Saturday, December 11, 2010

Immaculate Conception show notes

These notes accompany the Blogtalkradio show on the Immaculate Conception of Mary. They should be used in conjunction. You may need to hit the pause button from time to time as you listen.

At about the 6:30 mark, we mention that Catholic Sacred tradition puts Mary's birth date at September 8th. Link. As a matter of tradition, the date of Mary's birth is not something established as doctrine we are bound to adhere to. Nevertheless, Catholics do believe that The Holy Spirit leads our Church to all truth, in accordance with Jesus' promise (John 16:13).

Again, according to Christ's own words, we believe that what the Catholic binds on earth is bound in heaven (Matthew 16:19). Obviously, this question of authority divides Protestants and Catholics. Protestants adhere to a doctrine known as Sola Scriptura which stipulates that the Bible alone is a Christian's rule of faith. Catholics believe this doctrine is wholly untenable from either a logical or historical perspective.

However, the most ironic fact of all is that the idea that Christ's truth is revealed to us by Scripture only is a direct contradiction of what Scripture teaches (John 21:25, 2 Thessalonians 2:15). There is not a single verse of scriptural support for the idea of the formal sufficiency of Scripture. Don't believe me? Try and find one.

As a Catholic says this, he is often accused of being in opposition to the Scriptures. Nothing could be further from the truth. Catholics fully aknowledge that the Scriptures are a form of the inspired, inerrant Word of God.

Where we differ from Protestants is that we reject the notion that God speaks to us only through Scripture and we reject that Scripture is a matter of personal interpretation (2 Peter 1:20).

For a better understanding of why Sola Scriptura is a false doctrine, I invite you to listen to this show in your leisure.

The biggest problem with the doctrine of Sola Scriptura is this notion of personal interpretation and the false notion of formal sufficiency that is necessitated by it. The Protestant doctrine of formal security holds that anyone can- merely by his own efforts and the direct guidance of the Holy Spirit- read and properly interpret Scripture. Protestants hold that all doctrines sufficient for salvation are easy to read and understand and are found plainly and conspicuously on the face of Scripture.

Again, it is critical to note that this doctrine is in direct opposition to what Scripture suggests.

2 Peter 3:15 And count the forbearance of our Lord as salvation. So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16 speaking of this as he does in all his letters. There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures.

It is not my intention to go into a dissertation on Sola Scriptura here but it is important to draw the lens back and understand that the Scriptures are only of use to you in accordance to the effort you are willing to invest in them.

If you want to understand how doctrines such as the Immaculate Conception are drawn from Scripture, you must be willing to move past sound byte apologetics and be willing to go a little deeper.


At about 12:40, we first touch on the significance of the Old Testament in understanding the New. Here is a show and corresponding show notes on Old Testament typology fulfilled in the person of Mary.

At about the 14:00 mark, Donald discusses the importance of the Covenant. A definition of a Covenant is very important. This is another sharp division we have with Protestants. Protestants see Salvation in terms of a doctrine titled Sola Christi or Christ alone. This doctrine is also false and wholly un-Biblical. God's relationship with us is a covenant relationship that requires the cooperation and participation of human beings. Sometimes, this assertion, by Catholics, is derided as propagating a so-called weak Jesus. The weak Jesus canard is a shrewd avoidance of the plain truth that Christ'sjustice demands respect of our free will to accept or reject His plan of salvation.

Ignoring this fact is essential to dismissing Mary as a mere bit-player in the Salvation story.

At the 16:00 mark, we start explaining how Mary actually fulfills essential Old Testament models of roles intrinsic to the salvation story. Two primary roles are that of the Queen Mother and the Ark of the Covenant. The Queen Mother was the Mother of the King and interceded before him (Jeremiah 13:18, Jeremiah 29:2, 1 Kings 15:13, 2 Chronicles 15:16).

It is no coincidence the Jesus first public miracle was at Mary's request (John 2:1-11).

More significant to the doctrine, however, is how Mary is the fulfillment of the Ark of the Covenant. The Ark of the Covenant in the Old Testament carried in it items which foreshadowed Christ. These items made the Ark so holy that to even touch it meant death.

2 Samuel 6: 6 And when they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled. 7 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there because he put forth his hand to the ark; * and he died there beside the ark of God.

Mary carried Christ HIMSELF and is the actual fulfillment of the Ark.

Revelation 11:19-12:5

19* Then God's temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple; and there were flashes of lightning, voices, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail.

And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; 2* she was with child and she cried out in her pangs of birth, in anguish for delivery. 3* And another portent appeared in heaven; behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems upon his heads. 4* His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to bear a child, that he might devour her child when she brought it forth; 5* she brought forth a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne,

Starting at 27:34, we begin to set up the Angel Gabriel's greeting to Mary by a simple discussion on the topic of Grace. For further information, please read sections VII and VIII of this article on the topic of Grace. Here was a show we did on it. Technical issues at the start.

At about the 29 minute mark, we talk about Concupiscence and how sin was brought into the world through the disobedience of the first woman. We then contrast that with how salvation was brought into the world through the obedience of the new woman.

We then focus on the natural dilemma that Salvation rests on Mary's yes and how God would guarantee that yes answer while still preserving her free will. At 38:50, we make the point that Mary had to be totally predisposed to God's will due to an abundance of Grace.

We then make the case that that is exactly the state the Bible tells us She was in.

The distinction between Mary's boundless faith (Luke 1:38) and Zechariah's failing faith (Luke 1:19-20) is stark. Elizabeth (Luke 1:45) and Jesus (Luke 11:27-28) both make a point of saying that Mary's faith is the reason why she was so blessed. How blessed?

Blessed among all women (Luke 1:42) and for all generations (Luke 1:48). This blessing doesn't detract from magnifies Him! (Luke 1:46).

Lest you think I am taking liberties with Jesus' words in Luke 11, think again.

At 40:22, we begin to talk about what the Angel Gabriel says to Mary in Luke 1:28. Here is the actual Greek, broken down. Verse 29 proves that the greeting was an astounding one.

The King James translates this verse wrong...intentionally. In it's original margin notes, the KJV concedes that Kecharitome translates ''endured with grace''.

John 1:14

We hope that these notes help. Enjoy the show!

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