Re: Incarnation

Russ Maatman (
Mon, 15 Apr 1996 14:53:58 -0500 (CDT)

To the ASA group:

Paul Arveson wrote on April 15,

In message <> Russ Maatman writes:
> To the ASA group:
> I saw the McLaughlin program on Easter Day concerning the possibility
> of life on other planets. Two astrophysicists were in the studio;
> Davies was quoted; and Dr. Ted Peters, a theologian at the Institute
> of Religion and Science at Berkeley, was on line via phone.
> For me, the most sensational remark on the program followed the quotation
> from Davies that if life were discovered on another planet, it would
> be bad news for Christianity. Theologian Peters corrected him, saying
> that he misunderstood Christian doctrine: Christ's act of redemption
> was for the entire universe (he seemed to mean "creation"). I think
> he was not universalistic, and that he was teaching on PBS, of all
> one of the central tenets of Reformed Christian theology. Wow!
> Russ

Are you saying that a unique act of redemption on earth would not be
repeated on other planets; that somehow our planet is unique because
the incarnation on earth is unique? Or what?

Paul Arveson, Research Physicist
(301) 227-3831 (W) (301) 227-1914 (FAX) (301) 816-9459 (H)
Code 724, NSWC, Bethesda, MD 20084

(Russ's response)

I was referring to

"The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices
heaven, which said: 'The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom
our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever.'"
(Revelation 11:15)


"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and
first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea." (Revelation
21:1; the new heaven and the new earth are also promised in Isaiah
I've discussed Christ's redemption of Creation at some length in my
*The Impact of Evolutionary Theory: A Christian View*, especially on
pages 137-40.

In my message that you quoted, Paul, I may have come off too strong.
I rather think some Reformed theologians do not agree with what I
said, and that perhaps some others do agree.

As far as I am concerned, none of this rules out possible scenarios
life on other planets, even a special act of redemption by God for
living beings on another planet.

Good to hear from you!

In the Lord,



e-mail: Home address: Russell Maatman 401 Fifth Ave. SE Dordt College Sioux Center, Iowa 51250 Sioux Center, Iowa 51250 Home phone: (712) 722-0421