17th October 2006
The ForteanTimes (a magazine devoted to the world of strange phenomenon) has an interesting article entitled, “Flying Saucers From Hell” by Dr David Clarke, lecturer at Sheffield Universityâ€™s Centre for English Cultural Tradition. Here is an excerpt:
On the one hand there is a group of evangelicals â€“ mainly Americans, such as Dr Billy Graham â€“ who have said the UFO occupants may be angels sent by God to watch over us. The best-known exponent of this idea is the Presbyterian minister Rev Barry Downing, author of Flying Saucers and the Bible. Downing appears to be open minded about aliens as part of Godâ€™s creation and to look to the scriptures for evidence of early ET contacts.
At the opposite end of the spectrum are some members of the Christian Orthodox Church who find it impossible to accept that there is any goodness in the elusive and contradictory nature of UFO behaviour. The most extreme expression of this view is that there can be no ETs because life on other planets is not mentioned in the Bible. Itâ€™s a point of view that leads its proponents to a further conclusion: if there are no aliens in the Bible and the UFO occupants arenâ€™t angels, then UFOs can only be demonic in origin.
I personally don’t have any strong opinions about extra-terrestrials; I have never met or seen any — at least not that I am aware of! I find the view that they are angels or demons kind of silly, but that’s just my academic skepticism kicking in.
If you are interested in this sort of stuff I encourage you to read the entire article (you’ll have to register).
Even better, you can download an MP3 of a free public lecture that was given a couple years ago at Taylor on the same subject: “God and ET: Christian Reflections on UFOs and Little Green Men” by Randal Rauser, Assistant Professor of Historical Theology, Taylor Seminary (click here to download).
(HT Boing Boing)