World Beyond Worlds

I don’t know if there are other planets on which people could live, let alone sustain plant or animal life.  Scripture appears to be mute on that subject.  Something inside me wishes that it is true.  How joyful it would be to meet other creatures bearing the image of God.  Since God is spirit there are a myriad of ways the imago dei could be attired in a body. This brings the question, would they be fallen or unfallen?  Would our fall have affected them?  If they were fallen of their own will then we would be able to see God’s unique plan of redemption for their world.  If not, what would an unfallen world look like?  Of concern to C.S. Lewis, who himself had an interest in space and wrote a space trilogy, was the discovery of sapient life if humans ever became able to travel to the stars.  He feared not only that we would exploit them as imperialist, but like the serpent introduce sin.  It is a much different, though I think more Christian, view of what would happen if aliens and humans meet than the annihilation of the human race by slimy creatures that Hollywood often presents. Not in my lifetime do men have the hope of reaching such planets, if they exist.  The closest star to earth, other than the sun, is Proxima Centauri, a mere 4.2 light years away.  Practical space exploration would require traveling faster than the speed of light.  We have to figure out how to manipulate space/time before that happens.  Still, to be able to explore those worlds is a tantalizing idea, the opening of a new frontier for exploration. Some people think that Christianity denies the possibility that “aliens” exist.  I put no such limit on God’s creativity.  Such a view is excessively anthropocentric. Surely God could have created life on other planets amongst the billions of galaxies in the universe if he wanted to.  The Bible doesn’t give any clear indication either way.  Does this have any practical relationship to our spiritual lives?  Probably not, but it’s fun to speculate.

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