Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A book review: The Virgin Mary in the Light of the Word of God

Every once in a while I get a book that I don’t like. Recently I was invited to read and host a book review for a cyber book tour. After reading this book just over half way, I knew it had no place on the “Pillars,” much less anywhere near the Catholic or Orthodox website, except to refute it.

Simply put, Drs. Mikhail and Farag are anti-Catholics supreme. Mikhail not only denounces every single aspect of our veneration of the Virgin Mary, he calls us heretics. The title of this book is the only smoke screen as the author begins right away explaining what he intends to do with this virus…err book, to denounce all Marian doctrine of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, specifically naming the Roman Catholic Church. In his Forward, after he makes some silly statement that Christians conclude that both Mary and Jesus were 100% human, insulting the One and Only True God by adding Jesus and Mary alongside Him and I quote:
“The traditional churches have always asserted that this is a distortion of their teachings. Nevertheless, their doctrine of elevating and praying to blessed Mary as the “Mother of god,’ and as an interceder and mediator, has caused confusion. It unintentionally feeds into a generalization that Christianity is an apostate religion believing in three gods. In the Quran we find this verse:

And when Allah will say: O Isa son of Maryam!

Did you say to men, Take me and my mother

For two gods besides Allah, he will say: Glory

Be to Thee, it did not befit me that I should

Say what I had no right to [say]. (Surah 5:116, Shakir)

Muslims conclude and judge Christianity by the Quranic argument that God is not born and does not give birth (Surah 112:3, Shakir)
 (All capitalization’s and non-capitalization’s are quoted exactly as per the viru..err..the book.)

Mikhail continually refers to the Marian doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church as a heresy. Quoting the Bible every step of the way with shallow and incomplete quotes and conveniently leaving off pertinent details. He says that, on page 111,
"It is very dangerous doctrine to believe that the spirits of the saints who died come back, appear, speak, and make miracles for the people on earth. This teaching opens the door for the evil practice of those claiming that you can communicate with all spirits, including..."

Surely this man has imprisoned God the Almighty in the pages of the Bible with no wiggle room. He has no ability to stretch his mind and see God's glory being more than what is in the Bible anymore than he probably has the ability to see that there is more to a person than what is in their bio. He essentially has closed the book on God and at the same time slandered all Christians who believe that there are other aspects of our God and His communion of saints.

He goes on to say further in his book, "We believe that if blessed Mary were to come back to life and see the pictures of herself hanging in the churches, some pained with her carrying the baby Jesus and showing a halo of light over her head (much larger than the halo over His); if Mary were to hear the prayers being raised by those believing in her miracles, see the priests offering incense to icons picturing her, and see her statues being sold to Christians to glorify her - she would be shocked. He is carrying on the myth and unfortunate misconception that Catholics worship Mary, we don't and never have...we venerate her for her role in salvation history.

He confided with Catholic Answers, but still gaffed at their answers with his continued closed-minded snideness. Even on page 140, he discloses in his definition of Communion that
"2. .... The Protestant churches have no communion with the Romish (Roman Catholic) church."
Wow, nicely pointed out. (I'm being sarcastic). He uses the term Romish church (little c), which is a term, used as an offensive adjective referring to the Roman Catholic Church.  Basically, this “theologian” threw this book together using every Protestant clique, myth, and tired talking points to make his point that we are wrong and he is right and that the Quran is the end of all ends. This is a rerun of the Reformation that has had its day.

What is really sad is that these so-called authors get through the cracks of publishers without being read and promoted with a blind eye. His publisher also used misleading information to recommend his book, from a “Sr.” Ruth Brewer, who is not a nun at all, but a married Protestant woman who, along with her husband, Bart, belongs to an organization called, “Mission to Catholics International," making it their business and ministry to “save” Catholics from their faith and bring them to become “like-minded” with them. Of course Mrs. Brewer loves Mikhail’s book, it is the stuff she and her cronies are made of! If only the Roman Catholic Church and Orthodox Church documents were truly consulted with a charitable heart and open mind these books and organization would never exist. This uncharitable, mean-spirited book and author should be ashamed of himself for producing such complete nonsense with half-truths and gossip not worth the paper it’s printed on much less a wasted use of ink.

In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, section 487:
"What the Catholic faith believes about Mary is based on what it believes about Christ, and what it teaches about Mary illumines in turn its faith in Christ."
If the 'good' dr doesn't believe in this, then fine, but devoting time and energy in writing a book to refute this teaching is again a sad and mean-spirited attempt to discredit the Catholic Church and many Christians around the world. 

This book is not worth the paper it's written on and is a complete waste of ink.


RAnn said...

At least none of your readers will waste their time or money on this trash--no doubt how you felt!

kkollwitz said...

Islam at its best: gracious, tolerant, respectful of the Other.

Renee said...

Thanks for the warning. I recently received an anti-Catholic book to review. I was so bothered by it I could not finish it and I couldn't even bring myself to post about it on my blog.

Anonymous said...

Are the authors of that book Protestant or are they Muslim? (From the quotes from the Qur'an, I gathered they must be Muslim.) If they are Muslim, they're apparently making the mistake a lot of other Muslims have made: assuming that they have a good understanding of Christianity simply because they know what the Qur'an has to say about Christianity. And the Qur'an has some outright lies about Christian beliefs, such as the one quoted that alleges Christians have made Mary into an additional god--when nothing could be further from the truth.

Misinformation mania seems to be the those people's modus operandi.

Thanks for this review (or perhaps your post is better labeled as a warning about this erroneous book!).