Yesterday I read an article that said that the Voyager I spacecraft, launched in 1979, is now 11 billion miles from the sun. Eleven billion miles. That’s 11,000,000,000 miles. A very long way from home. Douglas Adams in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy adds some perspective:
“Space,” it says, “is big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly hugely mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist, but that’s just peanuts to space.”
And that got me thinking about God. I mean, if God created everything and the human race was the reason, why did he create billions and billions and billions of other things, like planets and stars, spread across billions and billions and billions of miles of space? Did He create them just to keep us entertained? Or was it just because God likes sparkly things? Don’t you think that we could have survived just as well on a world with nothing beyond except for God? Wouldn’t that have been enough?
As a thinking Christian I find it impossible to conceive of a Creator that is so intentionally self-limiting. I mean really, can anyone possibly believe that out of the entire vastness of space, that is, our universe and all the other universes that may exist, He would chose to focus everything on what is little more than a speck of cosmic dust? That would be like going to Vegas and betting your entire life savings on one pull of a penny slot machine. The payoff would be puny and the loss would be devastating.
Even so, this is the party line. Human beings are it, the top of the line, the ultimate and best, the chosen by God himself with no other cosmic competition. Of course, there are other opinions. Science disputes religion and is often condemned for it. Logic and faith are continually at odds. Logic tells us that, given what has been determined by science to be verifiable about the development of our world and analysis of other worlds, there is very likely life of some kind out there in the cosmos. Faith, however, is anchored on the firm foundation of the Bible and if the Bible doesn’t say it, it isn’t, it can’t be, true. The Bible makes no mention about life beyond the Earth.
I defer now to my personal policy of full disclosure. A quick search of the KJV through biblegateway.com provided results for three terms people have been speculating about since the Bible was written. The search showed 11 results for the term giant, as in “there were giants in the earth in those days”. (Note: giants are called The Nephilim in other versions of Genesis 6:4 and Numbers 13:33.) Sons of God, as in “the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men”, generated 11 results. Angel, as in “the angel of the LORD” yielded 238 results. I will leave it to you to parse through the results and decide for yourself if any of these references peak your interest. Personally, I’ve been curious about these particular terms ever since I first read Erich Von Daniken’s Chariots of the Gods? way back in the late sixties. Although I consider Von Daniken’s research to be pseudoscientific, some of questions he asked have stayed with me and influenced my theology.
The Bible says that we are the ultimate in His creation, but isn’t God greater than that? Can it possibly be true that the Bible contains everything that needs to be known about the universe? The way I look at it, there is no reason not to believe in God, accept the Bible, and embrace science.
I believe that God created the universe. He set everything in motion. When necessary, He even intercedes on our behalf. But science, especially physics, explains how the creation He spoke into existence works, what the rules are. God provided the social rules for Earth, but physicists explain the mechanics.
Is there life out there among the stars? If so, did our God create it? It is possible that extraterrestrial life exists, but was created through evolutionary processes and not by God intentionally. It might also be that extraterrestrial life exists and it is our responsibility to bring the “Good News” to the entire universe. If this is true, I certainly hope humanity does a better job with extraterrestrials than they did with their fellow human beings, because it seems that the traditional Gospel package always seems to include disease, hatred, intolerance, war, and ultimately genocide.
Personally, I hope there is life out there in the vast cosmos and that they will be intelligent enough to keep humanity from saving them.
If you have would like to share your ideas about what I’ve written, feel free to contact me either on the blog or using other social media. Thanks.