First-Person Notes Archives


Whither the Christian Science movement?

Wednesday, January 30th, 2019

Editor: Can Christian Science, originating in the more closed information environment of the 1800s, endure in today’s wide-open setting? That’s the question in this fourth part of our five-part conversation with former practititioner Tanner Johnsrud, who is now a baptized Christian.  (more…)

Marriage tragically misunderstood

Monday, December 31st, 2018

(With research by John Andrews) “Male and female created He them, [equally] in the image of God,” we read in Genesis. Yet Christian Science, in both its doctrine and its culture, tends to privilege the woman (see SH 533 and many other passages), even to the point of encouraging a wife’s refusal of sexual intimacy to her husband. (more…)

What to say, how to pray

Sunday, July 15th, 2018

Editor: We continue our conversation with Tanner about his having come to Christ out of Christian Science last year. In this post he discusses an approach to dialogue with CSers, and an approach to praying for them as well as for ourselves.  (more…)

Taking stock, 200 days in

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2018

Editor: Tanner Johnsrud, formerly a well-known Christian Science practitioner in St. Louis, left CS in late 2017 after he came to a saving faith in Jesus Christ. He told that story in a previous post. To follow up, we asked Tanner to reflect on the good and not-so-good legacies of his years in CS, as best he can at this early stage. (more…)

How we found our Saviour

Saturday, June 16th, 2018

Editor: Tanner and Hillary Johnsrud recently left the Christian Science church, and the public practice, to rededicate their lives to Jesus Christ and receive baptism in a Presbyterian church. We asked Tanner to tell their story. (more…)

Broken cisterns dry up Christmas

Tuesday, December 26th, 2017
At our church on Christmas Eve, the sermon was on what Mark meant by “the beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” At my son and daughters’ church the previous day, the sermon was on what the angels meant by telling Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds, “Be not afraid.”

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Writing his own ‘Psalm 151’

Tuesday, November 7th, 2017

You sometimes hear of a group of Christians who describe themselves as an Acts 29 church, so committed are they to extending the Bible’s narrative of apostolic faithfulness into our own times. Similarly, a new follower of Jesus Christ whom I’ve recently met might be called a Psalm 151 believer. (more…)

Activate your warranty

Monday, August 21st, 2017

My car, probably like yours, came with an owner’s manual, including a warranty on the first page. But frustratingly, the book does not answer a lot of obvious questions. Nor does the warranty cover everything. And it expired years ago anyway.

For my life, on the other hand, for the person I am, there is a manual that does have all the answers. The God who made me and owns me has spelled out complete “user instructions” in his written Word, the Bible.
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Seeking and finding God

Saturday, April 8th, 2017

A young man I know lost his dad who died in a Christian Science care facility even though the practitioners were working overtime. This destroyed his faith. (more…)

Which book is of God, hers or his?

Sunday, March 26th, 2017

Mary Baker Eddy invites us to put her and her book to the test, “and so ascertain if the author has given you the correct interpretation of Scripture” (Science and Health, 547:7). We should do just that, with our eyes wide open to the divergence (more…)

Lessen Christmas, diminish Jesus: Why?

Saturday, December 24th, 2016

Anyone who says the way to have more truth and more life is to diminish Jesus Christ, is going to have a fight on their hands with me. (more…)

How I learned Jesus loves us

Sunday, September 4th, 2016

I was asked to put down on paper my conversion to orthodox Christianity. I was happy to do this for two reasons. (more…)

Mind power is not enough

Friday, March 18th, 2016

My mother was a devout Christian Scientist as were my grandparents on both sides. My father tacitly endorsed the CS line but was more consumed by material success than spiritual journeys. They would drop my brothers and me off (more…)

Lessons of one eventful day

Monday, August 31st, 2015

Yesterday was a day that seemed to serve up a constant reminder that I live in a broken world. As a former Christian Scientist, I process days like yesterday much differently now. (more…)

Salvation or therapeutics?

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

Will Jesus return? Christians expect him to, based on the Bible. Christian Scientists don’t, based on Mary Baker Eddy’s writings. Her own appearing and lifework, she indicates, fulfilled (more…)

Nicodemus and me

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

“Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God,” says the night visitor to Jesus in John, Chapter 3. This ruler of the Jews, Nicodemus, clearly feels drawn to the man of Galilee (more…)

Into light from darkness

Sunday, February 19th, 2012

When I received Christ in 1989 I began the long journey of becoming a believer and leaving the dogma and darkness of Christian Science behind me. It was a slow process of untangling (more…)

How a ‘little maid’ led me to Christ

Saturday, February 18th, 2012

My dad loved to quote a church signboard he once saw: “Be careful what you say and do. You may be someone’s only contact with the Bible.” I saw the force of that with new clarity (more…)

They ask: What happened to you?

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

What happened to me was that I realized I couldn’t make it without Jesus and his Cross. (more…)

Remembering Carl Gans

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

The many friends of Carl Gans, co-founder of the Ananias Circle, mourn his sudden passing last week and extend our loving support to his family. My affection for Carl, and my gratitude to him as an elder brother in Christ, are beyond words. (more…)