Many Christians refuse to consider the existence of ETs because they “believe strictly what the Bible tells them.” With the recent explosion of scientific advancement, or at least theorized advancement, in this area, I figured I’d at least attempt to reason out a position according to my (limited) understanding of what Scripture DOES say.
I’m just going to type as I think, so I may be revising my position mid-post.
I have yet to read anything in Scripture about extraterrestrial life.
I doubt the existence of extraterrestrial primitive life for scientific reasons. There is no evidence to support abiogenesis (life sprouting from non-life by accident), which is what these scientists are assuming when they look for extraterrestrial life.
That doesn’t preclude things like fully-developed civilizations on other planets. I guess that, if God so desires, He could also populate some planet with living peach fuzz as well, so primitive life on another planet isn’t totally out of the question. However, I don’t buy into the assumption that, given an environment that supports life, life will pop up there by accident.
Questions come to mind… How would a lifeform on another planet fit into God’s plan of redemption? Did God send His Son to another planet to die for them as well? Can we even assume that any creation of God’s in the universe must have fallen? I’m not sure that necessarily has to be the case. It probably would be, though, because Scripture explicitly states that God and only God is perfectly holy. Even angels have fallen (although please don’t ask me about the angels that didn’t fall, because I haven’t figured that out yet). Regardless, I’m not so sure that redemption couldn’t have been made available for other fallen creatures in the universe by the same Jesus in the same way it was for us.
Genesis is clear to state when each general habitat — sea, land, air — was populated but, admittedly, it doesn’t make any claims as to being exhaustive. Along those same lines, Adam (and by extension, mankind) was given dominion over creation… Although we did lose that dominion at the fall. Christ has that dominion, and we’ll realize that dominion in full one day but for now we only see it in part (Hebrews 2). I assume this would be moot for anything extraterrestrial.
Lots to think about. I think that, regardless of whether or not life exists extraterrestrially, no challenge is posed to the Christian faith. To quote C. S. Lewis: “Christians and their opponents again and again expect that some new discovery will either turn matters of faith into knowledge or else reduce them to patent absurdities… But it never happens.”