Protestant View of Mary Examined in Time Magazine

In March 21's issue of TIME magazine, theologians and scholars examined the Protestant view of Mary - the mother of Jesus - in light of the alleged trend of Protestants "elevating Mary as a model of Christian devotion."

Among the many theologians quoted in the article is R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, who warned against the unscriptural view of Mary as an elevated model or an intermediary figure between God and man, according to the Baptist Press.

Mohler's said that those who structure new “theological constructions” around Mary are guilty of “overreaching, “wishful thinking” and effectively “flirting with Catholic devotion.”

A Princeton professor, Beverly Gavanta, on the other hand, presented Mary as a "victim of a Protestant conspiracy of silence: theologically, liturgically and devotionally.”

Gavanta, who has authored “Mary: Glimpses of the Mother of Jesus,” urged Protestants to make more frequent references to Mary in sermons and in academic papers.

Gavanta's work has influenced other writers to re-examine the importance of Mary, according to Time Magazine.

The Time article also took note of the rising interest of Mary in Protestand churches. Some Protestant churches have devoted sermons and Bible studies on Mary, such as Westminster Presbyterian Church in Xenia, Ohio and Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago, Il.

Mohler was critical of such devotion, saying that while "Mary is held forth as the maternal face of God," that is a "dimension that is fundamentally absent from Scripture," said Mohler."

"God’s love is presented in biblical terms without any need for Mary as an intermediary. To suggest that need, even as ‘symbolic’ instead of doctrinal ... is the Reformation in reverse," he said.

“It’s simply profoundly unbiblical, and it leads to the worst excesses of Marian devotion.”