Space Exploration and the Creation Mandate

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This idea for this post occurred to me when reading this post, at Pseudo-Polymath, which reviews a Christian science fiction novel. I wanted to expand a little on a comment I left on that post. The novel in question involves people from Earth colonizing other planets, with no clear indication of why they are doing so. What I'm wondering is if this is in conflict with the creation mandate of the early chapters of Genesis. God gives the Earth over to humans to take care of as stewards. It's God's Earth, but humans now have the responsibility to care for it as representatives of God, which is what being an image of God primarily means. There's no indication that anything else in the universe is given to humanity to steward, which suggests to me that going beyond the boundaries of this planet is going beyond our jurisdiction. I've never been opposed to the space program, but I don't have any sense of how it's supposed to fit with the creation mandate. It seems counter to the very intent.

C.S. Lewis avoids with this in his Space Trilogy by not having the people out there be humans descended from Adam and Eve. I don’t mind scifi that has humans colonizing other planets or even with only faint memories of Earth. Firefly was exactly that, and it was excellent. But it’s a little strange to write it as a Christian novel and not even deal with the issue of God telling Adam that he was being given the Earth to steward and care for, without any indication that it would be ok to go other places and care for things not given to us. If the reason for going out is because of a failure to steward the Earth properly, that's even worse. Don't take care of what God lets you manage for him, and then go hang out somewhere else instead once his planet is no longer inhabitable. But even without that, there seems to be a serious question that Christian science fiction of this sort ought to address. Maybe there's a good way to do this without avoiding it the way Lewis did, but I'd be curious to hear what that would be.

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Carnival CXXIX was at Crossroads. It contained a fascinating little speculation on whether God's creation mandate to be stewards over the Earth extends to other planets as well. Unless and until we find other sentient life out there, I'm inclined to ... Read More


Maybe "earth" doesn't mean the _planet_ Earth in the Bible? Maybe it means everything other than the heavens (where this means the non-physical)?

Just a wild guess.

I remember once as a child in a dentist office reading a comic book of short little stories. One involved a rocket ship that traveled to the edge of the solar system. Upon reaching that edge the ship meet an invisible barrier. Using every type of drill, laser, missile, nuclear bomb or what not available it could not pierce that barrier.

Upon returning home from his failed mission the astronaut sits with his wife looking at a fish bowel. His insight is that the bowel is designed to keep the fish in and safe so maybe we are likewise kept in a larger bowel....but by WHO and WHAT are we being kept safe from??? (cue ominious music).

Anyway, perhaps a good Christian sci-fi idea would be the premise that space travel is so difficult and impractical because God wants us to stick to earth and 'look but don't touch' everything else. Free idea there for anyone who wants to try it.

Truthwise, I suspect your:

1. Earth may or may not include more than just the planet earth.

2. Stewardship is simply our primary responsibility. If I own a piece of land I'm responsible for it. However I may visit my neighbor but I don't have a free pass to litter, trash and defile his land. I have a lesser obligation of good stewardship as a guest.

With regard to space exploration, I am nominally interested in what the government and space-scientists are doing (or attempting to do); besides bankrupting our federal treasury. But I would remind everyone that regardless of any successes, on the Last Day, the heavens (all of outer space) and the Earth will be consummed by fire, thereby eliminating ALL that was created during creasion week (Genesis 1). The GOD-Plan of the Holy Bible tells us ALL that we humans need to know on this subject.....

I wouldn't call it elimination, since it seems to be described elsewhere as restoration of what was originally created. People will be raised from the dead. That doesn't mean destroyed with duplicates created. Obligations to take care of creation are obligations, even if in the end the business of redeeming all things will be done by God. He gave us the task of overseeing his creation under his authority, and failing to do that wisely is immoral even if he will finally bring all things to their originally intended state.

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