Christian Science Bible Lessons
DOCTRINE OF ATONEMENT.
- Section 1 -
The time is not distant when the ordinary theological views of
atonement will undergo a great change, - a change as radical as
that which has come over popular opinions in regard to
predestination and future punishment.
310:18-23 Chapter 10: Science of Being
Soul changeth not. We are commonly taught that there is a human
soul which sins and is spiritually lost, - that soul may be lost,
and yet be immortal. If Soul could sin, Spirit, Soul, would be
flesh instead of Spirit. It is the belief of the flesh and of
material sense which sins.
188:4 Chapter 7: Physiology
(Embryonic sinful thoughts)
The belief of sin, which has grown terrible in strength and
influence, is an unconscious error in the beginning, - an
embryonic thought without motive; but afterwards it governs the
so-called man. Passion, depraved appetites, dishonesty, envy,
hatred, revenge ripen into action, only to pass from shame and woe
to their final punishment.
22:30 Chapter 2: Atonement and Eucharist
(Justice and substitution)
Justice requires reformation of the sinner. Mercy cancels the
debt only when justice approves. Revenge is inadmissible. Wrath
which is only appeased is not destroyed, but partially indulged.
Wisdom and Love may require many sacrifices of self to save us
from sin. One sacrifice, however great, is insufficient to pay the
debt of sin. The atonement requires constant self-immolation on
the sinner's part. That God's wrath should be vented upon His
beloved Son, is divinely unnatural. Such a theory is man-made.
The atonement is a hard problem in theology, but its scientific
explanation is, that suffering is an error of sinful sense which
Truth destroys, and that eventually both sin and suffering will
fall at the feet of everlasting Love.