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January 07, 2012

THE URANTIA BOOK

A Critique by Dennis Fischer

Throughout its controversial history, Seventh-day Adventism has fathered numerous, unsavory offspring (i.e., the infamous Branch Davidians, the Shepherd's Rod, the Pilgrim's Rest, Strong City, etc.). However, it is most likely that you have never read The Urantia Book (click title above) nor heard of the Urantia Foundation headquartered in Chicago, Illinois USA.  This quasi-religious organization seems to appeal largely to the intellectual, unchurched community.  Thus, the far-reaching tentacles of Adventism continue to subtly confuse and deceive the world.  Moreover, it is not surprising to find the basic tenets of Arminianism, in stark contrast to Calvinism, taught in The Urantia Book.


It is claimed that The Urantia Book was assembled and prepared for publication, in the early 1950s, by a select closed group (called "revelators") who took a vow of secrecy in regard to its authorship. The Urantia Foundation, like the SDA White Estate, serves as an apologist, custodian, and publisher. They insist that "student visitors" or "celestial beings" while enroute from one universe and planet to another, visited our planet and miraculously inspired and/or wrote various papers that later became The Urantia Book. This lack of forthright disclosure is akin to no author being listed for the articles found in Watchtower magazines as well.  Not knowing the names of the authors in a book or magazine creates a sense of mystery and suspense that enthralls many readers.


The subject matter of The Urantia Book is much like the content in the writings attributed to Ellen G. White, the Seventh-day Adventist messenger and prophetess. The Urantia Book deals with unbiblical views like a person can overcome evil by simply choosing to do good (an Arminian and/or Semi-Pelagian stance common in Adventist dogma), Jesus is not the Eternal Son, making Jesus primarily an Exemplar instead of a Substitute, sensational commentary about  the so-called "lost years" of Jesus' life, supposed additional "insights" into many Bible stories, alleged extensive travel destinations of Jesus while on earth, etc. This book reads a lot like something Ellen White would have said. While researching The Urantia Book, I was constantly reminded of Ellen White, the SDA visionary.


Although denied by the Urantia Foundation, it is no secret that Dr. William S. Sadler (1875-1969), a friend and colleague of Dr. John Harvey Kellogg (1852-1943), a health food salesman, the author of 42 books, a winsome orator/lecturer, and an employee (beginning at the age of 14) of the Battle Creek Sanitarium, initially wrote and directed the overall content of The Urantia BookApparently, Dr. Sadler was convinced that he could compete with the religious fiction of Ellen White. Raised in an Adventist home and later becoming an ordained professor at a SDA theological school in San Francisco, Dr. Sadler developed a dim view of Ellen White's alleged gift of prophecy. 


Also, Dr. William Sadler married Dr. John Kellogg's neice, Lena Celestia Kellogg. For its devotees,The Urantia Book is also available in a luxurious, genuine-leather binding. Various groups of people (study groups) around the world still meet together to discuss, ponder, and teach the "Urantia papers." A new online study course is also available (click the title above for a closer look at the Urantia Foundation). Lena and William Sadler, both physicians, had lengthy and well-respected medical careers in the city of Chicago--often helping the underprivileged. Dr. Sadler, as a psychiatrist,  taught pastoral counseling to theology students at the McCormick Theological Seminary for 25 years, and he was also a faculty member of the University of Chicago. 


All in all, the content of The Urantia Book is most bizarre and unbiblical, and it is translated into many languages. It is not astounding to discover that its strange, extra-biblical revelations from so-called "superhumans" are the direct consequence of its initial link to Seventh-day Adventism. After Dr. Sadler crossed swords with Ellen White, he launched his own career into writing religious fiction. Obviously, two wrongs do not make a right. The core problem is the fact that both Sadler and White vigorously denied teaching a false gospel. Many sincere people are sincerely wrong, and sincerity itself does not denote biblical truth.


Someone aptly stated that "man prefers to believe what he prefers to be true." This is why the inspired writers of the New Testament spent so much time and effort in exposing the heresies of their day and those yet looming in the future. In Galatians 1:8-9, the Apostle Paul twice pronounced a curse upon those who preach anything contrary to the Gospel that he preached. There is a notable and recognizable common thread that weaves together all cultic organizations. Satan has many, clever ways in an attempt to mislead every segment of humanity. Truly, those who are intent upon accurate answers will no longer identify themselves with a toxic-faith system.




courtesy of 

DENNIS FISCHER MINISTRIES
Worldwide Chaplaincy Services
E-mail:  dfministries@gmail.com
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