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The Orthodox Veneration of Mary The Birthgiver of God Paperback – 1994
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Top Customer Reviews
Second, I believe that the idea that Mary is the Theotokos is not only valid but is also a valid development obtained from Scripture. The problem with most arises when this term is translated into the Mother of God which is a loose translation, but is more accurately rendered as she who gave birth to God. The Orthodox regularly refer to Mary by her title Theotokos, and only usually translate it as Mother of God for convenience in dialogue with Western Christians.Read more ›
Topic: The proper veneration of the Blessed Mary from the Eastern Orthodox perspective.
When St. John died in 1966, he little imagined that this work would be resurrected. It had originally been published in a Serbian church journal in the 1930's. It is a short exposition, grounded in Holy Scripture, Patristics, and Orthodox liturgy (including Vespers and Akathists).
St. John does an amazing amout of theological exposition in this short essay. He explains from church history and the sources noted, the role always accorded the Theotokos in Christianity. This includes her full humanity, the fact that she was ever-virgin but not immaculately conceived herself, and that she led an exemplary life. St. John does this in no uncertain terms and with a clean simplicity of faith rather than speculation, legalism, or theorizing.
In so doing, he presents the Orthodox refutation of the Protestant failure to give Mary the veneration scripture commands (Luke: "for, behold, from henceforth ALL generations shall call me Blessed"). He also refutes the Roman church's over-veneration to the point of adoration, semi-deification, and raising Mary to an incarnation of a hypostasis of Trinity and co-redemptrix.
In the latter, St. John does a wonderful job of pointing out how, in misplaced love, humans in the Roman church may have actually lessened Mary's stature by attempting to ascribe unto her gifts beyond those given by God.Read more ›
This protestant came away from my hour of reading this book with a much greater love of the Mother of Jesus, and recommend it to anyone who wants to grow in their faith.
The book is not a work of Orthodox apologetics directed towards Protestants searching for a solid basis for veneration of the Theotokos, as one might think. It is meant for Orthodox Christians to encourage them to more sincerely venerate the Theotokos and to guard against heresies involving her. The book consists of three main parts. The first is an account of attempts made against her veneration by heresiarchs from her dormition through the Jewish slander of her relationship with a Roman soldier, and finally on to the Nestorian and iconoclast heresies which were defeated by the Ecumenical Councils. The second part is a refutation of the Roman Catholic doctrine of the "immaculate conception", where Archbishop Maximovitch shows that in their zeal to praise the Theotokos, they really strip her of her saintly qualities. Finally, the last part summarizes all of Orthodoxy's hagiographical teachings on the life of the Theotokos.
While most of the book seems sound Orthodox theology and will better equip Orthodox Christians to respond to Protestant criticisms and Latin innovations, I was uncomfortable with a reference to the "aerial toll house" concept, where the soul is beset by demons after death and can only make it through by the grace of God. Most Orthodox consider this a gnostic heresy, and it derives from old Slavic schismatics. While I do think highly of much of the material in the book, I would only recommend it to people aware of the controversy of Rose's views on the soul after death.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm listing many books I purchased here on Amazon so others can see what's in my Orthodox library. I will come back in the future and rate each one separately. Read morePublished 21 months ago by ahiker4u
St John was a modern saint whose body was discovered incorruptable. With this in mind one knows that this book is infused witht he holiness of God's presence and that his words are... Read morePublished on September 26, 2012 by Jack Ladde
I bought the book expecting to find an Orthodox explanation for the many prayers and praises for Mary that are used in the Orthodox services. Read morePublished on January 22, 2011 by Megabit
To this day, St. John [Maximovitch] remains a great wonder-worker and intercessor. The biography of his ministry to the Orthodox Church began at Baptism (1896) in a small... Read morePublished on November 29, 2009 by Edward M. Freeman
St. John Maximovitch, perhaps the greatest of twentieth century saints of the Orthodox Church, known for his gifts of healing and wonderworking, offers this concise... Read more
I have read this book a number of times and have always found new things each time I read it. St. John Maximovitch has made the exposition of Orthodox teaching on the Mother of God... Read morePublished on November 26, 2008 by Vladika Ioan
I bought this book, thinking from the description it could give some sort of Biblical foundation for offering Prayers to Mary. Read morePublished on August 6, 2007 by Lovin' The Truth
I have several complaints about this book. First, the typography was sub-par. I don't know if this was inherent in St. Read morePublished on July 17, 2007 by SKClimacus
The place of Mary in the Church is certainly among the most contentious issues along the Protestant/Catholic divide. Read morePublished on October 28, 2006 by Labarum