From: Steve Petermann (email@example.com)
Date: Thu Sep 18 2003 - 16:37:34 EDT
Thanks for the exposition. I guess I *am* ignorant of some of this
>So, ETs provide a writ large
> question of what about other religions, etc. Missions
> to the stars seem of little difference to me than
> missionary work here on earth. So how is your problem
> any different than missionary work and other religions
> on earth?
This particular option, "once for all", is what I assumed was the party
line. If that is the case it seems problematic because it presupposes some
sort of preferential status to earth bound homo sapiens overagainst the ET's
of the universe.
> The other relationship to Gods on other worlds view is
> one that has been suggested by theologians like E.L.
> Mascall in his 1956 Bampton Lectures. He believed
> that if there were other parts of the universe where
> rational beings have sinned and are in need of
> redemption (something that your fragility seems to
> assume) that the second person of the Trinity either
> has or will some day unite his divine Person to their
> nature as occured in Jesus of Nazareth.
This seems more reasonable. I do wonder how compelling this would be to
critical thinking individuals. For instance, is it essential that there is
only "one" Christ per planet or can there be more that one? What about
solar systems, do they need one "Christ" per planet or is one per solar
system enough? Also is the salvation attained by the death of a specific
Christ localize to that planet or is it more global? I promise I'm not
trying to be obnoxious about this. It just seems to me that the cascading
of questions like this borders on the ridiculous.
I guess the critical question in all this is this notion that a *particular*
unique life is essential for salvation. When that is posited, and ET is out
there, the strange extrapolations mount.
Personally I have no problem associating the life of Jesus as an important
revelation of God or the Word. I just don't think that a life like that is
unique even to this planet. Most assuredly the ET's out there have a sense
of God as well. And I would suggest they also have exemplars of a communion
with the sacred. If Christianity can embraces that view of Jesus I think it
has a much better chance of being compelling in the coming centuries.
God be with you and yours in the hurricane,
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