Our Example

The Christian religion, including Christian Science, would have more actual and active adherents if it were thought of oftener as a course of life, a way of living. The earliest name for Christianity was "the Way." See Acts 19:9, 23, 24; 24:14, 22. The Greek text rendered as "that way" in the Authorized Version is translated as "the way" or "the Way" in modern versions. Whether Jesus intended to give this name to his religion is not clearly shown by the Gospels, but probably he did. See Luke 20:19-21; John 14:4-6. Whether he did or not, the passages from Acts just cited show that it had this name by usage twenty-five years or so after the ascension, when Felix was procurator of Judea. The instance of this usage in Hebrews (10:19,20) furnishes additional proof that the earliest name for Christianity was "the Way."

For some reason this name for what Jesus taught and proved did not last. Gradually, his followers changed the center of their interest from deeds to doctrines, from practice to preaching, from his acts of power to the nature of his person. Likewise, they changed their hope of salvation from the present to the future, from present achievement to future judgment.

The best evidence of these changes is furnished by the confessions and creeds which were formulated during the period that began after the last document in the New Testament and ended with the Creed of Chalcedon (A. D. 451). As now preserved, these confessions and creeds do not declare the love of God for man, nor imply that it is available and effectual in human life; they do not allude to goodness, either negative or positive, as having a present value, nor intimate that Jesus described himself as "the way."

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God's Care for His Children
January 11, 1930

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