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Aliens and the Bible

Should we leave room for the possibility of sentient aliens?

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Published: 29 September 2018 (GMT+10)

Should we leave room for the possibility of aliens? The closer we look at biblical theology, the clearer it
becomes that the Bible conflicts with the existence of sentient aliens. Even the history of science is
evidence against aliens. M.F. writes:

I’d like to comment on Creation Magazine Live! episode S07E07 with Richard Fangrad and Matt
Bondy. I really appreciate the show produced by CMI. You guys are careful with some big topics and do a
good job in navigating the issues. On this episode, Richard and Matt did very well at explaining how the
pro-UFO biblical interpretations are faulty.

Design would still be the best explanation of life’s origin, even if it originated multiple times in the
universe.

However, I see a problem with episode S07E07. It is a matter of interpretive overreach. I should
confess up front that I hold no biblical position on the existence of alien life, yet scientifically I lean
toward a “no aliens” conclusion. Among the many stories and photos and video footage of supposed
alien encounters, there is simply too much leeway for interpretation and too little means of verification.
With any evidence confirming the credibility of the bible to skeptics, those skeptics typically object for
reasons of contamination, fraud, mistaken interpretation, wishful thinking, etc. These objections apply
to the idea of extraterrestrial life as well. Scientifically, our culture tends to ignore the scientific standard
when suggesting alien life could exist. After all, skepticism is touted as the mark of a thinking person (at
least on matters of religion), yet there is often the antithesis of skepticism when speaking on matters of
extraterrestrial life and evolution. Given the total lack of empirically verifiable evidence for
extraterrestrial life, one might get the impression science has nothing to do with it.

Before I address the overreach on the topic of aliens, I should first recall an historical example where
the Church has caused itself problems by this sort of overreach.

The ancient Greeks invented the geocentric view of the universe centuries before Christ. Much later,
while there was still no better scientific explanation yet available, the Church tried to interpret scripture
in light of the geocentric view. In general there is nothing wrong with this approach, as the “book of
God’s works” (as some call creation) should match up with the book of God’s words. Both stem from
Almighty God for his glory and his purposes. When understood properly, there is never any
contradiction between the two.

However, when the heliocentric view became accepted, the marriage of scripture to the geocentric
view became a problem. For those who believe and trust in the Lord, it was simply a matter of
adjustment to biblical interpretation to account for new knowledge. But this incident has the
unfortunate side effect of creating a weapon for skeptics. Granted, skeptics often have intellectually
dishonest objections to scripture and theology. This is an example, as some have such an historically
ignorant perspective as to blame Christianity itself for inventing the geocentric view in the first place.
Setting up a straw man argument to make it easy to knock it down is easy for all of us, not only anti-
theistic skeptics. My point is, the Church to this day suffers a stereotype of being anti-science. This is
partly due to historical examples of overreach such as the geocentric view of the universe, and modern
examples of bad science masquerading as truth which conflicts with the scriptures.

I want to caution CMI against overreaching on other matters, such as the topic of extraterrestrial life.
In episode S07E07, Richard and Matt mentioned some important details I want to bring attention to.

For one, they mentioned bacterial/microbial life is biblically possible, but intelligent extraterrestrial
life is not. We should realize the very possibility of God creating life of any kind on alien planets could
easily be taken as evidence for evolution, something which CMI is devoted to refuting rather than
supporting. Even this possibility is riddled with scientific problems I’ve already mentioned. And of course
if microbial life were actually discovered (no easy task) it would widely be interpreted as evidence that
intelligent life could exist elsewhere in the cosmos - because of the evolutionary mindset.

Another point mentioned addressed the possibility of superior alien intellect, since if they have
reached Earth from distant stars, this would clearly indicate superior technology. However, it is entirely
possible delays in the development of human civilization (such as the global flood) could explain our lack
of advanced space travel today. To my knowledge, we still don’t know how the ancient Egyptian
pyramids were built (despite Erich von Daniken’s claims). Does our inability to explain this suggest
superior intellect of ancient peoples or does it suggest lost knowledge?

I think the biggest problem raised in interpreting the scriptures as to suggest there is no intelligent life
elsewhere rests on the question of how this could affect the Gospel message. As Romans 8 tells us, all
creation is cursed because of sin. But on the matter of salvation, we should also address biblical
teachings of grafting in and adoption.

As Richard and Matt rightly pointed out, John 10:16 mentions the “other sheep” included in God’s
kingdom were Gentiles, since the Jews thought salvation belonged only to them. Romans 11 describes
this using the term “grafted in”. Why this analogy? We should leave room for the possibility that Christ
as our “kinsman redeemer” could mean something similar, that Gentiles are NOT kinsman of Christ, but
are grafted in and made children of God. Likewise, in Ephesians 1 and Romans 8 it is explained that the
Christian is an adopted child of God, not a kinsman like the Jews. This leads us to Romans 6:10 where
the bible teaches Christ died once for all.

While I don’t think alien life exists on other planets, since we don’t know for a fact, I want to leave
room for it in my interpretation of scripture. After all, if intelligent alien life is discovered elsewhere,
how then should we interpret scripture? What would that do to the perception of biblical teaching
(among believers and non-believers alike)? I think we should leave room for spiritual adoption and
grafting in.

To avoid overreach on matters where we really don’t have enough information (such as the
geocentric view in centuries past), I urge CMI to carefully parse the scriptures so as to leave room for
new discoveries on the topic of aliens. Having an opinion is one thing, claiming scripture backs that
opinion is a different matter. It’s much easier to refute bad science and faulty claims of evolution and an
ancient universe because there is empirical scientific evidence we can refer to. This is not the case with
aliens.

Thank you for your ministry and the effort you devote to it. Please be sure to be careful in all things
you guys address.

CMI’s Shaun Doyle responds:

Aliens and evolution

First, you raise the distinction we make between intelligent alien life and alien bacteria (or even
bunnies). And yes, if any form of life were found elsewhere in the universe, evolutionists would regard it
as evidence for evolution. Why? They think that if it evolved here, it could evolve elsewhere. Thus, they
would interpret the existence of life elsewhere as evidence that it did.

But that’s clearly not the only way to interpret the evidence. We’d simply say that it’s evidence God
created life elsewhere in the universe. Why? Our supposition is that wherever life appears, it needs a
divine hand to create it. So, the question is: which assumption is better: chemical evolution or design? It
turns out that more instances of life in the universe doesn’t change the debate. Design is still the only
causally adequate game in town, in our experience. Thus, design would still be the best explanation of
life’s origin, even if it originated multiple times in the universe.

Technology and aliens

Regarding technology, there’s a steeper problem: physics is not friendly to interstellar space travel (let
alone intergalactic space travel): Alien visitors to Earth?, More space travel problems: g-forces, and
Warp drive. So, even in terms of physics, we have sufficient reason to be highly suspicious of any claims
to interstellar visitors to Earth.

The logic is simple: since Jesus is a descendant of Adam, only descendants of Adam get access to
salvation.

But, I don’t think interstellar travelling aliens is likely, even if physics were friendly to the idea. Why?
There are good historical reasons why scientifically driven technological development only arose in the
last 500 years or so. First, it began in Christian Western Europe. Belief in the biblical God was practically
necessary for science to arise at all. And science only blossomed after God’s Messiah came. Why, when
biblical faith (which grounds so much of science) had been around for a lot longer than Christianity?
There are many reasons, but I suggest that the end of the ritual purity codes of the Mosaic covenant was
a crucial factor.

In the Mosaic covenant, since people became unclean by touching certain animal carcasses (e.g.
Leviticus 11:4–8), it would’ve discouraged them from studying their anatomy. Indeed, the whole ritual
purity system oriented people toward a categorization of nature centred on social/religious order,
rather than towards an investigation of the physical order God put into the cosmos. Why? To teach
people about God’s holiness, our sin, and the divide that makes between us and God (Hebrews 9:6–10).
Learning such a lesson is more important than learning about the physical structure of the world (Is God
obscure and arbitrary in what He wants from us?). And the physical world was the most convenient tool
available to teach us about our sin and God’s holiness. Thus, so long as physical objects were used to
teach about God’s holiness, people were barred from accessing many objects of scientific inquiry.
So, would alien cultures need a ritual purity system to relate to God before Christ came? If they’re
sinners with any hope for redemption, surely they would. But if that’s true, that would block scientific
access to physical objects for them just as it did for us. But since Christ was only incarnated once, and
only died once (Romans 6:10, Colossians 1:20), their ritual purity system must have lasted as long as
ours did. And for science to rise after that, we must allow time for the spread of Christianity, for it to
take hold of the minds of the right sorts of people, and for those people to organize themselves
appropriately (e.g. in ways like the university system of Europe in the middle ages) and work together to
start investigating the world scientifically. The point? There are good historical reasons why it took so
long for science to blossom, even after Christ came. This would likely apply to any alien race, as well.
Indeed, it may even take longer for aliens, precisely because Jesus died here!

Salvation and aliens

Now, can aliens fit into the biblical scheme of salvation? We need to be careful about using analogies to
drive our theology. Paul’s ‘olive tree’ analogy could be pressed into service against the possibility of
alien salvation. For instance, while Gentiles are wild olives, they’re still olives. Aliens, though, would be
figs or ferns in this analogy. If they could be grafted in (which itself is rather odd), the olive tree would
no longer be a pure olive tree. Analogies, when pressed beyond their bounds, may not prove helpful for
our cause.

And the interesting thing is that my extension of the analogy does track quite well with more direct
Scriptural teaching. While Gentiles are not Jesus’ Abrahamic family, we are Jesus’ Adamic family. Indeed,
salvation is explicitly extended in Christ to all the Adamic family (Romans 5:12–21, 1 Corinthians 15:20-
22, 45–49) because Jesus is the last Adam. And that is a crucial limit put on the redemptive family of God
in Hebrews 2:14–17:

Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things,
that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver
all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. For surely it is not angels that he
helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham. Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every
respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make
propitiation for the sins of the people.

Of course, this passage contrasts angels with “the offspring of Abraham”, but there’s plenty of biblical
precedent for including Gentiles in that category in New Testament terms (Romans 4:11–12, Galatians
3:29). However, Hebrews 2:16 contrasts “the offspring of Abraham” with a class of moral agents Jesus
does not provide redemptive help for: the angels.

The question, of course, is whether aliens can be excluded from the angelic ‘no help’ category and
included in salvation with us. But the passage makes it very tough to include any moral creatures other
than humans within the scope of salvation. Why? Hebrews points out the need for the Saviour to share
in the flesh and blood of his brothers. In fact, it says that “he had to be made like his brothers in every
respect”. This is more than simply taking on flesh; it includes taking on human flesh. Indeed, it involves
taking on Adamic flesh. The ‘brothers’ language, combined with ‘flesh and blood’ and ‘in every respect’,
especially in light of the salvation of Gentiles being Paul’s ‘mystery’ (Colossians 1:27, Ephesians 3:1–6)
and Jesus’ ‘other sheep’ (John 10:16), and the church being the body and bride of Christ and thus the
central focus of God’s redemptive plan, makes aliens fundamentally alien to the NT scheme of salvation.
The logic is simple: since Jesus is a descendant of Adam, only descendants of Adam get access to
salvation.

The question, of course, is whether aliens can be excluded from the angelic ‘no help’ category and
included in salvation with us.

Thus, we do believe that we have good biblical as well as scientific reasons for rejecting the possibility of
intelligent aliens in this world. For more information, please see Did God create life on other planets?, Is
the Bible falsifiable? And would a real live ET do it?, and Is the Bible falsifiable? And would a real live ET
do it? (Round 2), Does denying the existence of alien life ‘limit God’?, as well as our resource Alien
Intrusion.

M.F. responded:

Your well considered response is appreciated. I’m willing to wait for that.

While I actually concur with your argument, there is still one significant omission in it, on a question I
asked before: how would we interpret scripture IF intelligent alien life WERE discovered? While I also
interpret scripture based on scripture (as scripture interprets itself), since it doesn’t directly answer the
question of alien life, shouldn’t we work out two different interpretations to allow for both possibilities?
I would encourage you to avoid a “not worth considering” attitude here. I have an argument as to why
atheism is not only intellectually lazy, and not only intellectually fraudulent, but anti-intellectual. That
argument begins with the “not worth considering” attitude so many atheists share. It is their guiding
light, since their pursuit of knowledge is so often a veneer meant to mask their true goal: the rejection
of the one true God. This “not worth considering” attitude often shows up with the atheist touting
scientific evidence for this or that, but when pressed to actually investigate that evidence, they are
typically reluctant to do so. This laziness/reluctance itself is a tool I use to urge the atheist to open their
mind.

Your explanation as to why science developed so late is very close to my own view as well. However,
on the matter of alien life, you raise an intriguing point that could work FOR alien scientific
development. Your point about the alien need for a means of dealing with sin I agree with. That system
may even be similar to the method we find in our Old Testament. But there is a question on this: where
would aliens get such a system? You’ve alluded to it already: “a ritual purity system to relate to God”.
Obviously, to have that system God would have revealed himself to those aliens. But since Christ died
once for all, this seems to imply God would have revealed the future history of Christ to those aliens as
well (as prophesy). That would mean aliens would have been introduced to the notion of alien life long
ago, giving them ample reason to investigate nature and learn how to travel to a distant world to find
the home of the Christ. If aliens showed up at earth, for me it would be both eerie and comforting to
find them (once the language barrier is broken) preaching the gospel to us.

Keep in mind, I’ve already admitted I don’t believe there is alien life out there (not even bacterial). But
IF alien live WERE discovered, especially intelligent life, I think it best to be theologically prepared.
However, part of that preparation would also be preemptive. There is so much cheating in modern
science, and intellectual laziness in our culture, allowing them to treat speculation as fact (given so many
people think aliens are actually out there despite ZERO scientific evidence) is a battleground in itself. But
IF intelligent alien life WERE discovered, we should be ready for it.

Having to keep two tracks of thought shouldn’t be that difficult for you and me. Don’t we already do
this? We already work to understand the secular view of nature (which is deeply flawed and biased) as
well a biblically consistent view of nature. I just don’t want Christianity caught hitching its teachings to a
natural matter scripture doesn’t really address and we find ourselves in a similar situation as the
geocentric view of the solar system.

CMI’s Shaun Doyle responds:

A theological ‘contingency plan’ for sentient aliens?

So, if aliens got the Spirit before that fateful Pentecost in Acts 2, Jesus didn’t send Him.
Scriptural silence on a matter in terms of what it directly states/teaches is not enough reason to avoid
drawing a doctrinal conclusion on a matter. If there are logical implications of biblical teaching that
conflict with an idea, that is also sufficient reason to reject it. For instance, we embrace the Trinity and
reject deviations from it not because the Bible gives an explicit summary statement of the Trinity, but
because the Trinity is derived from the overall witness of Scripture to the personal nature of the one
true God (Our Triune God). In like manner, because the Bible says that Jesus saves us because He is the
last Adam, only Adamites can be saved. That rules out any supposed aliens, since they’re not Adamites.
As such, I see no point in developing a theological ‘contingency plan’ for something I’m confident
Scripture conflicts with. In other words, Scripture itself counts as (authoritative) evidence against
sentient aliens. Please see Is the Bible falsifiable? and Is the Bible falsifiable? (Round 2).

And on these potential conflicts between science and the Bible, each ‘conflict’ must be dealt with on a
case-by-case basis. Geocentrism within the Bible was indeed an interpretive overreach, since the
Scriptures underdetermine commitment to a geocentric cosmology. Many people think the conflict
between Genesis and deep time is likewise merely apparent. We disagree. Why? Unlike the geocentrism
issue, there is no other proper way to read the relevant biblical texts, and much of the Bible’s theology
of redemption hangs on the historical chronology and event sequence of Genesis 1–11 (The Galileo
excuse). We’re saying that the same applies to the existence of aliens. Indeed, many of the biblical
theological themes that rule out pre-Adamic people (a major issue in the origins debate) also rule out
the existence of sentient aliens for the same reasons. Salvation is in the last Adam, meaning that
salvation only pertains to Adamites. That rules out both pre-Adamites and sentient aliens. Thus, it’s not
that we regard aliens as “not worth considering”; it’s that we have considered them, and regard them as
conflicting with Scripture.

coolclips.comaliens-watching-movie

Aliens and prophetic revelation

On the aliens receiving prophecy about Jesus’ coming, what sort of ‘prophecy’ would they need to have?
It seems like they would need the entirety of biblical redemptive history handed to them on a prophetic
platter right from the start! This would not be the sort of prophecy typically seen in the OT and
referenced in the NT, filled as it is with images and types. But rather something at least as complete and
clear as the whole Bible. Why? Jesus makes no sense apart from the OT, so if they don’t have that
knowledge alongside knowledge of Jesus, then they won’t grasp the true import of Jesus.

And, along with that would of course come knowledge of sentient alien life (from their perspective, we
would be the aliens, of course). So, not only do they get the entirety of our history of redemption
handed to them on a prophetic platter, but they also get a significant scientific thesis handed to them on
that same platter! In other words, they receive more revelation from God than we do in our entire
history of redemption. It’s essentially as if they get to watch the movie that we had to live out over
thousands of years.

But that raises the question: why didn’t God use this method for humans who never had a chance to
hear the Gospel preached? The only justification that comes to my mind is that they weren’t the ones to
mess creation up; that was our fault. But in that scenario, why operate at the level of species? A 2nd
century Amerindian had no more access to evangelists than aliens would’ve, and he was no more
circumstantially responsible for Adam’s sin than aliens would’ve been. If God gave the prophetic
equivalent of the whole Bible to aliens, I don’t see why He wouldn’t also have done it for humans who
couldn’t otherwise hear about Jesus. Since He clearly didn’t, that seems to me to count as evidence
against your prophecy idea.

Aliens and Pentecost

But prophecy isn’t all the aliens would need. They would also need access to the Holy Spirit along with
this ‘Bible download’ prophecy. After all, one of the distinctions between the Mosaic and Messianic
covenants is the promised Holy Spirit indwelling all God’s people, strengthening them for true
obedience. But Jesus said, “Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if
I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you” (John 16:7). For us,
Jesus had to return to the Father before the Spirit would come, since Jesus would only send the Spirit
once His ‘first coming’ work on Earth was complete. Not so with aliens, apparently. This doesn’t work;
Jesus must be at the Father’s right hand as the God-man for the Spirit to come. Nor can this be avoided
by any ‘they didn’t fall’ gambit, either: Jesus must come, go back, and then send the Spirit. If Jesus’ ‘first
coming’ work wasn’t complete, sending the Spirit had no objective basis to it (Does God judge sinners?).
So, if aliens got the Spirit before that fateful Pentecost in Acts 2, Jesus didn’t send Him.

Sentient aliens: ruled out by the biblical history of redemption

The more I examine Scripture and the mechanics of the history of redemption, the more I see that it
really does all revolve around us as a storied species (Why did God choose just Israel?). Angels serve us
(Hebrews 1:14). Christ became one of us. He’s the Last Adam. He became like us to make us like Him. All
of this implies that the humanity of Jesus is why only humanity can be saved. Aliens don’t fit in that
redemptive history anywhere, as your ‘prophecy’ scenario makes abundantly clear. My objections to
sentient aliens, thus, bear much the same flavour as CMI’s objections to deep time and evolution: it
conflicts with the redemptive history of Scripture.

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Readers’ comments

Joel L. US September 29th, 2018

This exchange of e-mails is, I think, a great example of ‘iron sharpening iron’. I think you both came away
with a deeper understanding of what - and why - you believes.

The one - possible - chink I can see for the finality of your position is the ‘open-handed’ nature of the
question of _how_ Jesus’ death and resurrection effected our salvation, and more pertinently how that
might relate to the general curse and eventual restoration of creation. Consider that our broken
relationship with God brought suffering on all creation, that the disciples are commissioned to go into all
the ‘kosmos’ and preach the good news to every ‘creature’, and the sacramental imagery of the birds of
the air called to eat at the ‘great supper of the Lord’ at the ‘battle’ of Armageddon

One might even suggest a ‘maybe’ from scripture itself; Balaam’s(sp?)Donkey! The psibillity that the
Donkey’s conciousness was enlightened, and it physically enabled to voice it’s new awareness is not
disallowed by the by the text( though perhaps by the silence of history elsewhere of what came after),
and if once - possibly - for God’s own purpose, from a creature as much heir to suffering, death and an
instinct distorted from it’s original design as any other creatures’ why not elsewhere? God’s birthing of
new moral agency into a fallen order, with humanity a special role in the dispensation of His grace, is
surely no less within God’s perogerative than the open-handed questions of total depravity an double-
predestination?

Granted this is all one long, HIGHLY spuculative limb - but I think it’s still more than absolutely nothing -
enough to read of Narnia or Hobbits without checking Scripture at the door, at least. ;-)

Shaun Doyle September 30th, 2018

Thanks for the comments. First, why keep looking for loopholes? Why even worry about this?
Exoplanets and sci-fi. Sci-fi fills our imaginations with aliens. And what are all those exoplanets for in the
big, wide universe, if not for life? They're there to declare the glory of God (Psalm 19:1), but they don't
do it with speech we can hear (Psalm 19:3). The size of the universe isn't a testimony to the possibility of
aliens; it's a testimony to the enormity of God compared to us. See Did God create life on other planets?
Otherwise why is the universe so big?

Now, to the specifics of your comment. On the use of passages like Colossians 1:23 and Mark 16:15,
please see Is the whole creation fallen?

Second, whatever we do with Balaam's donkey, it's in a different class to aliens. It's mouth was opened
once for a specific purpose; it wasn't made to be that way, as would be the case with sentient aliens.
There's no indicator that the donkey had any sort of sustained sentience needed to trust God for
salvation (which is more than a mere one-off decision, but rather a sustained relationship of trust),
unlike supposed aliens. The donkey had a clear relationship with humanity, the main subject of the
history of redemption. Aliens don't and can't. The donkey played a role in the history of redemption;
aliens haven't and can't. It's one animal; aliens are a whole class of supposedly sentient beings. Balaam's
donkey and aliens are apples and oranges regarding gospel issues.
Finally, fictional worlds like Narnia or Middle Earth wouldn't necessarily work according to the same
redemptive historical logic as the real world. Could we imagine a redemptive history that would allow
multiple separate sentient species to all have access to salvation? Maybe, but that's irrelevant for
redemptive history as it actually happened. And that's the issue: sentient aliens are impossible given
Scripture as it stands.

King T. ZA September 29th, 2018

From a theological point of view I do not think we need to have any contingency plans for aliens. The
reason as I see it is quite simple.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth and all that in them is. Then there was rebellion
in the heavenly realms and a third of the angels (the rebels) were cast out of heaven and specifically
forced to come to earth. Thus if we are going to look for aliens, they are here already - known as
demons. We know that angelic beings real and are very powerful - as witnessed in their overwhelming
interactions with armies in the Israelite history.

Now since the sinful nature was activated by Satan's presence on earth, and since one can assume the
bible is true in what it says regarding the angelic rebellion, it follows that sin was only spread on earth
and nowhere else in the universe. Hence it would be a reasonable assumption that even if there were
other living beings elsewhere in the universe they would not have been misled by Satan and hence they
would not need any redemption from sin.

Sin is confined to earth because the presence of Satan and his hordes is confined to this planet only. So
there is no need to be concerned about any possible aliens who might need redemption elsewhere in
the universe.

That's just my twopence on this issue.

Shaun Doyle September 30th, 2018

We became sinners through Adam's sin, not Satan's presence on earth. Adam and Eve could choose to
sin before the Fall, regardless of Satan's presence. If God gave Adam and the angels the possibility to sin,
then surely the same would apply to any aliens. And the effects of Adam's sin were cosmic in scope: The
Fall: A cosmic catastrophe. Aliens wouldn't have escaped the effects of Adam's Fall. See Did God create
life on other planets? and Is the whole creation fallen?

Mark W. AU September 29th, 2018

In a time of booming exoplanet discovery, I think this is an important topic for which Christians are to be
ready with answers. Even if the exoplanets turn out to be uninhabitable, the sheer number are
generating lots of questions. As a group, we believers seem to be spread across various opinions. My
own is that if there were/are sentient (actually, sapient) aliens then God would simply enter into their
lineage and save them as required. Jesus died once for all (all Adamites that is) and the Word could
surely be made flesh into any other lineage he chose. Yes, we are special because we are in the image of
God. Looking of the variety of human construction we know this quality must be more than a single
physical appearance, it is something much deeper. If the aliens had the same deep quality they would
simply be our brothers and sisters but by a different physical appearance, or mode, if you will. This does
not make us any less special, especially to God. Now, the Bible does not say such cosmic relatives exist,
but I for one am not going declare that God has limits in this area. In summary, I would be surprised if
there was life on other worlds, and I would be extremely surprised, even shocked, if it was sapient life -
but for the reasons I've given, such a discovery would not trouble my faith in Jesus in the slightest! To
God be the glory.

Shaun Doyle September 30th, 2018

Colossians 1:20 directly contradicts the idea that Jesus died, or will die, multiple times for multiple races:
Colossians 1:20 (ESV): "through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven,
making peace by the blood of his cross [emphases added]." Jesus didn't die once for each race; He died
once for all creation. And we know he will never die again (Romans 6:9). But only Adamites have the
privilege of accessing salvation based on Jesus' death (Hebrews 2:16). The rest of creation will be
liberated from its bondage to decay, of course (Romans 8:19-23). But that's not salvation from the
personal condemnation of sin (Romans 8:1), which is a problem only for moral agents. And it's a
problem for moral agents whether they are divine image bearers or not. In denying the possibility of
sentient aliens, we're not limiting God; we're drawing out the implications of Scripture.

Discovering exoplanets only seems important for this issue because our culture is saturated with ideas
about aliens. It's not as if the more exoplanets we discover, the more likely ET life becomes. Life only
exists where God created it. What happens, though, is that people start wondering: doesn't it seem like
a waste of 'real estate' for God to have just us in the universe?

But why not instead be informed by Psalm 19 about the size of the universe? Though it doesn't itself
speak audibly (v. 3), it's there to proclaim God's glory (v. 1). And as Solomon declared of God "heaven
and the highest heaven cannot contain you" (1 Kings 8:27). The bigger the universe is, the greater the
impression that leaves on us about the sheer enormity of our God. It also should amaze us that he pays
us so much attention: "When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care
for him?" (Psalm 8:3-4). The size of the universe should humble us, not set us buzzing about imaginary
aliens that would conflict with the history of redemption. See Did God create life on other planets?

Jeff P. US September 29th, 2018


"I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of
heavenly things?"

--John 3:12

Shaun Doyle September 30th, 2018

That doesn't concern aliens. Just because it says "heavenly things", that doesn't mean Jesus is talking
about aliens on other planets. He's clearly talking about the heaven He came from, i.e. God's presence.
And no, Jesus was not an alien.