Four Major Cults: Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh-day Adventism, Christian Science
Hoekema, Anthony A. Four Major Cults: Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh-day Adventism, Christian Science. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, (1963) 1983.
Hoekema was a recently retired professor of Bible and systematic theology at Calvin Theological Seminary when he published this book with Paternoster Press—a British evangelical publisher. His chapter on Christian Science begins with sections on Mary Baker Eddy’s life, her “highly authoritarian organization” (178), plus a passage-driven look at Eddy’s textbook, Science and Health, and what he finds authoritative in the Bible. Regarding the relationship between Phineas P. Quimby and Eddy, see McNeil 2020 to lend some in-depth research and complexity to Hoekema’s statement: “It will be rather obvious to any unbiased observer that Mrs. Eddy owed many of her ideas to Phineas Quimby” (173). What follows is an extensive examination of Christian Science theology comparing it to Hoekema’s own Calvinist doctrines—quoting Science and Health to prove its “anti-Christian character” (205) and that it is full of “the grossest inconsistencies and contradictions” (210). There are many general allegations made with little or no documentation, such as “most non-Christian-Scientists … believe …”, and “many writers asserting …” (172). The sources Hoekema relies on are a handful of polemic authors writing in the 1930s-1950s; whereas any perspectives from the Church’s viewpoint are described dubiously as: “Christian Science ostensibly claims …” (182).
ISBN-13 (Softcover): 978-0802804457
See also annotations:
A Story Untold: A History of the Quimby-Eddy Debate by Keith McNeil
“Christian Science and American Popular Religion” by Laurence R. Moore
Encyclopedia Handbook of Cults in America by Gordon J. Melton
“Authorship and Authority in Intellectual Property: The Copyright Activism of Mary Baker Eddy” by Andrew Ventimiglia
“Mary Baker Eddy and the Nineteenth-Century ‘Public’ Woman: A Feminist Reappraisal” by Jean McDonald
“The (Un)plain Bible: New Religious Movements and Alternative Scriptures in Nineteenth Century America” by Lydia Willsky
“The Bible and Christian Scientists” by Michael W. Hamilton
“Christian Science and the Puritan Tradition” by Thomas C. Johnsen
“Christian Science and its Christian Origin” by Shirley Paulson
”Christian Science” by David V. Barrett
”Christian Science” by Stephen Gottschalk
“The Apostles’ Creed” by H.A. Larminie
This resource is categorized as ‘polemic’ literature and is included in the bibliography for its historical value. For further explanation, click here.