Thursday, October 06, 2011

Mary Sue Asks “Did Jesus Save Alien Races, Too?”

Off-Topic: the Mary Sue, a site for “Geek Girl Culture” has an article about a convention that occurred recently called the 100 year Starship Convention, sponsored by DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency). One of the presenters was Christian Weidemann from the Ruhr-University Bochum who wondered aloud how religion would change if we discovered proof of life on other planets. Hilarity ensued. First Weidemann stated:
The death of Christ, some 2,000 years ago, was designed to save all creation. However, the whole of creation, as defined by scientists, includes 125 billion galaxies with hundreds of billions of stars in each galaxy. That means that if intelligent life exists on other planets, then Jesus or God would have to have visited them too, and sacrificed himself equally for Martian-kind as well as mankind
It appears that the Vatican has already considered this. When questioned about extraterrestrial life, the Pope's astronomer conveyed the Vatican's position:
He would be “delighted” if intelligent life was found among the stars. “But the odds of us finding it, of it being intelligent and us being able to communicate with it – when you add them up it’s probably not a practical question.” Speaking ahead of a talk at the British Science Festival in Birmingham tomorrow, he said that the traditional definition of a soul was to have intelligence, free will, freedom to love and freedom to make decisions. “Any entity – no matter how many tentacles it has – has a soul.” Would he baptise an alien? “Only if they asked.”
Some were not nearly as taken with the idea. When asked, Ken Ham had this to say:
“The person from the Vatican that was quoted in the newspaper reports, if quoted correctly, can’t truly understand the gospel—in my opinion. The Bible makes it clear that Adam’s sin affected the whole universe. This means that any aliens would also be affected by Adam’s sin, but they can’t have salvation. … While baptizing an alien might feel good, it would have no more spiritual consequence than baptizing a chicken or a fallen angel. Baptize an alien indeed!
Once again, it is only Ken Ham that truly understands the gospel.  All other ideas have to be false.  If a sentient creature from another world were to accept Christ as its savior, that wouldn't be enough?  Narrow-mindedness and one-dimensionality, writ large.  It is now my fervent hope that we find life on other planets, just so Ham will have to eat his words. 


  1. Jim, supposing that we did contact an intelligent alien race that had no concept of god or gods, how do you suppose someone would go about convincing them that one particular holy book on one particular planet is how the creator of the universe chose to reveal himself?

    How would one answer their inevitable objection that major parts of the book, like the creation story or the flood, are simply not correct as written?

  2. Dunno. My comment was more of a “what if they did” as opposed to a “how could we convince them” scenario. I would probably answer the questions the way I answer some of my skeptical friends: that the flood story fits within the overall Mesopotamian framework and, perhaps, these all draw from a single, local event and the creation story is a metaphorical account designed to dispel the pantheon of false gods that had been set up by their neighbors. Something like that.

  3. I've thought a little about this. Part of me wonders if God had structured the universe in such a way that "Image of God"-bearing creatures were to occur on other planets, Christians should proclaim the Gospel to them, too.

    And Derick, I don't think it's a case of proving one book over another or the existence of God, but just proclaim it. I'm convinced the the Word of God (the real truth we find in Scripture, not just the words) really is living and active and accomplishes its purposes and doesn't return void, etc.

    On the other hand, I've wondered if the Logos had to incarnate in other cultures on other planets with other "Image of God"-bearing creatures for their created order. YEC or not, you could argue that Scripture doesn't teach that. But God accommodates our limited understanding, does He not? Why would He mention beings we couldn't understand on planets that exist in galaxies we couldn't comprehend at the time the canon was written and recorded? If so, Christ as savior of the world is Christ as savior of our world.

  4. C.S. Lewis anticipated it all in the space trilogy. It's a good read.

  5. Yes, my wife and I were talking about that last night. It has been years since I have read them. She thought that Ken Ham was off the rails also.