Tuesday, September 16th, 2014
The Layman Online > Carmen's Writings > Aliens? Does your worldview support that?

Aliens? Does your worldview support that?

spockNASA made a bold statement on Monday when it estimated “that humans will be able to locate alien life within the next 20 years.”

The CBS article by Benjamin Fearnow bears witness to the naturalistic worldview of the NASA scientists quoted.

“Just imagine the moment, when we find potential signatures of life. Imagine the moment when the world wakes up and the human race realizes that its long loneliness in time and space may be over — the possibility we’re no longer alone in the universe,” said Matt Mountain, director and Webb telescope scientist at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, which plans to launch the James Webb Space Telescope in 2018.

Those of us who are operating out of Biblical worldview are ahead of NASA on this one. We have known forever that we are not alone. God has always been, always is and always will be. It is, in fact, God who made the whirling planets, sets the stars in the sky and set the Earth spinning on her axis. He loves what He created, and He superintends it everyday. God is present and active and working out His perfect will in the cosmos for all eternity.

Now, to be fair, NASA scientists are talking about alien life, extraterrestrial life, not divinity. But the point remains relevant. If you hear a person like astronomer Kevin Hand celebrate that within “the next 20 years we will find out we are not alone in the universe,” instead of acting surprised you can let them in on the secret that they need not wait – they can know right now that they are not alone, God is with them.

The question that challenges those with a Biblical worldview is provoked by the observation made by former astronaut and NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. “I would venture to say that most of my colleagues here today say it is improbable that in the limitless vastness of the universe we humans stand alone.”

  • In what ways does the Bible say we stand alone?
  • What texts might leave us open to the reality of life beyond Earth?
  • Is there any reason to believe that God did not create other worlds?
  • Could one of those worlds be yet “unfallen?”
  • Would we not ruin it by discovering it?
  • Does the prospect of life beyond Earth frighten you or thrill you?
  • What does it do to your sense of evangelism?

These are the questions coming to a Sunday School near you. Are you ready for that?

Maybe, in addition to Bible Study and really good pedagogy, we need to equip ourselves with a few episodes of Star Trek. We might be surprised how many of these provocative questions emerge as humans explore the final frontier.

About the author: Carmen Fowler LaBerge

Carmen Fowler LaBerge heads the ministry of the Presbyterian Lay Committee as its President and Executive Editor of its publications, including The Layman.

13 comments

  1. John says:

    Has anyone thought of Angels both visible and invisible????

  2. Ken says:

    When, where did Jesus say there is no other ice out there? I have not seen anything in scriptures referring to other solar systems. The concept was unknown at the time.

  3. James H says:

    We got a bunch of Aliens in Louisville…………………….

    • Loren Golden says:

      To the contrary, those in Louisville are very much of this world. It is the Evangelical Christians who remain in the PCUSA who are the true aliens.

      • James H says:

        Well put, Loren, but not all of us are staying because we agree, but rather we are trying keep the vows we made when we agreed to serve. However your point is taken.

  4. Loren Golden says:

    Adherents of the religion of Evolution believe that life here began because we have a star that’s the right size and temperature and that we have a planet that’s the right size, density, has the right atmospheric conditions, has the ideal water/land ratio, and is in the so-called “Goldilocks” zone (i.e., not too hot and not too cold), which allowed life to develop on this planet. They reason that if life developed all on its own here, it could have developed all on its own elsewhere. And, they theorize, if intelligent life developed here, it could likewise develop elsewhere—again, all on its own—and it would not look anything like life here on the earth.

    But God created this world as a fit habitation for the human race and all the races of plants and animals with which we share it. He was not in any way obligated to do so, nor is or was He obligated in any way to create life elsewhere in the Universe. To be sure, He has created spiritual creatures (angels, cherubim, seraphim, and the like), and it stands to reason that in all this vast Universe, if He created life here, He probably created life elsewhere. But He was and is under no obligation to do so. If He did—or will (for all we know, He might create some other beings somewhere in the Universe at some point in the future)—it will be for the same basic reason that He created life here, namely, to show forth His glory. And supposing that He did (or will), if He so chooses to introduce us to those beings, it will be for His purposes.

    That being said, let us turn to Scripture. In Romans, the Apostle Paul wrote, “For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.” (Rom. 8.20-23) To what extent does “the creation” encompass in this passage? This world only? Our solar system? The Milky Way? The whole Universe? Does the whole Universe groan under the weight of the curse that God laid on the ground on account of Adam’s sin (Gen. 3.17-19)?

    And in Revelation, the Apostle John wrote, “Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them.” (Rev. 20.11) And again, “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.” (Rev. 21.1) Do the heavens—that is, the realm of planets, stars, and galaxies—groan with the earth under the weight of human sin? In the return of Jesus Christ, will they pass away, to be replaced by new heavens, inasmuch as the earth that we know will pass away, to be replaced by a new earth?

    And supposing there are extraterrestrials living on other worlds, what effect will the Lord Jesus’ return to this world have on them?

    Of course, we do not know the answer to any of these questions, and they are the realm of speculative fiction, as is the existence of extraterrestrials. But we do not hinge our trust in the veracity of Scripture on speculation but on the sure Word of God, who guarantees its truth.

  5. David Brock says:

    Actually NASA has known there is intelligent life in the universe for some time.A person witnessed a NASA person airbrushing UFOs from official photos.And Bob Lazar has exposed the work he did at S4 with craft and bodies of ETs(so-called Grays).The Grays are hostile to Terrans-treat us like lab rats.A good fictional account of the universal battle against Lucifer et al is A wrinkle in Time by L’Engle.

  6. Jack says:

    There may be life, even intelligent life, beyond our solar system but, despite the incomprehensible size of the universe, there is no compelling, let alone any theological, reason to believe that there is . . . or isn’t.

    God is neither rational or irrational. God is God. As the Creator, it is his Will, and His Will alone, that determines these things. Until it is revealed to me, by whatever means, I am not going to suppose what God has done or hasn’t done. His Will be done. That is all that matters.

  7. Don says:

    Kevin Hand’s prediction is both silly and vague. Silly, because he has no way of knowing when, or if, extraterrestrial life will be found; vague, because he didn’t say if he meant intelligent life, single-celled organisms, or something in between.

    If you’re interested in this subject, I highly recommend Stephen Webb’s informative, entertaining, and very readable book “If the Universe is Teeming with Life, Where is Everybody?” It presents 50 possible explanations for why we haven’t yet found evidence of intelligent extraterrestrial life. One of the serious possibilities he offers is… there isn’t any intelligent extraterrestrial life. But the other 49 possibilities are interesting as well.

  8. guest says:

    this is an example of the problem with not believing in current day prophets, since Biblical times. many people have claimed over the past hundred or so years in particular to hear inner voices, locutions they are called, saying they come from Jesus and Mary, some from God the Father. Protestants in general dismiss virtually all of these locutions, as well as most of the saints, apparitions of the Virgin Mary. the Catholic Church has not approved of all of the messages, but a large number of them have the official approval of the Church, following investigation into the claims.

    the point is, this issue was addressed by Jesus in one of the locutions, he said there is no other life out there, this is just another example of human scientists thinking they know it all, playing God. Jesus doesn’t seem to be very fond of this sort of thing, in general, using science to try to make human sense of everything.

    • Ken says:

      When, where did Jesus say there is no other ice out there? I have not seen anything in scriptures referring to other solar systems. The concept was unknown at the time.

      • guest says:

        i doubt that it’s in the Bible, at least i don’t know about it, but i’m no expert by any stretch of imagination. many thousands of pages of documents, Catholic Church approved locutions, and some without Church approval, are available on the internet. i’ve been researching them since about 2007-8. don’t recall exactly where i saw this one about life on other planets, or whether it was Church approved. how this got started, i saw a woman on EWTN one morning early, about 3am, claiming she was hearing inner voices from heaven, from Virgin Mary in particular. it was obvious to me she was telling the truth, or so i believed, and still do. from researching that one woman the project has morphed into a massive effort. there are roughly 20 people around the world supposedly receiving messages at this time. it’s a fascinating project, i’d highly recommend it if you’re at all interested. i’d say more but don’t want to offend anyone, it tends to be a controversial topic, even in the Catholic Church. based on my experience trying to talk to people about this, the number who believe in this sort of thing is quite small. Protestant friends have been my worst audience, i generally don’t even mention this to them any more, they don’t believe any of it, even from the Church approved saints.

        • Ken says:

          Controversial indeed. The world is full of politicians who say that god told them to run for office and thus they know best what we need.

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