douleuo used. A loving service is to be given to fellow Christians. As we have examined in a previous debate, this veneration can and is used in a religious context, when its referring to the worship of God. But in such passages as these, with a strict order to serve your fellow Christians in Christ is given, we must also yield to the fact that such a religious context is ever so present. We are to honor one another in love, and in Mary's case we are to honor and call her blessed for all time.

The care and respect and love that Jesus also expressed for His mother on the cross should be emulated by all Christians. Remember those precious words of our Lord and God, when He said in John chapter nineteen, verses twenty-six to twenty seven (John 19:26-27). And the verses read: "When Jesus then saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near by, He said to his mother, 'Woman, behold, your son!' Then he said to the disciple, 'Behold, your mother!' From that hour the disciple took her to his own household."

His words to the beloved disciple forever reverberate in the hearts of all Christians. "Behold, you mother," he says, "Behold, your mētēr." In this particular instance, His great and deep love and care for His mother is so tremendous that He entrusts her care to that of the beloved disciple. Shouldn't we imitate Christ and show His mother a mere ounce of the profound love and respect that God has shown her? I believe, as a Bible-believing Christian, that it is our obligation for all generations.

Lane: Ok, TurretinFan you now have three minutes to cross examine Mr. Albrecht. You may begin.

TurretinFan: Thanks very much.

My first question for you: You spoke about Luke 1:28, and you said that there the term that's translated by the King James Version as "highly favored" is a titular form of that particular word, and that this is the only place its mentioned. I wonder whether you've considered Ephesians 1:6?

William: Absolutely I have. And it is not used in the titular form in Ephesians 1:6. And just to be clear, I wasn't saying that this kecharitōmenē only appears in Luke 1:28 -- I'm also aware that it appears in Sirach 18:17 and, I believe, in 2 Maccabees. But I'm contending that the difference is that it is used as a title for Mary. I understand that the verbal form that it comes from (charitoō) can be found in other places, but I'm contending that the difference is that it is used as a titular form for Mary.

TurretinFan: What makes you conclude that it's a titular form in Luke 1:28 and not in Ephesians 1:6?

William: I believe in Ephesians 1:6 in the way it is being used -- I don't find any usage of anybody calling somebody "having been graced" or using it as a title, replacing it for somebody's name. And in Luke Chapter one Verse twenty-eight (Luke 1:28) we find just that. We find the greeting, "Hail having been graced" or we could use, "highly favored" -- I prefer "having been graced" as the translation. And as we see, the angel comes in and he says, "Hail having been graced" "chaire kecharitōmenē" That's quite different from the usage in Ephesians chapter one, verse six [Eph. 1:6].

TurretinFan: My second question has to do with the comment about Mary's own statement that all generations will call her blessed. What makes you conclude that that's a command, rather than simply a statement of fact?

William: I don't quite understand, whether its a command or a statement of fact, don't you believe that all generations should call her blessed? Regardless, of whether its a command or statement of fact, it's the truth of Scripture that all generations are to call Mary blessed.

TurretinFan: Well, you said you were going to prove your case from the Bible. So, I was trying to get whether this verse actually says that it is a command or whether that was something you had sort of imposed on the text.

William: Well, I don't think I'm imposing anything on the text. Whether it be a command -- it's a fact of Scripture that all generations are to call Mary blessed.

TurretinFan: Ok, well, my next comment was very similar -- when it says "Behold your mother" was that a command to John or to all Christians? In the text.

William: In the text, was it a command to John or to all Christians? I believe specifically when He says "Behold your mother" it is a command specifically to John in that context. He is entrusting her to John's care, therefore, I believe it would be a command to John in that context, since He calls her his mother. He entrusts her care to the beloved disciple.

Lane: Ok, that's time. Ok, thank you for that. Turretin[Fan] you now have your negative constructive, which consists of eight minutes.You may begin when you're ready.

TurretinFan: My presentation today is going to be on the veneration of Mary and the Bible -- what does it have to say about it? The Roman Catholic Church gives Mary worship in the form of hyper-dulia. Whether or not that should be called worship is a separate debate. The question today is whether this is Biblical. And I would tell you the answer is "no." And I'll try to explain why in three parts today. The first part will be Mary as she is portrayed in the Bible. Number two, what the Bible says about the veneration of Mary. And then the third section will be responding to what Mr. Albrecht has said.

So, the first part: Mary's portrayal in the Bible. She's portrayed in the Bible as a relatively minor character. She's only mentioned by name once outside of the Gospels and that's right at the beginning of the book of Acts. She's only mentioned once by name in the Gospel of Mark. And she's never mentioned by name in the Gospel of John. Now, of course, she is mentioned in John, but just not by name. And then there's no real mention of Mary by the Apostle Paul in any of his epistles. There's only one verse of the Old Testament that clearly relates to Mary and that's a single verse prophesying that Jesus would be born of a virgin. And so, in general Mary has a fairly minor role in Scripture.

What's her character like? She's portrayed as modest and humble. She's described as being highly favored by God. And the way in which she is highly favored is that she is the one who gives birth to Jesus Christ. This term means "highly favored," which is essentially how Mr. Albrecht has translated it, not "full of grace" as the Vulgate mistranslated it.

Another aspect of Mary is that she's a witness to Jesus' earthly life at a number of critical points. For example, at the conception, the birth, and the miracle at Cana, and the death of Christ. She's in all of these and we see that she was interviewed by Luke in the preparation of his Gospel and possibly also by Matthew as well. And the other sort of interconnection she has with the Apostles in addition to appearing with the Apostles after Jesus' ascension, in that one place in Acts, is that she was cared for by John, although John doesn't actually mention her by name anywhere in his Gospel (although, of course, John doesn't mention himself by name in his Gospel either).

The second section that I'd like to deal with here now is now: what does the Bible actually have to say about veneration of Mary? Since, you know, generally describing her is one thing, but what about the issue of veneration. There's sort of three general positive areas where someone might think that there's an inclination in that direction. The first is the angel's greeting to Mary. The second is Elizabeth's greeting of Mary. And then the third is some general principles of love of the brethren. As for the third, there's no call, just because there's a general love of the brethren and service to the brethren, for us to create a special cult of Mary, or a cult of Albrecht, or a cult of Lane, or a cult of anybody in particular. And when we talk about the veneration of Mary, we're not just talking about, you know, bringing her a cup of water when she's thirsty. We're talking about something that's especially particular to Mary -- in a special reverence that's shown to her -- that's different from just the ordinary reverence we show to other people in following the law of God. The greetings are interesting, but mostly they just show politeness. We'll come to the argument that Mr. Albrecht presented earlier from the idea that this was some kind of titular form of the word for saying that the person is highly favored, in just a minute.

Moving on from the positives to the negatives, there are actually three of the Gospels, the synoptic Gospels, they each relate an account that show that Mary is really nothing special in the Kingdom of God. Those are: Matthew 12:46-50; Mark 3:31-35; and Luke 8:19-21. They may all be the same account, they may be two or more accounts, but in these three accounts, which may or may not be more than one event, the situation is someone is trying to give Mary special attention -- Mary and Jesus' brethren special attention. And Jesus turns it around and says 'Look, anyone who believes in me, that's my mother, that's my brethren.' He's basically saying that there's an equality within the Kingdom of God among all the believes, such that His mother and His brethren are nobody special. That seems to be the point that's raised in each of those; in Matthew, and Mark, and Luke -- John doesn't have that same one, but that's fairly normal, John often doesn't include events that the synoptics include.

There's a second aspect in which we can see veneration of Mary is undone by the Scriptural evidence. This second area is when Paul talks about the mother of us all. Now recall that there's an argument that's made that Mary is our mother and, therefore, in some sense she's our mother, because we're in Christ and, therefore, we need to honor her. But when Paul talks about who's our mother, he says the mother of us all is the heavenly Jerusalem. He doesn't view it as Mary at all, but as the heavenly Jerusalem.

And then the third aspect is this title that's sometimes given in Roman Catholicism -- "The Mother of God" is given to Mary. But the author of Hebrews describes Jesus in this way: he says that He was "without mother." And now, of course, that can't refer to His humanity, since Jesus was the son of Mary. So, it must be referred to His divinity. And, so, therefore, in view of Hebrews, its inappropriate to call Mary by such exalted titles as "The Mother of God."

Now we'll turn to the third section, which is responding specifically to the points that Albrecht has raised. The first point he raised is this idea that the titular form of the word is used in Luke 1:28. But, on being pressed upon this, what we see is that it's simply a statement that when the participle essentially used as a reference to the person. In other words, this is a person who is highly favored. It's not that it's being used as a title -- like that it has a special capital letter in Greek -- of course, they didn't have that type of mechanism in Greek (in the original). Rather, what it is, is the fairly rare word is used only a couple of times. It's only used, maybe, in a similar way, only two times in the New Testament -- in this place and in Ephesians 1:6. And in Ephesians 1:6 of course its not used as a title. There's not any particular reason to view it as a title here, except for a desire to use it as a title later. No one ever else calls her by that title and we're not suggested in that passage to use that as a title. Let me move on to the second argument.

The second argument is that "all generations will call her blessed." This argument, again, is actually a statement of fact, that all generations will call her blessed -- its not a command to do so.

The third argument was an argument from Galatians, I believe it was, chapter five, verses thirteen and fourteen (Gal. 5:13-14)... perhaps it was chapter three. In any event, the idea was that we serve one another in love. Well, the idea is not that we shouldn't give Mary a glass of cold water if we see her and she's thirsty. The question is whether or not we are supposed to give some kind of special cultus -- in the terms that the Roman Catholic Church would use to describe the worship.

Then, the fourth argument was, "behold your mother," but as we brought out during the cross-examination this is not a command for all Christians, just a command for John. And, of course, John, in his Gospel, never commands us to worship Mary, or to venerate her in any way.

Lane: Ok, Mr. Albrecht, you now have three minutes to cross-examine TurretinFan, you may begin when you're ready.

William: Ok, that sounds good. TurretinFan, due to the fact that the Bible tells us that, "all generations," and literally in the Greek, "pasai geneai," all generations will call Mary blessed, and the fact that the Bible clearly shows us that Mary has been graced and will always continue to have that grace within her person, even after the birth of Christ, does this not entail that there is clear Biblical proof that honor and respect is due to Mary?

TurretinFan: There's a premise in there, that you stated, which was that the Scriptures suggest that she continues to have some special role beyond the giving birth to Jesus. Which is a questionable premise. And without that premise, of course, the conclusion doesn't follow -- that she has some continued desert of being called ... or ... of being given special reverence.

William: Well, what my contention basically is, is that she will continue to have that grace within her person even after the birth of Christ. That's all that I'm really contending. Moving on to another question now, I'll ask, I guess, I'll try and phrase this in a different way. Since God has preordained that we are to forever call Mary blessed, due to the fact that she is the woman who has been graced, called kecharitōmenē by the angel of the Lord, does the Greek of Luke 1:28 then entail that we're to give her true honor and respect, because she is continually one who is graced?

TurretinFan: No. When it says that "all generations will call her blessed" -- it just simply means that all generations will, indeed, call her blessed. And one way in which that can be the case, is that all generations will realize that she was given a special favor from God in that she was given the privilege of carrying in her womb, incarnate God.

William: Alright, I suppose I'll try and continue this a little bit more with you. I guess my question is pretty much since Luke 1:28 pretty much shows us that Mary will continue to be graced, I guess my question was whether it was/is alright to continue showing Mary honor and respect? I understand calling Mary blessed is not anything that we cannot call for other Christians, but wouldn't this be different in the case of Mary, since she will continually be graced even after birthing Christ?

TurretinFan: Yes, it doesn't say that she will continually be graced even after birthing Christ. That's an important, underlying, mistaken premise in your assertions that you're throwing at me.

William: So, the usage of kecharitōmenē in the perfect passive participle in the Greek, does not have the connotation that Mary will continue to have grace even after the birth of Christ?

TurretinFan: The idea of a perfect passive participle, as you should know, implies a past action that has continuing effects (William interjecting: Absolutely) at the present time, which is the time when the angel was speaking to Mary.

William: Yes, and is there anything in the verse that shows us that since she is continually being graced at that current present moment that the grace will cease to be after she births Christ?

TurretinFan: Oh, no, I'm not trying to make an argument from silence. I was leaving that up to your side, which was asserting that, in fact, it was continuing on -- which, of course, you could never get from that particular verb.

Lane: Ok, that's time. Ok, Mr. Albrecht you now have your first affirmative rebuttal. You have four minutes for it. You may begin when you're ready.

William: Alright, great. I think we can clearly see that the Scriptures are far from muddled when it comes to the subject of the Virgin Mary. Is honor and respect due to the Virgin Mary? We can clearly see that the answer is yes. Mary's "Magnificat" is the precious song of God's blessings bestowed upon a human being. When the earth was created, when the heavens were created, when the first human beings were created, never was such grace known to be given to a creature of the Lord. Yet we can clearly see that Mary was one who was found to have favor from God. Such favor that all generations are to forever recognize what God has done for her. All generations are to forever recognize the mighty things that God has done for her. The Scripture shows us that it is because of God, and God alone, that we are to give honor to Mary. God is the one that Mary tells us has done great things for her. Holy Writ shows us that God, being one who has given her the grace and blessings, then entails that we offer true honor and respect to Mary.

Examining the Bible clearer we can see in Luke chapter eleven verses twenty-seven to twenty-eight [Luke 11:27-28]. We read: "And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said to them, Blessed is the womb that bore thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. But He said, "Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it." To be clear, Christ says "Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it." In the Greek, Christ responds with "menounge makarioi." "Indeed blessed," He says, "are those who hear the word of God and keep it." With this comment He isn't saying that Mary is not blessed and that those who hear the word are instead. Instead He answers in the affirmative that Mary's very body was blessed and then reinforces that which is of greater blessedness is that His word be heard and obeyed and kept. Mary did hear the word of God and did obey it. And actually bore the Word incarnate in her womb.

TurretinFan says he would not like to argue from silence, yet his mere assertion that kecharitōmenē is not special is fallacious on its very face. We are shown that Mary has been graced in the past and that its effects continue and never are we told that it ceases; rather we have indications that it doesn't. The very fact that Mary is forever to be called blessed is an indication of her enduring grace and favor in the eyes of God. And as a Christian we should honor and we should respect that.

Lane: Ok, TurretinFan, you can now set forth your negative rebuttal. You may begin when you're ready.

TurretinFan: Thanks very much. It's been a pleasure to debate today. I'd like to thank Mr. Albrecht for his participation and for bearing with my questions and answers.

Now I'd like to sort of summarize the debate. The debate was over the question of whether or not the Bible promotes the veneration of Mary, and although we saw that Mary is praised in the Scriptures -- she's called blessed -- she's described as having been highly favored -- she's described as a modest and humble woman, and (as Mr. Albrecht pointed out) she was greatly privileged to have the incarnate Son of God at her breast. Nevertheless, there's nothing in Scripture that commands any Christian to give her any special reverence or honor. And so the Roman Catholic view of hyper-dulia is completely unbiblical, as we've discovered.

Remember, the first section that we talked was the fact that Mary's portrayal in Scripture relatively minor. She's only mentioned once outside of the Gospels by name. And only mentioned once by name in Mark, never by name in John, and never by Paul. In fact, as we discussed in the second section, when Paul talks about who's the mother of us all, he doesn't point, as many might expect, to Mary, but, instead, he points to the heavenly Jerusalem. She doesn't have a specific role that is taught by Scripture, as far as having any maternal relationship to us, such that the Fifth Commandment, that we should honor our father and mother, would apply in some sense, so that we would have to honor her using that sort of maternal honor, which would still not be hyper-dulia. But lets continue on.

We also saw that the Scriptures describe her as a witness to Jesus' life and that, as well as a great privilege that we can't experience because we're not around during Jesus' earthly ministry; and that she was cared for by the beloved disciple John, and interviewed by Luke, who was in the process of preparing the Gospel of Luke. All these things said, we also saw that there are three passages which may all be the same event, in which, far from suggesting that Mary is to be specially praised, it's suggested that she's simply just the same as any other believer. And Mr. Albrecht himself brought this out in his last speech, when he pointed out, pointed to the verse, which says, that, 'indeed, truly is blessed the person who believes.' See, all believers are equally blessed with Mary -- there's nothing particularly special about her and that's really the point to those verses.

We also saw as well, and this wasn't disputed at all by Mr. Albrecht, that when the author of Hebrew describes Jesus, he calls Him "without mother." And really, this undermines this special title, among many exalted titles, that the Roman Catholic Church uses. This title "Mother of God" is not only unbiblical, it's contrary to the Bible, in that it falls afoul of Hebrews 7:3, which describes Jesus as being like Melchizedek -- being without father or mother: "without father" as to His humanity, "without mother" as to His Divinity.

Then, when we investigated the arguments that Mr. Albrecht made, we didn't hear what you would expect -- we didn't hear any verses where there was a command to honor Mary or an example even of someone giving special honor, or special reverence, to Mary. Aside from the greeting of the angel and the greeting of Elizabeth, that we already talked about, there's no examples of anyone giving her special attention; and the one case where we saw something close to giving her special attention is the point where Jesus took the opportunity to say, 'Oh, no, no, she's nothing special, she's just the same as all the other believers.'

Mr. Albrecht tries to make an argument from silence on Luke 1:28. He says 'well, she was given this privilege in the past and it had a continuing effect at the time the angel spoke to her and there's nothing that ever tells us it stopped.' Well, indeed, there's nothing that tells us whether it stopped or it continued -- and it's just simply an argument from silence on that point.

He makes a point about something being in a titular form only in Luke 1:28, but it's hardly ever used throughout Scripture. The word itself is hardly ever used throughout Scripture -- and its not particularly rare to have people described in terms of characteristics; and in this case the characteristic that was salient was the fact that she had been privileged with having the Son of God come and be in her womb.

The next argument that we heard was one about all generations calling her blessed, which Mr. Albrecht continually seemed to try to convert from a simple statement of fact, that all generations will, indeed, call her blessed, to a command that we must -- as though this were an order: you must call her blessed. It doesn't say that. I think we tried to bring that out in the cross-examination. And, instead, we got a: 'well, but... shouldn't we?' You know, that... It's not in the text. It doesn't say that we are to do so -- it just says that people will call her blessed. And the reason why we call her blessed, of course, is that she received an enormous blessing from God. Its quite true, it was an immense privilege for her to be the mother of Jesus, to have the incarnate Son of God in her womb. It was an extraordinary blessing. And she is blessed. And we call her blessed. But that's a far cry from giving her hyper-dulia.

The next argument was one from Galatians -- about how we serve one another in love. But, of course, again, that's not hyper-dulia. That's not veneration in the sense of a cultus, and the sense of what we talk about religious veneration in theology, we're not talking simply about obeying the second table of the Law.

The fourth argument was this argument from, "Behold your mother," but, as we discovered, that was specifically made to John and there's no where in Scripture that suggests, or implies, or states that this is to have any broader application than John. Of course, John himself, while he did care for Mary, he never mentions her by name in his Gospel (although, of course, he does mention her without using her name).

We hear from Mr. Albrecht that Scriptures are very clear on this issue. He started his initial speech with that, he mentioned in his last one, and I wouldn't be surprised if he mentions it in his final speech. But, what they're clearly here, is clearly silent. They never give any examples of people venerating Mary in any special way, without Jesus coming and saying, 'Wait a minute, she's just the same as anyone else.' And, we never have any commands, or instructions, or exhortations, to venerate Mary in any particular way.

And, instead of that, and instead of those commands, instead of those instructions, we have a relegation of Mary essentially to the Gospels -- with a brief mention at the very beginning of Acts. No mention throughout Paul's epistles. She's not this central figure next to Jesus. She's not described as the "Queen of Heaven" or any of these other exalted titles that are given in Roman Catholicism today. In short, what we see is that the entire cult of Mary, the entire worship in the form of hyper-dulia of Mary that we see in Roman Catholicism today -- is unbiblical.

And consequently, when Christians are seeking to follow the Bible and to follow what the Apostles taught, which we know through Scriptures -- we are not to worship Mary, we're not to give her special reverence, special attention, and we're not to treat her any different from any other believer -- although she was greatly privileged and although she was given great favor from God.

Lane: Ok, Mr. Albrecht, you now have four minutes for your second affirmative rebuttal. You may begin when you're ready.

William: I think that anyone that comes to the Scriptures without any pre-conceived notions or bias will find that Mary was special, because of God and God alone. They will find that Mary is called 'forever blessed' and 'the one who has been graced'. We find a mighty angel of the Lord even greeting her with a unique title that no other creature in all the Scripture is addressed with.

If anyone has noticed, they will see that I came to this debate with one goal -- not to appeal to any doctrines, not to appeal to the authority of any church, any denomination, or any church council. I didn't quote an Catholic scholars, Protestant scholars, Church Fathers, or even Protestant Reformers for that matter. I presented passages from the Bible and put them forth and examined their relevant portions in the Greek. I didn't attempt to yank any doctrines from the Scriptures. My goal was to merely present that the mother of Christ, the mother of our Savior, the Mother of our God (a term which TurretinFan is clearly confused about) was due religious veneration and that such a fact was present in the New Testament.

The religious veneration of Mary clearly differs from that of other creatures. Only Mary had the favor to carry God in her womb and to bring God the Second Person of the Trinity into this world. With that clear examination of Scripture we find that only Mary has been graced with this type of gratia from God. Mary's "Magnificat" is evidence enough for those that are faithful to the word of God, that it is right and good to call her blessed forever. The very word of God, which Christians should cherish as inerrant, tells us that her grace is enduring and shows us a precious and loving image of our Lord giving His mother into the care of the disciple whom He loved dearly.

The Scripture continues to show us Mary's special role in Luke chapter one, verses forty-one to forty-four (Luke 1:41-44). Upon reading this, we see that Elizabeth has recognized that Mary is carrying her Lord, and her Messiah, and her God, in her womb. After that, being filled with the Holy Spirit, Elizabeth says that Mary is blessed among women and blessed is the Messiah that she carries in her womb. And, indeed, Mary was more blessed than any other woman and more special than any other woman that we see in the Bible, because of the love and grace of God.

TurretinFan further says that the Apostle Paul doesn't point to Mary as mother of us all, yet his usage, Paul's usage, in the passage of Jerusalem is not in a maternal connotation. Furthermore, this isn't a debate about Mary's heavenly motherhood, but rather a debate about veneration that is due to Mary.

TurretinFan also points to some verses in which it is argued that Jesus replaces His biological family for His spiritual family. This argument holds no water at all. If Jesus were replacing His family for His spiritual family, then we would have to exclude His family from what Jesus says. Jesus says, "Whoever does God's will is my brother, and sister, and mother." And we know that Mary did, indeed, do God's will. Her very "Magnificat" shows us that her soul rejoices in her Lord, because of the great things God has done for her. Jesus never has the intention to remove His familial bond from His mother or he wouldn't have his continual care for His mother shown in the Scripture.

Furthermore, we are told that Mary is portrayed as a minor character in the New Testament, in the Bible. Yet if we examine the Old Testament (we'll relegate ourselves to the Old Testament), there is no explicit, notice how I say explicit, description of the Trinity; yet, we wouldn't claim that the Trinity plays a minor role at all. Arguments from silence are quite weak.

Furthermore, TurretinFan also says the Vulgate mistranslates by saying, "full of grace," in Luke 1:28. Brother Jerome's usage of, "full of grace," is a viable translation. If we realize that the gratia that Mary has been given to her is by God and God alone, Mary is, indeed, full of grace, since Christ is in her womb and has bestowed this grace on her. Just as we can call Mary, 'highly favored,' -- yet the 'favoring' is not intrinsic in the text, but, rather, the grace is. And, as the Greek title kecharitōmenē shows us, Mary's grace endures forever, because all generations will called her blessed, all generations will recognize her grace and her favor, and as such we should honor and respect and venerate the Mother of our God.

Lane: Ok, that now concludes our debate. Mr. Albrecht your contact information is: http://www.youtube.com/gnrhead and TurretinFan has turretinfan.blogspot.com and youtube.com/turretinfan.

Thank you both for being with us at today's debate and thank you everyone for listening.

3 comments:

natamllc said...

The problem about this debate as I see it is a sort of dualism exists on the two parts or rather, sides of the debate.

What?

There are two parts and two perspectives to this debate obviously. That's not the point.

Both hold to in part or whole the prolegomenon of the greater issue being revealed.

On one side is a sound doctrinal basis to proceed.

On the other side is a basis of doctrine that is weak foundationally and has a psuedo sense of ectypal theology.

Both sides hold to some sort of archetypal theology. It is the placement of Mary in the revelation that is at issue.

There is the true revelation of God from God to mankind. That revelation is of a "Self Existent Triune" to His creatures, large and small. We all have it in the liberal sense of the Ten Commandments, which have a natural controlling influence upon all societies. There is no partiality with the Decalogue in our lifetime. There are variations in each society. Generally though, there are some common factual realities we will rise up against because of this presupposition, the Decalogue.

The natural response to being murdered would be a case in point.

From a Civil Authority perspective each potentate wields great protection against his or her assassination while the Authority but only has a limited protection as a civilian alone at the park enjoying the fruits of those civil laws they were party to enacting as a Civil Authority.

What's the point of this preface?

It's intent is to quote our Dear Francis T. as an antidote to this debate, in my view.

When grasping this sort of doctrine, which, above I identify as a psuedo sense by the one, Turretin lays out an eloquence unrivaled and unparalleled, in my view, to which one does himself a service to embrace.

Here's the quote:

Archetypal and ectypal theology:

When God is set forth as the object of theology, he is not to be regarded simply as God in himself (for thus he is incomprehensible [akatakeptos] to us), but as revealed and as he has been pleased to manifest himself to us in his word, so that divine revelation is the formal relation which comes to be considered in this object. Nor is he to be considered exclusively under the relation of deity (according to the opinion of Thomas Aquinas and many scholastics after him, for in this manner the knowledge of him could not be saving but deadly to sinners). But as he is our God (i.e., covenanted in Christ as he has revealed himself to us in his word not only as the object of knowledge but of worship). True religion ( which theology teaches) consists of these two things. FT, Institutes of Elenctic Theology.

Notice, nowhere does he make a reference to Mary as more of a personage of God than any other man, woman or child in this quotation of the revelation or naturally known Knowledge of God.

This revelation is so much in line with Jesus' Himself in a fashion as we read about here:

Mar 3:31 And his mother and his brothers came, and standing outside they sent to him and called him.
Mar 3:32 And a crowd was sitting around him, and they said to him, "Your mother and your brothers are outside, seeking you."
Mar 3:33 And he answered them, "Who are my mother and my brothers?"
Mar 3:34 And looking about at those who sat around him, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers!
Mar 3:35 For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother."

natamllc said...

I would also add this to that:::>

Gladly I will concede to this what Jesus says here at Mark 3:35. Mary did the "will of God" indeed. That's not in dispute. For that she too will be honored as all of Jesus' own will be honored when they too do the "will" of God. But notice where Jesus places His own biological mother in that scheme? She is referred to as a "sister"! That, in my judgment, deflates the position Mr. Albrecht is placing Jesus' mother in. She is nothing more or less than one who did the Will of God, is honored too and is, in this life a sister with an amazing story to tell!

Mary, the virgin who said this:

Luk 1:38 And Mary said, "Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.

Coram Deo said...

It's just plain silly for any professing Christian to "venerate" anything except for the thrice Holy One True and Living God.

All saints are equally saints, and all saints are commanded to love the Lord their God with ALL their heart, and ALL their mind, and ALL their soul and ALL their strength.

Doesn't really leave much room for venerating a creature, does it?

Sinful man's heart truly is a veritable idol factory.

In Christ,
CD