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Some of the ideas ..

Here are some of the thoughts and ideas contained in the initial chapters of Science and Health

Prayer

Prayer in Christian Science does not involve informing God of the problems He needs to solve. He is omniscient and therefore we cannot add to His knowledge.

So how else do we pray then? The answer - in the manner Jesus taught us. Besides giving an enlightened view of prayer, this chapter starts to develop the understanding of the nature of God as seen in Christian Science.

Atonement and Eucharist

The prominence of this chapter reflects the fundamental importance to Christians of this subject - that is, understanding the significance of the crucifixion and resurrection. The established church tends to interpret the events as an old-fashioned blood sacrifice, a once-and-for-all appeasement of God, designed to redeem all from sin.

This chapter challenges this interpretation, as it does the mystical benefit conferred by partaking of the bread and wine in communion. Mary Baker Eddy's strenuously-argued conclusion that Jesus shows us how to work out our own salvation is not popular with the established church, though biblically authorised.

Marriage

Mary Baker Eddy was ahead of her time in campaigning for women's rights; but in a changed society some of her statements may seem distant from modern social norms. This should not detract from the weight of good material in the chapter concerning how a relationship between two people can be governed by a higher sense of Love, in an objective and unsentimental appraisal of marriage.

Christian Science versus Spiritualism

Spiritualism was popular in Mrs Eddy's time, and today it still has a lot of acceptance. Mrs Eddy is concerned to put clear blue water between the two concepts. Both Christian Science and Spiritualism use the term "spirit" but with two very different meanings. The chapter gives some glimpses about what Christian Science has to say of the after-life.

Animal Magnetism Unmasked

Christian Science includes mental healing but this does not involve manipulating the human mind or influencing it with will power. In human experience, there are many forms of mental manipulation: some the everyday effects of fear, mental bullying or self will; others more esoteric. Mary Baker Eddy collects these under the term "Animal Magnetism", and shows how Christian Science opposes these influences and defends the individual against them.

Chapter 6 onwards

If you've got this far, and are still looking for help with the book, you'd better contact someone !

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