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Space Exploration in Postmillennial Perspective

If the moon and Mars were to be colonized some time in the next 100 years, how would this affect the viability of a pre-trib rapture view?

Or how about this question: How do eschatological views affect the discussion on the existence of extraterrestrial life?

This is a topic I’ve always been interested in. I am a big fan of science fiction novels and programs such as the X-Files and Star Trek. As a Christian, I see these stories as entertaining ideas, or as one science fiction writer called them, “thought experiments.” I don’t believe in UFO’s or extraterrestrials, but I find the concept interesting. Even the great Christian apologist C.S. Lewis wrote a Space Trilogy, which like his Chronicles of Narnia series is an allegory relating to Christian theology.

As a high school sophomore, I wrote a science fiction novella about an atheist who invents a space ship capable of interstellar travel. After an argument with his wife, who is a Christian, he decides to travel to the nearest star and discovers a strange utopian civilization. When he returns to earth he discovers that the entire earth is deserted. He is left with no choice except to travel back to the utopian planet. To his surprise, he discovers that his wife and her friends are on the planet. Even though he has traveled many additional light years, they haven’t aged. The situational irony, of course, is that the rapture has occurred while he was en route to the Bernard Star solar system – which people thought at that time was the closest star capable of having a solar system. The novel ends with the realization that the distant planet was heaven. The fate of the protagonist was that he was thrown into a black hole, which according to my story, was the second death described in Revelation 21:8.

The biggest irony in all of this is that when I wrote this story, I was not converted to Christ. I had read the works of Hal Lindsey and seen TV programs on the topic of “The Terminal Generation.” I used to believe that the rapture had to be very close because the Bible spoke only of people being “caught up” in the air to meet the Lord. Once people began to explore other planets, I thought, that would throw a monkey wrench into the possibility of the rapture occurring while people were on other planets. At least I didn’t see any mention of it in the so-called “end-times” prophecies of the Bible.

Then ten years later as a new Christian, I read a book by John Jefferson Davis called, Christ’s Victorious Kingdom: Postmillennialism Reconsidered. Postmillennialism differs from the traditional premillennial view in that there is no “rapture” of the church sometime in a seven year tribulation of wars, diseases and natural calamities. Postmillennialism teaches essentially that the world will become gradually Christianized as time goes by. The Second Coming and the rapture will occur after a long Golden Age of peace and prosperity.

Today as a postmillennialist, I believe that we have enough time left in history to colonize space – and possibly one day travel to other solar systems. I don’t think we will find aliens on other worlds, but I often wonder whether or not God created some of these worlds in a way that would allow men from the planet earth to create biospheres on other planets. Is it possible that the Great Commission involves spreading the Gospel for beyond our own solar system?

More about postmillennialism.

Comments

Your comments are welcome!

I thought I was the only one who thought this way (lol). It was good to read your piece. I too believe that there is a long (or longer than pre-trib pre-mill eschatology implies) future ahead of us in which the Church will advance through the Cosmos (whether
there are other sentient species out there or not). I have read a
couple other things from this perspective online, but not much.
I hope you still monitor these
posts, since it's been a long time
since you posted, with, sadly, no
comments.

Posted by tolman on 02/01/2015 02:41 PM #

Yeah, it’s hard to see much future for space travel with an imminent-rapture, premillennial outlook. Sadly, theologians rarely ever mention the topic of space colonization. I think James Jordan is one of the few who has. He seems excited about its prospects. R.J. Rushdoony, on the other hand, just saw the space program as a big statist project, not the beginning of a new era.

I used to think it unlikely that we would find life in space, but I’ve changed my view. EVERYWHERE we go on Earth, even the most extreme places, seems to be teeming with life. Even way up in the upper atmosphere. So I suspect we’ll find quite a bit of life elsewhere, which should give a huge impetus to further exploration.

Regarding C.S. Lewis’ trilogy, there was a recent article that some may find interesting:

http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1754/1

Posted by Gordon R. Vaughan on 10/18/2011 01:41 AM #

Jay, you may have already read my essay “Futures for Sale.” The conclusion echoes your thoughts: <ul>
When fundamentalism committed itself to a no-future future, the humanists were glad to claim the discarded trifle for their own. For a while, writers populated their Darwinian futures with characters who were motivated by derivative religious values. That moral capital has been consumed. The bleakness of the current weltanschuung opens the door again for people who have a vision, who have a passion, who believe that they and their grandchildren truly have a future.

God gave Christianity a thousand years to develop its distinctive civilization in Europe, before giving His people a whole new world to occupy for His glory. God gave us another 500 years to carry the ball forward in this part of the world. Has He also hung the next step before our eyes? The first meal taken on the moon was the Lord’s Supper. I ask God to let the day come when I’ll be able to look up into the sky at night, and pray for descendents pursuing their callings on the moon. Or even, perhaps, on Mars. In the meantime, I ask for grace to present the heroes of the future with a future as big as the promises of God. </ul>

http://www.artsreformation.com/a001/ts-futures.html

Posted by Thomas Smedley on 04/10/2012 11:02 AM #

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Massacre of Innocence (DVD)

Exposing The Occult Roots of Abortion

This presentation looks at the spiritual roots of abortion and exposes the myths surrounding child killing. Little known historical facts about abortion and how they relate to modern feminism are presented logically and accurately. Has been effective in converting many to a pro-life position.

Massacre of Innocence goes where no pro-life presentation has gone before in “tearing the lid off abortion” to reveal the spiritual realities we must battle if we will bring an end to this crime. The presentation is absorbing, fast-paced, informative and incredibly devastating to any attempt to justify abortion.

“… an extraordinary statement … a powerfully articulate presentation about what abortion really means, and why a great and moral nation like the United States must not allow the slaughter to continue.”
— Congressman Robert K. Dornan

Running time: 85 minutes

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(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

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The Four Keys to the Millennium (Book)

Foundations in Biblical Eschatology

By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.

All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?

These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.

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Dr. Francis Schaeffer - How Should We Then Live? (DVD)

Special Two-Disc Set!

After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.

Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.

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Dr. Francis Schaeffer - A Christian Manifesto (DVD)

That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!

Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.

Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.

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The Beast of Revelation IdentifiedThe Beast of Revelation: Identified (DVD)

Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?

Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!

Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.

Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)

Running Time: 145 minutes

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