The Urantia Book Fellowship

A Review of The Urantia Book

By Marcus Bach
Unity Village, MO 64065
Question Marc
Unity Magazine Pages 43-45
November, 1993

Question: I have come upon a copy of The Urantia Book. Wow! Is it an authentic history of our planet Earth and a revelation of the government of the universe, or is it an amazingly elaborate hoax? Is it a true manifest message of God or mere mortal speculation and opinion to serve some vested material interest? I would welcome and be grateful for your comments. -- KG, Missouri

Answer: Your "Wow" is an echo of my own reactions when The Urantia Book was placed into my hands in 1963. My response to your questions takes me back through the years to a January meeting in a Chicago suite of offices where a group of men had permitted me to listen in on a conference about religion and life as projected in The Urantia Book. The more I listened, the more I marveled. The book, which had appeared in 1950, was a masterwork of 2097 pages without an authorship; a book as mysterious as the Dead Sea Scrolls; an incredible book twice the size of the Bible and going back before the days of creation millions of years when the earth was "without form and void."

The book was divided into four parts. Part 1: The Central and Superuniverse, Part 2: The Local Universe, Part 3: The History of Urantia, Part 4: The Life and Teachings of Jesus. Reading and concentrating especially on Part 3, I learned that Urantia is and has been known since its creation as the Earth Planet or Mother Earth. God has ordained it a paradise with a future that will reveal the possibility of a utopia in which God, nature, and humankind will respect and strive for the union of science and religion.

The gift of this book from the Urantia Foundation was one I treasured because religion is my beat, and ever since my commitment to that career, I have decided that if ever there would be a wedding of science and religion, I wanted to be the best man! According to my research, The Urantia Book has never been seriously discussed or endorsed by such organizations as the American Geophysical Union or the Institute of Geophysics and Physics.

In my inquiries with the University of California's department of geophysics and The Evolution of Life, authorities had never given the book any serious consideration. I find no reference to it in the authoritative and scholarly works of the Philosophical Research Society of Los Angeles. It has never received the blessings of GAIA, the prestigious organization headed by the eminent inventor-scientist, James Lovelock. I was also greatly surprised how few libraries had the book on their shelves. Of the twenty-four libraries that I polled, only six had copies, and the book was classified as either occult, parapsychological, or metaphysical. However, there are 260,000 copies of the book in print, and it has been translated into many foreign languages.

There will need to be more research done before the book is considered, as you Say "an authentic history of our planet Earth." Nonetheless, I found it to be a most persuasive and rational attempt at an explanation of creation both in scientific and mythological terms. The Old and New Testaments of the Bible have never professed to be used as a scientific explanation of the nature of life or life as nature.

If it is a hoax, it is incredible. I learned at the meeting I attended in 1963 that the history of The Urantia Foundation can be traced to a meeting held in 1933 by a group of eminent businessmen who were interested in and concerned about religion and life. They formed The Urantia Foundation whose purpose it would be to explore religion's role in the evolution of life and the interrelation between spiritual endeavors and scientific pursuits.

I cannot imagine that anyone, an individual any group, would spend seven years in research and writing to create a hoax nor would anyone with the wisdom and insight of the authors stoop to a deliberate fabrication. Only time will tell as to whether The Urantia Book is a "true manifest message of God." In my own recall of The Urantia Book, I felt a special personal kinship with whomever wrote the closing chapters which emphasize the life and time of Jesus Christ. It was like a journey with Him as He went about His duties, moved among the people, and lived out the dramatic destiny of His life, death, and Resurrection.

Reflecting on your question, I asked myself, what can be, a greater manifestation of God than an inspired piece of literature? How would you classify The Psalms? The Song of Solomon? The Beatitudes? The writings of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Albert Schweitzer, Charles Fillmore, or Unity's Daily Word? The need to draw upon my early premise of the necessity for a "wedding between science and religion" becomes ever more apparent. A coalition of spiritually minded scientists and scientifically oriented religionists could make a great contribution to our world--whether we call it Urantia, Mother Earth, the universe, or our home.

Dr. Marcus Bach received his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa and served as associate director and professor in the School of Religion at the University of Iowa. He has contributed to the Encyclopedia Americana, Theatre Arts, the Reader's Digest, and many other periodicals. His twenty-six books include Major Religions of the World, Had you Been Born in Another Faith, The Unity Way, The World of Serendipity, and The Power of Total Living. His latest title is Who Stole My Utopia?

Dr. Bach is founder and director of The Fellowship for Spiritual Understanding.

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