MJS Archive Contents
The Meredith J. Sprunger Archive
The Urantia Book and Our Christian Heritage
Rarely does one find a book on theology or religion which has the potential
of changing the conceptual patterns of our culture. Over twenty years ago
a small group of United Church of Christ ministers discovered a stimulating
volume entitled The Urantia Book. Urantia Foundation published this
book in 1955.
Since that time other clergymen and tens of thousands of laypersons have
become interested in this unusual book. The overwhelming consensus is that
it will receive universal recognition. This challenging book is a fascinating
document for personal spiritual growth and intellectual development. It may
become the most important source of information revitalizing the church and
restructuring theology since the Reformation.
The growing number of ministers and religious leaders discovering the book
are surprised that a publication of this spiritual quality and potential has
remained virtually unknown for over twenty-five years. A partial answer is
because the publishers have not promoted it. They believe that the low key
evolutionary process of person to person introductions is the wisest method
of acquainting people with the book. In addition, there are three major factors
which have discouraged clergymen and other Christian leaders from a serious
evaluation of its message:
- 1. It comes from a source that is not known and trusted by religious and
- 2. It is a large book (2,097 pages) and some sections can be difficult to
- 3. It claims to be new revelation and understandably causes suspicion, if
not fear or hostility.
Hopefully, we have left those days of cultural naivete when claim or authority
are regarded as a criterion of truth. Revelatory authenticity is a secondary
consideration. The primary challenge posed by The Urantia Book is pragmatic.
Does it have something creative and constructive to contribute to our modern
philosophic-religious outlook? Evaluated on the basis of spiritual insight,
philosophical coherence, and reality-centeredness, it presents, in the judgment
of thousands of people who have critically examined it, the finest world view
of religion available to contemporary society.
The Urantia Book, like any other book on religion, should be
read critically but with an open, spirit-guided mind. It is not, and should
not be seen as, a challenge to the Canonical literature of the church. Canonical
literature, including the Bible, is the result of divine initiative and guidance
that has been tested by centuries of experience and wisdom in the church.
The Urantia Book , like all other contemporary literature, can only
serve as an adjunct to the scriptural sources of faith in the church. You
will find that it supports an enlightened Biblical approach to religion. Most
people have a greater appreciation of the Bible as a result of reading The
Urantia Book. Although individuals may determine the personal value of
the book in a relatively short time, its worth and place in the church can
only be determined by generations, if not centuries, of experience.
An Integrated Universe
The Urantia Book presents an integrated, holistic view of the universe.
It combines the best traditional concepts of God with the most meaningful
present day concepts (Tillich, Teilhard de Chardin, Whitehead) into a uniquely
A hierarchical, structured astronomical universe, teaming with millions of
inhabited planets, is paralleled by a similar spiritual cosmology. The book
presents a superior understanding of our planetary history, dynamics, and
destiny. Evolution functions as the key physical and spiritual modus operandi
of the universe. The mechanisms of the physical universe are integrated with
the purposes of mind and spirit overcontrol. An excellent summary of the development
of religion and the growth of civilization is given with conciseness and insight.
The authors' penetrating analysis of religion, culture, and the family
is of exceptional quality.
The last section of The Urantia Book contains an extended version
of the life and teachings of Jesus. This inspiring presentation of the bestowal
mission of Jesus to our world brings life and authenticity to the sketchy
New Testament story. Its teachings are basically acceptable to all religions.
They emphasize the religion of Jesus which is unifying rather than
the religion about Jesus which tends to be divisive. The central challenge
of contemporary human beings is to make a balanced effort to achieve God-consciousness.
Growth toward perfection (God) is seen as the fundamental motivation of life.
This growth is evolutionary, culminating, and virtually endless.
A Resource not an Imperative
Although the message of The Urantia Book is solidly rooted in the
perennial philosophy and religious experience of the past, it does present
an enlarged view of the universe and God. Religious institutions usually find
expanded knowledge and insight difficult to assimilate. Light can blind as
well as guide. Truth that is presented prematurely brings frustration and
rejection. The Urantia Book, therefore, may be disturbing to some people
even though it is supportive and positive toward all people and all human
efforts in the search for truth and spiritual understanding.
The Urantia Book is among the most significant sources of spiritual
guidance available to present day society, but it is not an end in itself,
nor is it a necessary means to spiritual enlightenment. Its potentials for
individual and social growth, however, are so great it should be highly recommended
to all who are interested in the creative possibilities of a spiritual renaissance
in our society. Its message is balanced and profound. Its approach is open
and benign. There are no threats or coercions to "believe." It seeks
to work in and through the evolutionary process and within the social institutions
of our world.
The Urantia Book strives to stimulate the spiritual regeneration and evolutionary
advancement of all humankind. It points out that the kingdom of God is an
invisible spiritual fellowship that is destined to become a living organism
transcending social institutions. The authors of the book seek to encourage
and strengthen all religious institutions toward the fulfillment of their
unique potentials in ministering to the spiritual needs of humanity.
How Can The Urantia Book Contribute to Our Christian Heritage?
There are three basic reasons for ministers and Christian leaders to take
the time to read The Urantia Book .
- 1. The book is being discovered by thousands of people at an increasing
rate. You may find it helpful to having a working knowledge of the quality
and scope of its message.
- 2. In the judgment of many ministers and Christian leaders, the book contains
the greatest stimulus to spiritual growth in contemporary literature.You
may wish to examine the basis for this opinion.
- 3. You may be a searcher for philosophical and religious truth. If so, you
are aware of the limitations of our historic philosophic-religious resources.
You will find The Urantia Book one of the most enlightening sources
of spiritual truth you have ever read.
Hopefully, these reasons will motivate you to read this book. Through its
pages you will discover new aspects of reality and deeper insights into living
spiritual truth that will enhance your work and daily living. The Urantia
Book has a wealth of resource information and insight to help solve problems
in our complex society. It presents the highest principles of judicious thinking
and healthful living. Its message emphasizes balance and maturity while teaching
respect for established traditions, laws, and usages. The spiritual universe
is so realistically and authentically portrayed, it can be instrumental in
lifting one's life to a new level of spiritual effectiveness.