After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the world reeled in shock and disbelief. I did too—not only at the events themselves but also at the response I saw within my church.

Raised a fourth-generation Christian Scientist, I grew up on the St. Louis campus of Principia School, the world’s only pre-K-to-college school for Christian Scientists. Before 9/11, I lived within a Christian Science cocoon, enjoying what seemed like an idyllic childhood. In many ways, I acted like a Christian, reading my Bible every day, praying the Lord’s Prayer, and attending church twice a week.

Then everything exploded. Literally. The day after 9/11, hoping for comfort, I sought out the Wednesday night testimony meeting at my Christian Science church. But much of what I heard left me feeling profoundly uneasy. Some congregants boldly declared that a tragedy like this never could have occurred in God’s perfect world. Others lauded the New Yorkers who had prayed and stayed home that morning, subtly implying that the victims were to blame. How, I wondered, could they be so cavalier about the suffering we had witnessed?

Little did I know that this terrible day would launch me on a journey to saving faith in Jesus Christ.

Puzzled and aghast

Not to be confused with Scientology, Christian Science was founded by Mary Baker Eddy in the late 1800s. Its core teaching is influenced by gnostic, pantheistic, and metaphysical beliefs that portray sin, sickness, and death as illusions. Eddy taught that salvation comes through demonstrating the “Principle” of Christ rather than putting faith in Christ himself.

In her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, which she called “divinely-authorized,” Eddy ...

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