Skip to main content

Are you searching for a better Earth?

George Musser recently wrote a fascinating piece 'The Roadmap to Alpha Centauri' where he discusses the possibility of interstellar travel within our lifetime :
"..When it comes to starships, it's best not to get hung up on details. By the time humanity gets to the point it might actually build one, our very notions of travel may well have changed. "Do we need to send full humans?" asks Long. "Maybe we just need to send embryos, or maybe in the future, you could completely download yourself into a computer, and you can remanufacture yourself at the other end through something similar to 3-D printing." Today, a starship seems like the height of futuristic thinking. Future generations might find it quaint...."
Musser presumably wants to reassure us that in the end, as George W. Bush once said, "we do not know where this journey will end, yet we know this: human beings are headed into the cosmos". This eagerness of human beings to dominate the cosmos is in fact quite expected from the Christian perspective.

God has given human beings the creation mandate. We are created in the image of God and have been given a special task of not only multiplying but also to rule the earth and subdue it. Human beings are to rule over creation by living out God's creative purpose and thinking God's thoughts after Him. The quest to fill the universe is an expression of that mandate. Therefore there's something God honouring about it.

It is also equally true that the Bible does not end at Genesis 2. It continues to tell us about the fall of human beings and the curse of sin. We chose to eject God from his place in our hearts. Now what remains is an empty void. The search for the stars is an attempt to fill that void. Like Star Trek's captains Jean-Luc Picard and James Kirk in the movie Generations we are searching for a Nexus that will meet our needs. We are longing for a better world -to live the dust behind!

This is why people get excited by the idea of interstellar travel. The search is for'Another Earth' but with 12 moons and where you never age. Where all your wishes come true. The pursuit is therefore not one only of mastering the cosmos but a genuine longing to escape.

Again nothing illustrates this more powerfully than in cinema. In the movie, Independence Day there is a scene where people camp below the invading ship - praying to it and waiting for redemption. Of course it turns out the new masters are not bearing good news. Similarly, Prometheus presents a longing for alien gods who have left (with clues behind) and somehow if found can answer all our questions, especially how to solve the problem of our mortality. There again tragedy strikes as new saviours turns out to be no predators. These things speak to humanity's deeper longings that can never be answered by reaching out to stars.

There's another group of people in the past who looked for another home. The Bible says these people called by God were "strangers and exiles on the earth". These people were "seeking a homeland". Here is what it says about them : "they desired a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city" (Hebrews 11:15-16). This city has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. (Hebrews 11:10). The problem is not looking. The trouble is where we look. We are to be like these exiles and strangers who looked to God himself.

But now it gets better. You see, while we were search for the stars God has already sent his rescue mission to us! As Louie Giglio and Matt Redman say in their book ('Indescribable') : "The world was so intrigued by the universe that it sent a space shuttle. God so loved the world that He beat us to it and launched His own mission, sending His only Son. The miracle of the Christian gospel is that the One who was quite simply beyond our grasp drew near to us. He who was out of reach reached down to us"

Through the cross of Jesus Christ, we encounter the one true God on a mission to seek and save the lost. He might simply have impressed us with the creating another Earth with 12 suns and 12 moons, and awed us into submission. Yet our God chose to go much, much further—not simply wowing us with scientific greatness, but wooing us with Himself. God became flesh and dwelt among us.

Copyright © Chola Mukanga 2013

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Christian and Technology, A Review

The central argument of John Fresko’s  The Christian  and Technology  is that technology is a double-edged sword that requires cautious and intentional use. Continuous uncritical use of technology erodes hunger for the Word of God, makes us self-centred and turns our useful devices into idols. The book intends to promote proper use of technology by encouraging us to dig into our hearts to see whether Christ so fills us that nothing can drag us away from him. Fresko believes there is no need for us to flee from technology or become Luddites because technology is value neutral. It is not in of itself good or bad. Instead, we must focus on carefully evaluating how we think about and use technology. This necessarily requires us  not only to understand the relevant technology, but also understand ourselves. A key part of this is recognising that we struggle with technology because we lack contentment in Christ. The book explores explores six different technologies. I think the most fascina

I am what I am by Gloria Gaynor

Beverly Knight closed the opening ceremony of the Paralympics with what has been dubbed the signature tune of the Paralympics. I had no idea Ms Knight is still in the singing business. And clearly going by the raving reviews she will continue to be around. One media source says her performance was so electric that "there wasn’t a dry eye to be seen as she sang the lyrics to the song and people even watching at home felt the passion in her words" . The song was Gloria Gaynor's I am what I am . Clearly not written by Gloria Gaynor but certainly musically owned and popularized by her. It opens triumphantly: I am what I am / I am my own special creation / So come take a look / Give me the hook or the ovation / It's my world that I want to have a little pride in / My world and it's not a place I have to hide in / Life's not worth a damn till you can say I am what I am The words “I am what I am” echo over ten times in the song. A bold declaration that she

Today I Learned

The puritan John Miles (1621-1683)   founded the first Baptist Church in Wales. He then emigrated to America shortly after the Act of Uniformity (1662) when 2,000 ministers were ejected from the Established Church. With a large proportion of his church, Miles settled at a new Swansea, about ten miles from Providence in Rhode Island. The church grew in face of persistent opposition.   Once, when Miles was brought before the  magistrates on some charge, he asked for a Bible. He then quoted Job 19:28 - Ye should say, Why persecute we him, seeing the root of the matter is found in me ? (KJV). He stopped there and sat down. The court was so convicted by the content and context of the passage that their cruelty gave way to kindness. ( Source : An Introduction to the Baptists, Erroll Hulse)