Urantia Book - What Is It?
A Brief Summary of the Urantia Book, by Bill Sadler 9/10/55
This book breaks down into some very interesting sub-sections.
This part falls into four very clear-cut categories:
- A. The Foreword is in a class all by itself. But it is a part of Part I -- it is not outside of Part I.
- B. Deity is the beginning of the story of God, and this B group of papers and the Foreword are releated to the A group of papers in Part II, which is the second story of deity, and is further related to the last paper in Part II, which is the third story of deity, and in turn they are related to the third group of papers in Part III.
- There are four stories of deity: First, the story that begins in the Foreword, then one in Part I, two in Part II, and one in Part III. In Part I, deity breaks down into 9 papers dealing with personal deity, and one with total deity, the Trinity.
- C. Universes. There are four papers that deal with cosmography -- with things, with the geography of the cosmos. In a sense, Paradise is a part of this story, but Paradise is the source, and then, moving outward from Paradise, they discuss its derivations.
- D. Personalities. The rest of Part I, 16 papers, is people. There are three groups discussed; Those of origin on Paradise, the Family of the infinite Spirit, and a couple of general papers.
Part I is the most clearly organized of the parts; three groupings in the story itself: Deity, Universes, and Personalities. (You will find among Paradise origin personlaities three levels of God the Sevenfold included in personalities, but this is Absolute deity. We will come to that distinction when we discuss God the Sevenfold.)
The Local Universe is the shortest of the parts. Its organization is not quite as clear-cut as Part I, but it begins with a discussion of deity, and goes on into a discussion of personalities. Here is the second discussion of Sons of God and also of Ministering Spirits, which was buried in the classification in Part I. "The Local Universe" is a continuation of the story of the universe begun in Part I. Then we have a lonesome paper at the end -- Universal Unity -- the third discussion of deity.
The History of Urantia. This is the second longest part of the book and breaks down into three rather clear-cut groupings:
- A. Historical papers. Twenty eight papers which tell the story of this planet from four different aspects.
- B. Religion. Nineteen papers which tell how it came to be, what Melchizedek taught, and what we have now.
- C. Deity. There are sixteen papers that are not altogether homogeneous, but they embrace the story of the Triunities, of Thought Adjusters, Seraphic Guardians, the Supreme Being, and the Bestowal paper. They all pertain to deity as such, or to the ministry of deity.
The Life and Teachings of Jesus. This is the longest, and it seems to break down into four very clear-cut groupings of papers:
- A. The fifteen papers dealing with his mortal career.
- B. His public work as the Son of Man, the twenty two papers dealing with the period extending from the baptism to the Mount of Transfiguration.
- C. His public work after he openly proclaimed himself as the Son of God, the thirty one papers dealing with the period from the Transfiguration to the Crucifixion.
- D. The post-mortal career, the nine papers starting with the resurrection and continuing to the end of the book.
The Urantia Book: An Evaluation, by Jim Mills - 1970
Ever since man first became conscious of himself, and of his environment, he has asked questions about both. Regardless of how the questions are worded, in general they can be reduced to a few simple queries. These are: "Why am I here?" "Where am I going?" "What is the meaning of it all?", and, "What am I?"
The answers to these questions have not been easy to obtain. Man, therefore, developed a technique of postulating answers to his questions, and then attempted to develop the means of testing these postulates under reproducible conditions consistent with his knowledge of his environment. Thus was the scientific method for the study of physical phenomena born and its success has changed the face of civilization.
No such success has accrued to the efforts of man in the areas of meanings (Philosophy) and values (Religion), for no valid method has ever been developed to test the postulates of philosophy and religion with the efficiencies available to science at the physical level of existence. The truth of meanings and values is something that must still be "felt" by the individual as a near-emotional experience. Consequently, individual judgment, with all its personal uniqueness and variety, is still a major testing procedure for new postulates in Philosophy and Religion.
However, history has taught us that many men and women who we have called "prophets" have periodically appeared with new and advanced postulates that have gained such acceptance that new religions have resulted therefrom which have had tremendous influence on the development of civilization. In this group we find Gautama Siddhartha (Buddha) in India; Lao-Tse and Confucius in China; Ikhnaton in Egypt; Zoroaster in Persia, all of whom mysteriously appeared about 2,500 years ago, almost as though by design; to be followed later by Jesus of Nazareth and Mohammed in Arabia. Scores of others, perhaps less well known, have appeared on the stage and have had their influence on the world.
The teachings of these "prophets" we have called "revelations", because each advanced a new concept of man in relation to ultimate reality – they "revealed" new truths to man about himself and his relations to his environment, and in some degree, to his Creator. They have all had a strong impact because they provided contemporary answers to the questions asked above.
But no revelation, short of finding and recognizing ultimate reality, God, The Uncaused Cause, can be final. Revelation is time periodic, partial, and limited to the conceptual boundaries of man’s intellectual universe of knowledge. As man’s intellectual frontiers have expanded, and when the need for new revelations caused by this has grown to a point of great tensions, another revelation has always appeared.
Today our understanding of cosmology is growing with the use of the 200-inch telescope, and the radio-telescopes and receivers, aimed at space. Data already collected may not be analyzed and interpreted for many years. Men have actually walked on the Moon. Probes have gone to the planets Mars and Venus to record and return data, even photographs.
Slowly it is dawning upon us that even the physical size of the universe may be beyond our present capabilities to comprehend. So far we have been able to detect very little about physical universe organization beyond our present ideas about galaxies. We ask the questions: How are the starry heavens organized? Is there a pattern in cosmology such as we find in terrestrial nature? What is man’s relation to all of this? Does he have a future out there? Are our ideas about the origin, age, and development of the universe valid? Are we being misled by our ability to observe only a small portion instead of the total phenomenon? And finally, again, why am I here? These questions contribute to a mounting tension.
In 1955, without fanfare or publicity, without preaching or promotion, there appeared in the city of Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A., a 2097 page book called The Urantia Book. Its name derives from the fact that within it our planet is called Urantia. Those who have read it seriously and in detail, and repeatedly, are generally convinced that it is the "revelation" for which contemporary society has so long been crying.
What makes this book a revelation? The true answer can only be found in reading it – then studying it. However, some reasons are and can be given. Simply, because it presents a cosmology which is consistent with, and an extension of our present knowledge of cosmology. For example, it foretold Calcium 19 as being present in the sun. It was discovered there in 1964. (Time Magazine, May 29th, 1964, p. 80.) It presents a clear, understandable story about the nature and destiny of man. It teaches the religion of Jesus instead of a religion about Jesus. It recognizes the truths to be found in all religions. It recognizes evolutionary religion as separate from revelation. It stresses the importance of the individual regardless of origin and tells something about our supernal destinies. It differentiates between fact, meaning, and value: science, philosophy, and religion, and then unites them in a true integration.