Ep. 52 — Strangers, Aliens, and Theology

Pulp-O-Mizer_Cover_Image-6In this episode, the guys tackle some of the biggest questions in faith-based geekdom: is there life on other planets? And if so, what would it mean for Christian theology and Christians in general?

And how does Aslan fit into the conversation?

And what revelation did Ben have about E.T. that made him feel really, really stupid?

They also talking about “shipping,” the fan term for when you want to see relationships form in the show you are a fan of, and Dr. Jayce’s wife sort of makes an appearance as a fan of The X-Files. But is she a “shipper”? Find out!

And they talk about other podcasts! Including:

Geekually Yoked (http://geekuallyyoked.com) — “The world’s best married Christian geek podcast”

Storymen (http://www.storymen.us) — “The intersection of pop culture, theology, and history”

Faith, Hope, and Nerds (http://www.faithhopeandnerds.com) — “A light hearted yet serious look at being creative, being a Christian and, more often than not, being confused.”

The Sci-Fi Christian (http://thescifichristian.com) — “Theology at warp speed” (the episode we referenced is: Episode 125: The SFC Time Loop – Is the Existence of Aliens Compatible with a Biblical Worldview?)

Spiritblade Underground (http://spiritblade.blogspot.com) — “A Christian examination and celebration of geek entertainment”







5 responses to “Ep. 52 — Strangers, Aliens, and Theology”

  1. RC Avatar

    Oh, and don’t worry about wheelhouse.

    Your reference can be correct. Donkeys, horses and oxen have been used in the past to drive grindstones just as you have suggested.

    I always took the sports terminology to reflect that work animal quality. If they were worthwhile, you would put them in the wheelhouse.

  2. Don Ensign Avatar
    Don Ensign

    You guys finally got around to it in the last ten minutes of the podcast. I think you were too tired to really develop this point. The point being that a very common Christian response, for the last 30-40 years, to E.T. aliens (sightings, encounters, abductions, etc) is that it is occultic or demonic phenomena. Gary Bates has written a book called Alien Intrusion where he takes that position. Bates is a speaker for Creation Ministries Intl., a sister organization to Answers in Genesis. He is certainly not the first one to take that position as over the years there have been a number of books written with that point of view. One point is that occult experiences and E.T. visitations share many of the same characteristics. I do agree that a lot of E.T. sightings, visitations, abductions are either hoaxes, psychological/mental issues and other issues. However once all those possibilities are eliminated occultic or demonic actions are possible. Satan and demons are deceivers.
    I tend to think that the only real E.T. are angels, demons and the creatures that continually
    worship God around his throne.

    1. Ben Avatar

      Steve totally schools me about your name in the next episode, Don. Because of all the Star Trek I watch, I mispronounce it. Sorry! 🙂

  3. Michael Poteet Avatar

    Hey there! Again, I promise, no SFC conspiracy at work. I enjoyed your discussion and appreciate you taking some stabs at the question.

    Personally, I find nothing in Scripture that necessarily contradicts (or, granted, necessarily confirms) the existence of extraterrestrial life, even intelligent life. I think Scripture’s witness is that God’s creation is vast and diverse (e.g., Job 38-42; Pss. 8;19), and that God is infinitely more creative than we are and is sovereign over all, even if we don’t understand how. (I also don’t think anything in the theory of evolution by natural selection has anything that contradicts – or confirms – faith in the God of the Bible, but that’s for another time.) So I guess I am mostly in line with what Ben said in this episode.

    I think it’s a mistake to argue from the Bible about how the world can or can’t be, must or must not be. Christians argued from the Bible that the Earth couldn’t revolve around the Sun, but the Solar System must’ve missed that memo… To say that because we have taken narratives and epistles and formulated from them a doctrine of original sin, there can be no intelligent, ensouled alien life…. seems like maybe there is some category confusion going on.

    I also think the biggest theological challenge would be coming to grips with Scripture’s witness to the unique and exalated position of humanity (again, Ps. 8; the imago Dei in Gen. 1) while extraterrestrial intelligent life is meeting us face-to-face. I do think there are resources in Christian theology to help us do that — again, I think Job 38-42 offers a needed, humbling corrective to the belief that humanity is “the crown of creation” — and, frankly, I just hope I’m around long enough to see us having to come to grips with it!

    I suppose the rest of creation paraded before Job in those chapters I keep citing aren’t ensouled beings… still, it sets a precedent that the rest of creation is important to God, that God delights in it. I think it’s a small step from that to saying, “Humanity is important, but God’s relations with Earth are not the whole story” – C.S. Lewis in the Space Trilogy, as you pointed out. And, I don’t think taking that step would diminish our belief that Jesus Christ is “the only name given under heaven by which we must be saved,” because that is how things stand for us, the human race.

    As an aside: that astrophysics theory about time being different for different planets was the justification put forward by Gene Roddenberry (when fans demanded an “in universe” explanation) for why stardates varied so wildly in the original series! Stardate 1915.6 on Vulcan could be Stardate 9852.3 on Earth could be Stardate 8165.3 on Alpha Centauri.

    Thanks again for a good discussion, guys!

  4. Daniel Avatar

    Was that RC my favorite SFC listener!

Leave a Reply to Don EnsignCancel reply