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Rick Warren

Apparent Contradictions

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Forum Friends,

 

Sooner or later every enduring student/teacher must address APPARENT inconsistencies in the text because new students will always come to seasoned readers with their questions. What will you say to these new and sincere readers, as well as debunkers and detractors, when they ask about these seeming contradictions?

 

Over the years, I have seen several brought out by readers. Only yesterday did Jessica mention one about Nalda's morality. Below are two more cases that appear to contradict, one on worshipping goodness, and one on Jesus declaring God as king.

 

...One believes truth, admires beauty, and reverences goodness, but does not worship them; such an attitude of saving faith is centered on God alone, who is all of these personified and infinitely more.... P.1114 - §5

 

...Mortal man must, through the recognition of truth, the appreciation of beauty, and the worship of goodness, evolve the recognition of a God of love and then progress through ascending deity levels to the comprehension of the Supreme.... p641

 

...We find God through the leadings of spiritual insight, but we approach this insight of the soul through the love of the beautiful, the pursuit of truth, loyalty to duty, and the worship of divine goodness.... P.2076 - §5

 

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"...I declare that the kingdom of heaven is the realization and acknowledgment of God's rule within the hearts of men. True, there is a King in this kingdom, and that King is my Father and your Father. We are indeed his loyal subjects, but far transcending that fact is the transforming truth that we are his sons..." p1588

 

...For these and other reasons, the Master thought best to designate the spiritual brotherhood of man as the kingdom of heaven and the spirit head of this brotherhood as the Father in heaven. Never did Jesus refer to his Father as a king. In his intimate talks with the apostles he always referred to himself as the Son of Man and as their elder brother. He depicted all his followers as servants of mankind and messengers of the gospel of the kingdom.... p1855

 

...Jesus never called the Father a king, and he very much regretted that the Jewish hope for a restored kingdom and John's proclamation of a coming kingdom made it necessary for him to denominate his proposed spiritual brotherhood the kingdom of heaven. With the one exception—the declaration that " God is spirit "—Jesus never referred to Deity in any manner other than in terms descriptive of his own personal relationship with the First Source and Center of Paradise.... p1856

 

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In my opinion it is crucial for reader/believers not to gloss over anything resembling a contradiction or inconsistency. And it is also monumentally important that the revelation not be presented as absolute truth. Not because I say so, but that the authors declare it so:

 

Truth cannot be defined with words, only by living....P.1459 - §2

 

Divine truth is a spirit-discerned and living reality. Truth exists only on high spiritual levels of the realization of divinity and the consciousness of communion with God. You can know the truth, and you can live the truth; you can experience the growth of truth in the soul and enjoy the liberty of its enlightenment in the mind, but you cannot imprison truth in formulas, codes, creeds, or intellectual patterns of human conduct. When you undertake the human formulation of divine truth, it speedily dies. The post-mortem salvage of imprisoned truth, even at best, can eventuate only in the realization of a peculiar form of intellectualized glorified wisdom. Static truth is dead truth, and only dead truth can be held as a theory. Living truth is dynamic and can enjoy only an experiential existence in the human mind.P.1949 - §4

 

It is a mistake to call the Urantia Book a 'truth book'. It is instead a book of celestially indited revealed facts frozen in ink for all time in 1955. Yet it is truly the greatest book ever written and will eventually lead humanity to God, if humanity will be led (and I believe it will). Much depends on how wisely this revelation is handled and propagated by reader/believers like us. Declaring the revelation absolute and perfect truth will not serve it well, and the authors said so on more than one occasion.

 

If the angels inherently know the number of the hairs on your head, I believe the authors were completely aware of every bit of the content and implication of every word in the book. And they left in apparent inconsistencies and contradictions to confound literalists and book-thumpers who would make a fetish out of a time/space revelation that must needs be imperfect due to conceptual poverty, revelatory constraints and language limitations.

 

Your comments, questions and contradictions/explanations are most welcome.

 

Much love, Rick

 

These are the exact same things that I've been saying about the Urantia Book but it usually doesn't seem to get a positive or constructive response.

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