First-Person Notes Archives


My onetime Sunday School pupil, adrift

Thursday, July 15th, 2021

Josh and his family have been friends of ours for over 40 years. When he was a teenager, I taught his class at the Christian Science Sunday School. It’s always been heavy on my heart that when he and other impressionable kids were spiritually in my care, I fed them CS falsehood instead of Bible truth. (more…)

‘Up, make us gods’

Tuesday, May 18th, 2021

In the affair of the golden calf, would I have stood with Moses or with Aaron? The answer should be obvious. Yet it’s not, considering how utterly I was taken in by Christian Science. (more…)

New book: ‘Discovering a Larger God’

Monday, March 1st, 2021

Raised in Christian Science, I experienced a crisis in my thirties when it became clear Mrs. Eddy’s God was not big enough for the desperation engulfing me.  Her deity was too small to look upon my ugly sinfulness and love me anyway. (more…)

CS health claims don’t prove out

Tuesday, October 27th, 2020

I just learned of the untimely death of a prominent, well-loved CS figure in our community. One more sad reminder that Christian Science as we see it lived by devoted individuals across the world, across the generations, simply does not measure up as a reliable approach to health, wellness, and bodily dominion. (more…)

What converts can teach us

Monday, October 12th, 2020

As a convert of Jesus and as someone who seeks to make converts, I have begun reading the four gospels and the book of Acts as a marvelous collection of conversion stories. Think about it. Eleven of the apostles were converts, like the Magi before them. (more…)

‘Write the vision, make it plain’

Thursday, October 8th, 2020

Often in our Christian walk, we catch a glimpse of a vision that gives us hope that we can impact others in some meaningful way. In the moment, we rarely have a clue how our vision will ever become reality. But the vision eventually does become our reality as we aim to accomplish it; it becomes a piece of our story.  So it has been for me in publishing my first book, Leaving Christian Science.
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Escapees tell their story

Tuesday, September 29th, 2020

“This isn’t working. I’ve been misled, harmed, ill served. I want out. I need to find a better way of life.” Such are the thoughts of someone feeling trapped in an unhealthy belief system or subculture.

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Consolation, desolation, and healing

Friday, April 24th, 2020

What is true healing? What’s really our goal in seeking God? These questions have arisen for me, a former Christian Scientist, as I’m going through an advanced prayer course with fellow Catholics. (more…)

Mrs. Eddy vs. the Book of Acts: No Contest

Wednesday, April 15th, 2020

How did Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection utterly transform human experience and change the world forever? By convincing a few dozen of his followers, who then convinced billions down the centuries and around the world, that Jesus was God incarnate and that through his blood believers could enter into eternal life. (more…)

I helped kill the heir

Sunday, December 1st, 2019

What a shock to hear a story about someone coldly defying God, and suddenly realize the story is about me. I have a sense of how King David must have felt when confronted with his murderous selfishness (II Samuel 12:7). (more…)

Trinitarian prayer: My doorway out

Thursday, September 12th, 2019

“Behold, what manner of love.”  These words from the Epistle of John are etched on the memory of anyone who spent years attending the Christian Science church. (more…)

Why the sun is setting on Christian Science

Sunday, August 11th, 2019

Dave Petteys, a follower of Jesus since the 1990s and my colleague in hosting this website, recently jotted some thoughts about the deepening decline of Mrs. Eddy’s movement. I batted back my own reactions to each of his observations. Here’s our dialogue: (more…)

Rescued to be rescuers

Monday, August 5th, 2019

A hundred years ago in London, a drug addict named Francis Thompson escaped from the jaws of hell when he found Jesus Christ. Or to be more exact, when Jesus Christ found him. (more…)

Salvation prayer: What a privilege

Sunday, July 28th, 2019

Ten of us who serve as elders at my Presbyterian church were stationed around the sanctuary after today’s sermon to pray with anyone who wanted to accept or renew a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. (more…)

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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