Open the Doors of the Temple: The Survival of Christian Science in the Twenty-first Century
Baxter, Nancy Niblack. Open the Doors of the Temple: The Survival of Christian Science in the Twenty-first Century. Carmel, IN: Hawthorne Publishing, 2004.
Baxter’s analysis of why people are no longer attracted to the Christian Science Church is grounded in her fifty years as a member of the Christian Science Church. She cites a century of mostly unwarranted publicity, but feels some objections raised by the press clearly need examining. Baxter zeroes in on the Church’s singular focus on healing. Troubled by decades of ill health, Mary Baker Eddy and her early Church engaged in a single-minded pursuit of physical healing through prayer—a mission that attracted thousands desperate to avoid risky medical practices. However, Baxter sees Eddy evolving over the years to a deeper spiritually-scientific understanding, and broader Christian mission—the overcoming of sin as well as sickness, and the healing of nations. But the Church’s continued focus on a ‘do or die’ approach to healing in a time of medical advancements has limited its mission, endangered children, inflamed the press, and contributed to the movement’s decline (57). Baxter sees a healthy self-examination, breaking the silence around failures, sensible church policy, and intelligent engagement with the public as a way forward for the Church.
ISBN-13 (Softcover): 978-0972627313