Did Jesus Save Aliens?

Did Jesus Save Aliens? April 13, 2010

Ok, I know that this is not a supremely important question,  but they make for fun arguments with Jesuits, and lately I’ve had some fun back and forths about the topic.  I was going to frame this post as a Summa style question, but then I realized that I don’t quite know what I think.  So that should leave things open for discussion.  I’ll try to keep my arguments short and concise.

I.  The incarnation and death of Jesus saved the entire universe.

a.  Hebrews 10:12 – “But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God.”  It would seem that Christ offered only one sacrifice for all time, and so he cannot die and rise again on another planet.

b.  Colossians 1:15-20 – “He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation; for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities – all things were created through him and for him.  He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.  He is the head of the body, the Church; he is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, that in everything he might be pre-eminent.  For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.”

This one’s the kicker for me. I have trouble getting around it.  The implication seems to be that all things were created – which of course includes the entire universe with all other alien life that ever existed, exists, or may come to exist – through Jesus and for Jesus.  Not for and through God, but for and through Jesus.  He is before all things, he holds together all things. In other words, he stands as the head of the cosmos, as its beginning and end, its past and future.  For Teilhard, this was a profound vision, and he viewed this passage as one of the most important in the New Testament.  Nor can there be other Jesuses, since Paul is clear that it was “by the blood of his cross,” that peace was made.  It is unlikely that if Jesus was incarnated on another planet he would be killed there by a cross as well.  Unless the Romans get around.  He would be killed in some other way.  But Paul is clear that by the blood of his cross, this Jesus saved all things, whether in heaven or on earth.

c.  If I ever went to another planet and met an alien race who had never heard of Jesus, I would have trouble not preaching to them.  Jesus said to proclaim the good news to all creation (Mark 16:15), and even if this seems to refer only to this creation, I’m not sure why.  In Daniel 3, the three young men in the furnace tell the sun and moon to bless the Lord.  They are proclaiming to all creation.  If I met an alien race, I don’t see how I could just say, “Well, we’ve been saved and redeemed, but you all have to wait around since our salvation didn’t include you as well.”  Why shouldn’t it?  Their culture may seem as foreign to Jewish Middle Eastern culture as the Jewish story 2000 years ago seems to 21st century America.  (Notice, I’m presuming fallenness in alien races.  Unlike C.S. Lewis in Perelandra, I simply cannot imagine an unfallen race making choices in time, since I take the story of the fall in Genesis 3 to be a myth about finite nature as corrupted without the help of God. But I could be wrong here. I guess there could be an alien race that lived an angel kind of temporality, having time to make one choice before being granted the beatific vision.  But I don’t know much about angels, and I don’t like to muddy things up by including them in the conversation.)

d.  Anticipating an objection that Christ’s death only saved humans, since as the Cappadocians argued, only what is assumed is redeemed, I would respond that Christ’s death saved all of creation through the human race.  Romans 8:18-25 makes that clear, since all creation groans and awaits its own liberation through us.  But what about other free non-human races?  Well, let’s embark on an experiment here.  Let’s say that dolphins evolved to the status of rationality and love, i.e., personhood.  They would be non-human persons.  Did Christ’s death save them?  Or does he now have to become a dolphin person to die for them?  Hebrews and Colossians seem at least to speak a definite “no” to this.  So why can his death not include other alien races too, if it can include dolphin persons?  Maybe what Jesus assumed that is important is not the human form, but the rational free spiritual form, and this is what he redeemed, thereby including all personal races, alien or human.  I see no way out of this one.  If dolphin-persons come to exist, and they fall, and Christ cannot come again for them, then his incarnation must include them somehow.

II. The incarnation and death of Jesus saved only the human race and by extension this world’s creation.

a.  The Cappadocians are clear that only what is assumed is redeemed.  Christ only assumed the human form, so only humans are saved.  All creation is saved according to Romans 8 only because humans stand in Genesis 1 at the pinnacle of creation, and so our free salvation affects the whole created world.  But this does not extend beyond this planet.

b.  We are only now seeing the light of stars that died out 10’s of billions of years ago.  How could Christ’s death 2000 years ago have saved alien life forms that existed billions of years ago? That’s a tough one.  They never had a chance to hear the gospel.

c.  It is far too anthropocentric to imagine that the salvation of the human race is also the salvation of the whole universe.  They have their own problems. Can there really be potentially millions of people out there who never have a chance to hear the good news?

d.  Both C.S. Lewis and Thomas Aquinas imply that other incarnations would be necessary if other rational life forms exist.

e.  Hebrews only needs to mean that Christ died once and for all as a human. He can die again as another species.

f.  If dolphin-persons fall, I’m not sure what happens to them.  Either Christ’s death saves them, since they are part of this creation, and Paul is clear that Christ is at the head of all creation.  In which case, what has to matter about the incarnation is not that Christ became human but that he became a rational, free, person.

1.  But then, if that is what matters about the incarnation, why not extend this salvation to all alien races?  Can Christ become “a life-giving spirit” (1 Corinthians 15:45) for all races, or just for those who share in the race of the First Adam?

I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts.


Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


TRENDING AT PATHEOS Catholic
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • brettsalkeld

    I could be wrong, but I am under the impression that there is an episode of the original Star Trek series where Captain Kirk and the gang discern that they are on a planet that has also experienced an Incarnation.

  • The Cappadocians are clear that only what is assumed is redeemed

    Yes, but they also understood Christ became a creature. They were quite cosmic in their understanding of Christ’s work. St Gregory the Theologian made it clear the whole of nature was renewed, and St Maximus the Confessor, a dedicated follower of the Cappadocians, demonstrated the cosmic significance of Christ in a theological fashion. I do think that if aliens exist, one incarnation is all that is necessary — though other incarnations (ala Thomas) might be fitting. I’m not sure if you saw it or not, but you might be interested in this piece (I have written others, but this is my most recent one on this question and theme): http://www.patheos.com/blogs/voxnova/2009/10/10/on-multiple-worlds-and-multiple-incarnations-some-speculation-following-st-thomas-aquinas-and-c-s-lewis/

    As for animals in the world at large, there are many ways to look at them. Through the interdependence of the world at large, one can talk about grace in an almost trickle-down fashion, and I think there is an element of truth to that; but I also think we will find, in the eschaton, God’s work for the animals was more than we expected, and they might have their own forms of grace, related to but separate from, what we receive.

  • Nate Wildermuth

    This may sound ridiculous to the modern mindset, but
    I do not believe that intelligent life exists beyond the Earth.

    One reason is practical. If we hypothesize that alien civilizations exist, then we must admit that these civilizations would be very old, and therefore, very advanced. We are dealing with very large time scales. An alien civilizations that precedes us would do so not simply by thousands of years, but by millions of years, if not billions.

    If there are aliens, they would be so ancient and so advanced that we would see signs of them everywhere.

    We have not, however, seen any signs. The only other alternative explanation is that the aliens do not want to be seen, or that the aliens destroyed themselves after industrializing. In the first case, we are practically alone. In the second case, we are still alone.

    A simpler explanation: human beings are the first species in the universe to become rational. God help us.

    • Nate

      There are many reasons why we might not have seen the signs, from the fact that we misread them, to they had no reason to deal with us, to possibly there are reasons why various planets are a “hands off” to such species. If such aliens exist, until we meet them, we do not know what such “lack of evidence” means (if there is such a lack). However, it is also more than a modern mindset — belief in other words predate Christianity, and a great number of Christian scholars through the centuries have put up reasons why they believed such life exists (such as what we know of God — a God of life — is it fitting that the universe would be empty save for us?)

  • Rodak

    Since all things are created through Him and for Him, if there are other aspects of creation than those we know, and other rational creatures in those parallel creations, then they are all part of His plan. If and when He needs us to know them, we will. Otherwise, what we have to worry about here is more than sufficient unto our local day.

  • David Nickol

    Nate,

    There are two staggering possibilities. 1. We are alone in the universe. 2. We are not alone in the universe.

    You are forgetting the vast distances in the universe and the limitation (as far as we know) of the speed of light as the fastest speed we (or any message) can travel. The universe is thought to be roughly 14 billion years old. Light has been detected from a source 13 billion light years away, but of course we are seeing that light 13 billion years after it originated (when the universe was only 600 million years old).

    If life originated that far away 6 billion years ago, and reached a pinnacle of intelligence after 6 billion years of civilization, they still couldn’t reach us for another billion years.

  • drdwheelerreed

    Biblically… yes…

  • This is a silly question that actually gets at an important point about salvation. As a child a found mainstream Christian theology concerning Christ’s sacrifice on the cross exceedingly odd.The only way I have been able to reconcile myself to the concept of Christ on the cross is by assuming that God meant to teach us something through it.

    So, while I could imagine one sacrifice being efficacious for all of creation, I would inclined to believe (speculate about) multiple incarnations simply because I believe that God did not even need Christ’s passion and death to redeem us in the first place.

    Anyway, I think this discussion points to the mystery of Christ on the Cross being part of God’s will.

  • Henry, I like the “one person clothed with multiple garments” theory of Narnia. Never heard that one before.

    • Nathan,

      Thanks.

      I don’t know if anyone else has made a similar presentation before (though I expect someone, somewhere has). I know of ideas of Jesus coming back to earth in alien form in some sci-fi writing, but as you can tell, I had problems with that by itself, because such ideas appear to contradict the notion of the resurrection/ascension.

      What gave me the idea for this piece, beyond the fact that I often ponder alien life, is that I had just listened to a rather interesting radio edition of Narnia (with Paul Scofield narrating) and the ending jumped out at me as it had never done before. I had been doing some work with Yogacara thought, and what Lewis wrote suddenly seemed to merge with my other studies. It at least provided a way for me to see how multiple incarnations could work which didn’t leave me troubled about the notion of bodies. Of course, I don’t know what the answer is; I do believe only one incarnation is necessary, but I also think the fittingness argument can’t be ignored. Indeed, it is such an argument which leads me to believe in alien life.

  • Henry, I like the “one person clothed with multiple garments” theory of Narnia. Never heard that one before.

  • David Nickol

    . . . . I take the story of the fall in Genesis 3 to be a myth about finite nature as corrupted without the help of God. But I could be wrong here.

    Doesn’t an awful lot of Catholic thought and doctrine — and at least one dogma — hinge on the belief that the human race descended from a single man and woman who were responsible for the “fall”? (The dogma I am thinking of is the Immaculate Conception.)

  • Ronald King

    I am paraphrasing that all of creation groans in anticipation of the coming of Christ. Love has no bounds and God is Love and His law is written into every heart and what does not have a heart reacts naturally to the presence or absence of love.
    I believe, as we exist now, we are aliens to one another and to ourselves.
    Therefore, He saves aliens.

  • drdwheelerreed

    I suppose I shouldn’t derail the conversation here, but has anyone else seen the folks at MUFON (Mutual UFO Network) who attempt to reinterpret the “sons of god” in Genesis 6 as aliens who abduct women? The same individuals also speculate about the “chariots of fire” that Ezekiel saw. I assume you can figure out what they think those are…

  • Somewhere in the Cathechism, its says that man in himself, sums up all the elements of creation (visible and spiritual). This could explain why not only animals, but also angels are naturally drawn to respect man as long as he respect himself and magnify God in whose image he is made. This would mostly explain why the Word of God may not need to incarnate in other species, simply because we could be related somehow. But I also would not be too surprise if He did incarnate in some other intelligent species somewhere. I think the point of Incarnation is the love of God to his creature. Redemption fits in because it is part of love. For example, I think that even if Adam had not sinned, The Word of God could have incarnated. In fact, I think this is the reason why God told Adam not to eat the fruit of the tree. It is not that the tree was bad, but that He could not handle it yet perhaps. St. Paul told first Christians that he is giving them the ‘milk’ of the faith in the same spirit I think. So also Adam could also have grown in intimacy with God to the point of full union with him in a certain fullness of time.
    Can this logical process happen for a different species? I think yes. But it appears that species are related, so somehow may be it happens through humans. A dog by being a good dog, or a horse by being a good horse may be able to attain Heaven.
    I believe beatification is about living up to one’s vocation. Humans’ vocation is to be image of God. Are other aliens also created in the image of God, I don’t think so, if they are they will be humans, because apparently a nature is human because it is made in the image of God.

  • If you are looking for a Thomistic approach to the alien question, you check out the following site which has Thomas Aquinas as a tabloid journalist answering the question “Did Aliens Abduct Elvis?”
    http://praxeology.net/weekly-world-summa.htm

    As A Catholic priest, I often say that my biggest fear is that we will land on some alien world and find out that all the inhabitants are Lutherans.
    While I like the all creation is saved argument form Hebrews, I would still think that there might be a need for a salvation of each distinct nature.

    In response to the statement: “since I take the story of the fall in Genesis 3 to be a myth” I would suggest a careful reading of Pius XII’s Humanae Generis which states if evolution is not a problem but only polygenism. If there were not two original human beings from which all other human life descended then we are not all brothers and sisters. If polygenism is accepted then maybe some of us are better than others. Then, since we are not equal, prejudice, genocide, and slavery are acceptable.

    With regards to point 2b, “We are only now seeing the light of stars that died out 10’s of billions of years ago. How could Christ’s death 2000 years ago have saved alien life forms that existed billions of years ago? That’s a tough one. They never had a chance to hear the gospel.

    The first thing God created, according to St. Augustine, was TIME (i.e. “In the beginning). Therefore, to say that God could not do something before something else happened is really an illogical statement. This timelessness of eternity is the answer for how Mary was conceived with original sin. Ancient aliens cold also be saved in much the same way that the Old Testament Patriarchs were saved.

  • I have also heard speculations about ‘the sons of God’ in Genesis being aliens. I think it is very possible. An other thing I have noticed when I am praying the office is that many psalms sounds like an alien acounter. To the extent that even angels were called God or Lord because they were in perfect tune with the Holy Will of God, I think it is possible that some psalms are describing ancient aliens accounter. After all, Moses said that he spoke to God, but Christ said that no one has ever seen God.
    What may be the difference between Hebrew reports and other ancient people’s reports is that Hebrew were interested in the religious side of stories. Other people were interested in other modes like scientific, etc. It is the same thing we see today. The secular word see things through secular eyes, the Church sees them through religious eyes.

    So if it is true that those psalms describes alien accounters, it means that these aliens were so holy that they were simply seen as angels or often as God himself. It also that they are concerned with human affairs. What does it mean that Eunoch and Elish went into Heaven on chariots of fire? Is this the spiritual heaven or they just migrated to other planets.

    Speaking of these, I think that it is also possible that there is no aliens but humans already on other wolds. I have heard some pleople claim that.

    It is also possible that the whole universe may have been intended for man (as ruler -minister- of all creation). Just think about how many humans would be around if there have not been the Fall. If no one had killed an other and no one had died. If all original strength of life was still in human nature. I think perhaps man had capacity no only to go to other mountains, or valleys, or continents, but even on other planets. Why not?

    Could it be that the chock that we share when we can’t find any other somebody out there, may be because we have been killing each other all this time, so we are alone?

    • drdwheelerreed

      @ Alain… it is also interesting that other cultures, Assyrian, Egyptian, etc. describe similar phenomenon. I’m not saying that I think these things are really UFOs… but the universal experience of some sort of “close encounter” is mind boggling! However, in 2nd Temple Jewish literature–after Judaism encountered Zoroastrianism–these types of things simply became demons and angels. Which raises another question entirely–is one person’s alien another person’s demon? … is one person’s UFO another person’s demonic or angelic manifestation?

      I’ve often wondered if I saw something like a UFO if I would even interpret it as a UFO. Would my Christian predisposition cause me to see it as something ‘supernatural?’

      DWR

      • I still don’t know how to interpret St Jerome’s Life of St Paul the Hermit, when my patron saint meets up with a satyr:

        Before long in a small rocky valley shut in on all sides he sees a manikin with hooked snout, horned forehead, and extremities like goats’ feet. When he saw this, Antony like a good soldier seized the shield of faith and the helmet of hope: the creature none the less began to offer to him the fruit of the palm-trees to support him on his journey and as it were pledges of peace. Antony perceiving this stopped and asked who he was. The answer he received from him was this: “I am a mortal being and one of those inhabitants of the desert whom the Gentiles deluded by various forms of error worship under the names of Fauns, Satyrs, and Incubi. I am sent to represent my tribe. We pray you in our behalf to entreat the favour of your Lord and ours. who, we have learnt, came once to save the world, and ‘whose sound has gone forth into all the earth.’ ” As he uttered such words as these, the aged traveller’s cheeks streamed with tears, the marks of his deep feeling, which he shed in the fullness of his joy. He rejoiced over the Glory of Christ and the destruction of Satan, and marvelling all the while that he could understand the Satyr’s language, and striking the ground with his staff, he said, “Woe to thee, Alexandria, who instead of God worshippest monsters! Woe to thee, harlot city, into which have flowed together the demons of the whole world! What will you say now? Beasts speak of Christ, and you instead of God worship monsters.” He had not finished speaking when, as if on wings, the wild creature fled away. Let no one scruple to believe this incident; its truth is supported by what took place when Constantine was on the throne, a matter of which the whole world was witness. For a man of that kind was brought alive to Alexandria and shewn as a wonderful sight to the people. Afterwards his lifeless body, to prevent its decay through the summer heat, was preserved in salt and brought to Antioch that the Emperor might see it.

        Romantically, I see it as a description of St Antony meeting some sort of alien life, alien life which had been seen before. Philosophically, I understand how some say this is St Jerome trying to poke fun at pagans. There certainly is an element of that in the text — and yet it is always the ending which says there is more to the story than that. Why is St Jerome trying to emphasize the historical reality of this event, including the assertion that one such creature was seen by the Emperor? St Jerome doesn’t strike me as creating fanciful legends, and yet… I just do not know. I strike it as a kind of evidence for alien life, but not conclusive evidence. And I liked it so much, I have of course used it for fiction.

  • j. edwards

    I hate to be a snotty protestant, but after we decide if Jesus did/did not “save” aliens, can we talk about including homosexuals in the Church and women in the priesthood?

    (Ok, I love being a snotty protestant.)

  • Paul Robertson

    Not entirely sure how this impacts the debate, but we are Christians because we have heard the word of Christ. Given that humankind hasn’t (deliberately) spread that word to other planets, we must, I feel, infer that Christ would need to make a personal appearance on those other planets in order to spread his news of salvation there.

    He says “happy are those who have not seen and yet believe”, not “happy are those who have not heard…”

    NO idea myself. I am sure it would be pretty tedious for the Son to go through all that suffering over and over again for every planet bearing a sentient race, but I can’t claim to know the mind of God.

  • Michael Nguyen

    I agree that one incarnation should be enough for all of creation; however, this would then lead to the question of why God chose the human race as the race He incarnates into. One can argue that this can be attributed to the interpretation of both creation stories in Genesis that humans are the pinnacle of creation. But, as you have argued, maybe it is “not the human form, but the rational free spiritual form” that has been exalted to be this pinnacle of creation. This would then create equal all forms of sentient beings on any planet. Now, when God chooses one race out of the many possibilities (if there are any others) to be incarnated into, God would be making that race superior and alienating all of the others. He would be revealing himself to one particular society and make all other societies keep searching for God. And this, I think, would be contrary to God’s nature. So, therefore, I think that there must be an incarnation for each race so as to keep equal all “rational free spiritual” beings, correlating with God’s nature.

  • Liam

    Revelation has not clearly reveled I; II is more probable, and closer to how the issue of plural worlds were speculated upon by medieval scholastics. The Hypostatic Union does not, according to that speculation, prevent Christ having other natures if they were in God’s plan for the universe. Anyway, for Catholics, intelligent alien life does not present the enormous theological problems that are presented to those working from current fundamentalist perspectives.

  • Fr. Larry,

    On Humani Generis, I have written a couple of things here:

    http://whosoeverdesires.wordpress.com/2009/08/29/original-sin-and-evolution-how-to-read-genesis-1-3/

    and here:

    http://whosoeverdesires.wordpress.com/2009/08/22/evolution-and-original-sin-where-are-the-parameters-today/

    I really don’t think we can or need to accept one man and one woman.

  • Fr. Larry,

    On Humani Generis, I have written a couple of things here:

    http://whosoeverdesires.wordpress.com/2009/08/29/original-sin-and-evolution-how-to-read-genesis-1-3/

    and here:

    http://whosoeverdesires.wordpress.com/2009/08/22/evolution-and-original-sin-where-are-the-parameters-today/

    I really don’t think we can or need to accept one man and one woman.

  • Ronald King

    Nathan, I read you first piece on original sin. Do you disagree with JPII with his premise about the original human beings living in perfect unity with God? I have always believed just through reading those passages that the original human beings were in the process of development and learnining about their world, themselves and God.
    It seems to me that JPII projected into the beginning of the human story the end of it. I must keep this short. My time is limited right now.
    Thanks Nathan.

  • Michael

    In regard to aliens having a different nature than ours, and Christ potentially taking on an alien nature: is that not perhaps a problem, because we believe that Christ has a human nature now forever? It was not just a form that He took on and could discard; He was not an avatar: He has a human nature now. I think that speaks to the possibility that human beings are unique in the universe.

    Another possibility is that aliens might be, while intelligent, lower in the order of dignity to human beings, for example, like the angels. Angels are far more intelligent and more powerful than we are, but they server human beings as guardian angles and such.

    Or perhaps the important thing about Jesus becoming a man is that he took on a physical and spiritual nature, like the one we had. Perhaps in the future New Heaven and New Earth, if there are aliens, it might not occur to us to think that our natures were different, even if we had different evolutionary backgrounds. Or perhaps our physical natures will be changed dramatically in Heaven: while they are still physical, any kind of physical differences with aliens may become less pronounced.

  • Austin Villanueva

    I had never thought about this question until my teacher, Mr. Halloran, brought it up in class. I understand that if God exists, he would have created all things. Aliens could not have created themselves, they would also need a creator. And since Jesus is the Son of God, and the Second Person of the Trinity, his divinity exists outside of time, so he would have come before the rest of creation. As written in “Colossisans,” all things were created through Jesus and for Jesus. This being said, I think that aliens would be saved by Jesus because they would be a part of all creation. But I have another question. Could it be possible that whoever wrote the books of the Bible was purely talking about human creation? That whoever wrote the books thought that humankind was the only creation in the universe and never considered a race beyond humans?

  • Ronald King

    Excellent point Austin. Human beings tend to be egocentric and God’s Word can be used to make us even more so.

  • Jordan Schwartz

    In this entire blog, it would seem to me that the biggest question is whether Jesus needs to come back to life and die for a different race (non-humans, aliens, etc.) If you just read Hebrews 10:12 then I would say Jesus did not save aliens. However, if you read Colossians 1:15-20 then it could be a valid argument that Jesus did save aliens. Paul tells us that Jesus died on the cross. I agree that if Jesus died in a different planet then it would not be on the cross; rather it would be in the regulations of their own rituals. In my personal opinion, I believe that Jesus did die for all. The free spiritual form makes the most sense and once you learn about this, it is hard to deny that Jesus could have possibly died for aliens. I guess my real question would be, “Can Jesus die as another form?” Could he take part on the alien culture and die to save them? This would be the part that bothers me the most.

  • Paul Mickan

    I understand the reasonings behind both arguments and can see why some feel that Jesus’s salvation applies only to humans and others believe that this salavation also applies to “aliens.” This situation does distinguish itself from other “what if?” questions because one can draw on the scriptures as a source. I feel that Jesus’s incarnation and death only apply to Earth. Our planet is just a small planet on an outer ring of the Milky Way. There are infinitely more galaxies out in the universe. It is highly egocentric of the human race to think that God provided one savior for the whole universe and that by some small chance, God chose Earth as His place. I agree with Mr. Halloran that Jesus’s death a mere 2000 years ago likely does not affect the salvation of possible alien species from two billion years ago. Other intelligent races could have their own forms of Jesus, sent by God to save them. Furthurmore, aliens would likely be especially skeptical of a suspected savior from a foreign planet. They would most likely (or so I guess) accept one of their own: Jesus can be applied to each intelligent race individually.

  • Stephen Lucio

    I don’t think that Jesus, who assumed a human form on earth, could be the savior for every intelligent or rational being in the entire universe. In my opinion, he was the savior for the human race. There are billions of planets, so why would God specifically choose earth. Most likley, these other life forms would have no way of knowing about jesus or that they had been saved.
    Also, isn’t it possible that other life forms do not need jesus(or some other form of savior) to be sent down to save them?

  • Trevor Laborde

    I believe that Christ did save all beings with souls whether they are aliens or not. Christ is infinite so his salvation saves all those who live morally and truly have faith. At first I liked the dolphin analogy but then I remembered that animals do not have souls and therefore do not need saving. We as finite beings know and understand right from wrong which seperates us from the rest of the world. Also, by saying that since Chirst only appeared to us so that means we are the only ones he saved is stupid. God is everywhere and is everything. God has saved all of us including aliens.

  • John Simpson

    I believe that Jesus saves all of creation because God created it so that Jesus could come and save it. I do not think that Jesus needs to be reincarnated to every form of life in the universe to save them all. In order to seriously answer this question, we need to verify the assumption that there is actually is alien life in other places. Many people argue that the universe is too big of a space to not have other life forms, but I want proof that other life forms do exist. If there are other life forms then I believe Jesus saves them because they are ignorant of Jesus and his preching, and they fall under the category of people who are saved like unborn children and those who lived before Jesus.

  • Eric Haydel

    It seems to me that even if Jesus saved other intelligent beings’ souls, if they do/did not know about it, then it doesn’t serve near as much of a purpose. The beings would have no one to worship, to follow the teachings of (Or at least not anyone the caliber of Jesus).
    While scripture seems to make clear that there is only one incarnation of Jesus, it does not make clear how or in what form this incarnation exists in. I think a valid theory is that since God exists outside of time, the incarnation is an even from outside of time. It’s not so much that Jesus became a finite being in the realm of time, but rather that he became a rational being, which has no specific roots in time. In this way, Jesus would only be incarnated once, outside of time, and he would manifest himself in time in all of these different civilizations.

  • James Reuther

    I think that God is the creator of the universe, therefore He had to have presented Himself to all forms of life. It would be totally irrational for God to create a planet full of life and intelligence yet not allow reveal Himself to them. I think that Nate Halloran’s lecture in class about Eden, Resurrection, and Revelation greatly influenced my decision on this matter. The Resurrection on Jesus answered the question on the future of human existence, or poured the water into the cake mix so that it may become a cake. If it were not for Jesus, then the existence on other planets would be looked hopelessly into the future. If we came across another form of life outside this earth, then i think that we should inform them about Jesus and the good news becuase he told us to spread His Word to everyone. Also, if dolphins were one day capable of rational thought, then Jesus would not have to re-incarnate to save them. I believe this because the Bible clearly states that Jesus’s second coming will be to judge the living and the dead. Plus, he knows already whether or not dolphins will ever become rational; therefore, his dying on the cross would spread to all rational beings, including dolphins.

  • Scott Gibson

    I am suspicious of using scripture to discuss concepts so far ahead of those contemporary to the scripture writers. Take, for instance, the “dolphin-Jesus” question. How can a text written over 1000 years before Darwin answer the questions posed by an evolutinary situation?
    Although it is an interesting subject to discuss, I just don’t think that there is enough evidence for any argument, especially since we still don’t even know for a fact whether aliens exist or not, let alone whether or not the incarnation applies to them. This is a cynical way of looking at it, but it seems to me just discussion for discussion’s sake.
    The same goes for the “Why Earth?” questions posed in some comments. Why not Earth? After all, for the sacrifice to take place, Jesus had to appear somewhere.

  • Ethan Caballero

    I think that Jesus was, is, and probably will be incarnated in many forms throughout the universe. I don’t think that God created a universe as big as it is just for our exploration/entertainment, but rather to house many different beings created in his image. I know it probably is tedious to undergo enough passions to bring salvations to all these races, but Jesus/God/HS has infinite amounts of all virtues such mercy, determination, and pain tolerance.
    I know this theory sounds bogus but so does every other. One could say that aliens are brought salvation through their ignorance just as tribesmen in the jungle; but, as everyone else said, that’s somewhat egocentric. There also is the theory that aliens are told through divine revelation that God became man and died for them on a tiny planet in a distant galaxy, but one cannot expect aliens to believe that.

    • We don’t know what aliens would or would not believe, and what they would or would not know. Perhaps everything which happens on earth is known throughout the universe. C.S. Lewis talked about us as being the “Silent Planet.” Perhaps we are the “Loud Planet” which everyone knows, and because we are the center of the divine-creaturely drama, contact with us (save under unusual circumstances) has been “off limits.” The thing is, we really do not know. What can be discerned, through theology, is that 1)Christ’s work is cosmic in significance and can do everything needed for the whole of creation, when talking about what is necessary though 2) for many, it seems it is fitting that there would be other forms of contact with the rest of creation. Perhaps the Holy Spirit is more active elsewhere? Perhaps there are multiple incarnations. Many things are theory until we get such contact, but it is always useful to contemplate this theory because it helps remind us what really is taught in theology, that Christ’s work is not to be seen as limited to humanity alone.

  • DEREK DUNHAM

    For years it has been wonder whether or not Jesus’ death on the cross saved all of humanity or all intelligent beings. To someone narrow minded he might think that these are the same thing, but that is where he would be wrong. Humanity is a pretty specific thing. It is all human beings on this Earth, but intelligent being encompasses much more than just humanity. An intelligent being would encompass aliens that could exist or dolphins or something that evolve enough. I believe that Jesus died saving everyone and that it includes aliens or dolphin people. Because Jesus sacrificed himself for us all, he does not need to repeat the same thing for each intelligent being. I don’t know why we were lucky enough to have him as one of our own, but I am sure that he does not need to repeat his passion on every planet there is intelligent life.

  • Kyle Tran

    I do believe that Jesus’ incarnation and death was set out to save the entire universe. This is evident in the book of Colossians when stated that “all things” were created through and for him, and “all things” are before him and held together in him. I concur with Ronald’s comment of how “all things” are waiting for his coming and that God’s love is infinite. Therefore, aliens should be considered as “all things” too. The universe expands far beyond than we will ever know, so we aren’t really positive if there are even other life forms out there. But I do beileve in one death, resurrectoin and coming of Jesus to save “all things” in the past, present, and future.

  • Conor connick

    I believe that Jesus not only saved humans but he also saved those beings which exist in other planets aside from Earth. I agree that jesus was one man, but due to his divinity he coul;d not only save other humans but also aliens. If God created the universe and all things in it in his image and likeness why would aliens be excluded from this group. Simply because they exist on another planet does not imply that they wuld not be saved by the death of Jesus.

  • Woody Brown

    Personally, I believe that all of God’s creation will be saved if or when Jesus reincarnates. Why would God want half of his creation to be thrown to the wayside? God created all things both rational and irrational so why wouldn’t he save it all? If aliens truly exist then they were all made to be a part of God’s will. This also goes for irrational beings like animals and plants. These beings were made for a reason then they should serve the same reason in the afterlife.

  • Blake Fossier

    I believe that the one incarnation of Jesus should be able to save all other creations. He chose the from of a human because we are created in his image and likeness, but I think his death and salvation applies for all creation, as humans have reign over all things. If Jesus/God is the creator of all things, shouldn’t his incarnation also save all things. If there are aliens somewhere in the universe, we must believe that God created and therefore also loves them. To answer Austin’s question, I believe that yes, the people who wrote the books believed that they were the only rational existence. They didn’t even consider the possibility of other rational existence as they still thought the sun revolved around them and that Earth was flat.

  • Christian Fraught

    I believe the incarnation of Jesus and his death saved not only the inhabitants of this planet, but also any other aliens in the universe. If Jesus/God is indeed the creator of the entire universe, then any alien races living on other planets would fall under the blanket of His salvation as one of His creations. Also, I think that if we believe that Jesus/God is beyond time and space, then His sacrifice would apply to all forms on all planets throughout history. Multiple sacrifices for different species would not be necessary. If an alien race possessed a rational mind and the capacity to understand and love, then it would qualify for salvation. The hearing of the good news, while important, is not essential for salvation as long as any alien species meets the criteria for “personhood.”

  • Paul Robertson

    To say that humans are the only beings in the universe created in God’s image and likeness is pride in the extreme, and to say that we are special, on Earth, because of this is pride also. Through the centuries, as mankind’s understanding of his physical place in the universe has expanded, those suggesting that we aren’t at the centre of everything have been oppressed: usually by people within the church.

    Look at this from a hypothetical standpoint where our first missionaries touch down on Stavromueller Beta. Your civilisation has been ticking along happily for 50 centuries when some random bloke gets out of a space ship and tells you that you are saved because a God you’ve never heard of died on a planet you’ve also never heard of, 25 centuries ago. How are you going to receive the news that this self-important upstart is bringing that his species is superior to yours because his alien God visited him and not you.

    The moment we start saying that one sentient species is superior to another, we are at risk of slipping down into racism or slavery. We’ve been here before.