Pam Robbins and Robley Whitson, “Mary Baker Eddy’s Christian Science,” The Sign 59.10 (July/August 1980), 16-21.

From an especially fair-minded article from a Roman Catholic perspective in a magazine published by the Passionist Missions:

“…Ecumenical dialogue is usually undertaken by those traditions which are closest and whose divisions are therefore less radical (such as the current, very fruitful Catholic-Lutheran and Catholic-Anglican dialogues). It is easy for those in the mainstream to relate to each other, since they begin with so much already in common.

“It is a far greater challenge to attempt to discover the bases for dialogue with the very unusual forms of Christianity. Upon examination, we find the unusual churches have unusual gifts of great potential value for us all. This very introductory look at Christian Science is a simple beginning response to the very demanding challenge of the potential ecumenical interrelation of Science with the other churches….

“[Christian] Scientists build their spiritual life on a foundation of faith as the derivative of experience. Many Christians tend to confuse faith with trust; they trust that the apostles experienced what they said they did and told the truth about it. Scientists test themselves to see if they are in the faith by whether they experience Christ in themselves (as St. Paul insists, 2 Cor. 13:5). For them, faith is not to be a security blanket; it does not mean there are no questions, but rather that there is a solid rock of experience beneath their feet. Faith is not a jump into the dark, with fingers crossed and the hope somebody is going to be there; it is grounded on experience. They measure their growth in faith by how well they demonstrate what they understand.

“Interestingly, if a medieval monk were to meet a modern Christian Scientist as the latter studied his weekly Lesson-Sermon, the monk would identify immediately with him. The Scientist’s daily reflective study resembles that of the monk’s daily meditation of sacred texts, called lectio divina (“divine study”). Both mediate on the words, hoping to reach beyond them to the reality they signify. This is a point of contact historically, perhaps; but it is also a reminder that for a Christian in search of God, intellect is a tool not to be feared or exalted, for beyond intellectual knowledge there is the insight that comes with prayer….”


(See entire text)