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Is evolution central to Urantia theology?

You asked: I just came across The Urantia Book in a used bookstore and I found it strangely beautiful. I really liked its comments about Islam and Greek Philosophy. The problem for me is its espousal of evolution, which I have come to reject as specious science.

Do you have any suggestions for me? Is evolution central to Urantia theology?

A: First of all, I liked your characterization of what you read in The Urantia Book as "strangely beautiful." I find it so as well. The subject matter is indeed strange to one who is unfamiliar with it, and the writing used to explain the material is quite beautiful and unusual, unlike any other writing that I've ever seen.

I am sorry to hear that you find the teachings about evolution to be incompatible with your beliefs, going so far as to call it "specious science." You ask if evolution is central to Urantian theology ... yes, it is. And then you ask if we have any suggestions for you, so I'd like to offer what help I can.

I wonder if you've read "The Overcontrol of Evolution" in The Urantia Book? If not, I hope that, before you make a blanket rejection of its teachings, you'll do yourself the favor of at least reading that one paper. In it, you'll discover that evolution is not limited to the physical realms, but encompasses the mindal and spiritual realms as well.

Also, I do hope that you have read at least some of Part I, all about God. In those papers, we discover God as he really is, or as much as he can be discovered by mortals through reading about him. We learn that God is an infinite being who, until he willed creation into place, was trapped in his infinity. By putting creation into place, he was able to escape the limitations of his lonely, infinite existence. God remains infinite but his creation includes worlds like ours that are born out of the paroxysms of space - worlds that begin as barren accretions of matter, but worlds which then are seeded with life that is allowed to grow and - yes, evolve. Worlds like ours are necessary for God to be able to experience finite existence, growth, and finally perfection through actually sharing that kind of life with his created beings - with us. He has given a portion of himself to indwell the minds of mortals - a portion of infinity that assists the creature to discover its maker and strive towards perfection.

And that is where evolution comes in. One way to look at evolution is as the infinite, timeless God's creation in finite time and space. While a timeless, infinite Creator's design is perfect in eternity and exists always in the eternal NOW, it has to grow to that perfect pattern in TIME and in FINITE space. And it grows through trial and error. If a modification works and increases an organism's ability to thrive - whether physically, mentally, or spiritually - it is incorporated into the cycle. We can see this in our own lives. Most of us think and act far differently at 65 than at 25; our experiences have taught us what works and what does not, and through our experiences, we learn wisdom. All organisms learn this way, from a one-celled amoeba to man himself. That's evolution.

I see at one place in this lengthy email post that you are a Jewish man who converted to Christianity; it occurs to me that in your writings about Jesus you have likely had as your source for Jesus' words and deeds, the Bible - most likely the New Testament. Before the advent of The Urantia Book, the Bible had been THE source for the life and teachings of Jesus for the whole world. And so, whatever it is that you gleaned from your Bible research about Jesus' teachings regarding evolution may need revision. Reading Part IV of The Urantia Book will be a very good place to start that revision, as it is the real story of the Master's life unencumbered by passing through human perceptions and prejudices; rather, it is a true eye-witness account of Jesus' life given by those who were actually there, and who recorded that life for the benefit of a whole universe. In that life, I feel it is safe to say that you'll find nothing of a contradictory stance towards the concept of evolution.

Those are the suggestions that I would offer you. I have included links here to a few things; if you are still sincerely open to suggestions, these links (above) will be helpful to you.

Thanks again for writing; I hope this reply is helpful to you. Write back anytime!

Date published:
Author: Staff