Challenge of the Twenty-first Century
Evoling a 21st Centry Theology
The Meredith J. Sprunger Archive
Enculturating the world with the inspiring and
ennobling teachings of the Fifth Epochal Revelation is the challenge of the
We are living in one of the major turning points of
history. Our times have been labeled variously as the post-industrial,
post-modern, and post-Christian era. The traditional paradigms of cosmology,
value, and reality have lost their unquestioned relevance and authority among
contemporary people. The social institutions which were structured by these
traditional concepts and values are deteriorating in vitality and influence.
The economic and political infrastructures of society are breaking down and
losing their credibility and effectiveness. The mores that have been the
foundation of human behavior and ethical standards in society are crumbling and
immorality, crime, and violence are endemic. Religious institutions that were
once the central pillars of society are now relegated to a peripheral position.
As we face the twenty-first century there are
numerous scientific-technical innovations which will revolutionize the way we
live. Computers and computer technology is changing the way we handle
information and communication. Microbiology is opening a vast potential for
altering living organisms. Recombinant DNA technology makes it possible to
restructure both plants and animals and produce a variety of drugs, industrial
lubricants, and enzymes. Human applications will range from predicting
inherited genetic diseases to applying gene therapy for correcting genetic
disorders. The new physics is radically changing our conception of the nature
of material reality. We are, literally, being ushered into a new world of potential
Among the many problems that we face the
material-environmental, economic, and political difficulties are much easier to
cope with than the personal-spiritual and social-cultural problems. Our
industrial-technological civilization has broken up the small communities which
were indigenous to the agricultural society and isolated the individual in
specialization and urbanization. The advent of the computer has accelerated
this separation and seclusion. The sense of community and the extended family
are greatly diminished. Even the segregated industrial-business groups and the
nuclear family exist in relative cultural isolation. This detachment and
isolation contributes to the deterioration of family and community influence.
The inherent human hunger for community and belonging causes young people to
join gangs with territorial-defensive agendas and motivates adults to affiliate
with ideological and religious groups with exclusive-restrictive boundaries.
At the root of the breakdown of individual
behavior, the deterioration and malaise of our social institutions, and the
failure of our religious institutions to satisfy our spiritual hunger and
inspire our creativity is that our civilization is trying to draw resources and
energy from a horse and buggy paradigm of reality which has lost its relevance
and serviceability. There are diverse and confused views of reality in today's
world. Many scientifically oriented people have a materialistic-positivistic
understanding of life. Most religionists have a simplistic view of spiritual
cosmology that does not harmonize with our astronomical view of the cosmos. And
a great portion of society are confused about what to believe. The basic
dilemma of our times is that we have no unifying conception of reality.
The singular ingredient which will bring meaning
and unity into planetary existence is an inspiring paradigm of reality which
will harmonize science, philosophy, and religion and inspire humankind to
strive for common goals and objectives. Only a new and enlarged revelatory
vision of reality has the potential of doing this. Hopefully, the searchers of
our world will discover the Fifth Epochal Revelation in the twenty-first
century. The Urantia Book is the only source of reality that is large
enough and spiritually empowering enough to unify and energize the entire
planet. Enculturating the world with the inspiring and ennobling teachings of
the Fifth Epochal Revelation is the challenge of the twenty-first century!
The Heart of the Problem
Where does one start in healing our ailing society?
At the heart of the many problems of contemporary society is the failure of the
individual to experience a meaningful relationship with spiritual reality that
initiates and sustains a dedication to truth, beauty, and goodness. The
individual fails to experience this relationship because the source of our
introduction to spiritual reality in contemporary culture lacks credibility. It
is not an integral part of our educational exposure to the complex modern world
in which we live.
Two basic changes need to occur in the twenty-first
century to overcome this educational deficiency. First, our culture needs to
discover the Fifth Epochal Revelation which will give us the expanded picture
of spiritual reality that harmonizes with our scientific-technological society
and unifies science, philosophy, and religion. Secondly, our entire educational
system needs to be redesigned. Philosophy and spiritual values need to be
integrated into the humanities educational curriculum and taught from
kindergarten through college. Of almost equal importance, the educational
curriculum must be restructured to involve pupils in "real life."
Just as education in the agriculture society required working in farming
activities, so must we involve pupils in the real world very early in their
educational experience. Education should not be a preliminary exercise to real
life, but a continuing activity throughout life.
The teachings of The Urantia Book are
tailor-made for the problems of the twenty-first century. Not only does it
present a paradigm of reality that unifies science, philosophy, and religion
but it emphasizes the importance of family and community life. Its picture of
planetary life as the foundation of an ongoing career of personality and
spiritual growth provides strong motivation for contemporary growth and
achievement and an inspiring vision of the endless adventure of eternity. Young
people are challenged to actualize their potentialities and those who are
disillusioned in middle-age are assured that personality and spiritual
development is more important than worldly success. The elderly are encouraged
to continue growing and given a vision of the potentials of a renewed body and
an improved mind at the next level of existence. Those who find themselves
isolated and lonely learn that they are never alone. The indwelling presence of
their Thought Adjuster and guardian angels provides a sense of community. The
extensive wisdom shared concerning economic, political, and religious institutions
will serve as an antidote for the ills of our troubled society. Finally, the
life and teachings of Jesus will inspire all people to seek fulfillment in the
religion of Jesus: the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man.
The Ascendancy of the Fifth Epochal Revelation
During the first sixty years of its history the
Urantia movement has evolved from a handful of readers in Chicago to hundreds
of study groups and tens of thousands of readers throughout the world. Without
mass publicity or promotion over 250,000 (400,000 - 1999) copies of The
Urantia Book have been sold and translations are available in French,
Spanish, Russian, and many other languages. Audio and computer versions of the
book are available and numerous study aids have been published. Regional and
International Conferences are being held and secondary works are proliferating.
All this is impressive but of much greater
importance is the tempering and structuring of the Urantia movement in
preparation for its world-wide mission. The rugged struggle of these early
years has established solid foundations for carrying a new paradigm of
spiritual reality to humankind. The Urantia movement very early in its history
has encountered most of the challenges that have threatened religious transitions
down through history. We have received an experiential vaccination against
these viruses which have threatened creative spiritual growth in the past. The
Fifth Epochal Revelation has demonstrated its dynamic and power in steering the
movement repeatedly through critical periods and controversial encounters in
The solid core of the Urantia movement has come
through these tribulations with renewed dedication and balance. We have come of
age. Spiritual freedom and participatory democracy have taught us that there
can be unity of purpose in the midst of intellectual and political diversity.
The Fifth Epochal revelation will make its way and overcome any barriers placed
in its way. We are standing at the threshold of "one of the most amazing
and enthralling epochs of social readjustment, moral quickening, and spiritual
enlightenment" on our planet. The preliminary, orienting growth
developments of the Urantia movement are largely behind us. The potential of an
exciting outreach mission of the Fifth Epochal Revelation is awaiting us. The
Most Highs have prepared us and our planet for the most thrilling vision of
spiritual reality since Jesus of Nazareth walked on our world. This outreach
mission will be many-faceted, pluralistic, and victorious!
The Urantia Book Fellowship
Serving the Readership since 1955
I am going to assume you are NOT the original J.C. (because if you are.. . we are all in big trouble. ) and try to answer your question....
In the minds
of Human Truth seekers, there exists great confusion respecting certain word symbols, such as God, divinity, and
deity, the meaning of which, seems to vary with every person, (as it should.) Human beings are still more confused and uncertain about the
relationships of these word symbols, and how they relate to us as individuals,.... and us as a species.
It is exceedingly difficult to present enlarged
concepts and advanced truth, when we are restricted to the use of a
circumscribed language of the realm, in this case English. However, in our endeavor to expand cosmic consciousness and
enhance spiritual perception, I undertake this task on your behalf.
Soooo... HERE GO
Science now tells us that whatever created “The Big
Bang,” .... is called "The First Source… or
First Cause." Philosophy calls it "PRIME MOVER.'
All the MYSTICS and the MASTERS... all the TEACHERS AND PRIESTS, WIZARDS AND SHAMANS, HOLY BOOKS AND HOLY MEN, FROM THE DAYS OF OLD, UP TO AND INCLUDING TODAY,
have called it “GOD.”
In actuality, they are referring to the same THING that Science and Philosophy, Magic and New Age are.
GOD IS THE
CREATOR OF EVERYTHING…
AND EVOLUTION IS HOW SHE IS DOING IT!!!
(chuckle: There is no male/female designations for God)
God, as the First Source and Center,
is primal in
relation to total reality—unqualifiedly.
The First Source and Center is
infinite as well as eternal
and is therefore limited or conditioned only by
All the great teachers and all the great masters have told us to
“Energy Source”.... "as a Parent”
As Mother or as Father.
(there is no male/female designations for God)
Universal Father/Mother—is the personality of the
First Source and Center, and as such maintains personal relations of infinite participation
with you... and with me... and of all “Creation.”
The First Source and Center is
related to the universe as:
1. The gravity forces of the material universes - That is just why the geographic location of this Being is eternally fixed in absolute relation to the force-energy center of
the material plane of the Universe of Universes.
2. The mind forces – that are convergent in the Infinite Spirit; the cosmic mind.
spirit forces the Spiritual gravity circuits throughout the Universe.
4. The potential personality of an evolutionary moral
being centered in the personality of the Universal Father. GOD IS WITHIN YOU!
REALITY, as comprehended by finite beings, is
partial, relative, and shadowy. In attempting to portray the origin and nature
of universal reality, we are forced to employ the technique of time-space
reasoning in order to reach the level of the finite mind. Therefore must many
of the simultaneous events of eternity be presented as sequential transactions. (Time is a "Space-Time thing only)
time-space creature (you and I) would view the origin and differentiation of
Reality, the Eternal and Infinite....
the ONE UNCAUSED SOURCE OF ALL CREATION
--THE primeval cause of causes.
These qualities of universal reality are manifest
in Human experience on the following levels:
1. Body. The material or physical organism of humans. The living electrochemical
mechanism of animal nature and origin.
Mind. The thinking, perceiving, and feeling mechanism of the human organism.
The total conscious and unconscious experience. The intelligence associated
with the emotional life reaching upward through the mind circuits of worship and wisdom to the
Spirit. The divine spirit that indwells the mind of man—the Thought Adjuster.
This immortal spirit is prepersonal—not a personality, though destined to
become a part of the personality of the surviving mortal creature.
Soul. The soul of man is an experiential acquirement. As
a mortal creature chooses to " do the will of the Father in heaven, "
so the indwelling spirit becomes the father of a new reality in human
experience. The mortal and material mind is the mother of this same emerging
reality. The substance of this new reality is neither material nor spiritual—it
is morontial. This is the emerging and immortal soul which is destined to
survive mortal death and begin the Paradise ascension.
Personality. The personality of mortal man is
neither body, mind, nor spirit; neither is it the soul. Personality is the one
changeless reality in an otherwise ever-changing creature experience; and it
unifies all other associated factors of individuality. The personality is the
unique bestowal which the Universal Father makes upon the living and associated
energies of matter, mind, and spirit, and which survives with the survival of
the morontial soul.
Morontia is a term designating a vast level
intervening between the material and the spiritual. It may designate personal
or impersonal realities, living or nonliving energies. The warp of morontia is
spiritual; its woof is physical.