THE LETTER AND THE SPIRIT

The name Christian Science has sometimes elicited unfavorable comment from critics who have not understood the ground for this association of terms. Religion and science were formerly supposed to appertain to elements of experience so unrelated, if not, indeed, antagonistic to each other, as to make a partnership quite out of the question. Even now, in fact, according to academic estimates, the notion of scientific Christianity, or Christian Science, appears more or less incongruous. In ordinary usage the term science had come to be identified so habitually with knowledge acquired through investigation of material or so-called natural phenomena, and the term Christianity with a belief in the supernatural, as to render abortive any attempt to reconcile the two on a common basis without a sacrifice, on the part of one or the other, of considerations that were deemed essential. Consequently, when so-called natural science and dogmatic theology crossed swords during the latter half of the nineteenth century, the religious beliefs of Christendom were shaken to their foundations and traditional theology emerged from the contest hors de combat.

While releasing thought in a measure from bondage to theological dogmas of the past, the so-called higher criticism left the religious world dominated by the materialistic ideals and tendencies of natural science. The passing of the belief in supernaturalism and the acceptance of a naturalism which made matter instead of Spirit its starting-point, marked the exchange of one outgrown phase of belief for another phase no less dogmatic.

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STEADFASTNESS
December 11, 1909
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