Our Lady of Wheaton
I don't get Wheaton. It always seems like a strange mix of views.
I am impressed with the depth, nuance, and scope of the course. It is rare to see an ecumenical topic treated in a way that also lets people stay rooted in their tradition. It sounds as if both the Protestants and Catholics in the course discovered surprising and fruitful aspects of their heritage. I am in graduate school with some Wheaton grads. They are a sharp bunch.
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Cor meum tibi offero Domine prompte et sincere. ~ John Calvin
Mary would be the first to show disgust for this idolatry of her person. The kind of devotion that is shown her by Catholics, and it appears increasingly by some Protestants, belong to God alone. Mary was a sinner like the rest of us; she was simply an instrument by whom God brought His Son to the world. To our knowledge no special devotion was shown her by the early Christians other than to say that she was the mother of our Lord. Her response to those who sought to use her influence to mediate with her Son for special privilege was: "Whatever He says, do it." The Scripture is clear by inference that she was not perpetually virgin. The names of her other children are recorded in Scripture, and it is only a ruse to say that they were Jesus' cousins who tagged along with her wherever she went. This is how it goes: (1) they afford Mary special honor; (2) they elevate her to a new position among believers; (3) they erect statures to her; (4) they ask her mediation with God; (5) they pray to her; (6) they place her among the other members of the Trinity; (7) they finally make her the "Mother of God" and the "Mother of us all." Behold, the evolution of a new goddess!