IF you are interested in learning more about your Bible, about the life of Christ Jesus, and about the practice of genuine Christianity, then Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy will be a tremendous help to you. This is certainly a book for today's world, yet it is not simply another self-help or alternative healing book. People are finding that Science and Health is a wonderful help with day-to-day living because it opens up the Bible for them. The truths of the Bible--especially the life of Christ Jesus--are basic to Science and Health and give it context both for today and for centuries to come.
Each day we all face tough problems that need realistic solutions. People sometimes think that God sends evil or hardship to our lives to test or season us. But if disease or hardship were God's will, how could Jesus have healed disease and redeemed people's lives? Healing would have been in direct opposition to God. Yet Jesus did heal and encouraged us to do it, too! Once he and his disciples met a man who'd been blind since the day he was born. Some of the disciples asked Jesus ``Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him'' (John 9:2, 3). The man was healed and saw plainly. That was certainly a realistic answer to the disciples' question.
In Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy, the Founder of the Christian Science Church, comments: ``Instead of God sending sickness and death, He destroys them, and brings to light immortality. Omnipotent and infinite Mind made all and includes all. This Mind does not make mistakes and subsequently correct them. God does not cause man to sin, to be sick, or to die'' (p. 206).
This point was certainly made clear to me one time when I was scuba diving in a tropical area of the Pacific ocean. I was a fairly inexperienced diver but was having a wonderful time along with my father-in-law. I saw an unusual, beautifully colored, spiny starfish. I reached down to pick it up and immediately felt its sharp spines pierce my glove and penetrate my hand in several places. All of a sudden I felt pretty scared and angry with myself. How in the world could I have been so stupid as to touch that starfish after hearing about some of the poisonous, spiny things in that area of the ocean?
I went to the surface. And I prayed. From reading the Bible and Science and Health, I knew that God lovingly governs His spiritual creation. So I reasoned that God, divine Mind, never sends or allows evil to intrude into anything He creates. I realized that God didn't cause anything to harm me, and I was no longer afraid (or critical of myself). I didn't have any aftereffects of that starfish encounter and I continued diving the rest of that week. Later I learned that the particular species I touched is, in fact, considered poisonous.
Do only Christian Scientists read Science and Health? Of course not. The author intended its deeply spiritual message to be of benefit to every student of the Bible, and to bring to the Bible those who aren't yet its students. Over one hundred years ago, she gave this message to all readers in the Preface: ``In the spirit of Christ's charity,--as one who `hopeth all things, endureth all things,' and is joyful to bear consolation to the sorrowing and healing to the sick,--she commits these pages to honest seekers for Truth'' (p. xii). Her invitation is as genuine, current, and welcoming today as it was the day she first offered it. You'll find the whole book is that way--current, realistic, and deeply spiritual.
If you happen to walk into a bookstore or a Christian Science Reading Room and purchase your own copy of Science and Health, remember as you read and ponder it that its precious message is for you! After reading it, even once, you won't see things, or even live your life, the same way again.