By Dr. James Emery White, Crosswalk.com
Stop the presses. We have an official UFO (unidentified flying object). Leaked footage of pyramid-shaped UFOs has been confirmed as real by the Pentagon. Actually, in truth, all the Pentagon said was that the images were real—the Pentagon isn’t ready to call them “Unidentified Aerial Phenomena” (the government’s official term for UFOs).
The question “Are we alone in the universe?” is one that haunts all of us, but none more than the scientific community. Those who study the cosmos for a living have many compelling questions, such as:
Is that life like us?
How are we related?
Can life move from planet to planet, or do we have a spark and just the right environment and that spark generates life – like us or not like us – based on the chemical environment that it is in?
And yes, those are compelling scientific questions.
But what we shouldn’t have to wonder about are the spiritual questions. The Bible offers no explicit or direct teaching about the possible creation (much less existence) of life on other planets. It does, however, offer three theological truths that can guide our thinking:
First, God is bigger than we think. This is good to remember when it comes to things like life on other planets or any other scientific discovery that might present itself. Remembering the size of God reminds us to be humble and to be slow to draw conclusions. All of science is simply finding out what God has designed, and it’s an ongoing process of discovery.
Second, all life is from God. No matter where we find it, or what it’s like, it’s from God. The opening verse of Genesis speaks of God creating the “heavens and the earth,” which literally refers to everything that is. What “everything” means, we do not know. There could be many worlds, many universes, many realities and many dimensions that God may have created. To think that we’re the extent of His creative energies borders on arrogance.
And just as an aside, beware of those who will trumpet the discovery of life on another planet as disproving the need for a God. How did life on Earth come from non-life? It’s simple. They will say, “From another planet.” This is called panspermia—the idea that the first life, along with the beginning complexity, was seeded here from another planet, such as Mars. So, no need for a God.
Not so fast.
If all the scientific challenges surrounding life beginning on its own on Earth can be solved by saying that life began somewhere else and got here on the back of a meteorite, well then how did that life start there? You cannot escape the challenge of life, at some point, having to come from non-life.
Finally, all of creation matters to God. No matter where there is life, that life matters to God and should be valued by us. Going further, if we find intelligent life on other planets, we can be assured that God loves them just as He loves us and has provided a way for them to know Him and to share eternity with Him.
So, while the scientific community may be bracing for the discovery of life on other planets,
... this Christian will simply enjoy the unfolding discovery of all of God’s creation.
James Emery White
Josh K. Elliott, “Leaked Footage of ‘Pyramid-Shaped’ UFOs Is Real, Pentagon Says,” Global News, April 14, 2021, read online.
About the Author
James Emery White is the founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, NC, and the ranked adjunct professor of theology and culture at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he also served as their fourth president. His latest book After “I Believe” is now available on Amazon or your favorite bookseller. To enjoy a free subscription to the Church & Culture blog, visit ChurchAndCulture.org, where you can view past blogs in our archive and read the latest church and culture news from around the world. Follow Dr. White on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @JamesEmeryWhite.