Getting out the 'inside information'

Ask anyone the question on our cover, "What is a Christian Science practitioner?" and you'll probably draw a blank stare. Take it from me! After doing an informal survey in my neighborhood of people's responses to this question, I can tell you that most people said, "I have no idea." Some ventured a guess: "A kind of doctor?" "A church member?" "A Christian believer?" When I posed this same question to a good friend—to whom the answer is still a mystery—he goodnaturedly referred to it as "inside information," something that only a Christian Scientist would know. If nothing else, his comment drove home to me the importance of this special issue we've prepared for you—our public readership—about the very public practice of a Christian Science practitioner.

Beginning with our lead article on the Who, What, When, Where, and Why of the practice, we hope to demystify this established healing profession for many of our readers. Continue reading, and you'll meet 11 Christian Science practitioners who enthusiastically agreed to answer nine probing questions we put to them, such as "What can a patient expect, specifically, from Christian Science treatment?" For some of you, we may be covering somewhat familiar ground, but for most, this section could be called "Everything-you-might-need-to-know-about-a-practitioner" or "Everything-you-wanted-to-know-but-were-afraid-to-ask." (We realize it's too large and deep a subject to explore in one issue, so look for Part two of "What is a Christian Science practitioner?" coming next month.)

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August 30, 2004
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