A Shout-out to Answers in Genesis for a Recent Display of Rational Restraint 


It seems that lately this blog has been fixated on creation exotheology, theology that concerns itself with how Biblical Christianity might deal with the discovery of extraterrestrial life. One of the reasons for this is quite obviously because I just published a book on the subject. Of course, I wrote Strangers and Aliens because I was concerned about the fact that some well-meaning folk were being dogmatic on a subject upon which the Scriptures are silent. 

Discussion of this subject rather compelled me to call out a few creationist organizations, one of whom I have certainly always been a friend of. I’m speaking of Answers in Genesis [USA].

Recently two articles from AiG have given me hope that perhaps somebody out there is taking my arguments seriously. I think my advocacy for the possibility of extraterrestrial life has confused some folks who conflate the idea with an evolutionary worldview or who do not understand that I’m not being dogmatic about their existence. I simply find it unwise to be dogmatic about anything that the Bible is silent on.

review of the movie Arrival first caught my eye. Reviewers Laura Allnut and Sarah Eshleman  note that:

While this is a fictional story and we realize that extraterrestrial life most likely doesn’t existArrival offers us several surprisingly biblical takeaways.

It’s the restraint evident in the qualifier “most likely” that gives me hope that an otherwise rational creationism will not dogmatically back itself into an exotheological corner.

Likewise, an article on Mars by Dr. Danny Faulkner stated the following:

How do creationists view this possibility? We believe from both the Bible and science that life does not arise spontaneously. Instead, life comes about only through the act of God. Hence the answer to this question is theological. Man is the crown of creation (Psalm 8:3–5), and God has placed man in a position of stewardship (Genesis 2:7–20) and dominion (Genesis 1:28Psalm 8:6–7). God specially made the earth for man’s habitation (Isaiah 45:18). No other world is revealed as having this special status. Given the centrality of man in God’s attention, it appears that the Bible does not support belief in intelligent life elsewhere in the universe. It also does not appear likely that God would have created even “primitive” life forms on other planets, such as Mars.

Some of Dr. Faulkner’s earlier articles were among those that gave me pause for their dogmatic anti-alien rhetoric. I applaud Dr. Faulkner and Answers in Genesis  [USA] for their rational restraint in these two articles.

Once again, for the record, I personally find extraterrestrial life improbable, but as representatives of the One who self-identified as Truth and as members of a Church described in the Scriptures as the pillar and ground of truth, we should be careful not to overstate our case.

I have stated from the beginning of this ministry that I believe that Christianity is a reasonable faith. I would extend that claim to Biblical Creationism.  In fact, my previous book, Defending Genesis, was dedicated to arguing the merits of Thomas Huxley’s observation that special creation is perfectly rational given the existence of a Deity. I will fight tooth and nail to make sure that it remains a reasonable faith, even if it means I have to look like the bad guy by opposing the consensus. Yet I have been and always shall be the friend of anyone or any ministry who stands for this reasonable faith.

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