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MARY: A CATHOLIC-EVANGELICAL DEBATE, Dwight Longenecker & David Gustafson

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 Contents - Apr 2015AD2000 April 2015 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: Welcome!
Vocations: Australia's seminaries flourishing in 2015 - Br Barry Coldrey
Designer babies: Dolce&Gabbana versus Elton John - Fr Dwight Longenecker
Tu es Petrus: From John XXIII to Pope Francis: Four recent stages of Catholicism - Patrick Morgan
Contemporary challenges facing Catholicism: Interview with Cardinal Robert Sarah - Élisabeth de Baudoüin
Today's prophets: where are they? - Anne Lastman
Our homeland is in Heaven - Audrey English
Pilate's inscription on the Cross - Andrew Sholl
Religious schools may teach the faith: Canada's Supreme Court - AD2000 REPORT
Palliative care protects human dignity - Pope Francis
EWTN's new app for smartphones and tablets - Peter Westmore
Letters: The Holy See's relations with China - Francis Vrijmoed
Letters: Critique of secular psychology - Eileen Cronin
Letters: Put not your faith in electronic gadgets! - Anne Lastman
Letters: Jesus words from the Cross - Robert Bom
Letters: Mary in Scripture and history - Allan Choveaux
Letters: Children's rights - Arnold Jago
Books: MARY: A CATHOLIC-EVANGELICAL DEBATE, Dwight Longenecker & David Gustafson - Michael E Daniel (reviewer)
Books: INSIGHTS FROM GRECO-ROMAN TIMES: A Christian Response, by Rex Dale - Peter Westmore (reviewer)
Books: THE MASS OF THE EARLY CHRISTIANS, by Mike Aquilina - Paul Simmons (reviewer)
Books: Order books from
Reflection: Good Friday Reflection - Fr Raniero Cantalamessa

Mary in the mystery of salvation

by Dwight Longenecker and David Gustafson,
Gracewing, PB, ISBN: 0852445822, 2003, pp.223.
Available from Freedom Publishing $24.95, reduced to $20.00

Catholics who have discussed religious beliefs with Protestant friends know all too well that some of the main differences relate to beliefs about and devotional practices associated with the Virgin Mary.

Similarly, most converts from Protestantism to Catholicism attest to the fact that some of the biggest difficulties they had to overcome were the Church's teachings about Mary.

Mary: a Catholic – Evangelical Debate is written in the form of a discussion/debate between two leading scholars: the Catholic, Fr Dwight Longenecker, himself a former Anglican priest; the Protestant, David Gustafson, is a lawyer by profession, who is currently a judge of the United States Tax Court.

The two scholars examine beliefs about Mary in a logical order, commencing with the scriptural evidence, before discussing beliefs such as the Virgin Birth, the Perpetual Virginity of Mary, the Immaculate Conception and Assumption, before concluding with discussions about the rosary (in a chapter with the amusing title 'worry beads'), and whether Mary is Co-Redeemer and Mediatrix.

What this volume provides is a model for authentic dialogue. Both Gustafson and Longenecker are respectful of each other, and charitable in their deliberations. They also seek to understand each other's position.

However, at the same time, they acknowledge that there are genuine differences of belief, which neither of them gloss over or trivialise. Instead, both of them have the courage of their convictions to argue their position forthrightly.

Both scholars also acknowledge substantial agreement, particularly in matters of belief such as the Virgin Birth.

Indeed, both stand firm against liberal Christian approaches on core matters of belief that are clearly enunciated in the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds.

It is the reviewer's sense that at times Longenecker presents the stronger case, perhaps because his religious journey, first as an Evangelical Christian, then as an Anglican, has given him insights into both Evangelical and Catholic approaches as an 'insider.'

Mary: a Catholic – Evangelical Debate is a welcome addition to books about the Virgin Mary currently available. Whilst both scholars have an in-depth knowledge of theology and scripture, the contents of the book are accessible to the average Christian who has a competent understanding of Christian belief and practice.

It would form the basis of useful study and discussion, and is a good resource for those involved in Catholic education. Each chapter contains a series of well-written study and discussion questions.

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 28 No 3 (April 2015), p. 13

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