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"Christian Science and the Resurrection of Christ," "Witnessing
the Muslims," and "Mormons and Biblical Terminology" (articles from
the Words from the Founder column of the Christian Research
Newsletter, Volume 4: Numbers 3, 4 and 5, 1991) by Walter Martin.
The editor of the Christian Research Newsletter is Ron
*Christian Science and the Resurrection of Christ* by Dr. Walter
Martin (from the "Words from the Founder" column of the Christian
Research Newsletter, Volume 4: Number 3, 1991)
In company with many other anti-Christian cults,
Science has historically denied the physical resurrection of Jesus
Christ and taught instead that "His disciples believed Jesus dead
while He was hidden in the sepulchre: whereas He was alive" (Mary
Baker Eddy, _Science and Health,_ p. 349). Christian Science
teaches that "to accommodate himself to immature ideas of spiritual
power...Jesus called the body which by this power He raised from
the grave 'flesh and bones'" (p. 209).
It is plain to see from these sample declarations taken
Christian Science literature that Christ's words in Luke 24:39 --
"Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a
ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have" -- meant
absolutely nothing for Mrs. Eddy, the "mother" of Christian
Science. Mrs. Eddy was capable of looking at practically any text
in Scripture, reading it out loud, and then -- despite what it
plainly says -- proceed to tell you what it clearly does _not
In the 20th chapter of John, the Lord Jesus Christ
physically to the disciple Thomas who had previously refused to
believe in His physical resurrection. In the discourse there
recorded, Christ invited Thomas to place his fingers in His wounds
and his hand in His side, and enjoined him to "stop doubting and
believe" (v. 27). It must be rather obvious to all but the most
naive that Christ possessed a _literal body of flesh and bone_ as
real as that which He possessed prior to His resurrection. There is
not one shred of evidence or one suspicion in the New Testament
that Christ had a phantom-like body which He merely "called" a body
to accommodate the "immature ideas" held by His disciples.
If there is one thing that stands out in the pages of the
Testament, it is the fact that "Christ died" (Rom. 5:6), that He
"bore our sins in His body on the tree" (1 Pet. 2:24), and that
those who crucified Jesus "saw" when they viewed His body "that he
was already dead" (John 19:33). Few persons are aware of the fact
that Christian Science _denies_ that Jesus Christ ever died at all.
Hence, it follows logically that if they believe He never died,
there was no necessity for Him to be resuscitated or to rise from
the dead. Therefore, they merrily deny _both_ truths -- all
scriptural evidence to the contrary notwithstanding!
It was the apostle Paul who in 1 Corinthians 15:20-22
the great hope of the Christian's immortality when he wrote: "But
Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of
those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man,
the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in
Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive."
From Paul's statement it is very simple to observe two
pertinent factors: First, that Christ was _dead,_ and secondly,
that He was _resurrected from the dead,_ a fact Christian
Scientists have a hard time trying to read out of the Bible -- but
read it out they most certainly attempt to do!
It should be observed that as Mrs. Eddy and Christian
deny the resurrection of Christ, they also deny His bodily
ascension into heaven. Mrs. Eddy argued that "His disciples needed
this quickening, for soon their dear Master would rise again in the
spiritual scale of existence and fly far beyond their apprehension.
As a reward for His faithfulness He would disappear to material
sense, in that change which has since been called the ascension"
(_Science and Health,_ p. 339).
After the disciples witnessed Jesus visibly ascend into
two angels appeared to them and said: "Men of Galilee, why do you
stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been
taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have
seen him go into heaven" (Acts 1:11). Even a superficial comparison
of this verse with the foregoing statement by Mrs. Eddy quickly
indicates that Christ _bodily ascended_ into heaven in a literal
form, as testified powerfully by the Holy Spirit and in complete
contradiction to Mrs. Eddy's spiritualization of both the
resurrection and the ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Let us be mindful, then, when studying Christian Science,
both the terms _resurrection_ and _ascension_ have entirely
different meanings in the vocabulary of their religion and it is
best to adhere very closely to Scripture in attempting to refute
their garbled terminology and doctrine.
_These words were adapted from Dr. Martin's pamphlet,
Science (Bethany House Publishers). It is available from CRI for
*Witnessing to the Muslims* by Dr. Walter Martin (from the "Words from the Founder" column of the Christian Research Newsletter, Volume 4:
Number 4, 1991)
People often claim that the Muslims believe in the same
Christians: "They just don't accept Jesus Christ." However, as we
shall see, the Muslim God is not like the Christian God.
For the Muslim, Allah is the only true God. There is no
thing as the Trinity. The Muslim God is unapproachable by sinful
man. He is so perfect and holy that he can only communicate with
mankind through a progression of angels and prophets. The Muslim
God is a God of judgment, not grace. Muslims have no concept of God
as a loving Father.
Jesus Christ to the Muslim is just one of many prophets
Allah. The prophet Muhammad supersedes Jesus. Jesus is not the Son
of God or a Person in the Trinity. Jesus did not atone for anyone's
sins, although He was Himself sinless. Nor did Jesus die on the
cross. Various Muslim traditions say that He either miraculously
substituted Judas Iscariot for Himself on the cross, or that God
miraculously delivered Him from the hands of the Romans and Jews
before He could be crucified. Most Muslims believe that Jesus was
taken bodily into heaven without having died.
Sin and salvation in Islam are associated with two
works and fate. Every Muslim who hopes to escape the judgment of
Allah must fulfill the works of the Five Pillars of the Faith.
These include (1) Recitation of the Shahadah ("There is no God but
Allah and Muhammad is the prophet of Allah"); (2) Five daily
prescribed prayers; (3) Almsgiving, which is unlike tithing since
Muslims are only required to give one-fortieth of their income; (4)
Fasting during the entire month of Romadan, when Muslims are
supposed to fast from all food and drink from sunrise to sunset in
atonement for their sins over the previous year; and (5) A
pilgrimage to Mecca, the holy city, at least once in a Muslim's
The three key topics of discussion between a Christian
Muslim should be the nature of God, the identity and deity of Jesus
Christ, and salvation by grace alone apart from works. Christians
can share with Muslims that the Christian God transcends man's
finitude and sinfulness because He cares about and loves people
individually. Divine love is a concept missing from Islam and yet
essential to human peace and happiness with God. A powerful witness
of Scripture to God's love is John 3:16: "For God so loved the
world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth
in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
When told about Jesus, many Muslims will refuse to
claiming that our Scriptures are distorted and untrustworthy. The
Christian can refer the interested Muslim to the many fine
Christian volumes available showing the inspiration and inerrancy
of the Bible. (Excellent materials are available from CRI on this
subject -- including a bibliography for further reading.) Settling
the issue of the inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture is
foundational to the Christian's presentation of the New Testament
teaching that Jesus Christ is truly God (John 8:58) and is the
_only_ way to salvation (John 14:6).
Next, tell the Muslim the good news that salvation does
depend on his own insufficient efforts, but on the grace of God
displayed through the atonement of Jesus Christ on the cross (2
Cor. 15:3-6). No one can work his way to eternal life. The Muslim
will agree that Allah could justly choose to bar all men from
paradise since no man is perfect as Allah is perfect. However,
_biblical_ salvation does not depend on man's imperfect efforts.
Biblical salvation depends on the work and love of God. "For by
grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is
the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast" (Eph.
Finally, the Christian should love the Muslim. Muslims have
definite zeal for God. They desire to follow God and express their
worship of God through their lives. The Christian should respect
Muslims' sincere intentions and share with them the life-changing
gospel of Jesus Christ. When a Christian can demonstrate the power
of the Word of God through the Holy Spirit, and use his own life as
an example of the joy possible to those who love Christ, he becomes
an effective example to the Muslim of the opportunity to know and
worship the true God rather than Muhammad's distorted concepts
_These words were adapted from Dr. Martin's_ The Kingdom
Cults _(Bethany). It is available from CRI for $17.00._
*Mormons and Biblical Terminology* by Dr. Walter Martin (from the "Words from the Founder" column of the Christian Research Newsletter, Volume 4: Number 5, 1991)
A Mormon missionary can visit the home of the average
and, by careful avoidance of areas of theological conflict, appear
to be in essential agreement with the foundational truths of
Christianity. This is possible because Mormon missionaries are
taught to avoid careful definition of terms when approaching the
"Gentiles." The Christian must be on his guard to detect this
I once visited a Christian school that prepared
for the field. The instructor in the course on non-Christian
religions and cults had encouraged his students to invite cultists
to the campus with the aim of exposing the students to the
methodology of various cultic groups. That day the Mormons were on
Two Mormon missionaries spoke for some 25 minutes
their view of God. I could discern from the faces of the students
that what they were hearing conflicted with what they had been
taught in their classes concerning Mormonism's doctrine of God. The
two missionaries were careful to use the terms "God," "Jesus
Christ," "the Lord," "Heavenly Father," and numerous other
theological synonyms for the Deity, but not once did they discuss
their true view of God.
When the opportunity presented itself, I pointed out to
missionaries that there was definitely an area of conflict
involved, and that the problem was one of communication and
terminology. They reluctantly agreed, and I reviewed the various
terms they used to describe God. At the conclusion, the older of
the two missionaries said: "But, Mr. Martin, we too accept the
doctrine of God as taught in the Scriptures. We too believe in God,
the God who made the heavens and the earth." I asked them, "But
which God are you talking about -- Jesus, known as Jehovah in your
theology, or Elohim, the Father of our spirits and the creator of
Adam"? There was a moment of frustrating silence, and then one
missionary said: "I see you are well-read in our theology."
I answered that I was familiar with their views and kept
pressing him on the point of definition until he, with great
reluctance, admitted that instead of believing in just _one_ God,
the Creator of the heavens and the earth (as he had originally
stated), he actually believed in many gods, in the preexistence of
the human soul, that the gods were polygamists, and finally that he
himself aspired to godhood. The shocked expressions of the students
and obvious embarrassment of the missionaries were evident.
Forthwith a host of theistic arguments descended upon the two
"elders," whom I left vigorously protesting their belief in the
prophetic office of Joseph Smith and attempting to escape the
now-aroused audience of students.
Once the veneer of biblical terminology is removed from
Mormon doctrines, it is possible to find out what Mormonism really
teaches. If a Mormon says "God," "Jesus Christ," "atonement,"
"salvation," and so forth, we must recognize that these terms are
not defined in the context of historic Christianity. When the
Christian says "God," he is talking about God triune -- Father,
Son, and Holy Spirit -- three Persons, one nature, coeternal. When
we are talking about Jesus Christ, we are talking about God the
Son, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, of one essence or
nature with the Father. We are not talking about one of many gods,
but the eternal God Himself, all that He on this earth can ever
mean to man (Col. 2:9).
When we are talking about the Atonement, we mean that
died for our sins (Rom. 3:24-31), and that the blood He shed in our
behalf is sufficient for our redemption (Heb. 10:10; 9:22). The
Christian believes that salvation is a free gift from the one and
only God, made possible by the shedding of His own blood (Acts
20:28). This salvation cleanses us from all sin and makes us
completely blameless and righteous in His sight. There is nothing
we can do to improve on it or to earn it (Eph. 1:4-7; 2:8-9).
The Mormon concept of salvation is very different. To the
Mormons, salvation in the sense of resurrection is conferred upon
all human beings. However, salvation in the sense of exaltation or
freedom from sin and guilt is obtainable only by our own works and
What the Mormons mean by theological terms and what the
and the true church mean by them are entirely different. The
importance of destroying the "terminology block" cannot be
overemphasized. No matter how good your presentation is, and no
matter how much you have researched and studied, so that you can
present the gospel in an orthodox manner, if you cannot
communicate, you are wasting your time. Always define your terms
when witnessing to a Mormon.
_These words were adapted from Dr. Martin's book, _The
Mormonism._ It can be ordered from CRI for $9.00._
End of document, CRN0038A.TXT (original CRI file name),
"Christian Science and the Resurrection of Christ," "Witnessing to
the Muslims," and "Mormons and Biblical Terminology"
release A, June 30, 1994
R. Poll, CRI
(A special note of thanks to Bob and Pat Hunter for their help in
the preparation of this ASCII file for BBS circulation.)
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