From: Dr. Blake Nelson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Thu Sep 18 2003 - 13:05:57 EDT
This "problem" has been dealt with extensively many
times by many theologians. And Christianity has not
ever been particular anthropo-centric in the ways that
people who claim, inter alia, the Copernican
revolution threatened the church assert.
These are old cannards that are trotted out by people
who tend to be very ignorant of christian theology
historically as well as presently.
Perhaps, the problem may be understood better simply
by thinking about it this way -- the universe is
redeemed through the second person of the trinity --
who was Incarnate as Jesus of Nazareth. The fact that
the second person of the trinity relates to us as
Jesus of Nazareth and what the NT says about how
through the second person of the trinity the universe
is redeemed does not describe those redemptive efforts
*exhaustively* nor is it concerned with how the second
person of the trinity relates to ETs. The assertion
to the contrary brings in a boat load of assumptions
that are not necessarily textually nor theologically
sound. Since it gets more into theology than science
I will drop the matter there.
However, Christianity is no where near as fragile as
you posit by the thought experiment.
--- Steve Petermann <email@example.com> wrote:
> 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
> 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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