Our Textbook

The Church of Christ, Scientist, is the only church to-day with sermons which are entitled "Lesson-Sermons" established by Mrs. Eddy, and based upon the Bible and the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures." It is significant that in this the twentieth century a religious movement should spring into prominence calling for definite study on the part of its members. The tools of a student are his textbooks, and his method of textbook mastery is called "study." According to the modern use of the term, "textbook" signifies a guide or aid to study. A dictionary defines a textbook as "a book used as a standard work in any branch or course of study," and, further, as "a reference book of Scriptural texts."

Textbooks, written on specific topics, were formerly regarded as books that one opened at page 1 and read consecutively through to the end. Not so with our modern concept of a book which is a source book from which questions are answered, problems are worked, and inspiration is shed on the topic of interest. In using a present-day textbook, in line with modern rules of procedure, one may turn first to page 86, for instance, to find the answer to the situation. Or, in the study of a geography lesson on, say, California, if the problem of inhabitants has been referred to, the progressive teacher may list the many nationalities resident in the state, and may direct the class to skip about in the geography textbook, seeking added information on each country represented.

Christian Science, through the inspired writings of Mary Baker Eddy, a devout student of the Bible, places in the hands of its followers a genuine textbook. This textbook was the result of inspiration. In this connection our Leader writes on page 115 of "The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany": "I should blush to write of 'Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures' as I have, were it of human origin, and were I, apart from God, its author. But, as I was only a scribe echoing the harmonies of heaven in divine metaphysics, I cannot be super-modest in my estimate of the Christian Science textbook." On seeking admittance to Christian Science church membership the applicant may be asked whether he is an owner and student of this textbook; for to be an intelligent participant in the work of the Church of Christ, Scientist, one must be a disciple or student.

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

Love, the Basis of Right Thinking
April 28, 1928

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.