The Urantia Book – God’s New Book?

By: ATRI Staff Writer; ©2007
The billboard reads, “Read my new book – God.” If the Urantia Book really is from God, then we certainly should take it seriously. So we need to find out exactly what this book and its author(s) have to say.

Introduction

I saw a billboard that said, “Read my new book – God.” What is the Urantia Book, and should I be reading it along with – or instead of – my Bible? – (Beth in TN)

If the Urantia Book really is from God, then we certainly should take it seriously. So we need to find out exactly what this book and its author(s) have to say.

The Urantia Book “claims to have been presented by celestial beings as a rev­elation to our planet, Urantia.”[1] The conduit for these revelations was a so-called “sleeping subject,”[2] whose identity has never been officially revealed. The material was transcribed by Dr. William Sadler, a disillusioned member of the Seventh-day Adventist church. Later on, a council was formed to receive and disseminate the revelations. Sadler says,

The communications which have been written, or which we have had the opportunity to hear spoken, are made by a vast order of alleged beings who claim to come from other planets to visit this world, to stop here as student visitors for study and observation when they are en route from one universe to another or from one planet to another.[3]

The Urantia Book is divided into four parts. Briefly they are:

Part I: The Central and Superuniverse

The 31 papers in Part I “depict the nature of Deity, the reality of Paradise, the organization and working of the central and superuniverses, the personalities of the grand universe, and the high destiny of evolutionary mortals.”[4]

Part II: The Local Universe

Part II has 25 papers. These papers deal with Planet Earth (Urantia).

Our world, Urantia, belongs to a local universe whose sovereign is Michael, the Son of God and the Son of Man, known on this world as Jesus of Nazareth. In the central universe the Universal Father (God) is personally present; in the universes and planets of space our Father is being represented by his Sovereign Sons, while he is intimately present in the minds of his mortal children through his indwelling spirit, The Thought Adjusters.[5]

Part III: The History of Urantia

Part III explains that Urantia reached its present size about 1,000,000,000 years ago, at which time it was “placed upon the physical registries of our local universe… and given its name, Urantia.”[6] The 63 papers in Part III explain, among other things, “the Trinity concept, the evolution of religion, the indwelling spirit of God (the Thought Adjuster), personality survival, the bestowals of Christ Michael.”[7]

Part IV: The Life and Teachings of Jesus

Part IV consists of 77 papers giving “a year by year account of the life and teachings of the Son of Man.”[8]

Jesus’ life and precepts, in their original form, unencumbered by tradition and dogma, are by far the greatest possible help that moral man can have in his age long climb to Paradise. “The great hope of Urantia lies in the possibility of a new revelation of Jesus with a new and enlarged presentation of his saving message which would spiritually unite in loving service the numerous families of his present day professed followers.” [Page 2086:2] [9]

The Urantia Book uses very Christian language, and people familiar with the Bible will find much that sounds recognizable. However, as one researcher says, the Urantia Book, especially in its “biography” of Jesus, not only contradicts the New Testament, but in fact, presents a “systematic denial of all the basic tenets of Ortho­dox Christianity.”[10]

Jason Barker of Personal Freedom Outreach [11] gives several examples of Urantia’s non-biblical teachings. We shall quote two as examples:

Jesus Christ: The Eternal Son, along with the Universal Father, created all the “only-begotten” Creator Sons who, as part of the Order of Michael, are responsible for the creation of humanity.[12] Before incarnating on this planet as Jesus of Nazareth, Jesus was Michael of Nebadon, the 611,121st original concept of the Paradise Father and Son.[13] Despite being the “original concept,” Jesus was not the Eternal Son, but rather he possessed “additional power and authority, for he not only personifies the Eternal Son but also fully represents and actually embodies the personality presence of the Universal Father.”[14]
Sin and Atonement: …According to the Jesus of The URANTIA Book, “Evil is the immature choosing and the thinking misstep of those who are resistant to goodness, rejectful of beauty, and disloyal to truth. Evil is that which is dark and untrue, and which, when consciously embraced and willfully endorsed, becomes sin.”[15] A person can overcome evil simply by choosing to do good: “There is mighty power in the expulsive energy of a new and sincere spiritual affection. And again I say to you, be not overcome by evil but rather overcome evil with good.”[16]
Because avoiding sin is simply a matter of choice, the crucifixion did not accomplish the forgiveness of sin.[17] Instead, humans must work to emulate the example of love and faith in God shown by Jesus. This striving for perfection is worked out over many lifetimes on many planets. A URANTIA follower states that “the entire stellar itinerary of our inconceivably long evolutionary journey toward spirit status [includes] graduate courses on the billion worlds of Havona… such is the long, alluring path to Paradise.”[18]

Many other examples could be cited. In fact, the Urantia Book Fellowship has published its own list of “Urantia Book Deviations from Traditional Christian Theol­ogy”.[19]

For those who hold that the Bible is the inspired, inerrant Word of God, the infor­mation given here should be sufficient reason to reject the Urantia Book and what it teaches. It should be clear that whoever these celestial beings are, they are certainly not speaking for the God of the Bible.

Our conclusion is that the Urantia Book is NOT “God’s New Book”!

Notes

  1. William Sadler, The Mind at Mischief, edited by Mark Turin, n.p.: n.p., 1929 [Online].
  2. Ibid.
  3. http://www.urantia.org/detail.html
  4. http://www.urantia.org/detail.html
  5. http://www.urantia.org/detail.html
  6. http://www.urantia.org/detail.html
  7. http://www.urantia.org/detail.html
  8. http://www.urantia.org/detail.html
  9. Stephen F. Cannon, “Evaluating the Urantia Book,”
  10. Jason Barker, PFO Profile, http://www.watchman.org/profile/urantiapro.htm.
  11. Dean Halverson, “Urantia, the Brotherhood, the Book,” SCP Newsletter 7.3 (1981), 3.
  12. The URANTIA Book, 33:1
  13. Ibid.
  14. The URANTIA Book, 130:1.
  15. Ibid., 156:5
  16. Ibid., 188:4.
  17. Ruth Burton, Basic Concepts of The URANTIA Book, Chicago, Il: The URANTIA Brotherhood, n.d., 2.

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