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The ASK Podcast 7 – Greg Sheridan on Mary, the Theotokos

On this weeks ASK podcast we discuss chapter 4 of Greg’s book “Christians”.  For me this was a really thoughtful and stimulating discussion on the role of Mary – as the Theotokos (Mother of God).  We navigate between two extremes – those who regard Mary as being the sinless virgin – and those who downplay her role in salvation.  The Catholic journalist and the Protestant preacher discuss whether we should pray to Mary, her Magnificate, how did Luke get his information about her?  What does she tell us about God’s attitude to the poor?   And more….

Also on YouTube…

And on Spotify –

You can subscribe to ASK here – 

The ASK Podcast 6 – Gerald Bray – The History of Christianity in Britain and Ireland

The ASK Podcast 5 – John’s Gospel, Kanishka and the Goodness of God – with Greg Sheridan

And I loved this painting of Mary….




  1. A.Mary as a source of Luke seems to discount Luke’s use of Mark and Q. I suspect the notion has traction amongst Catholics yet is not credibly accepted by Protestants.

    That being said it is reasonable to suggest that Luke interviewed Mary (as Luke seems to have interviewed many in his journey towards completing a most orderly account).

    B.I am glad that GS solidly recognises that Mary unquestionable accepted the commission assigned her of God. I say this on recognising that woke church is inclined towards preaching that Mary had a choice.

    Where woke church preaches that Mary has a choice it is of course linked to the interest of woke church to choose (LGBTI).

    1. There yet, you say ‘Mary as a source of Luke seems to discount Luke’s use of Mark and Q.’ Why would this be so?

  2. I really enjoyed your conversation on this blog – particularly as I had spoken about in church last Sunday.
    It seems to me that there was quite a lot that the Bible leaves out – like how Mary broke the news to her mother and what her parents reaction was. Perhaps she did not speak about that to Luke.
    There is also Mary’s sister beside her below the cross and her son James, to whom Jesus revealed himself after His resurrection and son Jude of the short letter. So she had the comfort of having at least some of her family come to faith in Jesus.

  3. Super broadcast! Thanks. It drew to mind what Bonhoeffer and Kolbe had to say about-“the truth”-being true and worth pursuing, whatever the price…….

  4. I strongly recommend this video. It takes just 11 minutes to watch.
    The Truth About Mary and Scripture: MUST SEE! – YouTube
    In this talk Scott Hahn (former Presbyterian minister) says that when he converted to the Catholic Church Mary was his biggest difficulty, more difficult than the Eucharist, the Pope, Purgatory. Attentive listeners will observe close parallels between the two videos.
    Hail Holy Queen: Scripture and the Mystery of Mary – YouTube
    Anyone wanting to read more about this can read Scott Hahn’s book on the subject:
    Hail, Holy Queen: The Mother of God in the Word of God

  5. There is no historical or manuscript evidence to indicate that the Q document ever existed; it is purely a fabrication of modern scepticism and possibly a way to deny the verbal inspiration of the Gospels.

    1. John, how is Q related to ‘modern scepticism’ and possibly denying ‘the verbal inspiration of the Gospels’?

      1. I’m certainly not a manuscript expert in any way whatsoever but I studied this stuff in A level Scripture 50 years ago and dipped briefly into it more recently as a Bible College lecturer. I say briefly because, frankly, life is too short to do otherwise with this material, in my opinion! The theory arose out of studies beginning in the late 18th century and into the 20 century – the period of ‘modern scepticism’, and Q is one of several suggested source documents put forward to explain where the gospel writers got their information from. Much of that, though not all, came from scholars who denied the verbal inspiration of Scripture, believing that the writers could not have received such knowledge directly from God, despite Jesus’ promise in John 14:26. That’s why I used the word “possibly”, though there is no question over the origins of the mythical Q idea.

      2. Or could it be John, that trying to understand how and why an author wrote a text (narrative, letter, poem …) might just help us to read and understand what they have written? Authors deliberately write texts.

      3. It might, but then on the other hand it might not. It might, for instance, be, in effect, an evasion of what the ‘God breathed’ text actually says. Another problem is that attempts to understand ‘how and why an author wrote a text’ are very largely guesswork which has no facts against which to check or correct such guesses – as C S Lewis pointed out in a number of his writings.

  6. Of course, Bruce, that’s not in question in my mind, and vitally important, as long as it doesn’t undermine the truths of the verbal and plenary inspiration of Scripture which was without doubt the ‘agenda’ of many of the modern sceptics out of which the Q theory appeared. Luke, for example, makes it very clear in his opening verses that he has done a lot of careful and personal research, but God uses that to breath out – theopneustos – the words that Luke penned, so every one came from God using Luke as his mouthpiece.

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