Return Home














Study Topics
For more information on the teachings of Christian Science, explore the following study topics:

Animal Magnetism
The Bible
CS vs. Evolution and Creationism
Christ Jesus
Holy Ghost
Mortals and Immortals
The New Tongue
The Term "Science"
"Science and Health"
Stages of Advancement
The Tenets of Christian Science
The Trinity

An Introduction to Christian Science


Advancement in the Concept of God
Perhaps the most significant advance in church doctrine in the Protestant separation from medieval Christianity during the Reformation was the defining of God as contained in "The Augsburg Confession" in A.D. 1530, which read in part: "...there is one divine essence which is called and is God, eternal, without body, indivisible [without parts], of infinite power, wisdom, goodness, the Creator and preserver of all things, visible and invisible; ..." (Philip Schaff Creeds of Christendom in 3 volumes; New York: Harper & Brothers, 1890. Vol. 3, p. 7, emphasis added)

The first English Protestant articles of faith, "The Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion of the Church of England" adopted in 1562 (four years after the accession of Queen Elizabeth), reads in part: "There is but one living and true God, everlasting, without body, parts, or passions, of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness, the maker and preserver of all things both visible and invisible. ..." (Ibid. p. 487, emphasis added)

Footnoting the above, to give the Scriptural authority for the words "without body, parts," are Deut. 4:15, 16; John 4:24; Luke 24:39; and for "passions" is given Acts 14:11, 15.

While this reformed doctrine acknowledged and avowed belief in an incorporeal, bodiless God, the views entertained by English Protestant Christendom, in the centuries since its adoption four hundred years ago, tend heavily towards anthropomorphism.

Nevertheless, this was a tremendous advance over the medieval traditional Christianity of southern Europe, which formulated their doctrines in the "Canons and Dogmatic Decrees of the Council of Trent" in 1563, and thereafter these two distinct forms of Christianity moved separately.

Christian Scientists know that their religion is emphatic in stressing the importance of the incorporeality of God. However, Mrs. Annie M. Knott, CSD, a personal student of Mary Baker Eddy, writes editorially: "Humanity has been slowly yielding up the belief in a corporeal God, ..." (Christian Science Sentinel, January 10, 1914). There is a great need for understanding this fact of the slow yield.

Even though some denominations of Protestant Christendom accept academically the fact that God is "without body, parts, or passions," human thought is slow to yield to this fact of God's incorporeality.

The reason that Christendom is slow to yield to the fact of God's incorporeality is because it believes man to be corporeal, and made in the image and likeness of God. Mankind cannot truly and completely avow its belief in God's incorporeality while believing man to be corporeal. If thought is slow to yield to the incorporeality of God, it seems even slower to yield to the acceptance of man's incorporeality. Yet this is what Christian Science teaches, and the time has come to demonstrate this fact. (see The Christian Science Standard, October 1, 1990)

References for Study
The following passages are from the Bible (King James Version) and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.

Deuteronomy 30:19, 20 (to 3rd ,)
I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: That thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, ...

Deuteronomy 32:3 I will, 4
I will publish the name of the Lord: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.

Psalms 18:2
The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

I John 4:16
God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

John 4:24
God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

John 1:18
No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

Science and Health, p. 140:23
The Jewish tribal Jehovah was a man-projected God, liable to wrath, repentance, and human changeableness. The Christian Science God is universal, eternal, divine Love, which changeth not and causeth no evil, disease, nor death. It is indeed mournfully true that the older Scripture is reversed. In the beginning God created man in His, God's, image; but mortals would procreate man, and make God in their own human image. What is the god of a mortal, but a mortal magnified? 

Science and Health, p. 312:20-26
Mortals believe in a finite personal God; while God is infinite Love, which must be unlimited.

Our theories are based on finite premises, which cannot penetrate beyond matter. A personal sense of God and of man's capabilities necessarily limits faith and hinders spiritual understanding.

Science and Health, p. 13:20
If we pray to God as a corporeal person, this will prevent us from relinquishing the human doubts and fears which attend such a belief, and so we cannot grasp the wonders wrought by infinite, incorporeal Love, to whom all things are possible. Because of human ignorance of the divine Principle, Love, the Father of all is represented as a corporeal creator; hence men recognize themselves as merely physical, and are ignorant of man as God's image or reflection and of man's eternal incorporeal existence. The world of error is ignorant of the world of Truth,—blind to the reality of man's existence,—for the world of sensation is not cognizant of life in Soul, not in body. 

Science and Health, p. 273:3-4
The physical senses can take no cognizance of God and spiritual Truth. 

Science and Health, p. 330:13
Eye hath neither seen God nor His image and likeness. Neither God nor the perfect man can be discerned by the material senses. The individuality of Spirit, or the infinite, is unknown, and thus a knowledge of it is left either to human conjecture or to the revelation of divine Science. 

Science and Health, p. 200:20
The suppositional antipode of divine infinite Spirit is the so-called human soul or spirit, in other words the five senses,—the flesh that warreth against Spirit. These so-called material senses must yield to the infinite Spirit, named God. 

Science and Health, p. 151:24
The human mind is opposed to God and must be put off, as St. Paul declares. All that really exists is the divine Mind and its idea, and in this Mind the entire being is found harmonious and eternal. The straight and narrow way is to see and acknowledge this fact, yield to this power, and follow the leadings of truth. 

Science and Health, p. 261:21
Detach sense from the body, or matter, which is only a form of human belief, and you may learn the meaning of God, or good, and the nature of the immutable and immortal. Breaking away from the mutations of time and sense, you will neither lose the solid objects and ends of life nor your own identity. Fixing your gaze on the realities supernal, you will rise to the spiritual consciousness of being, even as the bird which has burst from the egg and preens its wings for a skyward flight. 

Science and Health, p. 241:23
One's aim, a point beyond faith, should be to find the footsteps of Truth, the way to health and holiness. We should strive to reach the Horeb height where God is revealed; and the corner-stone of all spiritual building is purity. The baptism of Spirit, washing the body of all the impurities of flesh, signifies that the pure in heart see God and are approaching spiritual Life and its demonstration. 

Science and Health, p. 242:3
It is only a question of time when "they shall all know Me [God], from the least of them unto the greatest." Denial of the claims of matter is a great step towards the joys of Spirit, towards human freedom and the final triumph over the body. 

Science and Health, pp. 465:8 - 466:1
Question.—What is God?
Answer.—God is incorporeal, divine, supreme, infinite Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love.

Question.—Are these terms synonymous?
Answer.—They are. They refer to one absolute God. They are also intended to express the nature, essence, and wholeness of Deity. The attributes of God are justice, mercy, wisdom, goodness, and so on.

Question.—Is there more than one God or Principle?
Answer.—There is not. Principle [God] and its idea [Christ] is one, and this one is God, omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent Being, and His reflection is man and the universe.


Go to the Next Topic: Heaven


Return to Introduction Main Page


| Home | Christian Science | Mary Baker Eddy | Weekly Lesson | Library |

Copyright © 1996-2002 CSEC