|About the Book|
Christian Science is neither Christian nor based on science.Christian Science was begun by Mary Baker Eddy (1821-1910) who pioneered new ideas about spirituality and health. Inspired by her own experience of healing in 1866, Eddy spent years inMoreChristian Science is neither Christian nor based on science.Christian Science was begun by Mary Baker Eddy (1821-1910) who pioneered new ideas about spirituality and health. Inspired by her own experience of healing in 1866, Eddy spent years in Bible study, prayer, and research of various healing methods. The result was a system of healing she dubbed “Christian Science” in 1879.Her book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, broke new ground in the understanding of the mind-body-spirit connection. She went on to found a college, a church, a publishing enterprise, and the respected newspaper “The Christian Science Monitor.” Because of its similarity to other groups, many believe Christian Science to be a non-Christian cult.Christian Science teaches that God—Father-Mother of all—is completely good and wholly spiritual and that all Gods creation, including the true nature of every person, is the flawless spiritual likeness of the Divine. Since God’s creation is good, evils such as disease, death, and sin cannot be a part of fundamental reality. Rather, these evils are the result of living apart from God.Prayer is a central way to come closer to God and heal human ills. This differs from the Bible, which teaches that man is born in sin inherited from Adam’s fall and that sin separates us from God. Without God’s saving grace through the death of Christ on the cross, we would never be healed of the ultimate sickness—sin. Rather than teaching that Jesus heals our spiritual sickness (Isaiah 53:5), Christian Scientists see Jesus’ ministry as their own paradigm for healing, believing it demonstrates the centrality of healing in regard to salvation. Christian Scientists pray to realize more of the reality of God and Gods love daily and to experience and help others experience the harmonizing, healing effects of this understanding.For most Christian Scientists, spiritual healing is an effective first choice and, as a result, they turn to the power of prayer in lieu of medical treatment. Government authorities have occasionally challenged this approach, especially in circumstances when medical treatment is withheld from minors. However, there is no church policy mandating members healthcare decisions.Christian Science has no ministers. Rather, the Bible and Science and Health act as pastor and preacher. Bible lessons are studied daily and read aloud on Sunday by two elected lay members of each local congregation. Christian Science churches also hold weekly testimonial meetings, at which congregation members relate experiences of healing and regeneration.Christian Science denies all the core truths of what makes a system “Christian.” Christian Science is, in fact, opposed to science and points to mystical new-age spirituality as the path for physical and spiritual healing. Christian Science should be recognized and rejected as the anti-Christian cult that it is. J. Gordon Melton notes that Christian Science leaders see their religion as part of mainstream Christianity and resent being identified with the New Thought movement. He argues that there are nevertheless strong differences between Christian Science theology and that of traditional Christianity.Although Eddy used a Christian vocabulary, she radically redefined basic theological terms, Melton writes, leading to differing views of the Trinity, the creation narrative, the divinity of Jesus, and atonement for sin. According to theologian Stephen J. Stein, Eddys Science and Health did not replace the Bible for Christian Scientists, but sought to explain it, although he also notes that Eddy regarded Science and Health as an inspired text, seeing herself as merely a scribe for divine interpretation.