Monday, November 25, 2013

Would Discovery of Aliens Destroy Christianity?

Aliens or extraterrestrial life is not an utterly unreasonable topic. Although every Christian may not believe in the prospect of discovery of alien life outside planet earth, all Christians should be in a position to offer reasonable responses to honest questions. To begin with, the following information about aliens is in our domain:

(1) Many scientists confidently predict the existence of aliens. The most recent discovery of Kepler 78b, an earthlike exoplanet (not conducive to life), announced by NASA1 in October 2013 lends credibility to the hope that there could be similar habitable planets that sustains life.  

(2) Some believe that aliens are kept in “Area 51” – a highly classified sector in the South West Nevada, USA.2 A hotly contested video of an alien being interrogated is available.3

(3) “Allen Array,” an array of small dishes for the purpose of simultaneous surveys for SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) projects, funded by Paul Allen the co-founder of Microsoft, is in operation.4

(4) In 2008, The Vatican proclaimed that it is ok for Catholics to believe in Aliens.5 Now it is [wildly] speculated that Pope Francis could soon announce the presence of extraterrestrial life.6

(5) Christian theologian Thomas Aquinas, in the 13th century, alluded to the possibility of extra terrestrial life.7

Disregarding the above without adequate thought is to remain in an ignorant bubble. It’s a foregone conclusion that discovery of aliens would impact human life, just as much as a new neighbor impacting our societal life.

But would the discovery of alien life impact Christianity? If so, to what extent? How would a Christian rationally and reasonably answer a question that discovery of alien life would destroy Christianity?

One basic presupposition relevant to this essay is that the aliens, if they exist, are ontologically similar to human beings – with a soul and a highly developed brain for articulate speech and abstract reasoning. This also implies that aliens are not similar to animals.

Plausibility of Alien Life
Some Christian thinkers believe that there cannot be alien life, on account of two reasons: 8

(A) The Bible does not say that there is life outside of earth.

(B) It is impossible for Christ to die again for the fallen extra terrestrials.

One can argue that postulating the nonexistence of alien life on the premise of Bible’s silence on alien life could disprove Christianity through the following sequence of thoughts:

(1) The Bible does not mention the existence of aliens.

(2) If the Bible does not mention aliens, there should be no aliens.

(3) If aliens are discovered, the presence of aliens would entail that Bible is incorrect.

(4) Therefore, Christianity is a false religion (since Christianity’s sole foundation is the Bible).

This argument states that if aliens are discovered, then Christianity would be rendered false, since the Bible does not state the existence of alien life.

The premise (2) of the above argument could be disputed. The Bible is not intended to be an all-inclusive dictionary or an encyclopedia of the Universe. The Bible reveals everything necessary for man to coexist with or without God. Therefore the Bible need not be held responsible for the statement of existence or nonexistence of anything that is irrelevant to man’s spirituality.

On the other hand, the Bible states that God is sovereign. If God is sovereign, HE can do anything without contradicting HIS nature. It does not seem plausible that the creation of aliens would contradict God’s nature. So God’s sovereignty entails possibility of God’s creation of life outside earth. The Bible teaches that God is the creator. Since every effect has a cause, and if alien life is discovered, God should have created the alien life.

If alien life is discovered, why would God not state HIS creation of alien life to man? The Bible reveals everything necessary for man's spirituality (salvation), so the Bible’s silence on alien life could be minimally explained on the basis that God may not have considered it necessary or relevant to state the existence of alien life to mankind. (This is similar to God not revealing the exact time of Christ’s second coming. HE didn’t reveal that piece of information to us because HE didn’t consider it necessary for our knowledge or salvation.) Alternatively God would not have revealed anything about alien life in the Bible, since aliens are virtually non-existent.

Salvation of the Alien Life
If aliens do exist would there be a different plan of salvation for them?

Salvation presupposes sin and a soul. So are aliens fallen beings as humans? Total lack of any credible background knowledge with reference to their physical presence (evidence) renders arguments within the theme of salvation to be meaningless and purposeless. So on one hand, it would be wise not to argue from silence (‘argumentum e silentio’).

On the other hand, their sinfulness need not create any problems for Historic Christianity, for the Triune God in HIS love and foreknowledge has created a program of salvation for sinfulness. Since God is love, HE will offer freedom to anyone to either believe or reject HIM. Those who believe in the Triune God will live with HIM forever, and those who reject God will live outside of God forever. This could apply to alien life as well.

Some may ask what if aliens find nail prints in Christ’s hand in heaven. Perfect knowledge will be the hallmark of our heavenly existence (1 Corinthians 13: 9-12). Since perfect knowledge eliminates any doubt or deficiency of knowledge, aliens finding nail prints in Christ’s hand in heaven would not have any effect on them or anyone.

However, the possibility of aliens finding nail prints in Christ’s hand presupposes a different program of salvation for aliens. But there need not be another program for salvation when belief in the Triune God is adequate for the salvation for everyone. Even if the aliens are created ontologically different (different in ‘essence’ or ‘being.’), belief in God would be adequate for their salvation.

It does seem implausible for Christ to die again to save the alien life. Christ added human nature to HIS divine nature and remains permanently incarnate as a man (Colossians 2: 9), so Christ dying another death in the nature of aliens seems implausible. But faith in the God of the Bible is the only way to heaven, so we believe that God would have revealed HIMSELF in an adequate manner to aliens, for them to believe in HIM.

Evangelization of Alien Life
What if aliens arrive with a notion of a different God? This seems to be the simplest of all problems to contend with. We do have many different notions of God in today’s world, and these notions emerge from various vantage points. A Hindu’s notion of God is different (pantheism), a Jew or a Muslim’s notion of God is different (Monotheism), a Christian’s notion of God is different (Trinitarian Monotheism), and an Atheist’s notion of God is also different (no God). If the aliens arrive with a different notion of God, we need to simply add another notion of God to these prevalent notions. But the truth of the God of the Bible is irreversible and immutable (would never change).

If aliens are discovered, Christians should focus on reaching out to them. If God provides us the alien life, HE will also provide ways and means to reaching out to them with an endeavor to make them disciples of the Triune God.

Before we conclude, we should be aware that the exact twin of the sun is yet to be discovered. Astrophysicist Dr. Hugh Ross states that unless an exact twin of the sun is discovered, we do not need to believe in the likelihood of life outside earth. He also postulates that possible alien life should be 500 light years away, which is a distance almost impossible to traverse in the interstellar space. So we could reasonably posit that the odds of discovering alien life is extremely low.

Christianity is the most scrutinized or critiqued religion; there is no denying this fact. That the Bible continues to outlive its pallbearers is another fact. If nothing has destroyed Christianity in 2000+ years, be confident that nothing will ever destroy Christianity in another 2000+ years, for the God of Christianity is the truth.

Once again let us remember that alien life is totally in the realm of imagination and prediction. As much as we try to answer honest questions, we should remember to treat abstract as abstract and not as concrete. Our Triune God will indeed guide and bless our thoughts and deeds, Amen.


1 &

2 Area 51 has been off public realm since 1950. Activities performed before 1974 has now been declassified. It is reported that U2 reconnaissance aircraft was tested here and that the U2 was responsible for half of UFO sightings in this vicinity.






 “They contend that Vatican astronomers have already found evidence of extraterrestrial life, much closer to earth. Putnam and Horn claim that the Vatican’s astronomical telescope (Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope) located at the Mt Graham Observatory, Arizona, is tracking something that has yet to be announced to the world. They quote from Father Malachi Martin, another Jesuit, who cryptically revealed something that was being tracked by Vatican astronomers that had great significance. In a 1997 interview on the popular radio program Coast to Coast AM, Martin said:
‘Because the mentality…amongst those who [are] at the…highest levels of Vatican administration and geopolitics, know…what’s going on in space, and what’s approaching us, could be of great import in the next five years, ten years.’” (



8 states that alien life is unlikely for the Bible doesn’t say so and it is impossible for Christ to die again to redeem fallen ET ( (



For a rational look at a Christian and a scientific perspective on UFOs, please read “Lights in the Sky and Little Green Men” by Dr. Hugh Ross. 


Ashish said...

Suppose the alien civilization somewhere has not experienced the fall, and our encounter with them would be like the meeting between Eve and the serpent.

And maybe that's why The Lord may have hidden the aliens from us ... to protect them?

Raj Richard said...

Ashish, thanks for your interesting thought. If the aliens havent sinned (fallen), then we ought to ponder whether they have freewill or not. If they have freewill, how is it that they have not sinned? If they do not have freewill, how can they sin even if we are to tempt them? It would undoubtedly be intriguing to develop these thoughts....thankfully the development of these thoughts would not hurt Historic Christianity in any way....