On Introducing the Urantia Book.
Ken Glasziou, Australia
At the conclusion of this article, there is a short discussion of a segment in The Urantia Book that contains information unknown at the time of the first printing of the book, information impossible to guess and that remained unknown until the current decade. It is one among several similar segments of scientific information, presumably presented under the exclusion terms of their mandate. (1109/10) However this is unusual, and for the most part, the authors have used scientific knowledge that was current when the Urantia Papers were received in the mid-1930's. As was anticipated, much of this has long since been outdated. (1109)
As we head towards the fiftieth year since first publication of the book, much of its science and cosmology is now outdated to the point that any continuation of the attempt to pass this book on to the general public under the label of a divine and infallible revelation is doomed to failure, even ridicule. It is also apparent that the revelators had accepted that divine authority and infallibility for the book would initially be assumed by its recipients. To counter this they included a "soon to be outdated cosmology,"--but warned us of their action.
The intransigent nature of earthlings is hardly new. At least as far back as the sixteenth century, Christian scholars have been aware that because of the large number of inconsistencies in the biblical text, it is logically impossible to treat the bible as a divine document guaranteed to be infallible by God.
Since then, Biblical scholarship has been such that the infallibility concept has not been taught in the theological institutions and seminaries of the majority of mainstream churches, at least since the early part of this century.1 However, among modern Christian congregations, the belief remains firmly entrenched and seemingly ineradicable.
The authors of the Urantia Papers have taken many steps to counter a "divine infallibility" label. In the "Favorite Places" section at the beginning of this issue, direct quotes from the authors of these papers repeatedly inform us that the truth content, even of revelation, whether secular or spiritual, is relative and not absolute--and will remain so short of our attainment of the Universal Father.
From the time of receipt of the papers, a large majority of book readers have assumed divine infallibility status for the Urantia Papers--a new "God's Bible" to correct and replace the old. Because of this, The Urantia Book has been ignored in virtually all theological circles. Another infallible revelation would be certain to be misused, just as the Bible has been misused.
Having become aware of the "outdated" problem, and having digested statements on revelation such as are quoted in our current "Favorite Places" section, many book readers have graduated past a fundamentalist attitude to The Urantia Book, and now accept the Papers and their content as was intended by their authors. The problem that now confronts us is how to present the benefits of the revelation to an unreceptive public.
One way may be to draw attention to an indisputable "prophetic" component of the book in order to help convince an inquiring potential reader that the book is worth reading. The article on electron radius that follows was put together at the behest of a reader who had received a request for such a proof. It is one of the best for that purpose as it requires no knowledge of science, and only a modest understanding of high school mathematics to work the thing through from start to finish and to appreciate the impossibility of guessing the result. Its technical content can also be readily confirmed from the internet web site of a Nobel prize winner.2
However, having convinced someone that the book is worth reading, what can be done to help an increasingly literate, well educated population to overlook the book's content of outdated science and cosmology?
Many long term readers have found that their interest in the authorship and revelatory status of the book decreases in inverse proportion with their spiritual growth. And more and more they rely on the Spirit of Truth for confirmation and conviction of truth as they find it.
So can we inform a potential new reader of this truism? Fortunately there are about fifteen New Testament verses that confirm both the indwelling of our God-Spirit and the role of the Spirit of Truth. Hence, having provided an explanation of the role of the book's science and cosmology as being simply a transient universe frame in which to think, perhaps we should then follow Jesus' example and let the Spirit of Truth do its own work: "He never seemed to be curious about people, and he never manifested a desire to direct, manage, or follow them up." (1875)
A time of change is ahead of us, a time in which book readers will progressively graduate from their book- and self-centeredness, to become solely God-centered. The rest will look after itself.
[Note: The article "Radius of the Electron" that follows may be copied and used in whatever way deemed suitable and without reference to origins. The text can also be downloaded from