Mary – Another Redeemer?
By James R. White
Bethany House, 1998, 164 pages
This book is a short, evangelical response to the groundswell within Roman Catholicism to recognize Mary as “Co-Redemptrix,” with Jesus Christ. “Mary – Another Redeemer?” was written during the papacy of John Paul II who was totally dedicated to Mary – his official Latin papal motto, “Totus tuus sum, Maria,” translates as “Mary, I am completely yours.” Wojtyla was a strong advocate of formally recognizing Mary as Co-Redeemer. But eleven years after his death, Mary’s supporters are still waiting. As White points out, some of the Catholic hierarchy hesitate to formally proclaim this belief as dogma because they realize it will dampen efforts to gather in the “separated brethren.” Although the doctrine is not yet official, for all intents and purposes Mary is recognized as Christ’s Co-Redeemer within Catholicism.
How did Catholics come to worship Mary as semi-deity when there is absolutely no Biblical basis? White briefly reviews the history of the rise of Mariolatry and compares the simple, Biblical view of Mary to the idolatrous Marian extrapolations invented by Rome. It’s somewhat puzzling that White refrains from any mention of the development of Marian worship as an accommodation of the increasingly institutionalized early church to pagan, mother-goddess worship (e.g., Asherah, Isis, Ishtar, Hera, Venus, Pachamama, etc.), which was clearly the case. See “The Virgin: Mary’s Cult and the Re-emergence of the Goddess” by historian, Geoffrey Ashe, for a thorough examination of Mariolatry’s pagan roots.
Evangelicals are amazed and saddened by Rome’s transformation of Mary from a sinner in need of the Savior, as we all are, to the sinless Queen of Heaven, Spouse of the Holy Spirit, Mother of God, Holy Mother, Holy Virgin, Co-Redemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate. Catholics vehemently protest that they don’t deify Mary but their practices and attitudes demonstrate otherwise. This book was written as a wake up call to evangelicals who are increasingly embracing Rome, as exemplified by Chuck Colson’s once-influential “Evangelicals and Catholics Together” project.
I’m so grateful that I was redeemed by God’s grace through faith in Christ Jesus alone. I pray many Catholics will leave the religious ritualism, legalism, and man-made traditions of their church and accept Jesus as their Savior. Christ came to save sinners, not the religious self-righteous who believe they can earn heaven by receiving the Catholic sacraments and by obeying the Ten Commandments. “Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God.” – Galatians 3:11
Biblical perspective on Mary: “As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.” He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” Luke 11:27 & 28
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