For most people, the atonement is a difficult theological concept. “Please explain it to me,” is a fairly common request. “Isn’t it all about suffering?” If that were true, it could understandably turn someone off to religion, or to learning more about God. But Mary Baker Eddy, through her prayer and study of the Bible and her conviction that God is Love, taught that the atonement is all about salvation through understanding the oneness of God and man.
The word atone comes from the phrase at one or “united in harmony,” according to the Dictionary of Word Origins (John Ayto). Both this meaning and another definition for atone, “to reconcile,” have almost disappeared from use and are considered obsolete by many dictionaries. Today the concept of atonement is so generally accepted to mean making amends for a misdeed, that it is not surprising that many think Jesus’ sacrifice and suffering was to appease God to atone for the sins of the world. Another belief among many Christians is that because Jesus died for us to save us, in order to be saved, Christians must believe in Jesus Christ and accept him as a personal Savior.
Mrs. Eddy laid out in the fourth tenet of Christian Science, in a very succinct way, what Christian Science teaches about atonement and salvation.