On Comprehending The Urantia Book
Ken Glasziou, Australia
It would be quite strange if all readers interpreted our "Favorite Places" article in the same way. However, many who have considered the content of those passages have come to appreciate The Urantia Book in a new light--one in which the spiritual content of its text is viewed quite apart from those segments of the text that are more relevant to the secular world.
Having considered the restrictions that proscribe the impartation of unearned or premature knowledge, together with the individual limitations of the various authors, many readers see the secular content of the Papers as simply a background framework within which they can better comprehend the true meaning of their sojourn upon this planet. The requirement for this framework is not its absolute truth but its pragmatic adequacy to help the reader construct their own universe frame in which to reflect upon more important matters relevant to an eternal universe career.
Such readers are then free to determine for themselves how the spiritual components of the Papers should impinge upon their thought and their lives. For this purpose, an understanding of the help available from the Spirit of Truth (Paper 194, Sect. 2) in determining the relative truth content of any materials under consideration is indispensable.
What then is the intended role of the extraordinarily prophetic information also included in the text of the Papers?--information like the radius of the electron as discovered by Stefan Tallqvist that would have been quite impossible for any human to know at the time of the book's first publication. (see later article "The Radius of the Electron.")
It seems that the authors of the Papers were confronted with a "balancing on a knife edge" type of task. The Papers explain the value of our free will, "As pertains to eternal survival, God has decreed the sovereignty of the material and mortal will, and that decree is absolute." (71)
It does not take excessive concentration to perceive how miraculous demonstrations of any kind may interfere with our free will to choose our own preferred way rather than what we might perceive to be God's way. Belief in miracles has coerced many a Christian to acquiesce to the Mosaic law against the desires of their own free will.
On the other side of the knife edge, the revelators needed to consider the urgent need of Urantian societies to free themselves from the shackles of a materialistic-deterministic philosophy that is now embedded in the universe frames for thinking of most people. This philosophy not only threatens to breakdown the basis of all morality among Urantians but also threatens to envelop us with the the possibility of widespread anarchy.
As in the days of Jesus' revelatory life, it appears that miraculous demonstrations of the power of God are not in accord with universe policy. And in accordance with that policy, it appears that the revelators have effectively excluded the possibility of a "divinely dictated" status being afforded to the Urantia Papers by the simple expedient of including sufficient material that could be classified as erroneous by those with the freewill desire to do so.
The revelators also had the difficult task that, while discouraging a "divine dictation" status from being conferred upon the Urantia Papers, they were still required to present them so as to attract the attention of dedicated seekers of truth.
Looked upon in this light, the revelators have accomplished their assignment magnificently--to the point that they were even permitted to include this prophecy on the last page of their presentation:
"Be not discouraged. Human evolution is still in progress, and the revelation of God to the world, in and through Jesus, shall not fail." (2097)