Matter Matters

First of all, I want to say that I am not on an anti-Christian Science crusade.  People are free to believe whatever they want to believe.  But I am enjoying our conversation so I am going to keep going.

It is very clear that a central tenet of Christian Science is the illusion of matter.  The problem with this is that not only does the Bible not suggest matter is an illusion, the Bible affirms its existence and goodness.

In Genesis 1 we see that as God creates the world, each part of it is deemed “good.”  In Genesis 2:6 we have man receiving spirit (breath) from God.  Thus there is a spiritual part of humanity that is good aside from any physical representation.  But in Genesis 1, not only the other animals but the water and sky and land and everything else is declared good.  Physical matter is good because God created it.

In Romans 8:19-22, we see that creation looks for its redemption from God.  The illusion of matter will not be revealed, rather the sin that corrupts matter will be removed.  God’s plan for creation is not a pure spiritual universe but a redeemed physical universe.

We are told in 1 Corinthians 15 that Jesus is the first fruits of the resurrection.  That means that what he experienced, Christians will also experience one day.  What happened to Jesus at the resurrection?  Was he revealed as pure spirit?  No, he received a resurrection body that was physical enough for him to eat food (Luke 24:41-43).  We will receive a physical body at the resurrection.

I have been mentioning the similarity between Christian Science and gnosticism.  It is true they are not exactly the same.  Gnosticism teaches that matter is evil (they believed the God of the Old Testament that created matter was an evil god and not the Father of Jesus).  Christian Science believes in the illusion of matter, that is it just does not exist.  Despite these differences, they both deal with a spirit-matter dualism.  They may deal with it differently, but both accept spirit as being superior to matter.  The biblical picture is rather of spirit and redeemed matter in a unified whole.  That is the difference between Christian Science and biblical Christianity.     

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2 thoughts on “Matter Matters”

  1. When time allows, you might take a look at the “Genesis” chapter in Science and Health (starts on p. 501) in which Mrs. Eddy offers her take on the two differing accounts of creation given in Gen. 1 and Gen. 2. I think you’ll find it to be a thought-provoking bit of commentary, even if you don’t agree with a word of it.

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