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Urantia: The Great Cult Mystery Paperback – Aug 1 2008

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 468 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books (Aug. 1 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591026229
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591026228
  • Product Dimensions: 2.4 x 15.5 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 363 g
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #137,896 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dale E. Marxen on Aug. 22 2003
Format: Hardcover
Even though Gardner's book is fairly formidable (445 pages; 1.7 pounds), do yourself a favor and read it before you buy and read the Urantia Book (2,097 pages; 4.3 pounds, per Gardner). By doing so, you will hopefully save the cost of buying, the time spent reading, and, most importantly, avoid a possible commitment to the Urantia Book.
I first ran across the Urantia Book (UB) in 1973, bought it and spent months of careful reading before finishing it in early 1974. At that time I got rid of the UB because I felt that, although unconventional, it was essentially Christian and capable of only producing yet another Christian sect, and was therefore limited in perspective and usefulness. The racial and religious prejudices, spread throughout the book but concentrated especially in the Jesus papers, were obvious, and likely not the product of those with a comprehensive view of the world, as assumed by the UB's purported cosmic authors. Because of the UB's complexity and obviously Christian focus, I concluded at the time that the source must be, say, a very cynical Christian mathematician.
Although I have not paid much attention to the UB for the last 30 years, I was very interested to recently run across Gardner's book in the library and to find that my initial reaction to the UB had some elements of truth. From Gardner's book, I learned that the authors of the UB, or at least its editors/compilers, were from a strong Christian (Seventh Day Adventist) background. Also, to date, approximately 50% of the UB has been shown to be directly copied or summarized from a variety of early 20th century religious, scientific, sociological, and historical publications that were available to UB authors prior to its publication in 1955.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dale E. Essary on April 12 1999
Format: Hardcover
Martin Gardner's book entitled URANTIA: The Great Cult Mystery is a skeptic's critique of The URANTIA Book (UB), a 2097-page compilation of several papers allegedly authored by several 'divine revelators,' each one claiming to be a representative of God's vast celestial hierarchy. These 'authors' were commissioned by their heavenly 'supervisors' to enlighten the inhabitants of this planet (which they call Urantia) as to how mankind has been supposedly misled throughout human history by the errors of religious thinking. The primary target for which the UB 'authors' claim is in need of 'correction' in the arena of religion is the Bible, with all its misconceptions regarding the nature of God, who Jesus was, etc. Mr. Gardner, although not a Bible-believer himself, finds it difficult to accept the truth-claims that these alleged celestial authors present, in light of several factors. To begin with, Gardner takes exception to the many scientific errors to be discovered within the pages of the UB. He devotes two full chapters of his book to illustrate portions of the UB's vast science content which have been rendered outdated because of discoveries made since its publication in 1955. In some cases, the science content became outdated even before the UB was published, and in still others, the purported scientific 'facts' were already incongruent with the science of the time, which can only be attributed as outright errors on the part of these alleged higher minds! Why would these divine revelators allow the publishing of such self-damning evidence?Read more ›
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Julio in Denver on Jan. 1 2000
Format: Hardcover
As the person who turned Martin on to the UB and corresponded with him during most of its writing, it would interest most readers of UTGCM to know that Martin believes in God, prayer and faith. Is this "platonic mystic's" new book about the UB slightly prejudiced by his own pseudo-religious beliefs? In his 1983 book, The WHYS of a Philosopical Scrivener, Gardner plainly states: "It goes without saying, as a theist who accepts no Revelation, I believe we can learn nothing about life after death from such all-too-human visions..."--pg 304 WHYS. Does this include any future books he may run across? Apparently it does, whether he reads them or not.
In Garnder's book, The WHYS, where he knows no skeptic would dare tread (alas, there are too many big words), it is no surprise to me that he makes such off-the-cuff comments like "On the other hand, we cannot leave the nature of the afterlife a total blank. If we make no guesses at all, how can it satisfy those longings that impel the leap of faith?"--pg303 WHYS. Or, "Yes, we philosophical theists are a lonely, fragmented breed. We are the closet theists. We work for years alongside someone who will never suspect that we believe in God... When we pray, we pray in secret, as Jesus himself (remember? Matthew" 6:6) recommended."
Are these the comments of someone who disbelieves in many of the UB's "wild" assertions, or are they the thoughts of someone with competing beliefs who wishes to dismiss the competition without having to supply any alternatives except to say, how can we know anything about anything.
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