Journal Editorial – November 2020

Greetings fellow Urantians and welcome to the final Journal of 2020, and my final editorial for the Journal as Chief Editor. I have been extremely fortunate to have been the Chief Editor in for this publication for over a decade and have enjoyed every minute of it. There have been so many wonderful and enlightening essays from around the world that we have shared and translated and I foresee many, many more from new and seasoned readers that will expand our understanding of this incredible tome, The Urantia Book!   

The new Chief Editor will be Mark Blackham from Canada. Mark was introduced to The Urantia Book in 1973 when it was pointed out to him by a homeless man he met in a library. Since then, the book has always played a vital role in his life, serving as a spiritual guide and a divine inspiration. He is currently the Vice President of the Urantia Association of Canada and serves on the Public Relations and Publications Committees of Urantia Association International, where he helps with editing and graphic design. On another project, he assists the Urantia University Institute with online curriculum design. Mark will take the Chief Editorial reins in 2021 and continue to introduce works of discovery and interpretation of the truths found within The Urantia Book by sharing them with the Urantia audience living such a life on such a planet. 

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Jesus and Politics:

How Do We Reconcile Living in the Kingdom and Living in the World?

(Editor’s note: This is from a presentation given at the 2018 Urantia Association International conference in the Netherlands)

Politics are an intense and unavoidable part of being human. Each day, politics intrudes into our news feeds and our daily lives. Political awareness and opinion are just as diverse and impassioned among Urantia Book readers as they are throughout the rest of the world. Just look at Urantia Book reader comments on social media to get a taste of that. 

So as readers, how do the teachings of The Urantia Book inform our politics? How should they inform our politics? 

Jesus was fully cognizant of his world’s political and economic problems. In a conference one day on the Sea of Galilee with Peter, James, and John, he had a frank conversation about how his apostles should deal with politics, economics, and social issues. “He recognized the need for social justice and industrial fairness, but he offered no rules for their attainment” [140:8.15]. The writers in this section say Jesus was not a political reformer, and we should “never make the mistake of associating Jesus with a particular political or economic theory, with any social or industrial system” [140:8.10]. Jesus instead sought to “make all men Godlike and then stand by sympathetically while these sons of God solve their own political, social, and economic problems” [140:8.18]. Jesus’ great focus was to teach us without qualification that God is our loving father and that we are all brothers and sisters. Regardless of who we are and what we believe, the universe is one vast family. 

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Living the Gospel and Proclaiming with Power in the 21st Century

(Editor’s note: This is from a presentation given at the 2018 Urantia Association International conference in the Netherlands)

Stand under the waterfall … Allow yourselves to be drenched in the beauty of Jesus’ many-sided gospel. We can know God as a loving and merciful Father, who has sent his spirit to live within us. We are free to use our own language to name him in the way that expresses our own spiritual discovery. We know that we are part of a world-wide family that is slowly evolving toward a high destiny in a process that is now going through a difficult and dangerous transition, one that will eventually lead to a new civilization based upon post-materialistic meanings and values.  

We want the whole world to know Jesus’ life-giving truth, and we know how to proclaim. As Jesus bestowed his life upon us, we proclaim by our lives of thought, word, and deed. We fill our hearts with love, serve as we are able, and speak truth as the opportunity arises. Yes, we live in difficult times for the gospel. But as we follow Jesus, the “calm and happy laborer,” we sustain our poise. So how shall we rise to the level of power where our living becomes a proclaiming to our generation in this 21st century?  

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To Be as Masterful a Teacher as the Master

(Editor’s note: This is from a presentation given at the 2018 Urantia Association International conference in the Netherlands)

Everyone knows the futility of preaching about things that are desirable, yet the general helplessness in this situation is so great, and the need so dire, that one prefers to repeat the old mistake instead of racking one’s brains over a subjective problem. Besides, it is always a question of treating one single individual only and not ten thousand, where the trouble one takes would ostensibly have more impressive results, though one knows well enough that nothing has happened at all unless the individual changes. 

The effect on all individuals, which one would like to see realized, may not set in for hundreds of years, for the spiritual transformation of mankind follows the slow tread of the centuries and cannot be hurried or held up by any rational process of reflection, let alone brought to fruition in one generation.  -Carl Gustav Jung, The Undiscovered Self, 1958

The Swiss psychiatrist and father of analytical psychology, Carl Jung, reminds us that the world needs fewer preachers and better teachers. 

Students of The Urantia Book know as well that the mass of humanity progresses one person at a time, not by teaching them en masse, but as they are ready to grow. 

Youth are often “inartful” in teaching all the truth they’ve acquired but haven’t yet lived. 

My experience encountering The Urantia Book in Canada is a testament to that. More pain could have been avoided had I understood that even good words can fall on deaf ears, especially when experience is not there to back them up. 

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Comprehension – Advancing Brilliance from Insight

Ability to comprehend is the mortal passport to Paradise. Willingness to believe is the key to Havona. The acceptance of sonship, co-operation with the indwelling Adjuster, is the price of evolutionary survival [26:4.15]. 

Comprehending God to enter Paradise? We have little idea what Paradise is and what to expect and now we are informed we must comprehend to enter! Urantia Book authors are giving us advance notice there is work to do. Paradise is not automatic; we must grow into qualifying for Paradise. Comprehension advances brilliance and we may assume it also energizes curiosity and desire to know the Father. Gaining brilliance is a growth process over an “eternity of time!” We start simply on our nativity sphere. 

Very early we recognize but do not understand authority. As a child we did not comprehend our parents were our first exposure to authority and law, but later we likely comprehended why and how they applied their home law. Later, we begin questioning through an adjustment period leading to maybe greater understanding. We eventually comprehend someone special likes us and wants to spend time with us! Do you recall this neat moment?  It is really nice to become aware someone loves us. As we age we comprehend more of life and later we comprehend there is more to the planet. We begin to comprehend more even though we understand there is continuing mystery. Our progress varies according to many factors. The “golden years” could be the best planetary experiences if we worked on comprehending situations, life, purposes and the God of our imagination! Similarly and on a grand scale, we must comprehend more as we progress toward Paradise. 

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Implantation of Life on a Planet

What exactly is life plasm? To my knowledge, blood plasma does not carry the genotype of an individual or a race. So, what else transmits genetic information if not the genes in the chromosomes of the ovule and sperm? Having said that, what did the Life Carriers implant on our planet when we read that they developed the model of life right here on our planet? 

550,000,000 years ago, the Life Carrier corps returned to Urantia. In co-operation with spiritual powers and superphysical forces we organized and initiated the original life patterns of this world and planted them in the hospitable waters of the realm. [Paper 58:4.2, page 667.6] 

This implantation of the original life patterns (3 implantations) was based on the existence of salt in the sea water. For this reason, the blood that circulates in our body is salty. 

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About the Journal

journal

The Journal is produced twice yearly and contains essays, articles and study aids by readers and for readers of The Urantia Book.  To read current and past issues click here.

Subscriptions

The Journal is available electronically free of charge for anyone with an email address. Join our mailing list to receive free electronic copies.

To receive hard copies, you may subscribe to the Journal at the annual rate of $10.00 USD via any of the following methods. 

  • To subscribe on line click here
  • To subscribe by telephone call:  +1-773-572-1180
  • To subscribe by check or money order, please send in $U.S. dollars only and make payable to “Urantia Association International”. Mail to: 

Urantia Association International
4000 W Montrose Avenue #606
Chicago, IL  60641

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Code of Ethics

Introduction

The Code of Ethics for Urantia Association International (Association or Urantia Association) outlines our guiding principles of integrity, honesty, and ethical behavior. It is based on the premise that, as members of the Association at whatever level, we represent this organization in all that we say and do. Therefore, the Association’s International Service Board and all officials, members, and employees of the Association and its Constituent Associations worldwide, by their participation with Urantia Association, are bound by this Code of Ethics. 

To maintain trust and goodwill within the Association, and in our public relationships as a non-profit service organization formed to foster the study of The Urantia Book and dissemination of its teachings, we set forth these ideals of enlightened behavior. No Code of Ethics, however, is a substitute for the individual’s conviction of righteousness and devotion to spiritual progress. These commitments of our personal conduct will always reflect the “…choice between good and evil as they are determined by the true values of the spiritual standards established by the divine spirit which the Father in heaven has sent to dwell within the heart of man.” [Paper 132:2.2, page 1457.5]

“To thus love your neighbor as yourself is the highest ethics.”
[Paper 170:3.6, page 1862.3]

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President’s Message – September 2020

There is a true story about Eratosthenes, a scholar in the ancient Mediterranean world who became chief librarian at the Library of Alexandria in Egypt around 240 BCE. Eratosthenes had learned from travellers that, in the far southern town of Syene, the shaft of a well did not cast a shadow at noon on the summer solstice. Eratosthenes then measured the shadow cast by a stick in Alexandria at noon on the solstice and, using the angle of the shadow and the distance between Alexandria and Syene, triangulated the circumference of the earth.    

This makes me think that perhaps religion today is a bit like science in the ancient world. I can imagine that future generations will have a more advanced understanding and broader view of spiritual realities, and they may have an appreciation for finer details that we cannot yet grasp, but we do have much to work with thanks to a new revelation that will contribute to the further development of spiritual progress for future generations to build upon.  

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Third 24-hour Urantiathon

A Celebration! 

In the same vein as the previous series of 24-hour Urantiathons, a third one was held to celebrate Jesus’ birthday on the 21st and 22nd of August.   

The program featured 24 one-hour presentations given by Urantia Book students from 17 countries including the United States, Colombia (SA), Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Israel, Germany, Ghana, Uganda, Ireland, Senegal, Switzerland, Spain, Guatemala, Ecuador, Canada, and Brazil.  

Hundreds of Urantia Book readers from all corners of the globe came together for this event. Around 1,000 people joined via Zoom at various times during the 24 hours, and Facebook reported 500 viewers. It was truly heart-warming to see so many people delighting in the social contact with new and old friends in celebration of our hero Michael of Nebadon starting out on his journey to complete his final bestowal as Jesus of Nazareth on Urantia. At times it felt like a great big study group. What a privilege to be able to do such a thing while so many of us are in isolation.  

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Free Online Courses

Urantia Book Internet School (UBIS)

Dear Friends and Students of The Urantia Book,

For more than twenty years, UBIS has offered free online courses designed to give readers a firsthand experience with the teachings of The Urantia Book.

Our approach is simple. You study the assigned readings, respond to several questions, and discuss one another’s answers. Courses are facilitated by trained volunteers. Classwork can be done at any time, on your own schedule, and takes about three to five hours each week.

September Trimester Courses and Schedule

Registration opens on Monday, September 14. Courses begin on September 21 and run for ten weeks.
Please join us!

For more information email: Joanne at Urantia Foundation

Marcelino Responds

Answers to Questions by Readers of The Urantia Book

Merida – Image by David Mark

Dear Siblings,

For many years, I have been answering questions relating to The Urantia Book asked by readers from different countries. Recently I received the opportunity to write this article, including some of these questions and answers, for which I thank our sister Jeannie Vázquez from Uruguay who worked on the selection and reviewed these sets of questions and answers. I am also grateful to the Tidings’ editors for making it possible to publish this article.

Question 1:I was remembering today a conversation we had about the missing link between monkeys and humans. As I recall, you told me that, according to The Urantia Book, there is no such link. Could you remind me why it does not exist?”

Answer: The scientists say that there should be a missing link between the superior simian (gorilla, chimpanzee, etc.) and humans. But in The Urantia Book we are taught:

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Stranded in Patagonia

Photo credit: EcoCamp Patagonia

How did we get stranded in Chile? First some historical context. I have always liked meeting new people and experiencing new landscapes, so when I was 16, I joined a group of international exchange students and lived with a family in Colombia, South America. It was a wonderful experience being part of a new family and a good way to improve my high school Spanish. I fell in love with the Latin culture. I was very excited to be able to return to Colombia for the 2012 International Urantia Association conference in Medellin. The city had grown and changed so much since I had been there in 1961.

So fast forward thirty-five years to 1997, when I was asked to assist with a Urantia Foundation booth at the International book fair in Santiago Chile. Our mission was to present to the people of Chile, El libro de Urantia, the Spanish translation of The Urantia Book. There were hundreds of vendors at this well-attended and popular Santiago Book Fair which was held in the converted Estacion Mapocho, an old railroad station that hosts many exhibitions.

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Focus on the Father

“Make Daily Deposits and Withdrawals from the Bank of God’s Infinite Love”

There is simply no room for anger or vengeance in my God; there is no space for pitiful projections of human imperfections. Such a faith attitude infinitely expands the goodness I can perceive in my Creator. It unlocks the truth my Father wants to share with me. It reveals the beauty that unfolds before me in the living universe.

The divine goodness humbles me. The eternal truth beckons to me. The infinite beauty astonishes me. These revelations swell my soul, the embryo of personal realization.

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Salvation Not Purchased

Urantia Book readers may want to know about my new book, Salvation Not Purchased: Overcoming the Ransom Idea to Rediscover the Original Gospel Teaching (Cascade Books, 2020).

About thirty years ago, I noticed that The Urantia Book gets very passionate whenever it confronts the Christian atonement doctrine. The narrators of the book point out that certain “seraphim are instrumental in supplanting the atonement idea with the concept of divine attunement as a philosophy of mortal survival” (Paper 39:5.6, page 437.5). Consequently, I made a decision to study and write about the development of atonement thinking.

I earned a Ph.D. in Pauline Theology from the University of Durham and am now a pastor in the United Church of Christ. I have written several academic books on atonement. Salvation Not Purchased is a shorter version and is directed at Christian pastors and laypersons.

Using the Bible, I show how the blood-purchase idea is out of step with Jesus’ teaching about how God’s love reaches the pure in heart without any sacrificial payment. I look into Paul’s use of atonement metaphors and how later writers took his metaphors literally, creating a doctrine about God being paid off. I write, “The teachings of Jesus go right against the notion that there would be no salvation until he had spilled his blood. God does not need to be paid or persuaded.” (page 4).

I have created a website for the book: https://www.salvationnotpurchased.com/

Sincerely,

Stephen Finlan, Ph.D.
Pastor at The First Church of West Bridgewater

“Stephen Finlan offers a lucid and thorough critique of the view that ‘Christ died for our sins’ is a central tenet of Christianity. . . A provocative and illuminating read for pastors and lay Christians alike.”

—HAROLD W. ATTRIDGE, Yale Divinity School

Ways to Donate to Urantia Association International

Artist: Carlos Rubinsky

The world is changing fast and Urantia Association International is in a unique position to foster the Urantia revelation in so many ways. With localized teams in the form of associations springing up across the globe, we are ready to help anyone, anywhere, to study and spread the teachings that we all hold so dear.  

Also, with the beneficial changes that technology brings, more and more organizations are switching to a subscription model as a way of making donations. Urantia Association has launched the Global Urantia Perspective for those who share a dynamic world vision for The Urantia Book. We are looking for supporters to subscribe for a minimum donation of $10 per month to support programs that work to spread the teachings.  

The Association has only one paid staff member to manage and coordinate our worldwide activities. All other services are rendered by devoted students who donate their time (and often their treasure) to the projects that help bring us closer to our heavenly Father. Thank you to our faithful volunteers and donors!  

Here is a selection of ways to donate to Urantia Association: 

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About Tidings Newsletter

The Tidings newsletter is an on-line publication that serves as Urantia Association International’s primary communication tool for reaching out to the Association’s membership, supporters, donors, volunteers, and general readership friends. It provides news and information on the many activities and events of the National and Local Associations around the globe as well as information and announcements from Central Office, the International Service Board, and the Representative Council. It serves to keep members in touch with one another and gives readers a sense of belonging—of being an integral part of a truly international movement that is designed to promote the Urantia revelation to all corners of the world.

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Program – A Celebration – 24-hour Urantiathon

22 August 2020

This event will take place starting Saturday August 22, 2020. (If you live in the United States it actually starts on Friday 21 August at 8:00pm EDT.) Here are the time frames in 3 major cities of the main regions of the world to help you adjust to your own time zone: 

New York: Friday 8:00pm to Saturday 8:00pm
London: Saturday 1:00am to Sunday 1:00am
Sydney: Saturday 10.00am to Sunday 10:00am 

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Urantia Hackathon 2020 – an Invitation

You are invited to a day of high-quality creative hacking by agents of progress in the Urantia community!

Zoom Online Sessions 18 July 2020

Watch the Urantia Hackathon – 2020 promo video in English:

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