SOTERIOLOGY

Part of the mission of Christian Science is to restore the simplicity of the gospel meanings, so that the saving and redemptive work of Jesus Christ, the Wayshower, may be made so plain that none shall miss it or pass it by, because hidden under creeds, ritualism, or confusion of words. That Christ Jesus came to save sinners is the belief of all Christendom to-day, but it is certain from his works that he also came to save the sick. No Christian can deny this and remain a Christian. It is also a matter of history that for many years, perhaps three hundred, following Jesus' ascension, his followers in the primitive church also healed the sick as well as preached salvation for the sinner. It is, however, easier to preach salvation as coming through the power of God, than it is to heal the sick through the power of God; the former is a matter of words, the latter one of possessing the Christ-mind and the Christ-heart and of daily living the nearest possible approach to the Christ-life. The mind of mortals is the same to-day as seventeen centuries ago, and a searching of one's own consciousness will easily show how the preacher, unable to heal, gradually became, through personal attachment, the religious leader, and material means were looked to for healing, until the separation became complete, and Jesus' commands, "As ye go preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand," and, "Heal the sick," became separated.

It would seem that a very good illustration of the point involved is to be found in the word soteriology. This is derived from two Greek words, soterios, meaning that which delivers, preserves, saves, and the suffix ology, meaning science of, or art of. Now medical science has appropriated this word for one of its departments; defining it as the art of, or science of, promoting and preserving health. Scholastic theology has also a branch devoted to it, and here the definition is the doctrine of the salvation of men through Jesus Christ. The ignorant beggar, blind from his birth, said to the theological leaders of his day, respecting Christ Jesus, "Why herein is a marvelous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, and yet he hath opened mine eyes." The great soteriologist himself, in his first definition of Christianity, declared this Science to be synonymous with Christianity, when he said, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord." Here is a combination, by the greatest authority, of all the definitions of the word, and it is seen that instead of being a branch of two material sciences, with two different applications, soteriology has but one meaning and has to do with but one science, the Science of Christianity, or Christian Science. And thus is it most easily comprehended and thus only is it made practical.

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A NOTE OF THANKSGIVING
November 23, 1907
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