From: Steve Petermann (
Date: Thu Sep 18 2003 - 12:48:58 EDT

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    Science has continually chipped away at the reasonableness of religious
    claims until, in my opinion, traditional religions are at this point very
    fragile. This fragility is no more evident for Christianity than in the
    area of extra terrestrials. Last number I heard was that there are 100
    billion galaxies in the universe. The milky way galaxy has an estimated 200
    billion stars. That means there are an enormous number of planets out there
    and it doesn't take a mathematician to claim its reasonable that there are
    at least millions of earth similar planets in the universe. Is it reasonable
    that of all those millions of earth like planets with oceans and mountains,
    soil and rain, that in all those there is not a single microbe of any kind?
    Is the entire focus of all those billions of galaxies, stars and planets on
    this one little third rock from the sun. Is this a compelling story to tell

    Question is, is a theology that can fail to be reasonable so easily from a
    reasonable thought experiment viable for thinking people?

    Thought experiment1:

    The SETI project discovers a signal from another sentient people on a
    distant planet which includes a description of their own religion.

    Thought experiment2:

    ET's show up on earth in order to relate to us.

    The crux for Christianity in these reasonable thought experiments is, if
    Jesus is the universal, one time only, unique event for the salvation of the
    universe are we to expect the possibly millions, or trillions of other life
    forms to accept an earthly human as their savior? Does this sound
    reasonable or must we rethink Christology in more metaphoric terms?

    Steve Petermann

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