The Urantia Book Fellowship

Understanding The Urantia Book's Revelation
of a Unified Trinity

Stuart R. Kerr, III


Mankind's search for truth has ultimately been the search for absolute truth. Even those systems of thought that claim to refute this position, traditional materialism for instance, are seeking in the final sense for the ultimate foundation and the supremely real. This often unintentional affirmation of a fundamental basis for reality is inevitably achieved without conscious recognition of the fact.

In the absence of a personal system of beliefs, an individual is faced with only the uncertainty and insecurity of man's life, the certainty of death, the darkness of the future. The individual intuitively seeks for a universe where cosmic law reigns, where sanity and balance are preserved, where chaos and anarchy are prevented. The concept of a law-governed universe, a universe that is not subject to the mere caprice of lawless spontaneity, helps an individual build the foundation for a personal basis of supernal courage and spiritual fortitude.

Throughout the progressive evolution of mankind, individuals have striven to discover truths concerning the nature of reality, of unity and plurality, of God. That there is a "many", a plurality of objects and things, is plainly obvious to most of us. But the intellect strives to conceive an underlying unity, to attain a systematic and comprehensive view that neatly ties things together; this is the goal of any thought that seeks to uncover a real unity in things. The only unity that is potently valued is a unity in difference, an identity in diversity, a unity not of stagnate poverty but of vibrant richness and vitality.

Many of the earliest systems of man's religious beliefs tended toward different outgrowths of polytheism with its basis in many separate gods. Primitive man's first inclination was towards nature worship whereby the awesome and powerful forces of the world were attributed to a deified hierarchy in the supermortal realm. This devotion evolved into a tribal form of exclusivity such that each tribe had its own venerated god. As these tribes arose to positions of local domination, they sought to proclaim their own tribal god as the highest original deity and, consequently, the creator of all other gods. These necessary progressions of events were important steppingstones towards evolving the idea of monotheism.

Later religious developments, and practically all subsequent philosophical speculations, have conceived of the primal unity of God. These systems of belief developed a variety of doctrines, all based on monotheism with its foundational belief in only one God. These different forms of monotheism struggle to adequately explain the combined immanence and transcendence of God's presence. How can God both participate in his own creation and remain above and apart from it at the same time? And yet, The Urantia Book tells us that God embraces diversity in unity, that he is both transcendent and immanent, that he is dynamic and yet possesses eternal stability.

Religionists and philosophers have ever sought to break free from the dogmatic prisons that resign them to a God who is either utterly transcendent and sovereign or to a God who is entirely and universally immanent. The Urantia Book offers a new and all-embracing approach for resolving the "diversity in unity" paradox. The Urantia Book reveals a holistic and cosmic reality that is powerfully comprehensive and personally experiencible through faith in three divine persons living in the deep eternal relationships of the Trinity.

Early Trinitarian Developments

Since the early developments of Christian thought, the search has been to find God as infinite Deity who is not only transcendent but also immanent. Man becomes united with God by participating in the divine life through the grace received from God's Word, his living Son. And the infinite and the finite are regarded not as set-over against one another but as united without confusion: "In Him we live and move and have our being." [Acts 17:28] The final member of this Godhead is the Holy Spirit, immediately below whom are the created beings who, through the agency of the Spirit, are lifted up to become sons of God in union with the Word and finally as participants in the divine life of God himself.

God is accentuated not as an undifferentiated unity but as the Trinity of persons, as infinite spiritual life. This use of the term "Trinity" as such is not found in the Bible. It was first used in the second century A.D. to express the truth taught in the Scriptures denoting the triune revelation of God as Father, Son, and Spirit: "And Jesus came and said to them, 'All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."' [Matt.. 28:18,19]

The traditional doctrine of the Trinity has been considered the primary and distinctive aspect of the Christian conception of God, and even as the central mystery of Christian faith. It enshrines the deepest truth of traditional Christianity. Considering that the different elements of the Trinity doctrine are found scattered throughout all parts of the Bible, from the first chapter of Genesis to the last of St. John's Revelation, there is no one place where this doctrine is set forth in a complete and systematic form. Even in the New Testament, a doctrine of the Trinity doesn't begin to approach systematic treatment. Rather, it is presented as a long string of incidental allusions and references. The New Testament assumes the Trinity with a sublime naturalness and simplicity.

The revelation of the Old Testament fixed in the hearts and minds of the people of God the great fundamental truth of the unity of the Godhead. However, the times were not yet fertile for a revelation of the Trinity within the unity of this Godhead until the fullness of the time had come for God to send forth his Son and his Spirit into the world. A revelation of the Trinity before then would only have revealed the Trinity of persons within the divine unity of Jehovah as a mere abstract truth without relation to manifested fact, without significance for the further development of the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man.

The Hebrew tribes, along with those of the later appearing Mohammedans, have had great difficulty in distinguishing between the concept of worshiping three gods, a triad form of polytheism, and Trinitarianism, the worship of one Deity existing in a triune manifestation of divinity and personality. The Urantia Book gives generous account of emerging monotheistic peoples who, when in the midst of combating retrogressive polytheistic tendencies, are often rigidly closed to any approach towards Trinitarianism. The Urantia Book points out that the concept of the Trinity can best take hold in those systems of thought characterized by a combined monotheistic tradition along with a critical degree of doctrinal flexibility.

The incarnation of Jesus, son of man and Son of God, and the outpouring of his promised Holy Comforter at Pentecost marked a tremendous impact in the divine plan for furthering a fuller revelation that God personalizes as three persons: as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The great revelations of the Bible have always been progressive; what is only intimated at first is set forth more clearly and fully as time goes on. The Urantia Book reminds us that premature revelation is a hindrance to religious progress. Mankind needed to understand the unity of God before it could be profitably introduced into the mystery of the Trinity.

Today, 20th century man is ready and eager for a newer, more complete revelation of the Blessed Trinity. As we prepare to enter into the next millennium, the Urantia Book is revealing to our world an elevated vision of the Trinity, a unified disclosure of the One behind the differentiation of his manifested persons. This multiplicity of divine persons is revealed as an eternal manifestation of his infinite spiritual life, an eternal flow of his perfect love. The Father, Son, and Spirit are the three persons on the existential plane of Deity manifestation. Primal to this plane of his personal existence, the Universal Father remains undifferentiated and unified as the First Source and Center of all things, beings, and realities.

The Trinity of The Urantia Book

How does God differentiate his perfect unity into the plurality of his creation? We are compelled to ask how the limitations of finitude can be derived from limitless infinity, complexity and composition from sublime simplicity, temporal succession from absolute eternity, generative possibility from primal necessity. The Urantia Book profoundly reveals our world as a harmonious system. The divine infinity is revealed in the multiplicity of finite things, and the divine eternity is integrally expressed in the temporal succession of cosmic events. The multiplicity of finite things are so related to one another and to the whole that there is comprehensively revealed a true "unity in plurality".

''The universe of universes is altogether unified. God is one in power and personality. There is co-ordination of all levels of energy and all phases of personality. Philosophically and experientially, in concept and in reality, all things and beings center in the Paradise Father. God is all and in all, and no things or beings exist without him." [The Urantia Book, 646:1]

And thus does The Urantia Book ascribe God the Father as the personal source of all manifestations of Deity and reality to all intelligent creatures and spirit beings throughout all the universe of universes. The Urantia Book portrays to the children of time how the Father, Son, and Spirit can achieve perfect unity, how these three eternal persons of Deity can function concertedly, as undivided Deity in the Paradise Trinity. However, the Book acknowledges that the finite human mind is ill-prepared to fully understand how unity becomes duality, triunity, and diversity while still remaining unqualifiedly unified: "For I am the Lord, I change not." [Malachi 3:6]

This is the heart of our dilemma for fully comprehending the unified Deity of Trinity alongside with the plural personalization of God. We accept that God is completely self-existent, absolutely independent, but we can never truly understand how God, by virtue of his primal self-will, can pass from "simplicity to complexity, from identity to variation, from quiescence to motion, from infinity to infinitude, from the divine to the human, [The Urantia Book, 58:7] and from unity to duality and triunity."

Our attempts to conceive of unified infinity are intellectually limited by our finite natures: "Time, space, and experience constitute barriers to creature concept; and yet without time, apart from space, and except for experience no creature could achieve even a limited comprehension of universe reality. Without time sensitivity, no evolutionary creature could possibly perceive the relations of sequence. Without space perception, no creature could fathom the relations of simultaneity. "Without experience, no evolutionary creature could even exist.'' [The Urantia Book,1173:4]

From our experiential, finite perspective, we can only perceive of the existential, eternity relationship within the Trinity as a time-space relativity. Our circumscribed viewpoint, our inability to grasp the concept of unqualified eternity, must be supplemented by the revealed eternity viewpoint, the truth that the Trinity is the existential unification of infinity: ''Infinity, as it is observed by finite intelligences, is the maximum paradox of creature philosophy and finite metaphysics." [The Urantia Book, 1262:1] Because of our remoteness from the absolute level of consciousness, it is intended that we evolve our thought by the technique of life experience; we are inherently and constitutively dependent on experience.

Nevertheless, we are encouraged and reassured that as we progressively gain a more unified grasp of the real nature of our individual relationship to the many manifestations of cosmic reality, both existential and experiential, as we better comprehend the inter associative, integrative, and unifying realities of the universe, we are bound to achieve a more focused orientation on our own life's efforts; our cosmic insights and spiritual alignment will assuredly be enhanced.

The expressed personality of God as Father is a highly potent concept which has come to mankind through revelation. Science may postulate a First Cause and philosophy may suggest the idea of a Universal Unity, but only revelation can affirm the validity of the personality concept of God. Only by attempting to comprehend the revealed personality of God can a person begin to understand the true unity of God. We can begin to understand how God can be primal, changeless, all-powerful, and perfect, and concomitantly be author of an ever-changing and evolving universe of imperfections because we maintain as a truth of our own personal experience our own identity of personality and unity of will. Our personal identity, a gift of the Father of personality himself, remains unified in spite of apparent changes in ourselves and in our world.

As revealed by The Urantia Book, in conceptual wording suitable for time-space conditioned beings, the Father-I AM breaks free from his eternity confinement by the exercise of his absolute free-will, thus achieving Deity liberation from the fetters of unqualified infinity. This primal act repercusses in an infinity that is now dynamic, and this produces a coordinated divinity-tension in conjunction with the static infinity of the original unqualified absolute. The I AM, as the stasis or self- relationship of infinity, as the eternal fact and universal truth of infinite reality, as the unity of unqualified infinity, upholds this divinity-tension by his eternal act of free-will. Through this relationship of the original I AM to his free-will act of eternity, the I AM becomes discernible as personality; he reveals himself as the divine Father of all personality. Through this primal free-will act, the original I AM creates room within all-encompassing infinity for finite creatures to co-exist.

At the level of Deity, personality implies identity, self-consciousness, self-will, and possibility for self-revelation. It is by virtue of these characteristics that the Universal Father is revealed, that the possibility for fellowship with other and equal personalities is enacted. Even though the perfect divinity of the Father is characterized by an all-pervading unity of Being, the indivisibility of his personality does not interfere with his capacity to be a Father to other self-willed personalities, divine or human: "In the worshipful experience of the personal contact of every worshiping personality throughout the master universe, God is one; and that unified and personal Deity is our Paradise parent, God the Father, the bestower, conservator, and Father of all personalities from mortal man on the inhabited worlds to the Eternal Son on the central Isle of Light." [The Urantia Book, 640:5]

The truth that the I AM is Father to the Eternal Son brings into being the personality relationships of all actualized beings:: "The absolute personality of the Son makes absolute the fact of God's fatherhood and establishes the potential sonship of all personalities. This relationship establishes the personality of the Infinite and consummates its spiritual revelation in the personality of the Original Son." [The Urantia Book, 1154:5] At the same time, the I AM is one with the Eternal Son because the divine nature that each possesses is eternal. The Son is uncreated, eternal, equally God: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. " [John 1:1] As the I AM is one with the Eternal Son, this fortuitous union of Father and Son consummates in the appearance of the third person of Deity, the Infinite Spirit, along with the absolute total of non-personal reality. Thus, the I AM is seen ultimately to be the primal cause and the unqualified source of both the personal and the nonpersonal. This presented sequence of eternity events sets the stage for the Creator prerogatives of the Father who, in liaison with the Son and Spirit, initiates the evolutionary momentum of time and space: ''Therefore is divine creativity unfailingly characterized by unity, and this unity is the outward reflection of the absolute oneness of the duality of the Father-Son and of the Trinity of the Father-Son-Spirit." [The Urantia Book, 1154:7]

The Son shares with the Father his divine character of Deity, for they are forever and inseparably one personal unity of universe presence; and it is by virtue of this mutual omnipresence that all creation rests upon the everywhere active presence of the divine spirit of the Eternal Son. The spirit of the Father is eternally resident in the spirit of his Son, but the Son alone perfectly personalizes the Father's love and mercy. To the universes of creation, the Son is the living revelation of his loving Father: "As God is love, so the Son is mercy. The Son cannot love more than the Father, but he can show mercy to creatures in one additional way, for he is not only a creator like the Father, but he is also the Eternal Son of that same Father thereby sharing in the sonship experience of all other sons of the Universal Father." [The Urantia Book, 75:6]

The Father and Son love one another with an eternally boundless love, a love that is personal and living as are the Father and the Son. This personal love proceeding from the Father and the Son is fully embodied in the eternal person of the Infinite Spirit. The Infinite Spirit is the third person of the Trinity. He is not created; the Spirit is a person co-equal and co-eternal with the Father and the Son.

The Infinite Spirit, acting as the Conjoint Creator with the Father-Son union, is the universal and divine minister of the Son's mercy and the Father's love. He is also the co-operative universal coordinator of creation; he is the coordinator of all actual reality; he is the unifier of the manifold energies and diverse creations which have appeared in consequence of the divine plan and eternal purpose of the Universal Father.

As "unitive" Being, the Spirit maintains, strengthens, and, where needed, restores the deified Being of the Trinity with non-deified creation, a unity which is constantly threatened. The unity which the Spirit imparts is of a higher unity than would have been possible had the I AM never moved out of primordial Being, for the unity which the Spirit builds is a unity of freedom, a unity comprehending a diversity of free and responsible beings. The Spirit maintains the unity of creation.

As the living revelation of God, the Infinite Spirit is responsive to all things, meanings, and values; he is co-ordinative of all energies, minds, and spirits. He operates not only on the deified spirit realities centered in the Son, but he also manipulates the undeified nonspirit forces and energies of the created universes, thus bringing into existence the universal and absolute mind.

Mind is the functional endowment of the Infinite Spirit, and it is by the technique of mind that the dual universes manifestations of the original monothetic Creator personality, the I AM, are inevitably unified. The primal thought of the Father-I AM eternalizes the dual expression of his Deity equal, the Eternal Son, and of the antipodal nonspiritual material realities of creation. The Infinite Spirit, by virtue of mind, is the indispensable coordinator of both these spiritual and material realities.

'The Conjoint Actor functions throughout the grand universe as a positive and distinct personality, especially in the higher spheres of spiritual values, physical-energy relationships, and true mind meanings. He functions specifically wherever and whenever energy and spirit associate and interact; he dominates all reactions with mind, wields great power in the spiritual world, and exerts a mighty influence over energy and matter. At all times the Third Source and Center is expressive of the nature of the First Source and Center. " [The Urantia Book, 99:3]

The existence of these three eternal persons of Deity in no way violates the truth of divine unity. The three perfectly individualized personalities of Deity are as one to all persons and things in the universe; "Trinity is Deity unity, and this unity rests eternally upon the absolute foundations of the divine oneness of the three original and co-ordinate and coexistent personalities, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit." [The Urantia Book, 108:2] All the diverse character traits and infinite powers of the First Source and Center and his eternal co-ordinates are simultaneously expressed by the Trinity; all the universe functions of undivided Deity are divinely unified.

In and of itself, the Trinity is not personal: it is Deity reality, but never personality reality per se. The Trinity may encompass reality in a collective sense, even correlating it with impersonal functions; and it is compatible with coexistent personalities. The qualities of personality are inherent in the individual members of the Trinity, but always is the Trinity the unity of their all-encompassed Deity. The three eternal personalizations of Deity are actually one Deity, undivided and indivisible in the Trinity; this oneness is existential and absolute.

The Trinity is a supersummative conjoining of the three Deity endowments of the Father, Son, and Spirit; it is a reality resulting in qualities, characteristics, and functions which are unique, original, and not wholly predictable. This Deity association results in a divinity potential which exceeds by far the simple sum of the attributes of the component individuals: ''The Trinity association of the three Paradise Deities results in the evolution, eventuation, and deitization of new meanings, values, powers, and capacities for universal revelation, action, and administration." [The Urantia Book, 113:41

As we view the past, present, and future of time, The Urantia Book tells us that of all things manifested in the universe of universes, only the concept of the Trinity is deemed inevitable: "The original and eternal Paradise Trinity is existential and was inevitable. This never-ending Trinity was inherent in the fact of the differentiation of the personal and the nonpersonal by the Father's unfettered will and factualized when His personal will co-ordinated these dual realities by mind." [The Urantia Book, 15:7]

The reality of the present master universe is unthinkable without the Trinity. Only the conception of the Trinity union of the Father, Son, and Spirit allows postulation as to how the Infinite could possibly achieve threefold and co-ordinate personalization in the presence of the absolute oneness of Deity. No other philosophic or theologic proposal could account for "the completeness of the absoluteness inherent in Deity unity coupled with the repleteness of volitional liberation inherent in the threefold personalization of Deity.'' [The Urantia Book, 108:3]

Faith in the Trinity entails a faith in three divine persons living in the deep eternal relationships incumbent upon this Trinity. The Father is always the Father to the Eternal Son who is ever his only-begotten and uncreated Son. The Infinite Spirit lives always as the conjoint third person who administers the eternal love that binds the Father and the Son. These persons revealed within the Godhead are distinct; they are a community eternally bound together in perfect understanding and love. In learning the mystery of the Trinity, we realize that divine life can be shared, and shared even by us created individuals who, as sons and daughters in faith, can be brought into the joy of the perfect community.

"The Paradise Trinity is existent. The stage of universal space is set for the manifold and never-ending panorama of the creative unfolding of the purpose of the Universal Father through the personality of the Eternal Son and by the execution of the God of Action, the executive agency for the reality performances of the Father-Son creator partnership." [The Urantia Book, 91:1]

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