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Would the Discovery of Extraterrestrials Invalidate Christianity?
Areopagus Proclamation Volume 19 • No. 3 • May-June 2009
In January of this year we asked a number of Christian thinkers: ‘Would the discovery of intelligent human-like life elsewhere in the universe, if absolutely proven, invalidate Christianity? How would such a discovery affect your faith personally?’ Here are the original answers they gave us, along with a published excerpt by Dr. Norman Geisler.
DR. ED HUFF
Professor of bioresource engineering; Old Town ME
Intelligent life elsewhere would not invalidate Christianity. In John 10:16 Jesus said, “I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen.” Though Jesus probably referred to Gentiles, it is possible that He referred to beings on other planets. In two books, C. S. Lewis explored intelligent, unfallen life on other planets. In one, three types of beings live peacefully with each other. In the other, the first woman is saved from sinning.
Author, director of L’Abri; Southborough MA
The discovery of other intelligent life in the universe would not destroy or disturb my faith, though it would stretch my imagination. I cannot think of a Biblical principle or promise that would be falsified by such a discovery. The universe turns out to be a very big place. God has told us who he is and how to live on this planet, but not much about what he is doing elsewhere. Let us not have a brittle faith.
Bible study leader and my own godly mother; Lancaster PA
No, it would not invalidate Christianity because Christianity is of Christ. Christ Jesus is real. He walked on this earth. He told us that He is the only way to the Father in Heaven. He is God, the Son. Those facts will never change, no matter what man learns. It would strengthen my faith to learn that Christ Jesus has charge of other life in His control of the whole universe!
DR. NORMAN GEISLER
Apologist, author, prof
My professional opinion as a theologian is – the Bible is true and the Bible teaches this kind of thing [i.e. UFOs] can and does occur in the world…
I think that they are a Satanic manifestation in the world for the pur-pose of deception. -An excerpt of actual notes from The McLean Trial (1982). See Appendix 4 of Creation and the Courts: Eighty Years of Conflict in the Class, © 2007 Crossway.
Gardening business, landscaping, carpentry; Dexter, Maine
What about the real extraterrestrials: angels, demons, spirit guides, the devil, and yes – God Himself – all relegat-ed to the realm of fantasy today.
God told the Israelites to treat strangers kindly. We are cautioned to do the same; we may be entertaining angels.
I think much of the hysteria of the UFO and alien phenomenon is fueled by de-monic activity… Satan strives mightily to derail God’s plan. As an astronomer for 40 years I’ve never seen anything in the night sky (and I’ve seen a few wows) that couldn’t be explained naturally.
DR. WAYNE FRAIR
Scientist, professor, and author; Basking Ridge NJ
This exobiology matter keeps coming up, and one character elucidated that this is the only “biological” field in which there is nothing to study! I know of no Biblical references to this subject. But “scientifically” there has never been an issue which engender-ed more interest from people around the world. Multiplied millions with their computers search for messages which demonstrate extraterrestrial intelligence. Reliable evidence? Zilch! And though there is virtually no like-lihood of finding life ‘out there,’ even if we did, it should have no effect on humans because Biblical revelation is for “fallen” earth (the “silent planet.”) Read further in my books, A Case for Creation and Biology and Creation.
REV. BRAD JOHNSON
Pastor, Acton MA
The Bible does not say anything about God creating or not creating life on oth-er planets. It would proba-bly surprise me to get to heaven and find out that God created this vast uni-verse without other life existing. Because He is far greater than I can ever imagine, He can do far greater than I can imagine, and that includes life on other distant planets. I don’t have a biblical answer about sin and Christ’s death covering sin in other worlds, but this doesn’t shake my faith. See C. S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy!
ROB GREGORY, ESQ
Attorney from Damariscotta, Maine
How would the discovery of other-worldly “human-like” creatures fit into the scheme of the fall? Would they be “in Adam,” i.e. Romans 5? I’m afraid I have no answers, or even speculation, that would address those hypotheticals. But in the end, such a discovery would not affect my per-sonal faith beyond seeking meaningful answers to these perplexing questions. It would be astonishing indeed, but it would in no way invalidate Christianity as I understand it. My hunch, of course, is that God placed human-like life here on planet earth and no where else.