Mary, in Prayer

I’m on the Midday Connection at WMBI today — I will be talking about Mary and my book The Real Mary: Why Evangelical Christians Can Embrace the Mother of Jesus. Melinda Schmidt, one of the hosts, told me about this wonderful picture of Mary dedicating Jesus to God.

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  • Scot,

    I’m reading this book right now and I have been very impressed with how much the gospel comes through. So far Mary has been reminding me of Paul in 2 Corinthians. Mary had to take up her own cross and embrace the story of a suffering Messiah:

    3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. 1 6 If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. 7 Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.

  • smcknight

    Nick, that is an excellent observation.

  • Sam

    Hi, Scot,

    I happened to be in my car during lunch and heard just about all of your appearance today on Midday Connection. I’m Catholic and am a non-traditional aged master’s degree theology student. I thought you might like to hear what a knowledgeable Catholic thought of your guest appearance.

    I appreciated your civil effort to present the benefits of any Christian on meditating on the life of Mary. I think it is an important thing for any Christian to consider any of Jesus’ followers and what we can learn from them and what is taught about them in Scripture. I agree that there is sometimes a tendency among non-Catholic Christians to automatically hesitate to show any admiration for Mary for fear of coming close to embracing Catholic beliefs on Mary.

    A couple criticisms I have are as follows. You made a point to say how Catholics and Protestants always end up arguing about the Perpetual Virginity doctrine, but that we should consider what Scripture says about Mary. Yet, you proceeded de facto that Mary clearly had other children. I think you did once mention “if James was Jesus’ brother…” conditionally, so I appreciated that.

    The other criticism I had was the insinuation that the various dogmas of Catholicism have no basis in Scripture but only in “tradition.” That is not true and I think it should be made clear that the reason many Protestants think Catholic beliefs about Mary are Biblical is because Protestants don’t interpret Marian texts with the same hermeneutic as Catholics. Catholics draw largely off typology and if you read any of the papal encyclicals in question about Marian dogmas, they are fraught with Scriptural references both typological and otherwise. That includes the supposedly clear texts of Jesus’ “brothers” that the hosts of the radio show apparently thought Catholics have missed for centuries.

    I will leave it at that and join you in the effort to make the dialogue civil. Like you, I am sure neither of us would want to compromise the truth for the sake of “getting along.” It’s when civility is taken away from the dialogue that I think you meant when you talked about arguments between Catholicism and Protestantism.

    Perhaps I will check out your book sometime.
    God bless,

  • smcknight

    Sam, thanks much for this, and I think you are right. I should have nuanced it to say that the Catholic hermeneutic, which may or may not always derive from Scripture, reshapes how so many Marian texts are read — but the result for Catholics is that what we Prots think is not biblical you think is thoroughly biblical. I will never forget reading JPII’s understanding of Marian intercession in John 2 — I had never ever seen anything like it and saw exactly what he was getting at.

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  • in prep for Advent was reading your book in Costa (coffee shop in uk) when I met some people for whom I had conducted a funeral last year. I explained I was actually working and reading about Mary. ‘Who’s Mary?’ was the response – thought it was an interesting reflection of the state of affairs in our culture!

  • smcknight

    Jared H, sad. I hope they weren’t Christians!

  • Wouter Biesbrouck

    Could you give more information about the picture and the statue (such as who made the statue, where is it located, …)?

  • JoanieD

    Scot wrote, “I will never forget reading JPII’s understanding of Marian intercession in John 2 — I had never ever seen anything like it and saw exactly what he was getting at.”

    Scot, can you tell me more about what JPII said? Thanks.

  • smcknight


    Pecos Benedictine Monastery


    Mary “intercedes” for some people; Jesus, though rebuffing her, eventually does grant what she wanted == more wine for the guests. So, he saw Marian intercession. (I see that, but I don’t think that’s the point.)

  • Wouter Biesbrouck

    Thanks for the link to Pecos Monastery. I couldn’t find the picture on their website however. I did find a picture of the statue (a wood sculpture) at
    But to my surprise the caption said it was a sculpture of Rachel weeping for her children.

  • Sam

    Good deal, Scot. If I can ever be of service to you feel free to contact me.