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Cosmos

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  • Cosmos

    I am fascinated by the cosmos and the discoveries we are making, especially when it comes to exoplanets. I am interested in feedback as to how you go about answering the observation and/or challenge raised by many that the worldview of the Bible seems to be inadequate to encapsulate the utter magnitude of the cosmos - there are literally trillions and trillions of planets in the cosmos and we are but a grain of sand on a seashore of other planets - many earth-like planets which undoubtedly harbor life as well. We are utterly insignificant in the vastness of our universe (multiverse?) and life emerged on earth through evolutionary means just as life elsewhere will undergo a similar process (please do not argue this point for the purpose of the thread).

    What does this mean for God to "renew the creation"? Is he going to renew trillions of planets?

    PS: I have asked JP about this and he essentially stated that we will potentially be in charge of colonizing these planets. Though I pointed out that many (most?) planets are uninhabitable by either being too close or too far from their host star - scorched earths and ice/water worlds. Moreover, we most likely have some sort of world similar to what is depicted in the video provided - what would we say about such an existence? Will such a world be redeemed eventually? How would that look? What purpose does such a world serve now?


  • #2
    God's creation is truly amazing, isn't it?

    I honestly am not seeing the objective effect this has on whether Christianity is true. Almost anything we know about the afterlife is speculative so JP's suggestion is possible but of course it's all speculation.
    "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

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    • #3
      Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
      God's creation is truly amazing, isn't it?
      Definitely! A constant source of wonder and awe.

      I honestly am not seeing the objective effect this has on whether Christianity is true.
      I don't think these discoveries have much baring on the truthfulness of Christianity per se, rather, the issue is how to go about accommodating these discoveries within a Christian worldview.

      Almost anything we know about the afterlife is speculative so JP's suggestion is possible but of course it's all speculation.
      Well Revelation paints a picture of a new heaven (cosmos?) and a new earth. I am therefore trying to envision how these trillions of other planets will be accommodated into our heavenly existence. Do you concur with JP's speculation or do you foresee something different?
      Last edited by Scrawly; 10-18-2014, 12:06 AM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Scrawly View Post
        I don't think these discoveries have much baring on the truthfulness of Christianity per se, rather, the issue is how to go about accommodating these discoveries within a Christian worldview.



        Well Revelation paints a picture of a new heaven (cosmos?) and a new earth. I am therefore trying to envision how these trillions of other planets will be accommodated into our heavenly existence. Do you concur with JP's speculation or do you foresee something different?
        I don't see the point in speculation so I have to say I have no idea. When Jesus's disciples pressed him for details about heaven, few were provided, and while we have a glimpse in Revelation, that's about it. Given the symbolic nature of Revelation I suspect the reality is even better than what we see in Revelation.

        I understand what you mean about accommodation, especially if we were to discover extraterrestrial life. I personally am skeptical that this exists at all, but if it did, it would probably affect how people viewed the Genesis account. It would also raise questions about whether extraterrestrials can be saved. Personally, I'm with Pope Francis who said something about hypothetically not turning an extraterrestrial away from church who wanted to attend, but I don't even believe in extraterrestrial life so it's all hypothetical
        "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
          I don't see the point in speculation so I have to say I have no idea. When Jesus's disciples pressed him for details about heaven, few were provided, and while we have a glimpse in Revelation, that's about it. Given the symbolic nature of Revelation I suspect the reality is even better than what we see in Revelation.
          Agreed, yet we are given the impression that the New Jerusalem - with its specific measurements - is the big attraction in the new heaven and earth - yet in light of the cosmos - the New Jerusalem wouldn't really strike me as all that grand, it would almost seem somewhat superfluous in light of the billions of galaxies out there. I assume though, you don't take the New Jerusalem, with its specific measurements, literally?

          I understand what you mean about accommodation, especially if we were to discover extraterrestrial life. I personally am skeptical that this exists at all, but if it did, it would probably affect how people viewed the Genesis account. It would also raise questions about whether extraterrestrials can be saved. Personally, I'm with Pope Francis who said something about hypothetically not turning an extraterrestrial away from church who wanted to attend, but I don't even believe in extraterrestrial life so it's all hypothetical
          Really? You don't even believe microbial life exists in the cosmos - despite the fact that living things are primarily constructed of hydrogen, nitrogen, carbon, and oxygen - which are the four most common chemically active elements in the universe? Moreover, Exobiologists go to some of the harshest environments on earth that most resemble Mars or Europa (one of Jupiter's moon)-like environments, and they find these environments teeming with microbial life. Finally, take our natural history here on earth, with what 5 mass extinctions and the existence of dinosaurs for millions of years - and its not hard to fathom a similar scenario unfolding on another planet out there.
          Last edited by Scrawly; 10-18-2014, 08:28 AM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Scrawly View Post
            I assume though, you don't take the New Jerusalem, with its specific measurements, literally?
            Clearly the cubic nature is a reference to the Holy of Holies, or more precisely the Holy of Holies was modelled upon the New Jerusalem.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Scrawly View Post
              Agreed, yet we are given the impression that the New Jerusalem - with its specific measurements - is the big attraction in the new heaven and earth - yet in light of the cosmos - the New Jerusalem wouldn't really strike me as all that grand, it would almost seem somewhat superfluous in light of the billions of galaxies out there. I assume though, you don't take the New Jerusalem, with its specific measurements, literally?
              I tend to see it as literal, though I'm not dogmatic about it (I do think it would be strange to include the exact amounts if it wasn't literal unless there was some numerology going on, which I can't rule out). Like Paprika, I see a reference to the Holy of Holies.

              I don't see any way it could be called superfluous, though, because we would be in the direct presence of God. That would shine far brighter than any exploding supernova, and nothing could be better.
              Originally posted by Scrawly View Post
              Really? You don't even believe microbial life exists in the cosmos - despite the fact that living things are primarily constructed of hydrogen, nitrogen, carbon, and oxygen - which are the four most common chemically active elements in the universe? Moreover, Exobiologists go to some of the harshest environments on earth that most resemble Mars or Europa (one of Jupiter's moon)-like environments, and they find these environments teeming with microbial life. Finally, take our natural history here on earth, with what 5 mass extinctions and the existence of dinosaurs for millions of years - and its not hard to fathom a similar scenario unfolding on another planet out there.
              It's possible... but until we actually observe abiogenesis in action (and especially away from Earth), it seems a bit academic to me. Within a Christian worldview, it is easy to see all the earthly phenomena you mention as being guided by God within the confines of natural processes. Anything is possible, of course...
              "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
                I tend to see it as literal, though I'm not dogmatic about it (I do think it would be strange to include the exact amounts if it wasn't literal unless there was some numerology going on, which I can't rule out). Like Paprika, I see a reference to the Holy of Holies.
                OK.

                I don't see any way it could be called superfluous, though, because we would be in the direct presence of God. That would shine far brighter than any exploding supernova, and nothing could be better.
                Of course, but wouldn't the presence of God envelop the entirety of the cosmos? Would the New Jerusalem really be confined to a particular spatial dwelling while there are people spread out inhabiting other galaxies? Now this will sound ridiculous, but would we have only a few individuals on one planet way, way far away and another set of individuals on another planet, in another galaxy? I'm just not seeing how this makes sense..

                It's possible... but until we actually observe abiogenesis in action (and especially away from Earth), it seems a bit academic to me. Within a Christian worldview, it is easy to see all the earthly phenomena you mention as being guided by God within the confines of natural processes. Anything is possible, of course...
                Yup!

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                • #9
                  I remember reading a graphic novel in high school. I can't bring to mind the name, but in it the protagonist went to other planets, and on one of them, he saw Jesus in that alien form being killed for the sake of that planet's people. This whole exoplanets thing makes me think, "If there are aliens, did Jesus die for them? How will they know the gospel? God is the God of the universe, not just of our solar system. There is only one God, so if he created life on other planets, how did/does he communicate with them?" I believe if there are aliens, they definitely also have sin, because only God doesn't sin. So they also have a need for a a savior. I do remember in the Priscilla Hutchins scifi series, where humans can travel to near points in the galaxy and discover the remains of other civilizations, there are of course what the novels deem as "religious fundamentalists" who go to spread the gospel to species who have no concept of a Savior, own religious systems, etc. Of course in that mindset, anything resembling Christianity is alien to that new world. I do think that the Christian worldview would have to expand to include other species needing a Savior and such, but being extrabiblical, I think it would take actually finding another inhabited planet.

                  Yes, this is all just scifi, but scifi helps us speculate a bit. Using our imaginations, we can flesh out what may be out there in the stars. But who knows? God will probably end this world before humankind gets beyond Mars for all we know.

                  I do think that I want to travel in the afterlife if that's at all possible. I'll want to go to all points of creation and just praise God for his handiwork.
                  sigpic

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by heartablaze View Post
                    I remember reading a graphic novel in high school. I can't bring to mind the name, but in it the protagonist went to other planets, and on one of them, he saw Jesus in that alien form being killed for the sake of that planet's people. This whole exoplanets thing makes me think, "If there are aliens, did Jesus die for them? How will they know the gospel? God is the God of the universe, not just of our solar system. There is only one God, so if he created life on other planets, how did/does he communicate with them?" I believe if there are aliens, they definitely also have sin, because only God doesn't sin. So they also have a need for a a savior. I do remember in the Priscilla Hutchins scifi series, where humans can travel to near points in the galaxy and discover the remains of other civilizations, there are of course what the novels deem as "religious fundamentalists" who go to spread the gospel to species who have no concept of a Savior, own religious systems, etc. Of course in that mindset, anything resembling Christianity is alien to that new world. I do think that the Christian worldview would have to expand to include other species needing a Savior and such, but being extrabiblical, I think it would take actually finding another inhabited planet.

                    Yes, this is all just scifi, but scifi helps us speculate a bit. Using our imaginations, we can flesh out what may be out there in the stars. But who knows? God will probably end this world before humankind gets beyond Mars for all we know.

                    I do think that I want to travel in the afterlife if that's at all possible. I'll want to go to all points of creation and just praise God for his handiwork.
                    I don't think alien life forms would need a savior due to the fact that the human race seems to be the focal point of God's creation - being made in His image. I definitely think there are alien life forms out there, and I think for the most part, they would look absolutely bizarre - something akin to the world illustrated in the video I posted. Now, the question is, what purpose does such a world serve? What would such a world's redemption look like?

                    In regards to the vastness of the cosmos, well, I guess it can be for the purpose of exploration and travel, but once again the picture seems very odd - will we be more-or-less flying through outer space in our resurrected bodies visiting alien planets and other life forms? That certainly seems to be a revolutionary view of our heavenly dwelling.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by heartablaze View Post
                      I remember reading a graphic novel in high school. I can't bring to mind the name, but in it the protagonist went to other planets, and on one of them, he saw Jesus in that alien form being killed for the sake of that planet's people.
                      "We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God."
                      This whole exoplanets thing makes me think, "If there are aliens, did Jesus die for them? How will they know the gospel? God is the God of the universe, not just of our solar system. There is only one God, so if he created life on other planets, how did/does he communicate with them?" I believe if there are aliens, they definitely also have sin, because only God doesn't sin.
                      Or they could not be moral agents like other animals, bacteria, plants, etc.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Scrawly View Post
                        I don't think alien life forms would need a savior due to the fact that the human race seems to be the focal point of God's creation - being made in His image. I definitely think there are alien life forms out there, and I think for the most part, they would look absolutely bizarre - something akin to the world illustrated in the video I posted. Now, the question is, what purpose does such a world serve? What would such a world's redemption look like?
                        Yes, the human race is created in God's image, and is the focal point of his creation here. But what would preclude God from creating other creatures that would take on his image in other places? I don't think he would on this world, but what about other worlds? Another possibility is that he created humans on other planets like our own.

                        Originally posted by Scrawly View Post
                        Now, the question is, what purpose does such a world serve? What would such a world's redemption look like?
                        Going with your point, if they are not created in God's image, then what purpose would it serve? Maybe just another beautiful thing that points to God's glory? Maybe decay would end with redemption and it would be an ever more perfect creation?

                        "For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time." Romans 8:19-22

                        Originally posted by Scrawly View Post
                        In regards to the vastness of the cosmos, well, I guess it can be for the purpose of exploration and travel, but once again the picture seems very odd - will we be more-or-less flying through outer space in our resurrected bodies visiting alien planets and other life forms? That certainly seems to be a revolutionary view of our heavenly dwelling.
                        The Bible doesn't mention any of that as far as I know, true. So it's honestly just speculation. But I figure if God has the power to create all of this creation, wouldn't he want us to go and see it and glorify him?

                        On a tangent, Revelation states that there will be no sea in the new world. Is that just allegory, or what? If there is no sea, what else will change about our world? Why is the sea important?

                        Originally posted by Paprika View Post
                        "We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God."
                        Speaking truth right there! Well, there goes my comic book-influenced theory!

                        Originally posted by Paprika View Post
                        Or they could not be moral agents like other animals, bacteria, plants, etc.
                        Also a possibility, but with the infinite number of stars and planets, are you saying that there is no other intelligent life? The odds are in the favor of some other intelligent species, unless God ordained that we'd be the only one. If there is other intelligent life, does that life need a relationship with God? Are there more classes of intelligent beings than angels, demons, and humans?
                        sigpic

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by heartablaze View Post
                          Also a possibility, but with the infinite number of stars and planets, are you saying that there is no other intelligent life? The odds are in the favor of some other intelligent species, unless God ordained that we'd be the only one. If there is other intelligent life, does that life need a relationship with God? Are there more classes of intelligent beings than angels, demons, and humans?
                          It is certainly possible. As to odds, I don't think we know enough of God's will to judge.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by heartablaze View Post
                            Yes, the human race is created in God's image, and is the focal point of his creation here. But what would preclude God from creating other creatures that would take on his image in other places? I don't think he would on this world, but what about other worlds? Another possibility is that he created humans on other planets like our own.
                            This notion fails in light of what Paprika just highlighted: ""We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God." Of course we can believe that the atonement here was sufficient for human life elsewhere, but then they would need the gospel preached there, and it just seems like we would be running into problems to the point of absurdity with such a view. Scripture also states that Christ ascended to heaven at the right hand of the Father and there is no indication that He went off to other planets to preach the good news Himself.

                            Going with your point, if they are not created in God's image, then what purpose would it serve? Maybe just another beautiful thing that points to God's glory?
                            Well as most life is red in tooth and claw, I imagine the modus operandi of life on other planets is equally savage in nature. Does such behavior bring glory to God? I don't really see how.

                            Maybe decay would end with redemption and it would be an ever more perfect creation?
                            Yes, but I don't see how such savage and bizarre creatures could be "redeemed"? It's like picturing a redeemed dinosaur.

                            "For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time." Romans 8:19-22
                            Yup.

                            The Bible doesn't mention any of that as far as I know, true. So it's honestly just speculation. But I figure if God has the power to create all of this creation, wouldn't he want us to go and see it and glorify him?
                            Yes, but the problem is most of creation is utterly uninhabitable. Most planets are uninhabitable due to their proximity from their host start. I don't see why such a creation needed to be created in the first place, if it is going to be redeemed to the point of utter difference from what it is now.

                            On a tangent, Revelation states that there will be no sea in the new world. Is that just allegory, or what? If there is no sea, what else will change about our world? Why is the sea important?
                            I believe in the ANE, the sea represented chaos. So essentially there will be no chaos in the world to come.

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