3. Virgin Birth: In Christian theology, Mary is impregnated by the Holy Spirit before she has ever "known a man" and conceives Jesus from this human-divine liaison. The Urantia Book says that Jesus was conceived in the same fashion as are all human children.

    4. Paul's "Depravity of Man" doctrine: Paul says that we all are unworthy of salvation; we only are saved because Jesus died on the cross to satisfy God's demand for justice. The Urantia Book, while not easy on sin, pictures humankind as imperfect rather thorn depraved.

    5. Jesus as God: For many Christians, Jesus is literally God come to earth; he is seen as the Eternal Son of the Trinity. Since he is God, then God himself died on the cross for our sins; a perfect payment to ransom us from our sinful condition.

    The ideas presented so far may not strongly differentiate The Urantia Book from Christian theology; some may think the foregoing ideas make a case for The Urantia Book as a kinder gentler form of Christianity. Can we find concepts in The Urantia Book that definitively distinguishes it from Christian theology? The Urantia Book does have some unique concepts:

    1. The Thought Adjuster: While some references can be found in the Bible to this indweller, it doesn't seem to be a central feature of Christian theology. To my knowledge, only two churches on the fringes of Christianity (Unity and Unitarian Universalist) teach of the indwelling God spirit and our relationship to it. In contrast, the Thought Adjuster and our relationship with it is one of the premier concepts of The Urantia Book.

    2. Progression in the next life: Traditionally, Christian theology has held that we either are perfected and live in eternal bliss, or are cast into the pits of Hell. Catholic theology does soften this a bit by adding a level (purgatory) where we endure punishment for a limited time (a few million years or so?) until we are purged of our sins, then we are qualified to ascend to perfection and eternal bliss. The Urantia Book offers what seems to be the more reasonable alternative of starting over from where we left off  down here.

    3. Nature of Jesus: The Urantia Book places Jesus not at the highest spiritual levels of the universe, but rather at a level midway between God and mortals. As a Creator Son, Christ Michael might be seen as the God of our local universe, and The Urantia Book even suggests that it is appropriate to direct worship to a Creator Son. On the other hand, there are many Creator Sons, but only one Eternal Son. Since the Creator Sons proceed from the Eternal Son and the Father, and these Sons certainly reflect the nature of their parents, they are certainly separate beings who are not part of the existential Trinity.

    4. Science: the Bible is certainly a pre-scientific book, while The Urantia Book contains scientific concepts that are generally in harmony with modern scientific concepts. For instance, it strongly supports the idea of evolution, though not precisely of the Darwinian sort.

It seems to me that The Urantia Book contains enough new material to forever distinguish it from Gnosticism, Christianity or any other of the world's "-isms." Yet, it is generally harmonious with the highest ideals of most religions. I believe it can take its rightful place among the religious philosophies of the world. Its unique and powerful picture of reality will catalyze individual and corporate spiritual growth until such time it is replaced with an even greater revelation.

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