The term Christian Scientist does not so much define a person as a member of a specific group, church, or ideology, as it defines someone who pursues a scientific approach in exploring the principles of Christ healing. A Christian Scientists is someone who applies these principles to the healing of disease and other ills, in the manner that Christ Jesus had done 2000 years ago and had admonished his followers to do likewise.
In this sense, the start of the development of Christian Science actually predates the Christian era itself, even the Greek Classical period that preceded it, out of which the Christian era evolved. It should be noted that the unfolding of Christian era and the development of science are tightly interlinked.
Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of modern day Christian Science, defined Christianity as "the outcome of the divine Principle of the Christ idea in Christian history." Of Christian Science, itself, she writes: it is that "which to-day and forever interprets this great example and the great Exemplar."*(Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: p.577)
Mary Baker Eddy's specific development of Christian Science as a practical science for Christian healing ushered in a new period for Christianity, the period in which scientific Christ healing has become a possibility in modern times. The principles that she taught and practiced became widely understood and were utilized on an almost commercial platform by numerous Christian Scientists who had dedicated their life to the labor of Christian healing.
In referring to her own involvement in the healing work, Mary Baker Eddy wrote:
Still, these accomplishments are but milestones on a road that begun in distant ages with the initial development of scientific inquiry, a road that served humanity well and will continue to unfold and broaden. In this context of the general development of science, it should be recognized that Christian Science is not really an end product in itself as most religions have become, but is fundamentally a science that is designed unfold infinitely by the nature of its infinite basis. Indeed, Mary Baker Eddy, herself, has laid the groundwork for this unfolding; for the new face of Christian Science that reflects advancing scientific perceptions as the understanding of humanity deepens.
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