New Article: What would life beyond Earth mean for Christians?

I do have a question I’m a first responder in real life not that it makes me special or any better than anybody or think anything less or more about ones belief mine is my grandfather strongest caring person I’ve met whose life story or background never changes i apologize if I affend I do not intend on doing so I believe in a high power but I’m very much a researcher so with that in early bibles I found in my family past down over 100 years says I’m a jealous god but in newer books it’s gone ? I no longer have it was lost in a fire white cover cane out 1926 also about a in my opinion sexist discrimination against women not being able to step foot on “holy” ground during there monthly visit or a week after? But now the books change to adapt to the time frame how can Christ or god rewrite a new form of the original testament that was written in BC before Christ so all universe was created the earlier versions would dispute Christian beliefs because of Area 51 and over millions of people have seen been in contact or done the research believing in a god or anything or anyone is a good thing how ever who’s god is correct there’s ancient beliefs of much older gods why is Christian the one I was baptized Lutheran so I’ve seen books on how it changes ever few years to adapt to today’s world will the new one come with mask come with a grey holding it? From Roswell or the Mayans return from Mexico or Egyptians form of either medically inserted stone to the head to make skull I largely noticed or was it a first of its kind a human grey mix a lot of ancient civilizations were so key we today couldn’t of done that in those times if those civilizations believed in a god or aliens in a time frame Christians or the beliefs of the religion has yet been established how did god of Christian belief create the universe? Main reason I brought this up is it fear of death the not knowing fearful of regret wrongdoing in ones life where a religion is rewritten every few years to fit current days?

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For ones who think I’m crazy smart mouth it’s on history channel ancient aliens which has changed a lot in just my 30 years of life and unsolved mystery’s I’m an old soul but truth is no matter what you believe in we will all find out eventually

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Interstellar communication, let alone travel, is impossible. Utterly, absolutely, technically, economically impossible. From anywhere, to anywhere. Throughout the entire galaxy. Despite the stars swarming with civilizations of which we are average. Musk may be an idiot, but he’s no fool. He got a government contract and dumped all the bogus ‘green’ technology. Neither is there any sci-fi tech. Anywhere. Nor ever will be. Fermi was wrong for the right reason.

Even if we detect oxygen rich exoplanet atmospheres that’s not proof of life any more. But it’s not necessary as it’s a rational, uniformitarian, common sense fact. Theists need to deal with that first.

That an engineer doesn’t know about inclined planes, pulleys and counterweights is pathetic.

Since the pandamic started, I found Biologos’s Youtube channel and Podcasts. I have been keeping sane catching up on them. I just heard Deb Haarsma in the most recent podcast and saw one of her conference videos from a few years ago, and she mentioned not knowing many sci fi books that deal with Christianity and aliens. Looking through this string I found some new titles to catch up on. Thanks! I want to add one. In the ‘80s Stephen Lawhead wrote “Dream Thief.” I confess that overall, it’s not a great story. HOWEVER, the Martian encounter and friendship with the human protagonist is worth reading the bland overall story. The Communion scene alone is magnificent. Has anyone else read it? Somebody tell Deb Haarsma about it, ok? : )

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Neat! @DeborahHaarsma please note.

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I haven’t checked back through the whole thread but @Mervin_Bitikofer recommended The Sparrow some time back which wove in some interesting religious ideas, as did the follow up story, The Chilldren of God, without which the first book is really incomplete. A science fiction book(s) which doesn’t bog down in the technical.

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Is it me, or does the author of the article seem to miss that Musk was joking? Maybe I’m the one being wooshed here. Like, I think I might be missing that the author of the article knows it’s a joke and is reporting it in a deadpan fashion. But it’s not at all clear that was the author’s intent, and I fear that some may not understand that Musk was joking after having read the article.

I could understand the Egyptian rep. making the mistake, but a journalist who is covering the topic ought to research these things, no?

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And so should I ! Thank you so much. I am ashamed that I swallowed and repeated that. I see in a New York Post that he posted later I’ll BBC article that describes how the Egyptians did build the pyramids, so obviously he does not believe aliens did it. I apologize and retract what I wrote. Thank you so much.
@Tim_Myth @Klax

I keep up with Elon Musk, and even I found myself questioning things after having read the article.
I had to look it up. And even a first page Google search didn’t produce anything refuting the article. I think the article’s author was simply negligent, or, like you and I did, the author erroneously took the tweets at face value.

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David, I can empathize with how those two factors could be bothersome. For me, I remind myself not to limit God in any circumstance. My sister once said “The Bible doesn’t talk about aliens or multi dimensions, etc, because it would make people wander away from the true purpose of the Bible. I think of the many other aspects on Earth never mentioned either. Since the Bible is the backbone of Christian faith, I choose to see it as a spiritual manual. A good manual sticks to the points that are important.

I actually hope we have the opportunity to meet extraterrestrial intelligent species.

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Hilarious! Thanks for the chuckle, sygarte! Logically, you’re probably right. But I’ve seen some very odd things in my life which has led me to think I’m not seeing the whole picture. :joy_cat:

Mitchell, I feel you’ve made excellent points. I have always assumed angels had free will because of Lucifer’s choices and his actions.

At the same time, angels are completely different than us. God so ordered Lucifer to love us and he chose not to. It seems they were created by God as His servants, not His children like us.

That is not in the Bible. It is an idea from speculation which has gone the rounds through various groups, movies, and literature.

What we read in the Bible is that Eve blamed the snake (which we take to be an angel some have given the name Lucifer), and as a result God said he was to be our adversary (Satan). I frankly think this angel was simply doing its job. In order to learn and develop living things require challenges. And I think that is all the angel was doing. A&E simply had to follow God instructions and they would have overcome that challenge – growing in faith. After all, God gave them the strongest of warnings that they would surely die if they did this. And I think such a parental commandment is an unavoidable part of growing up… like… “do not play in the street or you will die.”

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My apologies to Elon Musk! He was being tongue in cheek.

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Thank you for your patient and considerate correction!

Tim, so true! It’s only a mystery for such a short period of time in the scheme of things!

Thank you Mitchell. I realized as I read your post I had been relying on memories (gathered and taught) as a Catholic child. It has spurred me to do research as well as reread the Bible.

I’m can now say with total honesty, I’m completely confused! Even a post from a Catholic priest states angels have free will, yet never explains that statement. Others say what you said (essentially) that angels must do God’s bidding.

If Lucifer was following God’s plan by rebelling, taking a third of heaven’s with him, (even this I’m not confident I have perceived correctly) then I simply don’t get it, this “plan”. Help!

I simply don’t think there was a rebellion. The story of what went wrong is in Genesis, and it was A&E not following God’s guidance. They blamed Lucifer for their own mistake and because of this he and the angels under his command were basically reassigned for the purpose of redemption. A&E were looking for someone to blame and so God gave it them. But what we are supposed to learn is that this doesn’t help. We need to take responsibility for our own mistakes.

As for where this rebellion story is first found is in the book of Enoch, which isn’t in the Biblical canon of either the Catholics or the Protestants. I think it makes for interesting fictional movies about angels, but I don’t think there is any truth to it. The closest you get in the Biblical canon is Jude which simply says the angels did not keep their proper place, but that isn’t necessarily a rebellion.

Obviously, I point out the lack of support in the Biblical canon because I do not see any merit in the idea, for at least three important reasons.

  1. It implies considerable incompetence, neglect, and powerlessness on the part of God, to claim that God brought children into a world where evil already exists. That is the pill which I cannot swallow. I can buy the idea of evil coming into the world because of the misbehavior of children, for that potential is part of what children are. But to say that the angels already rebelled and brought evil into the world throws that basic solution to the theodicy problem right out the window.
  2. I believe free will is the very reason that God created the physical universe in the first place. And thus if God could simply impart this in some magical way to the angels then I see no reason for God to create the physical universe at all.
  3. Our free will is found in the nature of life as a self-organizing process according to which we participate in our own creation by growth and learning. Angels are by contrast simply what God made them to be, and whatever semblance of free will that may include simply cannot compare to our own.

Well I think this demonstrates that this not a well developed and settled part of Christian theology. But for someone like me, who was not raised Christian, and had to find sense in it before he would credit any of it, this is not such an idle matter. I was confronting the complaint of atheists defending the problem of evil by saying that we were what God made us to be and thus what A&E did had to be the responsibility of God Himself.

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Mitchell, thank you so much for your help. I appreciate you taking the time to respond with your well thought out comments.
I can’t imagine the wonder you must feel at realizing God because of not being raised Christian. In a way you were fortunate to begin your journey with fresh eyes.
Though I was raised Catholic, I have always struggled with many of the scriptures of the Bible and christianity. I keep plugging along, trying my best to come to terms with my own inability to have faith in many areas.

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