Would Alien Life Pose a Threat to the Truth of the Gospel? By Tré Goins-Phillips for Faith Wire
Scientists believe there are billions of planets in the universe and the jury is still out on the possibility there could be intelligent life on any one of them. The answer to that question, though, has far-reaching theological implications.
Deborah Haarsma, president of the BioLogos Foundation, which advocates an evolutionary view of God’s creation, addressed that very possibility during the organization’s conference last week. She claimed the Gospel would not be called into question by the existence of intelligent, redeemable life on other planets.
While some believe the Bible only accounts for human beings on earth and couldn’t accommodate the redemption of alien life, Haarsma suggested Scripture’s message — and Jesus’ sacrifice — is robust enough to account for life elsewhere in the universe.
The Christian message, the BioLogos president argued, accounts for all of humanity, even though Jesus’ earthly ministry was focused almost exclusively with one demographic in a singular geographical region.
“God’s revelation was very particular for a particular culture and a particular place. But yet, the claims of Scripture are cosmic,” Haarsma said, according to The Christian Post. “In Colossians 1, it says that ‘in him, all things were created: things on heaven, things on earth, visible, invisible, thrones, powers, rulers, authorities.’ All those things were created through him and for him.”
So how could potential intelligent life on other planets find redemption? The answer to that question is a bit trickier, but still one Haarsma ventured to satisfy.
Haarsma suggested three possibilities: Jesus’ sacrifice on earth alone redeemed the entire universe, life forms on other planets made different choices from humans when it came to sin, or God may have been incarnated differently on other planets to provide redemption in those worlds.