The answer in the United Churchman to a letter regarding...

United Churchman

The answer in the United Churchman to a letter regarding certain misleading statements about Christian Science in an essay advertised in your periodical, has been read with much interest. Your correspondent, failing to see wherein the statements referred to misrepresented Christian Science as taught in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy, has naturally not given a very satisfactory explanation in his answer. With no desire to carry on a controversy, but because some of these erroneous statements and implications have been given to your readers through the United Churchman and remain uncorrected, I ask the courtesy of your column for the following. After implying that Science and Health limits its definition of God to "a principle" or "the first cause," your correspondent finds it necessary to object to the "inadequacy of the definition by showing that God is a potency and not a principle," and that He is not "merely" the "first cause;" whereas Science and Health points out that God is the omnipotent One, the everlasting Father; that He is not only the First Cause but the only real cause, as well as "the divine Principle of all being" (Science and Health, p. 302).

In trying to point out what he considers the "inconsistency" and "contradictory character" of Mrs. Eddy's teaching regarding man as "the spiritual image and likeness of God" (Science and Health, p. 591), he has failed to discern the distinction that Mrs. Eddy makes between the ideal or immortal man and finite, sinning, mortal man, who, she teaches, must be overcome or "put off" in order that the "new man" or image of God may appear. In no instance does she admit that a mortal is that likeness. It would be impossible for anyone to show that Mrs. Eddy's interpretation of the proposition that "God is All-in-all" (Science and Health, p. 113) "is pantheistic," therefore "false," as your correspondent affirms, because pantheism with its teaching that mind is in matter, the infinite in the finite, is, in its every statement, a reversal of Christian Science. This fact is made clear in the following from Science and Health (p. 336): "Intelligence never passes into non-intelligence, or matter ... the unlimited into the limited, the eternal into the temporal, nor the immortal into mortality. The divine Ego, or individuality, is reflected in all spiritual individuality from the infinitesimal to the infinite." Although Science and Health sets forth God's absoluteness, His omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence, and the perfect life of Christ Jesus, it is nevertheless written from the standpoint of human necessity and experience, despite your correspondent's implication to the contrary. On page 254 of Science and Health Mrs. Eddy writes: "The human self must be evangelized. This task God demands us to accept lovingly to-day, and to abandon so fast as practical the material, and to work out the spiritual which determines the outward and actual."

December 3, 1927

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