Fundamental Points

Christian Science is regarded by its adherents as the restoration and divinely promised fulfillment of the religion taught and practiced by Christ Jesus. Since it is based on his teaching and example, this Science has a definite and emphatic view of Jesus and his mission. To begin with, it distinguishes between Jesus and the Christ as between what is human and what is divine. In the authorized literature of Christian Science, the name "Jesus" refers to the person whom Christian Scientists regard as the Master or Teacher and Way-shower. The word "Christ" may refer to him, to his spiritual selfhood, or to his office as the Messiah, Saviour, or Christ. Usually, however, Christian Scientists use the word "Christ" as having an impersonal meaning, as Paul sometimes used it. (See I Cor. 10:1–4; Eph. 3:14–19; Gal. 5:1.) Thus, Mrs. Eddy defines Christ as "the true idea voicing good, the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness" (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 332). As for the mission of Christ Jesus, Christian Science finds the index to it in his description of himself as the Master or Teacher and the Way.

Christian Science, therefore, rejects the doctrine that Jesus, by his death, paid a ransom to the devil and thus wrought the salvation of those who believed on him. This Science likewise rejects the doctrine that God accepted the righteousness of Jesus as a substitute for the lost righteousness of fallen mankind, and the doctrine that God accepted the death of Jesus on the cross as an equivalent for the punishment incurred by mankind for sin. And, of course, this religion rejects the various refinements of these doctrines; it regards them as the products of speculative theology. Christian Science finds the supremely efficacious service of Jesus in his life, including his overcoming of death, in full accord with his own statements, such as, "Because I live, ye shall live also" (John 14:19).

March 21, 1931

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