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Shadows of Things to Come

by Cynthia Smith

in Religion & Theology

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Did the Incarnation of Christ (that is, Jesus taking on human flesh) happen on one planet – Earth – and one species – humans – or did an event like the Incarnation occur in every world where intelligent inhabitants have evolved? Or is it the case that only humans fell from grace and are afflicted with original sin because our first parents sought God-like wisdom? The concept of intelligent life evolving on other planets is a scientific view held by the majority of the world’s scientists, but what about the world’s theologians and ordinary Christians? What indeed do Star Trek, Star Wars, Alien, and E.T. have to do with Christian theology? In a sense, science and religion dance together in a way that allows each to inform the other and balance the other in the minds of people who think about such things. If you are reading this book, then you have been and are thinking about such things.

In economic language, redemption refers to the practice of purchasing an item for a price; in Christian theology, Jesus purchased sinful human beings, and the price was his own blood. In other words, Christ ransomed, liberated, and freed us from bondage, captivity, and punishment for our sins. Thus, redemption for Christians generally means deliverance from sin. Christ rescues, saves, and delivers us from our sins and their consequences.

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Review in the Mensa Bulletin (of American Mensa)
Column by Tom Elliott

In _Shadows of Things to Come: The Theological Implications of
Intelligent Life on Other Worlds_ (Fifth Estate Publishing), Cynthia
Anne Miller Smith addresses the millenniums-old question as to whether
or not God’s plan for salvation applies to everyone in the universe or
just to us earthly inhabitants cursed by original sin. Did Jesus die
for mankind’s sins only? Such issues take on new importance ever
since the Vatican acknowledged the possibility of extraterrestrial
life, and Miller Smith addresses them from a Roman Catholic
perspective, deciding everything applies universally across the
cosmos: “Neither in the Old nor in the New Testament is there a
single expression incompatible with the great truth, that there are
other worlds than our own which are the seats of life and
intelligence.” Now on to more equally fascinating reading.

The review appears on page 38 of the July 2011 issue.

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