Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Is Christian Science Compatible with the Bible? By Robert B. Stewart

Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) is a religion based primarily upon the New Thought metaphysical theories of Christian Science founder Mary Baker Eddy (1821-1910). It is a rebirth of the ancient gnostic heresy that matter, including disease, is illusory. Still, to the casual observer, it often sounds biblical because of Christian Science's propensity to use (while redefining) Christian terms. For instance, Eddy says in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures that "the Bible has been my only authority" (126:29-30), that "Divine Science derives its sanction from the Bible" (146:23), and also that the Bible is the "inspired Word" and "our sufficient guide to eternal Life" (497:3-4). Nevertheless, Christian Science ; rejects the Bible's plain sense in favor of the spiritual interpretations recorded in Mrs. Eddy's writings, Science and Health, Miscellaneous Writings, and Manual of the Mother Church. This becomes clear when she states, "The material record of the Bible ... is no more important to our well being than the history of Europe and America" (Miscellaneous Writings, 170).

A brief perusal of Science and Health reveals many contradictions between Christian Science and the Bible. Mrs. Eddy's religion not only reinterprets biblical names (Adam becomes "belief in original sin" [579:8-9], while Abraham refers to "faith in the divine Life and in the eternal Principle of being" [579:10-11]) but also denies key doctrines. It replaces the biblical concept of a triune personal God with a triple principle of "Life, Truth, and Love" (331:26-27). It denies sin: "Man is deathless, spiritual. He is above sin or frailty" (266:29-30). It rejects Christ's sufficient atonement: "The material blood of Jesus was no more efficacious to cleanse from sin when it was shed upon 'the accursed tree,' than when it was flowing in his veins as he went ' daily about his Father's business" (25:6-9). It even denies Jesus' deity, as it distinguishes between the Christ, "the divine manifestation of God, which comes to the flesh to destroy incarnate error" (583:10-11), and the historical person of Jesus.

By redefining biblical terms, Christian Science denies virtually every cardinal doctrine of Christianity. In no meaningful way can Christian Science be considered compatible with the Bible.
Extracted from the Apologetics Study Bible.

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