Space Oddity

Space Oddity

“When the Son came for salvation, he did not take angelic nature into union but became human.” “Then again, in the visions of Revelation, John saw “living creatures” representative of creation gathered around the throne of God in worship of the Lamb…This was a vision, but we must suppose it represents a reality… While we are not given a detailed answer to our question and must leave it in the hands of all-wise God, it seems that eternity will be filled with praise and obedient faithfulness from throughout the animate and intelligent cosmos.”

What if aliens were discovered…or discovered us? Would that change your opinion of the Bible, the Christian faith, and the centrality of humanity as image bearers of God? Recently there was some buzz in the online-news about NASA hiring twenty-four theologians to help them understand how humanity would respond to the discovery of alien life.

Although the facts around NASA hiring have been called into question, the truth remains that those in the scientific community–and many people–want answers to theological questions concerning the existence of life “out there.” 

One online magazine said, “Though NASA certainly gave money toward the program, it didn’t go as far as to hire anyone from it. A spokesperson from NASA told the Associated Press that the researchers involved in the program were never directly employed by the space agency. Individuals who receive grant funding from NASA are not employees, advisors, or spokespersons for the agency, the spokesperson told the AP in an email. Thus, the researchers and scholars involved with this study were not hired by NASA, but instead received funding… to conduct this work.”

So what is the answer? Do alien lifeforms, or extraterrestrial intelligences (ETI) exist? In all my reading of the puritans, reformers, Covenanters, Seceders, and others, I have never found an answer to whether we would find ETI if we explored the universe. For the most part, I didn’t care, but the question does get asked.

In Robert Letham’s Systematic Theology (which was published in 2019 rather than 1619) he confronts the question of ETI and the existence of alien life forms. Again, I don’t remember this question being posed in any of the old dead guys. 

On pages 288-289 he explores this question.

Letham begins with demonstrating that there are some that argue the vastness of our universe is connected to our planet’s uniqueness. He said, “Some argue that there is no extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI) anywhere in the universe. The vast size of the cosmos, it is said, is necessary for humans to be able to live here on earth.
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