Wednesday, September 19, 2007

CSFF Blog Tour: The Return Day Three

CSSF Blog Tour

Once again, gentle readers, we come to the end of another blog tour. We've examined The Return by Austin Boyd. I realize I may have been a bit negative yesterday but it was said out of love. I really loved these books and I really enjoyed seeing some sci-fi concepts trotted out in a Christian book. It made me want to stand up and shout, "See! It can work!"

I suppose what might put some people off from these books is that it deals with aliens. Christians tend to shy away from that subject and with good reason. Christian author Jefferson Scott (aka Jeff Gerke) did a "white paper" on this business called "UFOs and the Christian Worldview" that I found fascinating. But still, what about them aliens? Could they be real? Is it possible that God created intelligent life somewhere out there?

From where I'm sitting, the possibility is open. There's nothing in the Bible that precludes the possibility so far as I'm concerned. The universe is exceedingly vast and could contain planets on which life could not only exist, but thrive. The other day, MSN had a slideshow about extrasolar planets, including the recent discovery of a planet that orbited its star in a habitable zone. Could there be life there? There's really no reason for a Christian to say "No" or "Yes" definitively for reasons of theology.

But let's just suppose for a moment that intelligent life does exist. How would said sentient beings fit into God's salvation history?

Well, C.S. Lewis certainly had one answer. In his Space Trilogy, Lewis posited that each planet would have an "Eden" period where the denizens of said planet would be tempted. They would either resist or fall on their own. If they resisted, they would mature past the temptation period and continue in an unfallen state (such as the people of Perelandra).

But what would happen if they fell into sin? Lewis does some speculating on that subject in an essay called "Religion and Rocketry" (which is contained in the book The World's Last Night). He says that in that case, the fallen species would be visited by Christ and redeemed in a way that was significant to them. It may not involve death and resurrection as we know it, but it would redeem them from their sin.

That's certainly a fun possibility. But what if it worked the other way? What if humanity's fall dragged the rest of the intelligent species down with us? What if they all suddenly fell into sin?

I would suspect that humanity's redemption would be the alien's redemption as well. I even think Romans 8:19-21 could support this view.

To put it in terms of a human analogy, suppose you have a series of light bulbs wired together in a circuit. My understanding of electrical engineering is admittedly basic, but I do know that if one lightbulb burns out, the rest of them would go dark as well. The current would be interrupted by the burned out bulb. But if you replace the burned out bulb and light it up again, the rest would burn brightly as well. I think that's the way it could work with intelligent alien life. Our bulb burned out, theirs all went dark. Our bulb was replaced, theirs can now burn brightly again.

Granted, all of this is speculation. I'm dancing on the end of a very thin tree branch right now and it could snap off under me. But isn't the possibility intriguing?

If you agree, then write to Christian publishers and tell them to take a look at my sci-fi trilogy, because it's based on that crazy speculation that I just spilled out here. ;-)

Yes, I know, shameless plug. But Austin Boyd's book stirred up some intellectual curiousity in me again and I know he can do the same for you.

Be sure to check out the rest of the blog tour:

Trish Anderson
Brandon Barr
Jim Black
Justin Boyer
Grace Bridges
Amy Browning
Jackie Castle
Valerie Comer
Karri Compton
Lisa Cromwell
CSFF Blog Tour
Gene Curtis
D. G. D. Davidson
Janey DeMeo
Merrie Destefano or Alien Dream
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Beth Goddard
Marcus Goodyear
Jill Hart
Katie Hart
Sherrie Hibbs
Christopher Hopper
Becca Johnson
Jason Joyner
Dawn King
Tina Kulesa
Rachel Marks
Karen McSpadden
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Eve Nielsen
Lyn Perry
Deena Peterson
Cheryl Russel
Chawna Schroeder
Mirtika Schultz
James Somers
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Laura Williams
Timothy Wise


Valerie Comer said...

Interesting concept you have there, for sure. I've always fallen, sadly, on the unlikeliness of intelligent aliens because I couldn't quite see Christ dying over and over on other worlds as well as here.

However, the universe is a very big place, isn't it! And there's no reason God did the same thing over again. From the diversity of life just on earth alone, we can see that he certainly has enough imagination to populate whole new worlds with complete different beings.

Drat you. Now *I* am getting ideas, and I have enough to work on right now!

Becky said...

Intellectual curiosity!. What a great reason to read! Whether it makes us think more about the universe or God or creation, this is all a good thing, something fiction should be known for. OK, not all books will make us think of those same themes, but you get my point, I'm sure.


Becca Johnson said...

Interesting ideas! :D That's cool that you have the courage to speculate about them when, like you mentioned, some people might strongly object. Anyway, like I said, interesting ideas. :)

Becca Johnson