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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.

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Carmen Fowler LaBerge