The Conditionalist Faith of Our Fathers, vol. 2


II. Innate Godship of Man and Immortality of Soul


Mrs. Eddy’s chief attempt at “exegesis” is focused on the opening chapters of Genesis. 54 This, of course, is vital to our quest. Chapter fifteen of Science and Health (on “Genesis”) presents the “Scientific interpretation,” according to the opening words. This is repeatedly explained as “spiritual interpretation according to the teachings of Christian Science,” or “spiritual understanding,” 55 for “Creation” is first defined as the “unfolding of spiritual ideas and their identities.” 57 And in this connection God is not only set forth as “creative Principle,” but “man and woman” are explicitly presented as “coexistent and eternal with God.” This latter point will be noted later. CFF2 1184.6

On the basis of this “spiritual understanding,” Mrs. Eddy professes to see a clash between “human concept” and “divine idea.” These two, she claims, have been “confused by the [Bible] translator.” 58 Mrs. Eddy actually calls the resultant Biblical record-the portrayal of Genesis-a “history o f error.” 59 Here is her startling charge concerning the chapter: CFF2 1185.1

“The second chapter of Genesis contains a statement of this material view of God and the universe, a statement which is the exact opposite of scientific truth as before recorded.” 60 CFF2 1185.2

Referring to the “falsity” of the “erroneous theory,” 61 “based” on the “hypothesis of error”—about “Spirit as supposedly co-operating with matter in constructing the universe” 62 she twice denominates it as a “false claim,” and five times boldly labels it a “lie.” She also disparages it as a “myth” 64 and an “allegory.” Mrs. Eddy employs such slighting terms as “legendary” and “metaphor,” whereas “inspired” interpretation demands a “spiritual” interpretation instead of a “literal” one. CFF2 1185.3

In Genesis 3 the Inspired Record of the temptation is dubbed “the fable of the serpent”—a “mythical serpent” in an “allegory,” or “metaphor.” 67 And this is followed by the charge: CFF2 1185.4

“The translators of this record of scientific creation entertained a false sense of being. They believed in the existence of matter, its propagation and power.” 68 CFF2 1186.1

With literalism thus swept away she presents the “spiritual” view, which sets aside the understanding of “popular theology” 69 and vitiates the essence of the record of Genesis. CFF2 1186.2


The distinctiveness of Christian Science is its categorical denials. One of these is uniform denial of the death of Christ, that the disciples only “believed” Christ died. Actually, Mrs. Eddy says, He did not “die” at all. In the grave He simply took refuge from His foes, performing His supreme work in the three days in the tomb. Hear it in this quartet of statements: CFF2 1186.3

“The lonely precincts of the tomb gave Jesus a refuge from his foes, a place in which to solve the great problem of being. His three days’ work in the sepulchre set the seal of eternity on time. He proved Life to be deathless and Love to be the master of hate.” 70 CFF2 1186.4

“His disciples believed Jesus to be dead while he was hidden in the sepulchre, whereas he was alive, demonstrating within the narrow tomb the power of Spirit to overrule mortal, material sense.” 71 CFF2 1186.5

“Jesus’ students, not sufficiently advanced fully to understand their Master’s triumph, did not perform many wonderful works, until they saw him after his crucifixion and learned that he had not died.” 72 CFF2 1186.6

“In Science, Christ never died. In material sense Jesus died, and lived. The fleshly Jesus seemed to die, though he did not.” 73 CFF2 1186.7

This is to be understood in the light of the Glossary definition of “Death“: “DEATH. An illusion, the lie of life in matter; the unreal and untrue; the opposite of Life.” 74 CFF2 1186.8

And this: “The crucifixion of Jesus and his resurrection served to uplift faith to understand eternal Life.” 75 CFF2 1186.9

It thus established the “allness” and endlessness of life. CFF2 1186.10


Another basic denial is that of the vicarious atonement made by Christ on the cross. She claims that not only was His incarnation not actual and His conception only “spiritual,” but salvation is not by a Person, it is through principle. On the atonement note these daring utterances: CFF2 1187.1

“One sacrifice, however great, is insufficient to pay the debt of sin. The atonement requires constant self-immolation on the sinner’s part. That God’s wrath should be vented upon His beloved Son, is divinely unnatural. Such a theory is man-made.” 76 CFF2 1187.2

“The eternal Christ, his spiritual selfhood, never suffered.” 77 CFF2 1187.3

“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.” 78 CFF2 1187.4

That is incriminatingly explicit. If this be true, then the sacrifice of Christ on Calvary never paid the debt of sin! CFF2 1187.5


As to the resurrection of Jesus, it was said to be not a resurrection but a “reproduction” after His burial. Hear this:
“When Jesus reproduced his body after his burial, he revealed the myths or material falsity of evil.” 79
CFF2 1187.6

“Our Master appeared to his students,—to their apprehension he rose from the grave,—on the third day of his ascending thought, and so presented to them the certain sense of eternal Life.” 80 CFF2 1187.7

The transcendent event of this “third day” was, according to Mrs. Eddy, His “ascending thought.” The ascension of Christ therefore was, on this premise, the ascension of an idea and nothing more. CFF2 1187.8


After referring to Jesus’ “mighty, crowning, unparalleled, and triumphant exit from the flesh,” 81 Mrs. Eddy comes to the “Leaven of Truth.” Speaking of Jesus’ parable of the “leaven” in the “meal,” which leavens the “whole,” Mrs. Eddy categorically states that the “spiritual leaven signifies Science of Christ [Christian Science] and its spiritual interpretation.” 82 Then she asks, “Did not this parable point a moral with a prophecy, foretelling the second appearing” of Christ, as “Truth, hidden in sacred secrecy from the visible world”? 83 Then follow the words: “Ages pass, but this leaven of Truth is ever at work. It must destroy the entire mass of error, and so be eternally glorified in man’s spiritual freedom.” 84 CFF2 1187.9

More than that, at the “ascension” the perceptible Christ “disappeared, while the spiritual self, or Christ, continues to exist in the eternal order of the divine [Christian] Science, 85 with its special functions. While not expressly stated, the implication is surely there that the “second appearing” is in the continuing operations of Christian Science. CFF2 1188.1


The characteristic neo-Platonic and Gnostic term “emanation” 86 is likewise employed. For example: CFF2 1188.2

“The spiritual creation was the outgrowth, the emanation, of His infinite self-containment and immortal wisdom.” 87 CFF2 1188.3

“The spiritual man’s consciousness and individuality are reflections of God. They are the emanations of Him who is Life, Truth, and Love.” 88 CFF2 1188.4

The term is surely suspect, but it is employed. The implications are there. CFF2 1188.5


And now we come to the crux of the whole question of creation-that of the origin, nature, and destiny of man. In harmony with previous denials of any material creation, of the reality of sin and the unreality of death, Mrs. Eddy boldly asserts five things:
1. “Man originated not from dust, materially, but from Spirit, spiritually.” 89
2. “Body is not first and Soul last.” 90
3. “Immortal spiritual man alone represents the truth of creation.” 92
4. “God, or good, never made man capable of sin.”
5. “Soul is the divine Principle of man and never sins,—hence the immortality o f the Soul.”
CFF2 1188.6

Then, as to man’s deathlessness, she alleges: “Death is but a mortal illusion .... Matter and death are mortal illusions.” 94 CFF2 1189.1

That is the gist of Mary Baker Eddy’s contention concerning man, in contradistinction to the historic Biblical understanding. CFF2 1189.2


Related thereto are two supplemental points. First, there was and is no personal devil. He is deftly disposed of as merely “another illusive personification, named Satan.” 95 Omit the “d” from devils and you have “evils”—“wrong traits,” 96 said Mrs. Eddy. And the second point pertains to the angels who, according to Genesis 3:24, drove man from the Garden of Eden: “Angels are pure thoughts from God, winged with Truth and Love.” 97 Thus the record of Eden and the Fall undergo a complete alteration. CFF2 1189.3


And still further, she claims, “No final judgment awaits mortals,” 98 for there are no mortals 99 and there is no resurrection. 101 Resurrection is declared to be “Spiritualization of thought; a new and higher idea of immortality, or spiritual existence.” And as to Lazarus: “Jesus restored Lazarus by understanding that Lazarus had never died, not by an admission that his body had died and then lived again.” 102 CFF2 1189.4

Now let us pursue Mrs. Eddy’s ideas concerning man’s nature further. CFF2 1190.1


Still more is involved in man’s alleged “immortality.” He is not only declared to be “God’s image or idea,” and “the infinite expression of infinite Mind,” but CFF2 1190.2

“Immortal man is coexistent and coeternal with that Mind [God].” 103 “Man is indestructible and eternal.” 104 CFF2 1190.3

“Man is incapable of sin, sichness, and death.” 105 CFF2 1190.4

“Any material evidence of death is false, for it contradicts the spiritual facts of being.” 106 CFF2 1190.5

It might be added that the repeated declarations of man’s oneness with God and his eternal coexistence with God surely lead to the conclusion that, according to Christian Science, man is embraced within God. “In divine Science, God and the real man are inseparable as divine Principle and idea”“God is the Principle of man, and man is the idea of God.” 107 CFF2 1190.6

The twin lies of Eden-the immortality of soul and the godship of man-are thus iterated and reiterated in the system. Such is the constant dual emphasis of the writings of Mary Baker Eddy’s Christian Science. CFF2 1190.7


Let us follow through Mrs. Eddy’s further testimony on man, his eternal coexistence with God and the universe, seven times declared in Science and Health and nine times in her remaining writings, according to the respective concordances. This point is tremendously significant. Here is another explicit citation: “Man is deathless, spiritual .... He coexists with God and the universe.” 108 This insistence on eternal coexistence with God, as God’s image, appears again and again. Here are further examples:
“Man is the eternal idea of his divine Principle, or Father .... He is spiritual and eternal .... Man is the image and likeness of God, coexistent and coeternal with Him.” 109
CFF2 1190.8

“Man coexists with and reflects Soul, for man is God’s image.” 110 CFF2 1191.1

“Immortal man, spiritual, and eternal, is found to be the real man. 111 CFF2 1191.2

“Because man is the reflection of his Maker, he is not subject to birth, growth, maturity, decay.” 112 CFF2 1191.3

Words could not be plainer. But that is not all. Eternal pre-existence is affirmed. Note it: CFF2 1191.4

“Let us remember that harmonious and immortal man has existed forever.” 113 CFF2 1191.5

“The evidence that God and man coexist is fully sustained by spiritual sense. Man is, and forever has been, God’s reflection.” 114 CFF2 1191.6

That is unequivocal-eternal in both past and future, like God! CFF2 1191.7

Once more:
“If God is upright and eternal, man as His likeness is erect in goodness and perpetual in Life, Truth, and Love. If the great cause is perfect, its effect is perfect also .... The spiritual man is that perfect and unfallen likeness, co-existent and co-eternal with God.” 115
CFF2 1191.8

That would surely seem to mean that man, like God, had no beginning and will have no end. He is placed in the same category with God. Thus the second of the twin lies of Eden is here reaffirmed. CFF2 1191.9


Nearly every deviation group holds the dual common denominator of the innate divinity of man and the Innate Immortality of the soul. Most of these groups have either a spiritualistic or occult background, or active element-or both. But whether Western or Eastern, the intertwinings and the common element of the metaphysical constitute imposing witness to the far-flung spread and worldwide ramifications of the modern espousal of the twin lies of Eden, with either avowed or unwitting Eastern accent. It is this development that lays the groundwork for that great last deception soon to sweep over the world, prepared for by the holding of these basic errors of the centuries, now in subtle and varied modern forms. CFF2 1191.10

Thus in Christian Science have reappeared the twin errors first proclaimed by the great deceiver in Eden-the godship of man and the immortality of the soul. Indeed, they undergird the whole structure of the movement, being repeatedly set forth as fundamental in its basic treatises. That is why Christian Science must be prominently included in this recital. CFF2 1192.1