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The Theology of Jesus
ELLA W. HOAG, CSD


         That Jesus had a very definite theology is a fact to which men are not always awake. Too often they have imagined that Jesus' work was accomplished in a supernatural way that something more or less haphazard attended his marvelous performance. They have believed that his so-called miracles were done by some mysterious power merely as occasion demanded, and that therefore there was back of them no positive rule or law, no Science, which could be demonstrated by others if they but had the same understanding Jesus possessed. Neither have men stopped to consider that the accepted definition of theology is "the science of God or of religion," and that religion is defined as "Christian faith and practice."

         In "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 138) Mrs. Eddy, its author, writes, "Jesus established in the Christian era the precedent for all Christianity, theology, and healing;" hence Christian Science teaches that Jesus had a very positive theology, which is indissolubly connected associated with both Christianity and healing. Indeed, the three can never be disunited; they can never be torn apart, but must ever work together, showing forth that religion of "Christian faith and practice" which always belongs to the theology which is veritably "the science of God."

         Mrs. Eddy has also given in Science and Health (pp. 138, 139) the following decided pronouncement: "It was this theology of Jesus which healed the sick and the sinning. It is his theology in this book and the spiritual meaning of this theology, which heals the sick and causes the wicked 'to forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts.'" And then she adds a statement which is also of great significance: "It was our Master's theology which the impious sought to destroy."

         Christian Scientists therefore realize the tremendous importance of understanding and demonstrating the theology of Jesus, since thus only can it be protected from the malign efforts which would attempt to assail and destroy it. They are always on guard against associating it with that mistaken scholasticism which is but the letter and not the spirit of religion, for Paul tells us that "the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life." They see that true divine theology has existed as long as God Himself, and so they will never use the term "old theology" lightly, but instead will realize that all that is good in theology has always been and must always continue to be.

         Diligent study of what Mrs. Eddy has written on the subject of theology cannot fail to bring to the earnest student a clear perception that the foundation stone of Jesus' theology is indeed the Christianity which heals and saves. It is that "Christian faith and practice" which reveals the fact that without Christianity there could be no "science of God." When Jesus commanded his followers to love one's neighbor as one's self, to "heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils," he certainly epitomized his own theology; for it is only the understanding of the Spirit, which is divine Love itself, which can ever result in the wonderful works which he demanded of those who walk in his footsteps.

         When in "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 58) our beloved Leader says, "Take away the theology of mental healing and you take away its science, leaving it a human 'mind-cure,' nothing more nor less," she states over again with perfect clearness the fact that there can be no true Science without Christianity. This is a point which Christian Scientists cannot ponder too seriously or pray over too earnestly. To use the letter of Christian Science and lose sight of its spirit is to become indeed but "sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal." All the most sacred and profound statements of Christian Science may be passed trippingly over the tongue, and even with appearance of great fervor and of a depth of learning; still, if the spirit of tender, compassionate love be lacking, they will be absolutely without true healing effect.

         The theology of Jesus makes tremendous demands upon Christian Scientists. We who profess to understand and demonstrate Jesus' teaching with the "signs following" can never for an instant forget that it is his theology that heals the sick and sinning! We need not, therefore, imagine that all our study, our mental work, our affirmations, and our denials will accomplish the work of true spiritual healing, either of ourself or of another, unless these efforts on our part are made up of the very essence of divine theology. The Christianity which is "hid with Christ in God," which is so unselfed that it desires only that Love be glorified; is all that can ever prove that Jesus' theology is indeed "the science of God," that it is the Christian Science which heals both the sick and the sinning today even as it did nineteen centuries ago.

 

"The Theology of Jesus" by Ella W. Hoag, CSD
Christian Science Sentinel, October 8, 1927
 

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