by Jason Wisdom
QUESTION: "What do you make of all this ancient alien or astronaut theory that seems to be gaining popularity at a rapid rate? Linked to this, what are your views on Genesis 6? Do you think Genesis 6 explains some of the evidence put forward by ancient astronaut theorists?"
RESPONSE: To be honest, I do not invest much into these sorts of theories. Don't misunderstand me. I think they are fascinating, but I have no reason to find them compelling. I should say, right off the bat, that I do not consider the existence of extraterrestrial life impossible. I think it may even be likely given the size of our universe. However, there is a huge difference between life and intelligent life. And on a Christian worldview, there is an even greater difference between intelligent life and human life. There are some creatures that live in the darkest depths of the ocean that I am more than happy to call "alien" (although technically from this planet). It wouldn't cause me to question Christianity and the Bible if we eventually discover creatures like these somewhere in the farthest reaches of space. It would take a very specific sort of extraterrestrial life (conscious, moral, reasoning) to really do much to undermine the Christian view. I understand that is precisely what the ancient alien/astronaut theories suggest, but that is where I just don't feel like there is any compelling evidence. Anyway, that probably wasn't what you were asking, so I will move onto the Genesis 6 question since I have a good bit to say about that.
Genesis 6 is a chapter that fascinates and confuses a lot of people. Who/what were "the Sons of God" who fancied the "daughters of men?" Who/what were "the Nephilim?" I think it is unfortunate that so much confusion has arisen out of these couple of verses. Let me briefly explain why. The passage seems to indicate that what "the Sons of God" were doing was not something God approved of. First of all because the context seems to be all about the sinful spiral of humanity leading up to the flood. Beyond that, if we suppose that the Sons of God are angelic beings (as many do), then there is no reason to think that it was God's intention for them to breed with human women. Thus, in Gen 6 we are either dealing with disobedient humans or disobedient angelic beings. Up to that point, there should be no real disagreement.
Now, just so we are on the same page, disobedient angelic beings are also traditionally called demons. Angels and demons are by nature spiritual beings. That much is obvious in Scripture. However, it gets a bit tricky since there are instances in the Bible where angels take on physical form (at the very least making them visible to the human eye). This is called an "angelophany." But the important question here is: from where does this ability to take on physical form come, and what purpose does it serve? In all of these cases, the angels are serving God's purpose and it is he who gives them physical form. He is the creator of all things physical and immaterial. Thus, there is no room for rogue angels going around and manifesting bodies in order to satisfy their lusts. That is something out of ancient pagan mythology. Unfortunately, many people (even many good theologians) have spliced it into their understanding of this text. If there is any hybrid, mutant, creature being created here, it is only the result of bad interpretation…
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