Modeling Mary in Christian Discipleship

John Burns, Author Judson $11 (112p) ISBN 978-0-8170-1514-5

The idea of Mary as exemplar is hardly new; the church throughout history has recognized Mary's pivotal role in the sacred story. In this accessible, brief book, Burns suggests that one may study the life of Mary as written in the gospels and find an example of what he calls a “non-linear view of discipleship”—one that acknowledges that sometimes even the most dedicated Christians can fall backward. The problem, he believes, is that “we try to negotiate with God to get divine blessing on our own plans,” when we ought to be handing our agendas over to God and accepting His designs as ours. Each chapter is a literary rosary of Mary's life, meditating on her spiritual journey and her willingness to follow the Holy Spirit. Of course, the Bible contains little of Mary's story beyond the birth narratives and several later stories, but Burns makes a good case for these glimpses of Mary's experience as pointers on the road of Christian living. Avoiding the fanciful, his meditations are biblically based and often include experiences of his family and friends. He ends with the heady observation that “we are not the ruler of our world, but rather... God is sovereign.” Mary's way can and must, Burns asserts, become ours. (Aug.)

Reviewed on: 05/28/2007
Release date: 08/01/2007
Genre: Nonfiction
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