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Although the biblical references to Mary, the mother of Jesus, are not overwhelming in number, they are profoundly reflective of the stages of discipleship that each of us must pass through on our way to spiritual maturity.

Burns offers readers:

  • Spiritual meditations built on ten passages from the Gospels which focus on the spiritual development of Mary
  • A look at pondering, suffering, and refocusing in our journey of spiritual development
  • An understanding of the role grace plays in our becoming disciples of Christ
  • Questions for reflection and small group study


Editorial Reviews:

"John Burns is a master storyteller with a pastor's heart. In Modeling Mary he instructs, inspires, and brings to us a refreshing and intimate understanding of discipleship."  —Bernard Richardson, Dean of the Chapel, Howard University

"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 experiences as pointers on the road of Christian living. Avoiding the fanciful, his meditations are biblically based and often include the 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.'" —Publishers Weekly, May 28, 2007

"Just when a Catholic thinks everything possible could have been written on or about Mary, a Baptist minister comes out with this gem!" —Fr. Richard Rohr, founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, New Mexico and author of Radical Grace

"This is a beautifully written gem with many facets: biblical and theological insight, pastoral sensitivity, wonderful humor, stories with warmth and depth. As a pastor, I intend to recommend Modeling Mary to all my colleagues, Protestant and Catholic alike. It will make a great Advent resource. Containing some very helpful discussion questions, Modeling Mary can be used more personally as a devotional or as a group study. Shining throughout this book is a remarkable and wondrous sense of God's grace that permeates, informs and transforms all things human. I cannot wait to read Rev. Burns' next book!" —Terry Minchow-Proffitt, St. Louis, Missouri (as posted on Amazon)

"I recently ordered this book as a tool for our faith community in Bible study. It is an excellent guide for reaching a higher level of discipleship. John Burns is a very skillful writer and we can not wait to have more of his fine works. The questions at the end are not only helpful but very thought provoking. His interpretation of the biblical text is great!" —Rev Jean Robinson-Casey (as posted on Amazon)

"Dad, I have read your book all the way through and really enjoy it.  I have a deep respect for your take on faith, and find it to be more applicable to myself than most things.  I think the concept of some graduated scale of discipleship is just unreasonable.  I also feel like you do a good job of speaking to the confused and slightly lost souls in the religious world.  I feel that most faith-based writing intimidates the sinners among us away from the church by telling them that they are less worthy of our Lord than the saints.  I truly believe that people of your calling ought to focus on pulling people out of the darkness rather than strengthening the spotlight on the righteous.  Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I really liked the book, and it made me think." —Aaron Burns, author's son, age 22

"This is a great book!  Our class has enjoyed looking at familiar Bible stories but from a different perspective.  Mary’s involvement has always been in the scripture, but approaching the stories from her perspective is something that has apparently been overlooked in most of the teaching of the stories.  The study questions have been helpful.  I think everyone should read this book to get a better understanding of the life of Mary and Jesus." —Judy Engelhart   

"...This study can remind the reader of the commitment made by one of Jesus' disciples. It would serve well as an advent study." —Church Libraries, Winter 2007-08

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