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Our unity with God
For the lesson titled "Doctrine of Atonement" from October 10–16, 2011
This week’s Bible Lesson, titled “Doctrine of Atonement,” reveals a God of love, unrivaled, and intent on bringing His children back to Him if they stray. Reconciliation (or reuniting, bringing back together, and causing to coexist in harmony) is at the heart of atonement. The Lesson shows how understanding our oneness with God is the only way to realize the permanence of God’s harmony in our lives—and in our world.
As I did some research to see why Mary Baker Eddy may have included the subject of atonement as one of the 26 Lessons to be studied twice each year, I discovered a 19th-century lecture on the topic. It pointed out that atonement is made up of three syllables, at-one-ment, “ment” coming from the Latin mens, or mind, which means that atonement signifies “at one mind” (Rev. Dr. Jonathan Bayley, 1858, www.biblemeanings.info/talks/bayley2.html). Atonement is a subject that has been viewed in many different ways over the years. Eddy calls it “a hard problem in theology” (Science and Health, p. 23, citation 19). Many view atonement as a one-time event taking place when Christ Jesus shed his blood on the cross to take away the sins of the world. Eddy proposes: “The atonement requires constant self-immolation on the sinner’s part” (ibid.).
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Katherine R. Fitzer shares her time between Park City, Utah, and St. Louis, Missouri.
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