'If any of it was true, all of it was true'

Peggy Crump
My interest in Christian Science was not piqued in the way one might expect. My best friend practiced Christian Science, and I feared for his safety, as he insisted on relying on prayer, rather than doctors and drugs, for healing.

At the time, I was studying for admission to medical school. In our casual discussions about religion I accepted what I understood about the Christianity of my friend’s beliefs, but his conviction that the material, mortal picture was unreal lost me. I felt that I could prove to him that the body is structural and material, though it entertains a spiritual essence that is liberated when we die. However, I couldn’t crack his conviction, so I resolved to read Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy—the book he studied along with the Bible—and try to understand where he was coming from. I thought I could uncover the book’s departures from logic, which could break our deadlock.

When I read the book, however, I accepted that it was wholly consistent. It was clear to me that if any of it was true, all of it was true . . . but I didn’t believe the premise that man is the immediate expression of Spirit and therefore entirely spiritual, with no material element. I couldn’t accept that what I understood to be matter was only a mistaken concept of the real man and universe. The thing that really set me off was the passage called “the scientific statement of being.” It starts off with the declaration, “There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter,” and follows with statements such as “matter is mortal error,” “matter is the unreal and temporal,” and “man is not material; he is spiritual” (p. 468).

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The Touch of Class
Removing mental roadblocks
August 6, 2012

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