Practical Christianity

The term Practical Christianity has been associated primarily with Unity, but sometimes it has been identified with the whole New Thought movement, of which Unity is a part.

In his 1919 A History of the New Thought Movement , Horatio W. Dresser (1866-1954) noted:

In Kansas City, the name Practical Christianity came in time to stand for the whole branch of the movement under the leadership of The Society of Silent Unity and the Unity School of Christianity. This is perhaps the best of all terms for the movement on its spiritual side. . . . It is preferable to the name metaphysical healing, a term which has stood for a more abstruse interpretation of the movement. The term metaphysics, strictly speaking, applies to a technical system of philosophy, and only by explanation is it to be understood to be the name of a practical movement. (pp. 155-56)
Unity co-founder Charles Fillmore (1854-1948) in The Revealing Word, defined:
Christianity, practical--The teachings of Jesus practically applied to the everyday life of man. Practical Christianity is not a term applied to an arbitrary theory of human origin; neither is it a revelation to humanity from some prophet whose word alone must be taken unquestionably as authority. It is, in this respect, different from most religious systems of the world. Its students are not asked to believe anything that they cannot logically demonstrate to be true. Thus, it is the only system of religion before the people today that, because of its universal appeal to the pure reason in man, can be accepted and applied by every nation under the sun. (p. 36)
Ernest Holmes (1887-1960 ), founder of Religious Science, in his New Thought Terms and their Meanings, simply defined practical Christianity as "Applying the principles which Jesus taught to everyday problems."

In and out of New Thought some question the appropriateness of calling the movement Christian, but most New Thoughters consider themselves Christian. They interpret Christianity in terms of following the example of Jesus, rather than in believing conventional teachings about Jesus. See Chapter Three, "Religious Background of New Thought," of New Thought: A Practical American Spirituality.

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Created Oct. 9, 1995
by Alan Anderson

Latest Update (not of text) June 27, 1998

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