Friday, July 23, 2010

Gerry Matatics and The Sinlessness of Mary

In his debate with James White on the Marian Doctrines Roman Catholic Apologist Gerry Matatics makes the following argument for the sinlessness of Mary:

P1: Honoring your Mother entails that if S has the ability to keep S's mother sinless then S would bring it about that S's mother is sinless

P2: Jesus has the ability to keep his mother sinless

C: Jesus brought it about that his mother is sinless

The problem with this argument is obvious: When Mary was born and inherited original sin at that time she was not Jesus' mother (Jesus with respect to his human nature was not born). So Jesus at that time was not under obligation to bring about her sinlessness. Another obvious problem with this argument is that the commandment says to honor your *father* and your mother. This means that if this argument was carried out consistently then we ought to think that Joseph was sinless, but neither Catholics nor Protestants teach this. All this to say arguments like these are entirely desperate attempts to hide the obvious truth that Roman Catholic churches teachings cannot be justified by scripture and right reason.


Urorururur said...


I approve!

Nathanael Taylor said...

Well thank you for that :) God Bless you

Noah Johnson said...

I disapprove! ;-) jk
Wow, I'm sorry to continue to be annoying on your posts but you have badly misrepresented Roman Catholic doctrine.

You wrote: "When Mary was born and inherited original sin..." but according to the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception (Ineffabilis Deus 1854), the Blessed Virgin Mary never inherited original sin. There is no problem internally with the argument.

you can read the encyclical here:

In it Pope Pius IX writes:
"We declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful"

No original sin, no problem.

Secondly, that Jesus "was not under obligation to bring about her sinlessness" is does not relate to this RC argument. It's not about obligation but about ability (P1). Does God have the power to preserve one from original sin "in view of the merits of Christ"? I don't know, because this whole original sin thing doesn't make sense to me anyway.

And if you think Joseph was Jesus father like the Virgin Mary was His Mother, as you imply in your third point, then I'm sorely confused!

The Dogma of the Immaculate Conception (that the Blessed Mother was preserved from original sin from birth and continued sinless throughout her life) is a logical necessity for persons who believe in original sin as inherited guilt (RC & Protestants). How else are you to preserve Christ from the stain of original sin from Adam? Christ received His humanity from the Blessed Virgin. How does a bad tree bare good fruit, or one stained by original sin produce a sinless child?

Nathanael Taylor said...

Hello Noah,

I never said that Roman Catholics taught that Mary inherited original guilt. I was simply saying that they taught that Jesus preserved her from original sin and hence she was sinless. This argument is supposed to be a reason in support that Jesus preserved her from original sin and I am saying that the argument is not sound, so therefore we have no reason to believe that Jesus would have kept his mother from inheriting original sin. So I am not even sure if you understand my point in even writing this post. Original guilt does not entail the sinlessness of Mary because 1) this is inconsistent and would require Mary's mother to be sinless and her mothers mother and on and on. 2) Protestants hold that Christ covenant head not under Adam, only those under Adamic covenant are imputed original guilt (which Mary is). So I was *not* saying that Roman Catholics reject the sinlessness of Mary I am only saying the arguments they used to justify it are poor.

God Bless,