The letter of a clergyman on the subject of Christian Science...

Kent Messenger

The letter of a clergyman on the subject of Christian Science in a recent issue of your paper covers a considerable number of theological dogmas, any one of which would require almost a separate essay to treat in full. The incarnation, the crucifixion, the resurrection, the ascension, the trinity, the sacrament, among others, are dealt with almost in as many lines, with the result that nothing transpires beyond a denunciation of the Christian Science teaching on the subject, but without any attempt to analyze it or to discuss it. To take a single instance, the critic writes, "Christ said he was the Son of God." The Christ, of course, is the Son of God; any reader will find that fact proclaimed from one end of Mrs. Eddy's book, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," to the other. That, however, is not what the clergyman means. He means that Jesus was divine, was himself God. Now, can the critic make good his assertion? The only authority is the Bible, and the writer will look there in vain for the substantiation he requires. I am aware that the authorized version says so, but the authorized version gives many unjustifiable renderings, just as do the Vulgate, the Douay Bible, and other translations.

Supposing, however, that Jesus had spoken of himself as the Son of God, it would be about as reasonable to argue that he confined this sonship to himself, as his declaration that he was the Son of man constituted him the only son of man. As a matter of fact, the authorized version only once records Christ Jesus as describing himself as the Son of God, and that is in the tenth chapter of John. Unfortunately for the critics of Christian Science, there is no definite article in the Greek. What Christ Jesus did therefore describe himself as, was a Son of God, whereas he distinctly alluded to the disciples as sons of God. Perhaps before embarking on criticism of this nature, it would be well to read the words of the eighty-second Psalm, which, on this very occasion, Jesus himself quoted against the Jews: "I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High." The simple truth, of course, is that when Jesus spoke of the Christ manifested by himself, he spoke of the Son of God, and when he spoke of the true spiritual personalities of his followers, he spoke of them as the sons, or children, of God; and this explains the deep pregnancy of the demand of Paul to the Philippians, that they should let that Mind be in them which was also in Christ Jesus.

Now it was the Mind of Christ, and not the person of Jesus, which healed the sick in the first century and is able to heal them again today, and so we may realize how it was that when the Baptist sent his disciples to demand of Jesus whether he were the Christ, the answer was given in a reference to his healing works: "The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them." The healing of the sick was ever coupled by Christ Jesus to the preaching of the gospel; he seems, indeed, to have regarded the one as the corollary of the other. When he sent out the disciples, it was to preach the gospel and to heal the sick. When he sought a definition of a believer, it was one who could do the works he did. And in the hour of the ascension, his final command to the disciples was to teach mankind to observe all things he had commanded them; and what were these things if not the preaching of the gospel combined with the healing of the sick?

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.