A correspondent undertakes to discuss Christian Science...

The Times

A correspondent undertakes to discuss Christian Science as if it were a system of dogmatic belief to be weighed and balanced against other aggregations of human opinion, instead of a rule of life to be judged by what it does for its adherents. Christian Science is not seeking to compete with scholastic or creedal theology, and the Christian Scientist is not engaged in trying to conform his thinking to any one of the numerous standards of so-called orthodox profession. Words do not constitute the religion of the Christian Scientist. Even if the disciples of dogma could come to anything like an agreement among themselves, the Christian Scientist would regard it as of no vital importance to wear the label of orthodoxy. With him, "practice not profession, understanding not belief, gain the car and right hand of omnipotence and they assuredly call down infinite blessings" (Science and Health, p. 15).

Therefore, if our friend had been able to show that the teachings of Christian Science are as "heretical" as he seems to believe, and still had ignored the fact that the objects and achievements of Christian Science are in strict accord with the highest ideals toward which religious effort has ever been directed, Christian Science doubtless would have survived the shock. It needs to be said, however, that his alleged exposition of the teachings of Christian Science is largely inaccurate. One or two illustrations will suffice.

Mrs. Eddy does not, as stated, deny that God is Person. She denies that Spirit could be physically personal or that omnipresence could have location, form, or outline. God's spiritual personality is affirmed, not denied. Principle is but one of a number of terms employed by Mrs. Eddy to awaken a proper concept of Deity. Dictionaries define principle as cause or source, and in that sense the word is synonymous with creator. In answer to the question, "What is God?" Mrs. Eddy says, on page 465of Science and Health, "God is incorporeal, divine, supreme, infinite Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love." She adds that these terms are "intended to express the nature, essence, and wholeness of Deity," and that "the attributes of God are justice, mercy, wisdom, goodness, and so on." What is there "heretical" in these statements?

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