The Real Mary: Chapter One

Scot McKnight begins this work by answering the “why” question. He gives nine reasons for writing a book on Mary:

1.) The story of the “real Mary” has never been told.
2.) There is immense value of this story of an ordinary woman with an extraordinary vocation.
3.) Too often Mary has been depicted as “unreal,” a sort of docetic Mary.
4.) Because Jesus matters, his mother should matter too.
5.) The Magnificat is a significant expression of God’s purposes in the Messiah.
6.) Many protestants are more certain of what they do not believe about Mary.
7.) The author believes it is important for evangelicals to recover an appreciation for Mary.
8.) The “Cold War” between Protestants and Roman Catholics is over.
9.) The real Mary always leads us to Jesus.

Most of these reasons are very solid. I haven’t read enough about Mary to agree or disagree with #1 and I’m not sure everyone will agree with #8. In my estimation, it is #2 & 9 that offer the greatest reasons. N.T. Wright has done a lot of great work on Jesus’ response to vocation, and I believe he is right on. However, I’m not sure the average person will accept Jesus’ response to vocation.. Too often, people have a docetic view of Jesus who only “seems” human. However, I think most people are open enough to a real Mary to understand vocation through her story. The Christocentric portrayal of Mary in the gospels is a great reason to study her life. As we struggle to find and live out our vocation, we can only hope to imitate Mary by pointing to Jesus in all that we do.

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