Miller/Samples/Geisler: The Cult of the Virgin: Catholic Mariology and the Apparitions of Mary

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Jan Krohn | Forum Activity | Posted: Mon, Jun 18 2018 4:36 PM

1. The Cult of the Virgin: Catholic Mariology and the Apparitions of Mary
2. Elliot Miller, Kenneth Samples, Norman Geisler
3. Baker / CRI
4. 1992
5. 0801062918
https://www.amazon.com/Cult-Virgin-Catholic-Mariology-Apparitions/dp/0801062918 

If you like the suggestion, please vote here:

https://suggestbooks.uservoice.com/forums/308269-book-suggestions/suggestions/34596037-the-cult-of-the-virgin-catholic-mariology-and-the

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SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 20 2018 11:16 AM

I vote against. Here is the Amazon review that pushed me in that direction: https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R21L8JRVIXVO20/ 

“God watches over the affairs of those who truly love him without their worrying about them.” - St. John of the Cross

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Jan Krohn | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 20 2018 3:13 PM

SineNomine:

I vote against. Here is the Amazon review that pushed me in that direction: https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R21L8JRVIXVO20/ 

I put it up as a suggestion because of this article by William Lane Craig and Michael Licona:

https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/question-answer/appearances-of-mary-and-jesus-resurrection-appearances/

I can see how this title can seem to be offensive to Roman-Catholics. However, I suspect it will only be offensive to Catholics who hold some certain beliefs.

Norm Geisler is not known as a general Catholic basher; nor is William Lane Craig, who is endorsing this book. Kenneth Samples is a very thorough researcher.

So I'm convinced that this title is not about bashing, but about finding the truth about Mary apparitions.

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Whyndell Grizzard | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 20 2018 3:59 PM

Not a fan of Giesler or Lane- but this hersey is gaining ground among the biblically illiterate .

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 20 2018 4:20 PM

Whyndell Grizzard:
Not a fan of Giesler or Lane- but this hersey is gaining ground among the biblically illiterate .

Er ... ah .. I might complain about sectarianism but it is much more fun to note the typo and ask what chocolate bars have to do with this discussion.

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SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 21 2018 1:16 PM

Jan Krohn:
However, I suspect it will only be offensive to Catholics who hold some certain beliefs.

I do not understand what this sentence means. Please explain.

Jan Krohn:
So I'm convinced that this title is not about bashing, but about finding the truth about Mary apparitions.

Have you read the Amazon review (which was not by a Catholic) that I linked to above?

“God watches over the affairs of those who truly love him without their worrying about them.” - St. John of the Cross

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Jan Krohn | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 21 2018 3:47 PM

SineNomine:

Jan Krohn:
However, I suspect it will only be offensive to Catholics who hold some certain beliefs.

I do not understand what this sentence means. Please explain.

A book that concludes that the appearances of Mary are demonic in origin, will most certainly offend pilgrims to those places where these appearances showed up (and these are millions of people per year). These pilgrims are most likely Catholics who hold the belief that these appearances and/or related healings are genuine.

But since this is sort of folk Catholicism and not official teaching (correct me if I'm wrong), not every Catholic might and would be offended by the claim.

SineNomine:
Jan Krohn:
So I'm convinced that this title is not about bashing, but about finding the truth about Mary apparitions.

Have you read the Amazon review (which was not by a Catholic) that I linked to above?

In fact I did read the first couple of paragraphs before dismissing the review as irrelevant, even before you posted the link.

1) is not relevant for researching the truth, but merely a matter of opinion of those bishops

2) is difficult to assess without knowing the book

3) is interesting in that respect, that the Church only started to reach out to pagans a few years after the resurrection. Therefore not researching links between biblical and pagan practices is common sense and not hypocrisy

4) is again interesting. In the NT there's no trace of the adoration of Mary. The same is likely true (correct me if I'm wrong) for the time of the ante-Nicene Church Fathers. Therefore, theorizing about the origin of the practice of adoration of Mary is legitimate, as long as evidence can be provided for their claims

5) is again difficult to assess without knowing the book

6) makes clear that the reviewer has issues with scripture that claims that there's not a single one "good" person (who would be worthy of honour, glory etc.)

At that point I decided that continuing to read the review would be a waste of time.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 21 2018 6:01 PM

Jan, I generally appreciate your posts as well-considered. However, there was no reason to bring your (mis)conceptions re: Catholicism into this discussion. SineNomine referred to a Protestant critique of the work. As a matter of fact, FaithLife carries many books that many of us consider "garbage" - sometime because of confirmation bias, sometimes because the work is a piece of _____ by any rational standard. What we must acknowledge is that there is no consensus as to what is "garbage" and what is useful. You and SineNomine need not agree. Simply support your recommendation based on actual knowledge of the resource and leave us Catholics out of it, please. Thanks.


As for the history of the veneration of Mary, I would suggest Mary Through the Centuries by Jaroslav Pelikan. If you prefer something more specifically Catholic, I would suggest Marian Veneration: Firm Foundations by Francis Cardinal Arinze. In Logos, consider Mary for All Christians by John Macquarrie (non-Catholic) or the much more academic There Is No Rose: The Mariology of the Catholic Church by Aidan Nichols (Catholic). Read these and you'll have all your answers for your points 3, 4 and 6 which are inappropriate for me to answer directly in these forums. As for 

Jan Krohn:
1) is not relevant for researching the truth, but merely a matter of opinion of those bishops
it is relevant to whether or not the visions are legitimate cases for the study. I can give you additional references on ecclesiology to support my statement, if you desire.

As an FYI If you check Wikipedia (or church history) you will discover Marian devotion including apparitions is not specific Catholic. There are recognized (authenticated as per church law) apparitions by the Coptic Orthodox Church and Anglican Communion. A Google on "Orthodox Apparitions" will bring up a number of cases as well.

I have left a personal note for you on Faithlife.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jun 22 2018 1:29 PM

I think I shall make one statement before otherwise letting MJ's reply speak for me, however much I would like to add much more to it.

That statement is: This book significantly misrepresents the beliefs and practices of Catholics.

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Jan Krohn | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jun 22 2018 2:16 PM

Hm... Is that conclusion purely based on a single angry review?

Norm Geisler graduated from Loyola University. Therefore it would be highly surprising if he wrote a book that misrepresents Catholic dogma and beliefs.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jun 22 2018 2:43 PM

Jan Krohn:
Norm Geisler graduated from Loyola University

Norm Geisler did not write this book. It is listed as written by Elliot Miller and Kenneth R. Samples. Even so, the assumption that graduating from Loyola University implies anything more than casual knowledge of Catholic dogma is faulty.

However, if this book is picked up (which I would support) I would expect it to be in eBook format.

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abondservant | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jun 22 2018 3:44 PM

Interesting, Giesler wrote the foreword and not the book itself.

A friend of mine has written several books with him and while I don't agree with him on everything I don't find disagree with him all that often. If Giesler liked it enough to put his name on it, then Its good enough for me to order.

Samples has written some other books I found useful, I'd be interested in reading this one too. Not sure of Miller.

I noticed in a few places reviews accused the three men to be too soft on "Mariolatry".

I understand how this could be offensive to some, and is apparently not strongly worded enough for others. But I find the truth is frequently in the middle, and always in scripture.

I added this to my wishlist. I hope if there are a LOT of links, than FL will give it the full logos treatment, and if not, then an e-book format would be just fine.

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SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jun 22 2018 3:48 PM

Jan Krohn:
Hm... Is that conclusion purely based on a single angry review?

No.

Jan Krohn:
Norm Geisler graduated from Loyola University. Therefore it would be highly surprising if he wrote a book that misrepresents Catholic dogma and beliefs.

I know lots of people who graduated from universities named after Catholic Saints who couldn't tell me so much as the four Marian dogmas if their lives depended on it. In fact, most of them wouldn't know that there are four, and probably couldn't define "dogma" correctly from a Catholic perspective, either. Also, as MJ noted, Geisler didn't write the book.

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SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jun 22 2018 3:54 PM

abondservant:
I understand how this could be offensive to some, and is apparently not strongly worded enough for others. But I find the truth is frequently in the middle, and always in scripture.

I added this to my wishlist. I hope if there are a LOT of links, than FL will give it the full logos treatment, and if not, then an e-book format would be just fine.

Just to be clear, I don't mind FL stocking another book arguing against Catholic positions. FL is not a Catholic bookstore, and I've intentionally bought plenty of books from FaithLife over the years that I would be displeased to find in a Catholic bookstore. My opposition to it as a suggestion comes from its misrepresentations--willful or not--of the beliefs and activities of Catholics, past and present. I would also object if I saw a suggestion of a book that misrepresented Evangelicals, the Greek Orthodox, Shiite Muslims, Mormons, Kantians, or neo-marxist vegans.

I refer interested readers to MJ's suggestions if they want to learn more about Marian devotion, Catholic or otherwise.

“God watches over the affairs of those who truly love him without their worrying about them.” - St. John of the Cross

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Jan Krohn | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jun 22 2018 3:55 PM

Geisler seems to have written the foreword. I see that as sort of a seal of approval.

His thesis from Loyola is available online:

https://ecommons.luc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2019&context=luc_diss

Especially chapters IV and V at first glance looks very related to the book's topic.

eBook format would be perfectly fine for me too. However, that would most likely not happen with just a single book. FL adds whole publishers to eBooks at a time.

abondservant:
I noticed in a few places reviews accused the three men to be too soft on "Mariolatry".

Interestingly, accusations come from both sides. This is a very good sign.

Geisler also writes about apparitions of Mary in the Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics (which most Logos users who own a BP should have in their library). I would expect the tone of the book in question to be similar. It's also referenced in the article. https://biblia.com/books/encycchap/Mary%2C%20Apparitions%20Of

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Dennis Parish | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 17 2018 7:59 PM

In addition to "Mary through the Centuries," I would suggest looking at Stephen J. Shoemaker's  recent books tracing the historical development of Marian devotion: "Mary in Early Christian Faith and Devotion" and "The Life of the Virgin: [by] Maximus the Confessor" both published by Yale University Press.

Regards,

Dennis

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