I was thinking about aliens today.
Like you do…
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
God does not change.
Truth is eternal.
The Protestant adventure is made up of a thousand battles over truth, as if doctrine was ever the most important thing.
But our understanding of God and our grasp on what is truth certainly does change. If it does not, then faith will be broken as perspectives shift. But always there is this tension between those who resist the change, and others who feel drawn into new theological (heretical) adventures.
It was ever thus.
The medieval world view of the nature of the earth and the heavens, and the sun and the stars (gleaned from a reading of Genesis) was blown apart by people who circumnavigated the globe, and others who mapped the orbit of the earth around its distant sun.
The modern age dawned with constant scientific discovery- each one seeming to make God smaller- to force him into the gaps where superstition was yet to be replaced by hard science. And Christians had to accommodate this new age of enlightenment, reinventing faith as a kind of science- with the Bible used as a technical blueprint to engineer disciples.
But back to the little green men…
What if we are not alone in the universe?
What if in all the millions of galaxies out there, there are lots of planets just like ours- with just the right combinations of atoms and energy to make genesis and then to sustain unfolding life?
Or what if the conditions on earth that allowed for creation to unfold are unique? What if we are indeed a kind of one in one billion billion accident? Might there come a time when we know this for sure?
Either way- what implications does this have for the life of faith?
I would suggest that either way- Hebrews 13 verse 8 remains true.
But we Christians might have to rethink the narrow boxes that we tried to place God in…
A time to hate
There is a time for all things under heaven…
One summer evening I lay on my back as the light leached from the passing day
And watched the stars slowly flicker into the frame of the darkening sky
At first one here, another there
Then all of a sudden the sky was infinite
Full of fragile tender points of ancient light
Some of which started its journey towards us before there was an ‘us’
And I wonder
Is there someone up there
Raising his tentacles to the night sky
And using one of his brains
To wonder about me?
And should this unseen and oddly shaped brother across the huge expanses
What would he make of us?
I heard an astronomer speak once about the possibility of life elsewhere
In this beautiful ever expanding universe
He had come to believe that intelligent life will always
Find ever more ingenious ways
To destroy itself
And I fear the truth of this
That somewhere in the messy beauty of humanity
We nurture an evil seed –
Grow it in an industrial compost of scientific creativity
Water it with greed and avarice
And hot house it in a mad competition for the first fruits
Lest our neighbours get to market first
And once we work up production
There is no going back
No squeezing back the genie into the oil can
There is only the need for bigger, better
And the defending and defeating
And the ranging of rockets
And if anyone should get in the way
Set up barb wire borders
Teach one another
So for the sake of green men
And Scottish men
May we yet stand before the eternal night
And decide that truth and beauty and grace will be our legacy
In this fragile passing place that God gave us
May we decide that now is not