Over the years, I’ve occasionally heard the term “Grape Nuts” applied to Christian Science. This notion comes from the parallel drawn between the idea that, like the cereal that contains neither nuts nor grapes, Christian Science is neither “Christian” nor is it a “science”.
Is Christian Science Christian?
I realize some of my mainstream Christian readers will dispute me on this, and I won’t argue the point ad nauseam, but I am of the belief that Christian Science is a Christian religious denomination, sect, or perhaps more accurately a cult, depending on your viewpoint. I base my opinion on these points:
- Christian Scientists do study the Bible—albeit in carefully selected snippets rather than as a holistic study, as one should properly do.
- It is a theology that endeavours to delve deeply into the healing work of Jesus and seeks to explain and emulate how he did it.
- Jesus’s teachings are central to Christian Science theology, as I understand them.
Christian Science is definitely a very different take on Christianity, and I can see where many mainstream Christians would see it as heretical, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t Christian per se, as I see it–I’ll say that it is not conventionally Christian–it isn’t Christian in their opinion. The disputes among Christians over whether or not Christian Science is “Christian” flow along theological lines, as I’ve seen it in discussion forums and written materials. I accept that there are valid arguments regarding the theology of Christian Science and whether or not it is correct as it relates to orthodox Christianity, but I base my contention that Christian Science is at least nominally “Christian”, based on the fact that it does have its basis in biblical teachings, and in Jesus’s teachings, however twisted or perverted a take on those it may be. I will agree that it definitely is not orthodox or mainstream Christian, and there are deep and valid theological arguments to be made against how truly Christian in the conventional sense it is.
Is Christian Science a “science”?
1. a branch of knowledge or study dealing with a body of facts or truths systematically arranged and showing the operation of general laws…
2. systematic knowledge of the physical or material world gained through observation and experimentation. …
5. knowledge, as of facts or principles; knowledge gained by systematic study.