Some Religious Cults and Movements of Today
Crabtree, Herbert. Some Religious Cults and Movements of Today. London: The Lindsey Press, 1932.
Crabtree’s critique on Christian Science reflects both the historical setting and the theological reception of Christian Science nearly a century ago. He wrote, in 1932, “Of all modern cults, Christian Science is far and away the most spectacular, the most fashionable, and, numerically, probably the most successful. … Clearly their faith does something to fulfill its promise” (24). He acknowledged that the many publicly told healing accounts were convincing, and the rigorous spiritual discipline was commendable. But his criticism against Christian Science could be summarized as its 1) being unsound logically and metaphysically; 2) being individualistic with no social gospel; 3) having an essentially materialistic emphasis on physical well-being; 4) isolating facts from common life; 5) offering no clear explanation for how separate minds interpenetrate one another; 6) treating the Bible in an unscientific and uncritical fashion; 7) being intolerant and unsympathetic toward other forms of religious life. Ultimately, however, he allows that “Christian Science has certainly made an important experimental contribution to the fundamental religious conviction that man is a creature in whom spiritual forces are struggling to assume supremacy over the physical elements of his being” (32).
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