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Mary: A Catholic-Evangelical Debate Paperback – August 1, 2003

4.6 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"This book is evidence of a new Marian apparition--her appearance in recent Evangelical-Roman Catholic dialogues. When it comes to Mary, there is much that we agree on, and much about which we still remain divided. This winsome but tough-minded discussion helps us to sort through those distinctions and thus contributes to the kind of healthy ecumenism we need more of."--Timothy George, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University "There is simply no other book in print that explores this most immovable impasse between Protestants and Catholics in a way that both uncompromising Evangelicals like J. I. Packer and uncompromising Catholics like Richard John Neuhaus can wholly applaud. Clear, honest, mutually respectful, uncompromising, and illuminating!"--Peter Kreeft, Boston College "Eavesdropping on this conversation is a real treat and, of course, more than that--a serious exchange in which crucial theological questions and deep personal piety become tightly intertwined. As the authors themselves evince, a lot more is at stake than personal preferences and devotional sensibilities. Without either diminishing the differences or resorting to caricature, the conversation in both tone and substance is a salutary model."--Michael Horton, president of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals "Every time I have heard Protestants and Catholics talk about Mary, they have started fighting, complete with name-calling and door-slamming. The Catholic Longenecker and the Protestant Gustafson both assert their positions with every argument and fact they can find, but they do not fight even when they radically disagree. The result is a truly illuminating book and a serious theological study that is (oh rare event) quite fun to read."--David Mills, Touchstone "This debate is lively and full of challenge; it is also a dialogue, an interaction between friends, not a polemic, and it could serve as a model for ecumenical work. With a wealth of solid theological information, it throws much light on Mary's role in God's plan and in the life of Christians. Readers will be stimulated by its honesty and fraternal spirit and, one hopes, come to know Mary better. Both Catholics and Evangelicals will learn much from this book."--Francis Cardinal George, Archbishop of Chicago

From the Back Cover

DWIGHT LONGENECKER is the author of More Christianity, St. Benedict & St. Therese, and Challenging Catholics. He is a freelance writer and broadcaster in Chippenham, England, where he lives with his wife and children.

DAVID GUSTAFSON is an assistant chief in the United States Department of Justice, Tax Division. He and his family live in Washington, D.C.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Brazos Press (August 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 158743072X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1587430725
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #955,957 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
As a Catholic convert from Evangelicalism, I really was intrigued by this debate from two very talented laymen. Both views were vigourously defended, and the respect both sides had for one another made the book work. I felt Mr. Gustafson did a great job of bringing up all the tough questions Evangelicals rightly ask concerning Marian devotion, and Mr. Longenknecker did what I thought was the single best job of not only defending, but helping to teach the logic and rationale behind the dogmas and practice of Catholicism regarding Mary. A highly readable book. Mr. Longanecker scored a home run with his metahpor of a future Christian sect misreading Evangelical devotion to the scriptures.. a perfect analogy. Mr Gustafson rightly cornered the Catholic writer on much of the excessive devotional writings, especially the popes on the Mediatrix issue.
Overall, the single best book Ive read on the subject...and how refreshing both men still considers the other a brother in Christ..there is hope.
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Format: Paperback
When one deals with the subject of Mary, he is stepping into a sensitive arena especially with all that mutual misunderstandings between Catholics and Protestants for each others points. But before I state my opinion about the subject, allow me once again to state my denominational background so that I won’t be misunderstood or considered blindly biased for my denomination: I was born of an Orthodox father (thus I am officially an Orthodox), raised as a Catholic by my mother and school, and recently I am getting more acquainted with the Evangelical doctrines. So I can describe myself as a NON-denominational believer trying to take the best from each of those three mainline churches; this is where reading and studying comes in.

So back to the subject of Mary, ever since I became a believer and started to read the Bible as well as read about the Evangelical line of thought, I noticed there is something wrong with some of the doctrines my Church (Catholic, and to a lesser degree Orthodox) taught me. The Bible doesn’t mention anything about the Immaculate Conception (Mary being exempt from the stain of original sin), doesn’t mention anything about her rapture, nothing about her being a co-redeemer or mediatrix or advocate, the Bible doesn’t mention anywhere that we should pray to her or venerate her… So naturally, I had a lot of questions and since there is a big dispute about these between the Catholics and Protestants, I needed a book that is the least possibly biased so that I get to know their respective arguments. And here is the real strength of this book!

The title says it all. “Mary: a Catholic-Evangelical debate” is written in a form of a debate between a Catholic (Dwight Logenecker) and an Evangelical (David Gustafson).
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Format: Paperback
Few topics can get the tempers flaring between Catholics and Protestants than devotion to Mary. While Catholics (as well as the Orthodox and some Anglicans) see it as a natural outgrowth and reflection of the Incarnation, there is a general feeling within much of Protestantism to look upon Marian devotion as bordering on idolatry. Attempts to mediate the differences usually take one of two paths: either the real differences between Christians are minimized in a banal soup of least common denominator theology or else it dissolves into angry polemical exchanges shedding far more heat than light.
The debate presented in Mary between Dwight Longenecker and David Gustafson is a wonderful exception to this unfortunate pattern. Both participants graduated from Bob Jones University (a known bastion of anti-Catholic polemic) before moving from the Protestant fundamentalism promoted there to a more historically rooted Christianity in Anglicanism (with Longenecker favoring the more Catholic and Gustafson the more Evangelical wings of the Anglican tradition). Longenecker has since moved on to Rome and with it an acceptance of beliefs peculiar to it - many dealing with Mary. These and other Marian beliefs and practices are the center of the debate and the result is an almost unparalleled attempt to discuss the truth in love on both sides. It is indeed rare to have a book endorsed by both Richard Neuhaus and J. I. Packer (both of whom write forwards) as well as by both Michael Horton and Peter Kreeft (both of whom write cover blurbs), and the backing by such noted theologians on both sides is testimony to the book's clear exposition of the issues.
It is a joy to see both men desiring to fully comprehend the other's position and addressing their objections accordingly.
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Format: Paperback
Wow, a book solely about Mary the mother of Jesus of Nazareth from both a Protestant and Roman Catholic point of view. The authors, Dwight and Dave, show forth their love for Christ's church and each other in this book. Reading this book is like listening in to a conversation between two good freinds who disagree on a matter that is dear to them. There is love and respect, but also great intellectual honesty and probing. Before I read this book I did not realize that the position of Mary in Roman Catholic teaching was so developed, and in fact is still developing. From a Protestant standpoint I did not realize that such greats as Luther were quite Catholic in their beliefs. Dave Gustafason does an outstanding job on presenting Evangelical thoughts on Mary, but at the same time being very understanding and open to his friend Dwights Catholic position. Both authors did a lot of homework from early church history to present and document this well without saturating you with footnotes. I know of no other book like this on Mary the mother of Jesus and her position in the Catholic and Protestant churches. I recommend it for all who seek more truth about Mary and her relationship to the church.
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