The word nihilism is unfamiliar to many of us, not part of our everyday vocabulary. The word is derived from the Latin word nihil meaning nothing. Nihilism is essentially the philosophy that things do not exist, a sense that everything, including the self, is unreal.
Does this sound in any way similar to the teachings of Christian Science? Some critics of Christian Science might claim this sense of nothingness is embodied in it. The argument would be that if “there is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter” (as “the scientific statement of being” attests in the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, on page 468), then there is nothing left to express life. However, a proper study of this statement in its entirety, and of Science and Health, would dispel this misinterpretation.
The explanation Christian Science offers that matter, sin, sickness, and death are unreal does not leave a vacuity in place, but defines reality as a state of spirituality. That the so-called material senses cannot detect and will not acknowledge spiritual reality in no way invalidates Spirit. In fact, we have irrefutable evidence that what is actually real is the image and likeness of God, Spirit, because we have countless examples of spiritual healing, as recorded in over 100 years of testimonies in this magazine and the Journal’s sister publication, the Christian Science Sentinel, as well as those shared informally at Wednesday testimony meetings throughout the world.