Religion and Rocketry
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The World's Last Night and Other Essays

"Religion and Rocketry"


Have you ever considered the theological implications of life on other planets?  Since two novels from Lewis's space trilogy involve rational creatures on other planets, the question crossed his mind.  This essay, originally titled "Will We Lose God in Outer Space?" was published in the Christian Herald in April 1958.  The Space Race between the US and the USSR began in October 1957 with the launch of the Soviet Sputnik, the first satellite to orbit the earth.


1.         a.  What sort of Creator is suggested by the view that life on earth is the result of purely random chance against tremendous odds?



            b.  What sort of Creator is suggested by the view that life is sustainable on many planets in the universe and earth is hardly unique?




2.  According to Lewis, what seemed to happen in the wake of each new scientific discovery or theory?




3.  The discovery of rational animal life on other planets is a supposed threat to what Christian doctrine?  Why?




4.  Lewis has strong words about man's inhumanity to man and treatment of the environment.  Do you agree/disagree?




5.  Lewis notes that after initial exploitation, the western world tried to make amends by sending missionaries.  What concerns does he have with this practice? 




6.  Lewis contends that "our loyalty is due not to our species but to God."  Do you think this point has application to national citizenship as well?




7.  Christians and their opponents tend to think that each new discovery will be dispositive of the faith question, but it has not happened.  Why?  Do you think there will be "wholly conclusive evidence" one day?    




© 2008 by Allyson Wieland