Martin Luther and John Calvin and the term "Mother of God"

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Martin Luther and John Calvin and the term "Mother of God"

#1

Post by Christian2 » Wed Oct 12, 2016 10:40 am

I understand that Martin Luther and John Calvin used the term "Mother of God" when referring to the Virgin Mary.

Why?

In Martin Luther's case was this a "hold over" from his Catholic upbringing?

How did John Calvin view Mary? As "mother of God"?

I understand that the Virgin Mary carried the Son of God (incarnate Word of God) in her womb, but that Mary had nothing to do with the divinity of the Messiah; she provided His human nature. I understand that since Jesus was the incarnated Word of God, she carried the incarnate Word of God.

I think the term "Mother of God" unfortunate, or misleading, since it implies that Mary carried the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Protestants today do not call the Virgin Mary the "Mother of God." What changed?

What do you guys think?

Thanks.

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Re: Martin Luther and John Calvin and the term "Mother of God"

#2

Post by Byblos » Wed Oct 12, 2016 11:08 am

Christian2 wrote:I understand that Martin Luther and John Calvin used the term "Mother of God" when referring to the Virgin Mary.

Why?

In Martin Luther's case was this a "hold over" from his Catholic upbringing?

How did John Calvin view Mary? As "mother of God"?

I understand that the Virgin Mary carried the Son of God (incarnate Word of God) in her womb, but that Mary had nothing to do with the divinity of the Messiah; she provided His human nature. I understand that since Jesus was the incarnated Word of God, she carried the incarnate Word of God.

I think the term "Mother of God" unfortunate, or misleading, since it implies that Mary carried the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Protestants today do not call the Virgin Mary the "Mother of God." What changed?

What do you guys think?

Thanks.
In short, the only way to deny Mary's title as Mother of God is to separate Jesus' humanity from his divinity. That's where most heresies fell.

Read some of the exchanges here (especially Jac's).
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Re: Martin Luther and John Calvin and the term "Mother of God"

#3

Post by Philip » Wed Oct 12, 2016 11:49 am

In short, the only way to deny Mary's title as Mother of God is to separate Jesus' humanity from his divinity.
Which is basically an argument from semantics. What REALLY matters, per Mary, is what both Scripture says about her, and very importantly, from our modern perspective, is what is DOESN'T say about her. Post the stories surrounding how Mary found that she would carry Jesus, a few early stories in his childhood, of being with the Believers post the Crucifixion, Mary is an important but minor character in Scripture - at least as far as how little she is referred to post Jesus beginning His ministry. She is not referred to as some intercessory Co-Redeemtrix, etc., sinless, or "raptured" up to Heaven, or any of that hyper-Mary Catholic stuff that was made up far later. She was an amazing and faithful young woman, awesomely used by God, who needed a Savior just like every other sinner does. But that is where her role ends - as hugely important as it was. Man needs but ONE intercessor and Great High Priest: Jesus!

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Re: Martin Luther and John Calvin and the term "Mother of God"

#4

Post by Byblos » Wed Oct 12, 2016 4:34 pm

Philip wrote:
In short, the only way to deny Mary's title as Mother of God is to separate Jesus' humanity from his divinity.
Which is basically an argument from semantics. What REALLY matters, per Mary, is what both Scripture says about her, and very importantly, from our modern perspective, is what is DOESN'T say about her. Post the stories surrounding how Mary found that she would carry Jesus, a few early stories in his childhood, of being with the Believers post the Crucifixion, Mary is an important but minor character in Scripture - at least as far as how little she is referred to post Jesus beginning His ministry. She is not referred to as some intercessory Co-Redeemtrix, etc., sinless, or "raptured" up to Heaven, or any of that hyper-Mary Catholic stuff that was made up far later. She was an amazing and faithful young woman, awesomely used by God, who needed a Savior just like every other sinner does. But that is where her role ends - as hugely important as it was. Man needs but ONE intercessor and Great High Priest: Jesus!

And exactly what does that have anything to do with the question posed?
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Re: Martin Luther and John Calvin and the term "Mother of God"

#5

Post by Philip » Wed Oct 12, 2016 6:13 pm

And exactly what does that have anything to do with the question posed?
Merely pointing out what really matters is not some silly argument over the semantics of the term "Mother of God." Was Jesus fully human? Of course. Was Mary His human mother? Absolutely. Was/Is Jesus God? Unquestionably! So, Mary was the Mother who birthed Jesus, Who is also God, into the world, Who is ALSO a human being. The running gun battle over that term is stupid. But that battle is caused by all the other unScriptural Mary nonsense I referenced that was added (FAR) later by the CC. The only birth Jesus ever had was a human one, but into that human shell came God, and "the Word BECAME flesh": Fully human and fully God!

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Re: Martin Luther and John Calvin and the term "Mother of God"

#6

Post by Byblos » Thu Oct 13, 2016 6:10 am

Philip wrote:
And exactly what does that have anything to do with the question posed?
Merely pointing out what really matters is not some silly argument over the semantics of the term "Mother of God." Was Jesus fully human? Of course. Was Mary His human mother? Absolutely. Was/Is Jesus God? Unquestionably! So, Mary was the Mother who birthed Jesus, Who is also God, into the world, Who is ALSO a human being. The running gun battle over that term is stupid. But that battle is caused by all the other unScriptural Mary nonsense I referenced that was added (FAR) later by the CC. The only birth Jesus ever had was a human one, but into that human shell came God, and "the Word BECAME flesh": Fully human and fully God!
Well thank you for that superfluous op-ed Philip. I'm certain Christian2 needed to hear it since he could not possibly have read it ad nauseam in the other thread I linked. :shakehead:
Let us proclaim the mystery of our faith: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

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Re: Martin Luther and John Calvin and the term "Mother of God"

#7

Post by Christian2 » Thu Oct 13, 2016 7:12 am

Byblos wrote:
Christian2 wrote:I understand that Martin Luther and John Calvin used the term "Mother of God" when referring to the Virgin Mary.

Why?

In Martin Luther's case was this a "hold over" from his Catholic upbringing?

How did John Calvin view Mary? As "mother of God"?

I understand that the Virgin Mary carried the Son of God (incarnate Word of God) in her womb, but that Mary had nothing to do with the divinity of the Messiah; she provided His human nature. I understand that since Jesus was the incarnated Word of God, she carried the incarnate Word of God.

I think the term "Mother of God" unfortunate, or misleading, since it implies that Mary carried the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Protestants today do not call the Virgin Mary the "Mother of God." What changed?

What do you guys think?

Thanks.
In short, the only way to deny Mary's title as Mother of God is to separate Jesus' humanity from his divinity. That's where most heresies fell.

Read some of the exchanges here (especially Jac's).
I know that Jesus is one person with two natures, but wouldn't it be more accurate to say Mary gave birth to the Son because she did not give birth to all that God is?

As for Luther, he was a Catholic so it is not surprising that he used terms he was used to. As for Calvin, it would also not be surprising that he used some of Luther's theology since they existed close in time.

I don't know of any Protestant church that uses the term "Mother of God" when referring to Mary; there may be some, but I haven't found any. Perhaps the Luthern church?

Thanks.

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Re: Martin Luther and John Calvin and the term "Mother of God"

#8

Post by Byblos » Thu Oct 13, 2016 8:00 am

Christian2 wrote:
Byblos wrote:
Christian2 wrote:I understand that Martin Luther and John Calvin used the term "Mother of God" when referring to the Virgin Mary.

Why?

In Martin Luther's case was this a "hold over" from his Catholic upbringing?

How did John Calvin view Mary? As "mother of God"?

I understand that the Virgin Mary carried the Son of God (incarnate Word of God) in her womb, but that Mary had nothing to do with the divinity of the Messiah; she provided His human nature. I understand that since Jesus was the incarnated Word of God, she carried the incarnate Word of God.

I think the term "Mother of God" unfortunate, or misleading, since it implies that Mary carried the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Protestants today do not call the Virgin Mary the "Mother of God." What changed?

What do you guys think?

Thanks.
In short, the only way to deny Mary's title as Mother of God is to separate Jesus' humanity from his divinity. That's where most heresies fell.

Read some of the exchanges here (especially Jac's).
I know that Jesus is one person with two natures, but wouldn't it be more accurate to say Mary gave birth to the Son because she did not give birth to all that God is?
Any attempt to veer towards such language will necessarily lead to the denial of either Jesus' one-personhood with 2 natures or the denial of the trinity altogether.
Christian2 wrote:As for Luther, he was a Catholic so it is not surprising that he used terms he was used to. As for Calvin, it would also not be surprising that he used some of Luther's theology since they existed close in time.
If you read Jac's posts carefully you will see that this is not (or at least it ought not be) a Catholic vs. Protestant thing. When looking at the term Theotokos itself from purely a doctrinal perspective and the reasons for its historical development you will see that at its heart is to combat heresies regarding Christ's personhood and two natures.
Christian2 wrote:I don't know of any Protestant church that uses the term "Mother of God" when referring to Mary; there may be some, but I haven't found any. Perhaps the Luthern church?
I suspect it is largely due to the fact that the term is so associated with the Catholic Church and God forbid they would do anything that will make them appear to be kowtowing to the Pope, right? Never mind the fact that they may very well be committing all sorts of heresies in the process, so long as they have nothing to do with Catholicism. :mrgreen:
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Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

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Re: Martin Luther and John Calvin and the term "Mother of God"

#9

Post by Christian2 » Thu Oct 13, 2016 8:36 am

Byblos wrote:
Christian2 wrote:
Byblos wrote:
Christian2 wrote:I understand that Martin Luther and John Calvin used the term "Mother of God" when referring to the Virgin Mary.

Why?

In Martin Luther's case was this a "hold over" from his Catholic upbringing?

How did John Calvin view Mary? As "mother of God"?

I understand that the Virgin Mary carried the Son of God (incarnate Word of God) in her womb, but that Mary had nothing to do with the divinity of the Messiah; she provided His human nature. I understand that since Jesus was the incarnated Word of God, she carried the incarnate Word of God.

I think the term "Mother of God" unfortunate, or misleading, since it implies that Mary carried the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Protestants today do not call the Virgin Mary the "Mother of God." What changed?

What do you guys think?

Thanks.
In short, the only way to deny Mary's title as Mother of God is to separate Jesus' humanity from his divinity. That's where most heresies fell.

Read some of the exchanges here (especially Jac's).
I know that Jesus is one person with two natures, but wouldn't it be more accurate to say Mary gave birth to the Son because she did not give birth to all that God is?
Any attempt to veer towards such language will necessarily lead to the denial of either Jesus' one-personhood with 2 natures or the denial of the trinity altogether.
Christian2 wrote:As for Luther, he was a Catholic so it is not surprising that he used terms he was used to. As for Calvin, it would also not be surprising that he used some of Luther's theology since they existed close in time.
If you read Jac's posts carefully you will see that this is not (or at least it ought not be) a Catholic vs. Protestant thing. When looking at the term Theotokos itself from purely a doctrinal perspective and the reasons for its historical development you will see that at its heart is to combat heresies regarding Christ's personhood and two natures.
Christian2 wrote:I don't know of any Protestant church that uses the term "Mother of God" when referring to Mary; there may be some, but I haven't found any. Perhaps the Luthern church?
I suspect it is largely due to the fact that the term is so associated with the Catholic Church and God forbid they would do anything that will make them appear to be kowtowing to the Pope, right? Never mind the fact that they may very well be committing all sorts of heresies in the process, so long as they have nothing to do with Catholicism. :mrgreen:
Protestant, Matt Slick, has a couple of articles about "Mother of God."

https://carm.org/is-mary-the-mother-of-god

https://carm.org/mary-mother-of-god-logical-fallacy

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Re: Martin Luther and John Calvin and the term "Mother of God"

#10

Post by Byblos » Thu Oct 13, 2016 10:49 am

Christian2 wrote:Protestant, Matt Slick, has a couple of articles about "Mother of God."

https://carm.org/is-mary-the-mother-of-god
The first link is not even worth reading (but I did anyway) as it is attacking a strawman and not the actual doctrine (which is usually the case with most arguments against Theotokos).
At least in this one Slick (what an appropriate name, by the way) gives a half-hearted attempt at logic but fails miserably. First he claims the fallacy of equivocation then goes on to respond that the words 'God' and 'mother' need to be defined as to what sense they are being used, falsely claiming that the title implies that Mary is the mother of the divine nature. So the only equivocation is on his part since he doesn't say in what sense those words are actually meant to be used in the argument. He goes on to compound his error by providing an example of equivocation (Jesus as the trinity) except in this case he is the one doing equivocation (not defining how the terms are used).

This argument has been going on for almost 2 millennia, Christian2, but I will say it again, to deny that Mary is the Mother of God is to deny Jesus is one person with two natures or to deny his divinity (and therefore the trinity). Either way, the implications are profoundly heretical, no matter what one's position is vis-a-vis the rest of the Marian doctrine.
Let us proclaim the mystery of our faith: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

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Re: Martin Luther and John Calvin and the term "Mother of God"

#11

Post by RickD » Thu Oct 13, 2016 10:59 am

byblos wrote:
This argument has been going on for almost 2 millennia, Christian2, but I will say it again, to deny that Mary is the Mother of God is to deny Jesus is one person with two nature or to deny his divinity (and therefore the trinity). Either way, the implications are profoundly heretical, no matter what one's position is vis-a-vis the rest of the Marian doctrine.
I deny Mary is the mother of God, yet I don't deny Jesus is one person with two natures. Nor do I deny his divinity.

But I admit, my issue with the term, "Mother of God" may only be because I've only heard the term used by Catholics, and the Catholicism(the Catholics) I grew up with, and my wife grew up with, who held Mary higher than they should have.

So I admit that my extreme squirminess with the term, may be because I associate it with the Mary worshippers that I grew up around.
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Re: Martin Luther and John Calvin and the term "Mother of God"

#12

Post by Jac3510 » Thu Oct 13, 2016 11:09 am

RickD wrote:I deny Mary is the mother of God, yet I don't deny Jesus is one person with two natures. Nor do I deny his divinity.
You, personally, don't deny the unity of Jesus' personhood. Your logic, however, necessarily entails such a denial. In that regard, you are like LS proponents who insist that they think you can have objective assurance of salvation even though their position necessarily denies it. And, hey, better to personally deny a heresy than be logically consistent and affirm a heresy. But better still not to hold a position that logically entails a heresy. ;)
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And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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Re: Martin Luther and John Calvin and the term "Mother of God"

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Post by Philip » Thu Oct 13, 2016 11:12 am

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ :roll:

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Re: Martin Luther and John Calvin and the term "Mother of God"

#14

Post by Christian2 » Thu Oct 13, 2016 11:51 am

Byblos wrote:
Christian2 wrote:Protestant, Matt Slick, has a couple of articles about "Mother of God."

https://carm.org/is-mary-the-mother-of-god
The first link is not even worth reading (but I did anyway) as it is attacking a strawman and not the actual doctrine (which is usually the case with most arguments against Theotokos).
At least in this one Slick (what an appropriate name, by the way) gives a half-hearted attempt at logic but fails miserably. First he claims the fallacy of equivocation then goes on to respond that the words 'God' and 'mother' need to be defined as to what sense they are being used, falsely claiming that the title implies that Mary is the mother of the divine nature. So the only equivocation is on his part since he doesn't say in what sense those words are actually meant to be used in the argument. He goes on to compound his error by providing an example of equivocation (Jesus as the trinity) except in this case he is the one doing equivocation (not defining how the terms are used).

This argument has been going on for almost 2 millennia, Christian2, but I will say it again, to deny that Mary is the Mother of God is to deny Jesus is one person with two natures or to deny his divinity (and therefore the trinity). Either way, the implications are profoundly heretical, no matter what one's position is vis-a-vis the rest of the Marian doctrine.
Thanks for reading the articles and for your comments.

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Re: Martin Luther and John Calvin and the term "Mother of God"

#15

Post by RickD » Thu Oct 13, 2016 12:06 pm

Jac3510 wrote:
RickD wrote:I deny Mary is the mother of God, yet I don't deny Jesus is one person with two natures. Nor do I deny his divinity.
You, personally, don't deny the unity of Jesus' personhood. Your logic, however, necessarily entails such a denial. In that regard, you are like LS proponents who insist that they think you can have objective assurance of salvation even though their position necessarily denies it. And, hey, better to personally deny a heresy than be logically consistent and affirm a heresy. But better still not to hold a position that logically entails a heresy. ;)
That's fine. Like I said, in the part that you didn't quote me on, my issue may entirely be because I've only heard the term used by Catholics, who worship Mary.

You may be right, but I was addressing what Byblos said, which isn't accurate. But if you want to say I affirm a heresy, just because I won't use the term, "Mother of God", then I guess that's your prerogative. Even though I don't hold to the heresy you're accusing me of holding.

It would be like me saying that I don't like the term "Trinity", yet I believe The Father is God, The Son is God, and The Holy Spirit is God, and you then saying I hold to a heresy.

I guess I'd just say, "whatever".
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