Quick Hit: Scott Hahn on Mary

Those of you who have been tracking with me for any length of time know my views on the Catholic Church:  I believe that there is much in the Catholic faith that is worthy of respect and admiration, but I am content to admire from a distance.  Today we are going to talk about one of the reasons why I am content to admire from a distance.

One word:  Mary.

Some of you who have been tracking with me for a really long time will remember a series that I did a few years back about my view of Catholicism.  In Part 3 of this series, I made the point that there are several aspects of Catholic belief that run contrary to the teaching of Scripture, and I detailed some of these.  I made the point that recent Church pronouncements on Mary rival the Mormons for creativity.

And then I found this little piece from Scott Hahn in which Mary is likened to the Ark of the Covenant.  Read it, if you will.  Be warned, though:  it is a very long read.  But then, it’s summer right now; what else are you going to do while you’re kicking back at the pool or beach?

There is very little in the way of direct Scriptural evidence to support the doctrines of Mary that have been made into dogma in recent years, but Hahn does a masterful job of pulling out a little bit of Scripture and making it seem to do the trick.

It’s as if the Catholic Church is saying, “Do you really want to be part of the One True Church?  Do you REALLY REALLY want it?  How badly do you want it?  Because if you want it bad enough, you WILL find a way to wrap your mind around all this and make it work.”

I think it would be more honest for the Catholic Church, in response to the question of why we have to believe all this stuff about Mary, to simply say “The Church teaches it” and leave it at that, rather than to send Scott Hahn out on some exegetical adventure to try and find a way to show that all of this is really connected to Scripture after all.

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3 thoughts on “Quick Hit: Scott Hahn on Mary

  1. Hey Joe. I came here by way of my blog alert for mentions of Walker Percy. Looks like a good and thoughtful blog you’ve got going here. I’m also a convert from an evangelical background and found Mary to be a big stumbling block for a long time.

    I had to smile at your image of the Church sending Hahn out as a sort of special double-agent 007 tasked with the exegetical mission impossible of defending the Church’s teachings on Mary. (Hahn receives the encrypted email message from the pope: “Your mission, agent Hahn, should you choose to accept it…”) I haven’t read the Hahn piece yet, but I know there is a lot in both scripture and — especially — deeply-rooted tradition (aye, there’s the rub … tradition) that supports the Church’s teaching. Mark Shea is another agent tasked by the pope with the impossible task of highlighting some the rationale for what the Church teaches regarding Mary. He’s got a great recorded talk on the subject and is working on a book or series of books.

    A tipping point for my own conversion with regard to Mary was an open-minded consideration of the phenomenon of Mary’s appearing in the world at Lordes, Fatima, and Medjugorje. The Miracle Detective by Randall Sullivan is an especially compelling read regarding Medjugorje. The author, a writer for Rolling Stone, embarked on the project as a sceptic and ended up (to a degree) a believer.

    By the way, my wife is a speech therapist who specializes in working with kids with autism, so I found your “deep dark secret” post interesting and forwarded it on to her.

  2. Disclaimer: I didn’t intentionally put a smiley face in my comment above. I try to avoid smiley faces in all venues of writing. But somehow one has appeared there. Not that I’m not smiling. But I would just like to publically disavow the smiley face thing.

  3. Thanks Joe, appreciate your fairness. I too, like many Catholic speakers and some of the things they say and do.
    I was raised Catholic and am thankful to the convent nuns teaching me Jesus and the bible.
    In many ways, I think Cathoilcs do community better than us evangelicals (schools and the centrality of mass in particular) yet the cleanness with which evangelicals preach/teach the scripture (Spurgeon, Lloyd Jones, Stott etc;) and the great Puritan writers always win hands down for me.
    The word of God is just so powerful and rich, that it keeps me totally absorbed spiritually. I always say to myself that if the word loses its shine then I’ll perhaps pursue mysticism and tradition………………….( I’m still going after 31 years!)

    I read a number of years ago, one of Scott Hahn’s book (about evangelicals who converted to Catholicism). What I found interesting was the number of people who converted, it appears to me, did so more on the grounds of the perceived division amongst Protestants. I found that astonishing………because, in my City we enjoy great unity amongst evangelicals (ministers & churches) and I know that most Catholic priests/parishes rarely interact with one another.

    In short, for me at the end of the day, Christianity is about being in Christ. I enjoy some great fellowship with Catholics but they are generally the ones who are married to Christ and not to Catholicism.
    Probably like you Joe, I also tend to defend Catholics from ignorant, harsh and unfair criticism.

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