Materials Not Supporting Christian Science
Biographies of Mary Baker Eddy
Christian Science – history and doctrinal issues
Case histories, biographies of former Christian Scientists
Help for the Hurting
Books on Christianity
Materials Supporting Christian Science
Biographies of Mary Baker Eddy
Church history and doctrine
Writings by Mary Baker Eddy
These references may or may not be written from a Christian perspective. They are, however, written from a perspective that is opposed to Christian Science.
Cather, Willa and Georgine Milmine. The Life of Mary Baker Eddy and The History of Christian Science. 1909. Reprint, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1993.
This was the first major biographical work on Mrs. Eddy, and the Christian Science Church tried very hard to suppress it. Very detailed and thoroughly documented (those attesting to facts on Mrs. Eddy signed sworn affidavits to the truth of their testimonies).
Dakin, Edwin Franden. Mrs.Eddy. New York: Charles Scribner’s & Sons, 1929.
This thoroughly documented book was also the target of massive suppressive efforts by the Christian Science Church.
Fraser, Caroline. God’s Perfect Child: Living and Dying in the Christian Science Church. New York: Metropolitan Books, 1999.
This fascinating and highly documented book describes the history of Christian Science through about1998. Fraser is a journalist who was raised in a Christian Science family.
Dresser, Horatio W., Ed. The Quimby Manuscripts. Thomas Y. Crowell Co., 1921 (1st edition).
An exposition of the writings of Phineas P. Quimby with documentation of his influence on Mary Baker Eddy’s writings. Good material for showing that Science and Heath did not originate with God as Mrs. Eddy claimed, but somewhere a lot closer to New England.
Ehrenborg, Todd, Mind Sciences. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1995.
Contains a lot of good factual information on Christian Science. A good starting point for those who want to learn a lot about Christian Science in a little amount of time.
Holkema, Anthony. The Four Major Cults. William B. Eerdmans, 1963.A Christian apologetic examination of Christian Science.
Kramer, Linda S. Perfect Peril: Christian Science and Mind Control.
Perfect Peril is a tool for understanding and recovering from the damaging effects of Christian Science. The book examines Christian Science in light of Robert J. Lifton’s classic criteria for “thought reform” and shows how this religion traps its followers in thinking patterns that can harm them emotionally, physically, and spiritually. It also examines Mary Baker Eddy’s charismatic personality, leadership style, claim to divine authority, and misuse of biblical terms. Perfect Peril was originally published under the name The Religion that Kills, a publisher-imposed title to which the author strongly objected.
Martin, Walter R. The Kingdom of the Cults. Minneapolis: Bethany House Publishers, 1970.
This is readily available in most Christian bookstores and can be used as a reference regarding a number of cults.
McConnell, D.R. A Different Gospel. Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 1988.
Many aspects of the Word of Faith movement in the charismatic world bear an uncanny resemblance to Christian Science. McConnell effectively shows the theological tie between the two. Perhaps even more significantly, he makes a convincing historical case for the relationship by demonstrating the dependence of the work of Kenneth Hagin, Jr., the nominal founder of the Word of Faith movement, on the writings of E.W. Kenyon; McConnell goes on to show that E.W. Kenyon had significant contact with Christian Science prior to the turn of the century.
Twain, Mark. Christian Science. Harper Brothers, 1907.
Mr. Clemens turns his rapier wit on Mrs. Eddy’s religion. This book was reprinted by Prometheus Books in 1993 and can be ordered at any bookstore.
Bea, Jay. What If It’s Wrong, Lord? Why I Left Christian Science.
This eBook traces the author’s exit from Christian Science and growth into biblical Christianity, involving many years and more than one Christian denomination. The book provides an interesting and encouraging look at a woman who is not willing to rest until she finds biblical truth. The book is available at http://www.Kindle.com.
Ellis, Robert Y. A Collision of Truths: A Life in Conflict With A Cherished Faith.
“This first-person narrative tells the story of a committed Christian Scientist who, following a series of extraordinary personal events beginning in childhood, left his church to continue pursuing answers to the God and healing questions in contemporary scientific and philosophical thinking.” (quote from web site)
Fraser, Caroline. “Suffering Children and the Christian Science Church.” Atlantic Monthly, April 1995: 105-20.
An in-depth look at the “child cases” (children who died under Christian Science treatment) and some of the current problems facing the Christian Science church.
Greenhouse, Lucia. fathermothergod: My Journey Out of Christian Science. New York: Crown Publishers, 2011.
This compelling autobiography paints a vivid picture of the unnecessary suffering, confusion, frustration, and guilt that often occur in the name of Christian Science healing.
Nelson, Rob. Last Call: 10 Commonsense Solutions to America’s Biggest Problems. New York: Dell Publishing, 2000.
In this politically oriented book, Rob Nelson (a Fox News talk show host) describes watching his little brother and father die, in separate incidents, as his parents clung to Christian Science.
Scott, Latayne C. Why We Left a Cult: Six People Tell Their Stories. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1993.
Contains the stories of six individuals who left cults and became Christians. Two of the six were dedicated Christian Scientists: Carolyn Poole (the founder of Christian Way) and Elaine Dallas. The author has organized the book in a highly effective fashion around different aspects of the cultists’ journeys to Christian faith while retaining the former cultists’ own words. Much of Carolyn’s story is included in her testimony on this Web site.
Simmons, Thomas. The Unseen Shore: Memories of a Christian Science Childhood. Boston: Beacon Press, 1991.
“…Thomas Simmons comes to terms with his upbringing in a Christian Science family, a childhood defined by cruelty as well as kindness, rigid authority as well as love.” (quote from book’s cover)
Swan, Rita. Cry,The Beloved Children. Children’s Healthcare Is a Legal Duty (CHILD), 1994.
Written by a former Christian Scientist whose son died as a result of the family’s reliance on Christian Science. This pamphlet documents several case histories involving children who died while under Christian Science treatment. Dr. Swan has been instrumental in exposing the fact that Christian Science healing is not nearly as effective as the Christian Science church has led people to believe.
Walker, Savannah Waring. “The Residence of Faith and Fury.” The New York Times, June 12, 2001: “Health” section, under “cases.”
Walker remembers her sister’s illness, the discord it caused within her mixed Christian Science-non-CS family, and the emotional baggage that she carried long after leaving the religion.
Wilson, Barbara. Blue Windows: A Christian Science Childhood. New York: Picador USA, 1997.
The memoirs of feminist and author Barbara Wilson. “In this heart-wrenching book, Wilson does a remarkable job of describing what it feels like to be a Christian Science child. She captures the beautiful side of Christian Science, the emotional grip which this religion can have on people, and the confusion and tragedy of a healing-gone-wrong. This book is a ‘must-read’ for anyone who is confused and troubled by aspects of his or her Christian Science background and who needs to feel that he or she is not alone.” (quote from Kramer, The Religion That Kills, p.32)
Hutchinson, Janis. Out of the Cults and Into the Church: Understanding and Encouraging Ex-Cultists. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Resources, 1994.
While not directly addressing Christian Science, this book describes “the turmoil and adjustments that former cult members experience as they grow in Christian faith and come to terms with biblical truth. Drawing upon the composite experiences of former cult members from Mormonism, the Unification Church, Hare Krishnas, and her own experience, Hutchinson provides a…counseling tool for [those] seeking to understand and help former cult members and active cult members who are ‘investigating’ evangelical Christianity.” (quote from back cover of book)
Kramer, Linda S. Perfect Peril: Christian Science and Mind Control.
Perfect Peril is a tool for understanding and recovering from the damaging effects of Christian Science. The book examines Christian Science in light of Robert J. Lifton’s classic criteria for “thought reform” and shows how this religion traps its followers in thinking patterns that can harm them emotionally, physically, and spiritually. It also examines Mary Baker Eddy’s charismatic personality, leadership style, claim to divine authority, and misuse of biblical terms. Perfect Peril was originally published under the name The Religion that Kills, a publisher-imposed title to which the author strongly objected. (description from www.Kindle.com)
Hays, Mary. Learning to Drive: A Novel. New York: Shaye Areheart Books, 2003.
Learning to Drive is the story of a young Christian Science mother in the process of leaving her religion. Told with delightful humor, this novel provides an amusing, yet sobering, look at the inherently dysfunctional world of Christian Science.
Young, Beth Rapp, “Defending Child Medical Neglect: Christian Science Persuasive Rhetoric,” Rhetoric Review, 20, nos. 3/4 (2001), 268-92.
This article examines the rhetoric used by Christian Science church representatives in promoting and defending religious exemptions to child-protection laws. Dr. Young holds a PhD from the Rhetoric, Linguistics, and Literature Program at the University of Southern California. She was raised in a Christian Science family.
This article can be downloaded, for a fee, from http://www.catchword.com.
Lewis, C. S. Mere Christianity. Zondervan Publishing House.
This book “brings together Lewis’s legendary broadcast talks for the [World War II] years, talks in which he set out simply to ‘explain and defend the belief that has been common to nearly all Christians at all times.’ Rejecting the boundaries that divide Christianity’s many denominations, C. S. Lewis provides an unequaled opportunity for believers and nonbelievers alike to hear a powerful, rational case for the Christian faith. It is a collection of scintillating brilliance that remains strikingly fresh for the modern reader and at the same time confirms C. S. Lewis reputation as one of the leading writers and thinkers of our age.” (quote from back cover of book)
McDowell, Josh and Bart Larson. Jesus: A Biblical Defense of His Deity. San Bernardino: Here’s Life Publishers, Inc., 1983.
Recommended reading for anyone struggling with the question, “Jesus is the Son of God, but how can he also be God?”
McDowell, Josh. The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1999.
This is an updated version of McDowell’s two volume series, Evidence that Demands a Verdict: Historical Evidences for the Christian Faith.
Presented in a “reference material” format, this book is packed with information regarding the validity of the Bible, Jesus, and Christianity, as well as a discussion of the nature of “truth.”
McDowell, Josh. Answers to Tough Questions Skeptics Ask About the Christian Faith. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1980.
Strobel, Lee. The Case for Christ: A Journalist’s Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus. Grand Rapids, MI: ZondervanPublishingHouse, 1998.
“Retracing his own spiritual journey from atheism to faith, Lee Strobel, former legal editor of the Chicago Tribune, cross-examines a dozen experts with doctorates from schools like Cambridge, Princeton, and Brandeis who are recognized authorities in their own fields. Strobel challenges them with questions like How reliable is the New Testament? Does evidence exist for Jesus outside the Bible? Is there any reason to believe the resurrection was an actual event?” (quote from back cover of book)
Yancey, Philip. The Jesus I Never Knew. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1995.
In this must-read book, Yancey examines Jesus from the vantage point of a skeptic watching Jesus from the crowd. He raises doubts and questions and then helps the reader think through them.
The resources listed below are favorable to Christian Science, although not all are “authorized” (i.e., sanctioned) by the Christian Science Church. Any materials published by the Christian Science Publishing Society are Church-authorized. Other Church-authorized materials will be noted.
Beasley, Norman. The Cross and The Crown: The History of Christian Science. Duell, Sloan, & Pearce, 1952.
Lacking in basic historiography and objectivity, this book presents an official Christian Science version of Mary Baker Eddy’s life.
Cache von Fettweis, Yvonne and Robert Townsend Warneck. Mary Baker Eddy: Christian Healer. Boston: The Christian Science Publishing Society, 1998.
This Church-authorized biography is hopelessly biased, overemphasizing Mrs. Eddy’s positive qualities and glossing over problems discussed in the more balanced biographies.
Dickey, Adam. Memoirs of Mary Baker Eddy. 1927. Reprint, Santa Clarita, CA: The Bookmark, n.d.
Dickey was one of Mrs. Eddy’s closest advisors in the last years of her life. Excellent primary source material written by loyal member of Mrs. Eddy’s household staff and ruling official of her church after her death. The Church suppressed Dickey’s memoirs shortly after their publication, presumably because they were a little too revealing about life in Mrs. Eddy’s household.
Available from a dissident Christian Science source: The Bookmark, P.O. Box 801143, Santa Clarita, CA 91380, (800) 250-9227.
Gill, Gillian. Mary Baker Eddy. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Books, 1998.
This is the first Church-authorized biography of Mrs. Eddy to be written by a non-Christian Scientist. Gill was given access to the Church archives while researching her book, and writes about Mrs. Eddy from a feminist perspective.
Gottschalk, Stephen. Rolling Away the Stone: Mary Baker Eddy’s Challenge to Materialism. Bloomington & Indinapolis: Indiana University Press, 2006.
This biography covers the last twenty years of Mrs. Eddy’s life. According to information on the book jacket, this is the “first book-length discussion of Eddy to make full use of the resources of The Mary Baker Eddy Collection in Boston.”
Nenneman, Richard A. Persistent Pilgrim: The Life of Mary Baker Eddy. Etna, NH: Nebbadoon Press, 1977.
While acknowledging Mrs. Eddy as a divinely ordained leader, Nenneman examines her human side as she establishes her church and grows into a spiritual leader. An adult convert to Christian Science, Nenneman devotes several pages to the spiritual logic behind this religion and to Mrs. Eddy’s use of language. Nenneman was granted access to the Church archives in order to write his book. The Church decided not to publish it, but then authorized (sanctioned) the book two or three years after its publication.
Peel, Robert, Mary Baker Eddy: The Years of Discovery (1966), Mary Baker Eddy: The Years of Trial (1971), Mary Baker Eddy: The Years of Authority (1977). Holt, Rinehart, and Winston (first two books), The Christian Science Publishing Society (last book).
Peel’s trilogy is one of the most scholarly and well-documented biographies authorized by the Church. Peel writes from the point of view of a dedicated Christian Scientist.
We Knew Mary Baker Eddy, Series 1-4. Boston: The Christian Science Publishing Society, 1943-1972.
These Church-authorized books contain the recollections of eighteen Christian Scientists who spent time with Mrs. Eddy. They provide an interesting look at how Mrs. Eddy interacted with her “inner circle” of followers.
Wilbur, Sibyl. The Life of Mary Baker Eddy. Boston: The Christian Science Publishing Society, 1923.
An officially sanctioned biography of Mrs. Eddy.
Hartsook, Andrew W. Christian Science After 1910. published by the author.
This book was written by one of the Christian Science “dissidents” (dissidents is the term used for Christian Scientists who disagree with the way that the Christian Science Board of Directors is running the Church). In his newsletter, The Banner, Hartsook describes his book as follows: “This book. . . is a complete account of the calculated grab for power by the Directors and their subsequent micromanagement of every phase of Christian Science in Boston and in the field which has almost completely suffocated all spontaneity and inspired thinking.”
Available through The Bookmark, P.O. Box 801143, Santa Clarita, CA 91380, (800)250-9227.
Knapp, Bliss. The Destiny of the Mother Church. Boston: The Christian Science Publishing Society, 1991.
The publication of this book caused some major rifts within the Christian Science church. The Board of Directors avoided publishing the book for over forty years, probably because it heavily addresses Mrs. Eddy’s role in biblical prophecy and, in some people’s opinions, comes uncomfortably close to deifying her. The Church finally published the book in 1991 while in serious financial difficulty; Knapp had cleverly promised the Church an estate worth over $90 million if it would publish his book.
A Century of Christian Science Healing. Boston: The Christian Science Publishing Society, 1966.
All about healing, from a Christian Science perspective. We recommend that anyone reading this book also read some of the articles and biographies about former Christian Scientists listed elsewhere in this Resource List. Also see the questions about healing in the Question and Answers section of the Christian Way Web site.
Eddy, Mary Baker. Christ and Christmas. Boston: The Christian Science Publishing Society, 1893.
To quote Edwin Franden Dakin, this poem “caused a great deal of amazement when it was first issued.” Read it (and check out the pictures) and you’ll see why.
Eddy, Mary Baker. The Manual of the Mother Church.
This volume contains Mrs. Eddy’s rules that still govern the Christian Science Church. Christian Scientists consider it to be divinely inspired.
Eddy, Mary Baker. Prose Works. Boston: Published by the Trustees under the Will of Mary Baker G. Eddy, 1925.
A compilation of Mrs. Eddy’s major publications excluding Science and Health. Prose Works includes Mrs. Eddy’s Messages to the Mother Church, Unity of Good, Miscellaneous Writings, The Peoples’ Idea of God, Christian Healing, No and Yes, Rudimental Divine Science, and The First Church of Christ, Scientist and Miscellany.
Eddy, Mary Baker. Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. Boston: Published by the Trustees under the Will of Mary Baker G. Eddy, 1934.
This is Mary Baker Eddy’s “textbook” on Christian Science. She claimed that it is divinely inspired and inerrant.