The Story of Everything: A Synopsis of The Urantia Book
Paper 160: Rodan of Alexandria and
Paper 161: Further Discussions with Rodan
While the rest of the apostles took a week's rest with family and friends, Nathaniel and Thomas remained in Magadan to engage in discussion with a Greek philosopher, Rodan. Rodan gave a series of ten talks to Nathaniel, Thomas, and a group of two dozen believers. Rodan had embraced the gospel and was synthesizing his own philosophy with the teachings of Jesus. He believed that the religion of Jesus transcended all former concepts because it declared that the divine source of values, the eternal center of the universe, is personally attainable by every mortal who chooses to seek God.
Rodan asked, "But are we willing pay the price of this entrance into the kingdom of heaven? Are we willing to be born again? To be remade? Are we willing to be subject to this terrible and testing process of self-destruction and soul reconstruction?" Rodan was mindful that the Master had declared that whomever would save his life must lose it.
One thing that Rodan and Jesus' apostles disagreed about was the personality of God. Rodan believed that the heavenly Father could not be a person as man conceives of personality. This disagreement bothered Thomas and Nathaniel so much that they asked Jesus to intervene, but the Master refused.
Rodan believed that personality could only exist in the context of full and mutual communication between beings of equality. He maintained that since God is the Creator of all other beings, there are none equal to him in the universe, and no one for him to communicate with as an equal. Thomas tried to convince Rodan that God was a personality, but after two days, the most Rodan would concede was that Thomas had proven the reality of God, not his personality.
After Thomas gave up, Nathaniel succeeded. Nathaniel reasoned that since the Eternal Son and the Infinite Spirit are equal to God, that meant that even by Rodan's definition there was a possibility that God had personality. Rodan accepted this possibility. Then Nathaniel reasoned that since Jesus was equal to God, and Jesus was able to communicate with humans, this proved that God and humans can intercommunicate. Also, since Jesus and the Father were one, the personality of Jesus demonstrated the personality of God. Finally, God must be a personality, since he is the Creator of all personality as well as the destiny of all personality.
Rodan accepted that God was a person. The three men spent two more days discussing the divine nature of Jesus. The apostles told Rodan their reasons for accepting the Master's divinity:
Jesus said he was divine.
He never made mistakes; he was consistently sinless.
He healed diseases and professed to forgive sin.
He seemed to know people's thoughts.
He seemed to have foreknowledge of things, even his own death.
He knew what was happening away from his immediate presence.
He spoke with the authority of a divine teacher.
John the Baptist declared Jesus to be the Son of God.
He talked about God as an ever-present associate.
He appeared to communicate directly with God.