Robert Peel, “Christian Science” and “Christian Science Practitioner,”in Rodney Hunter, ed., Dictionary of Pastoral Care and Counseling (Nashville: Abingdon, 1990), 152-154.

From a reference work brought out by a major Methodist publishing house:

“…A 1948 academic study (Steiger) concluded that Eddy had done something new by evolving a metaphysic that healed. She herself claimed that physical healing was the ‘least part’ of Christian Science, subordinate to the whole process of spiritual regeneration. But she also saw it as an essential element of the kerygma ‘scientifically’ understood. As Science and Health puts it: ”The Word was made flesh.’ Divine Truth must be known by its effects on the body as well as on the mind, before the Science of Being can be demonstrated. Hence its embodiment in the incarnate Jesus, – that life-link forming the connection through which the real reaches the unreal, Soul rebukes sense, and Truth destroys error.’

“The scholar who knows a tradition tries to go back to the sources of its flow. You can see that we think of tradition not as a stagnant pool but as a flowing stream… “We examine traditions not to embarrass those who are currently its custodians… Once we realize the dynamite in tradition, we will find that it can blow apart encrustations, loosen what was hardened, make room for new flow, new growth. “…Petty academic disputes or bureaucratic debates are of little interest. The dynamite in tradition says, ‘Take a longer look, and you will find riches that contribute to human well-being.’ ” — Martin E. Marty, Bulletin of the Park Ridge Center (July/August 1988) 3:1, 11, writing on the Park Ridge Center’s book, Health and Medicine in the Christian Science Tradition, by Robert Peel.

“Eddy was of course not the first to think of Christianity as science and of God as principle. Not only the early church fathers, but also such later giants as Aquinas and Calvin used these terms. But that was before the immense sophistication of modern scientific method, rooted in controlled experiment and empirical verification, changed their meaning. Eddy realized that without the pragmatic component no religious system could claim to be scientific. Hence her emphasis on spiritual healing as the crucial evidence of the substantiality of Spirit in a world increasingly looking for causality in matter….

“Though many people turn to Christian Science in the first place for healing of mind, body, or human situation, those who accept it as a permanent way of life are apt to regard such healing as a confirmatory sign rather than an end in itself. This at least is the ideal. From its earliest days there have been adherents who have wanted to turn it into a faith healing cult, a smart success philosophy, or a revival of second-century Gnosticism. So far none have succeeded. Eventually they all run up against the tenacious Christianity of the movement’s founder who, through her writings, still shapes Christian Science thinking. Her concern extended far beyond the healing of physical ailments, as illustrated by her founding of The Christian Science Monitor in 1908 to help bring Christian values to bear in a healing way on the larger ills of the world….”