Monday, February 23, 2009

Would extra-terrestrial life invalidate Christianity?

Does belief in Christianity preclude belief in life on other planets? Would the existence of extra-terrestrial life invalidate Christianity or bring even more glory to God?


  1. Frankly, the first question this calls to my mind is: What is God's interest in glory? Indeed, what does "glory" even mean to God? Why would He even care about glory, at least to the extent that it conflicts with love?

    That aside, I think this is an easy one. Given your assumptions about the nature of God, His dominion must extend beyond one planet.

    The idea raises some interesting questions. Would extraterrestrial beings have the same relationship with God we do? Do they have their own Bible, and does it differ from ours? If so, do the differences resemble the variations we see on Earth?

    Did God send Jesus to them as well--or do they need to visit Earth to know Him? Maybe they still wait for his crucifixion.

    Why doesn't the Bible mention them? Does God have a reason for hiding the broader nature of life in the universe by leaving out the true scope of His Creation?

    If we are the only life in the universe, then God is actually pretty small, right?

    I would be interested to know the Christian view of these issues. It strikes me that the Biblical focus on Earth suggests a parochial perspective--that is, humans wrote the Bible without the influence of a broader, or divine, perspective--and without even the fantasy that other planets might exist.

  2. There are troublesome ideas here. I don't know that life on Earth alone would make God small but it would make him Earth-centric. It is possible that he is hyper-focused, like males are when they operate machinery like a car.

    I assume that I am predisposed to a selfish world view so I am suspicious of anything that makes me the center of anything that matters and, by extension, makes humans the center.

    It seems to me that I must assume something so centered on humans requires a "selfishness" adjustment that is at least equivalent to skepticism. For example, why is a tree less important than a human?

  3. Here's a link to a panel discussion on this subject at Ohio Wesleyan University

  4. I am attempting unsuccessfully to download this video.