WHY CHRISTIANITY DESPERATELY NEEDS TO DISCOVER JESUS
The greatest crisis in the long and checkered history of Christianity will strike Christian civilization like a bolt of lightning on the day NASA announces irrefutable evidence of intelligent life on another planet. Christianity, based largely on the personal experience and philosophy of the apostle Paul, is only locally relevant to a particular culture, particular beliefs of Greeks and Jews living at a particular time in the conceptual evolution of a particular planet–a religion involving blood sacrifices and apocalyptic end times mythologies?
By contrast, the teachings of Jesus are transplanetary in context, and are relevant to any world of intelligent persons in any stage of evolutionary development.
The Urantia Book–as an epochal revelation–gives us an advanced context for recognizing Jesus, the Son of God, incarnated on our world who came with a message about how to live as a creative citizen in an eternal spiritual civilization–a message relevant to an entire universe teeming with intelligent life.
There are four key distinctions that set the Urantia Book apart from other theologies; these distinctions, or positions on reality, are unique only to the Urantia Book.
These four distinctions might be considered revelatory in scope and originality because, prior to 1955, these expanded concepts were non-existent in mainstream theological teachings.
Since 1955, when the Urantia Book became available, hundreds of thousands of readers have had a chance to study the text (over a million copies have been sold or downloaded); most are convinced the concepts are both possible and authentically original, hence their revelatory nature.
Consider these points in what the Urantia Book states:
1. Eschatological Specifics on the Hierarchy of God’s Cosmic Family or “Offspring.” The Urantia Book provides specific details on who Deity is and its relationship to a long and exhaustive list of personality beings (including ourselves) who comprise the universe at the present time, beings we are told who do the work of universal administration and spiritual ministry throughout time and space.
Pause to consider that, long before our own solar system was formed, there was space and time evolution – 14 billion years of space and time, according to our theorists, plenty of time for other beings of varying natures to have been “born” or to have “come into existence,” in ways we can not even comprehend. In the Urantia Book narrative, we are presented with the entire cosmic offspring of Deity – made up of spiritual and material personalities with specific functionsand purpose – we are even told their names. The specificity given is both consistent and comprehensive.
2. Life after Death. We now have a specific and detailed narrative of what happens when we die, even being told the process of actual resurrection. The Urantia Book provides at least 4 specific chapters on the ascension process and what transpires between the time we pass from this life and what happens when we resurrect as newly born spirit-ascendant beings. No other theology dares an attempt to explain the process of personality or soul survival, but most religions propose an afterlife reality. The Urantia Book provides a plausible construct that is both logical AND comforting to all people who believe such a spiritual afterlife is not only possible, but inevitable.
3. Extra Terrestrial, or Exo-Planetary Life. The Urantia Book is the only book (of which I am aware) that fully embraces the notion of ‘other worlds with life;’ going further, the Urantia Book expands upon this concept to include an entire universe of life-evolving spheres home to races and species of varying types. While none of this can be proven of course, the Urantia Book is the first extensive theology that combines evolutionary physical life (coordinated and administered to by spiritual beings) that runs parallel with an advanced spiritual community that awaits us when we pass from this life to the next.
In short, the Urantia Book describes a universe filled with ascendant beings just like ourselves who, at some point, will progress away from the mortal time-space realm to a more advanced non-material realm. the Urantia Book states it is this reality that is actually happening now, we just don’t see it because 1) we are not spiritually advanced, 2) previous revelations that would have informed us of this fact (of other, more spiritually-advanced life forms) were cut-short and eventually lost to the world, and 3) we have yet to discover any life forms beyond our own to substantiate these claims.
Astronomers now believe that there are most likely millions of worlds with life. When the Urantia Book was written in 1934 hardly anyone believed life was possible outside of our solar system (remember the goldilocks premise?). Hence the Urantia Book is not only advanced in presenting ET life, but goes into great detail on the kinds of life we can expect to discover once these discoveries are made (The Urantia Book states there is, in “close proximity” a world of living will creatures called “Non-breathers;” some believe this world may be one of the moons of Jupiter or Saturn).
4. The Exhaustive Narrative of Jesus’s Life and Teachings. In no other writing is there such an exhaustive retelling of Jesus’s entire life that is both consistent with the Gospels (though not in all of their teachings and interpretations of events recorded in the New Testament), and is also historically accurate when depicting the cultural and living conditions of the times in which Jesus lived. The stated reason for this retelling is because Jesus’ life was not only significant to us, but the universe found great significance of his mortal life because Jesus was an incarnated Son of God the Father, “an only begotten Son,” who choose our world to live as a human being to reveal the Fathers’ nature and personality, and also to experience life as a mortal human being.
To summarize our thesis, we claim the Urantia Book is a revelation of new information because of at least four distinctions that sets this text apart from other theological teachings, which include:
1. The spirit world specifically detailed
2. A full narration of the after life is explained
3. An explanation of life on other worlds is presented and explained (which is consistent with current astronomic theory)
4. A full description of Jesus’ life, including his death, resurrection and subsequent ascendency after Pentecost.
These distinctions are important because they denote potential transition of human development IF this revelation gains acceptance.
This is what revelation does. It pushes evolution along (and it usually starts with a small group of “early adapters”). Once the printing press was invented illiteracy decreased and human knowledge increased, Having increased, human behavior starts to change faster, which is what we saw in the 17th and 18th Century. Once we harnessed electricity human engagement and performance became more efficient and productive – and life changed rapidly.
In spiritual terms, once Jesus lived and taught new truth – and we saw that resurrection was possible – another world was opened to humanity, a world which included not just our life in the flesh, but an eternal life of continuous adventure and learning.
Religion has evolved tremendously since Jesus’s time. And so it is that if the Urantia Book is a true revelation, then it too will open the doors to new human understanding, and further, we will have gained new spiritual insight as to our purpose and destiny as will creatures of soul-potential, and as citizens of this beautiful blue planet they call Urantia.
James R. Watkins is a student of the Urantia Book and the producer of Inside Look, a new video web series that delves into the Urantia book teachings.
Last week NASA announced it was stepping up its game on the search for other life in the universe. SETI has also recently received a windfall of funding and is also partnering with various agencies who share a keen, if not heightened interest in finding life out there in the cosmos.
With improved telescopes we have discovered thousands of exo-planets circling suns all around us. Most agree that the discovery of life elsewhere is a game-changer for humanity. Finding intelligent life would be even more profound. The last step might be communication with said life form, but for now, we’re just trying to find the right place to look with so many options.
What if the Urantia Book could provide some clues as to where we might look? Clearly, the Urantia Book gives an entire narrative of the various kinds of life forms there are in existence, and while is doesn’t violate its “prime directive” of giving us the answers as to where they are, it does give us clues that they probably anticipated would help in our search for life in our universe (remember, the book was written in 1934 when idea of ET life seemed more science fiction that science reality).
They give us an overview of the different kinds of life forms that evolve on worlds’ because of the differing environmental factors each planet possesses, heat, gravity, size of the world, proximity to its solar parent, size of the sun, kinds of suns, kinds of atmospheres, etc.
The point is the search is on for ET life, and the Urantia Book could help us.
Here is one statement the UB makes that could provide clues:
41:3.1 There are upward of two thousand brilliant suns pouring forth light and energy in your region of space (our local system) , and your own sun is an average blazing orb. Of the thirty suns nearest yours, only three are brighter.
Here are list of those suns.. We should start here, since it is likely the Urantia Book authors would only have mentioned our starry neighbors since it was in the context of life-bearing worlds.
These are our closest neighbors:
(Note that this list is continually changing as astronomers discover nearby stars with ever more sensitive detectors in a variety of spectral ranges, especially the infrared, where numerous small stars emit their energy. Recall that the brightest magnitudes are the largest negative numbers.)
If directions to these stars were included, you could make a map and see that they are distributed around us more or less randomly.
What can we learn from this information? Quite a lot.
We live very close (500 lightseconds) to a star. This is probably a necessary condition for the origination and maintenance of life.
Stars are very far apart (average about 8 light years for the closest dozen), compared to their size (about 2 light seconds for the Sun); by a factor of 250 million or so.
Many stars occur in multiple systems, shown here by the suffixes A, B and C from brightest to dimmest. In fact, about 55% of stars in this list are in multiple systems. The nearest star is a triple. And we may be missing many dim stars.
Most of the nearby stars are dimmer (higher numbers for absolute magnitude) than our Sun, by factors of 100 to 10,000.
I’ve been spending a number of evenings pouring through some interesting articles provided by Urantia Book researcher George Park. I invite you to check out his research if you are into astronomy. I was so impressed by his work, I invited George to be my guest on Perspectives (now streaming on our Live broadcast stream and as a podcast on our Archives page).
For the first time, someone has taken the information in the Urantia Book and put this information into context within today’s contemporary astronomy.
Among the highlights:
Where the geographical center of Paradise is located (Yes, where God lives!)
How new discoveries in astronomy now seem to contradict the Big Bang theory
Possible locations of Jerusem, Edentia, Salvington, Uversa, Havona and even Paradise (the “Heavens”) in the night time sky
The meaning of The Sloan Wall and its implications in astrophysics (especially in disproving The Big Bang Theory)
In summary, Park makes the statement that the Revelators of the Urantia Book must have anticipated scientists would refute many of its cosmological claims since little evidence in 1955 was available, but new discoveries in astrophysics are now coming to light which vindicate the cosmological narrative of the Urantia revelation after all. We are now learning, through discovery of things like The Sloan Wall and CMB (Cosmic Microwave Background), which measures active energy throughout the known galaxy, that seems to indicate the uinverse is an oblong disc of cosmic matter which contradicts the Big Bang “balloon” model of equal energy dispursement, a model that states all matter and energy expands in all directions equally, the Standard Model in Astronomy.
Science and Religion stand at opposite ends of human experience. What George has done is clarify the Urantia concepts in a manner which brings these two paradigms closer together.
After all, if Science can someday learn that there is a “master designer” who put all of existence into motion, how many hearts would be lifted by such knowledge that there is, in fact, someone (or something) in control of this otherwise seemingly random existence?
Science, according to Park, may not be able to prove the existence of God, but it most certainly can learn that our physical universe has far too much “design” (pattern) to be explained by random causation, a theory that, a hundred years from now, may seem as silly as believing Earth is the center of the solar system, a theory once embraced by – you guessed it – scientists who thought they knew better and were too stubborn to let go of their belief system.
Again, if you like astronomy, you will enjoy reading much of Parks’ works, which is located at www.UBcosmology.com
There really is a parallel universe, its just not what you think it is.
If you are a materialist you might think earth came to be by some kind of cosmic disbursement 14 billion years ago, the first uncaused cause, you think man has been alone all along, you might think all of the entirety of the known universe is completely empty of intelligent life and we are the only ones here who can figure it out.
The way most people view our world is not unlike how a small tribe that lives on an island in the South Pacific sees themselves and assumes there is no other land – or people.
But the parallel universe, unlike what Stephen Hawking might describe, as being some mirror or reflective universe that is independent of our own, one filled with exact replicas and the like, is NOT what I am speaking of.
In the parallel universe I am talking about it can best be described as the greater reality, the real place where things are unfolding in an intelligently organized way, of which our world is just a very small part. This greater reality is filled with spirit personalities, angelic personalities and a whole host of non-personality energy forms that have been in existence long before our earth, or even our sun, has been in existence.
Our earth lies on the outskirts of this very large creation.
Long before earth “got here,” there were and are other “earths” or worlds, and they too, are inhabited with beings like ourselves, but they too are also being guided by spiritual forces we simply can’t see in our present state. Our material vision, and especially our inability to grasp the connected-ness of things, does not allow us to see just beyond the scenes of the physical world. Just beyond our mortal vision, are agents and forces who work on our behalf.
Spiritually-minded people already know what this greater reality is, but they are called fools, stupid religionists who are not “rooted in the science of physical existence,” as if the physical is all there is.
You see, religion is a result of they trying to teach us that there is a heaven, a greater and enduring reality where there is a continued existence, and we are ascendant beings who start out on earth and ascend inward and upward.
Just as a small Island tribe one day learns of the existence of others and then begins real growth and development, so are we, when the time is ripe, going to learn of this other existence, this parallel universe that moves alongside our own limited, finite reality.
We are getting close to being ready. Just as we begin to at first discover other worlds of habitation, and then later begin to find one that is far in advance of our own, the first thing we learn from this other world is that they too believe they are part of a cosmic and expansive universe where life springs forth on a grand scale. It’s just that right now we are a tiny tribe on an island, and when we do advance in our cosmic awareness we are going to learn so much about ourselves and about our future, both as a species and as individuals.
And then all of those things that the prophets tried to teach us, all of those great mysteries that have baffled us for a long time about our origins, all of the great truths that Jesus taught and still teaches, will be revealed more fully.
And it starts with one simple notion. A Creator of spiritual and physical brilliance created the arena for life to exist so that all beings, high and low, can experience living, and to grow from that experience, to be perfect, even as God is perfect. All else proceeds from this one great truth.