Some would say that an ancient faith like Christianity won’t survive outer space — especially as we explore further than we ever have before.
This episode is sponsored by Zondervan’s new book ‘The Theology of Paul and His Letters’ by Douglas J Moo.
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Meet our guests
Jeffrey Williams (Colonel, U.S. Army, Ret.) flew on Expedition 47/48 which completed his fourth mission, making it a record-breaking mission aboard the International Space Station. He has now has spent 534 days in space. The Wisconsin native was a Flight Engineer and lead spacewalker for STS-101 in 2000, Flight Engineer for Expedition 13 in 2005 and Expedition 21 in 2009, where he worked as Flight Engineer and then as commander for Expedition 22. Selected as an astronaut in 1996, Williams graduated first in the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School class 103 in 1993.
Deborah Haarsma is President of BioLogos. She is an astronomer and frequent speaker on modern science and Christian faith at research universities, churches, and public venues like the National Press Club. Her work appears in several recent books, including Four Views on Creation, Evolution, and Design and Christ and the Created Order. She wrote the book Origins with her husband and fellow physicist, Loren Haarsma, presenting the agreements and disagreements among Christians regarding the history of life and the universe. She edited the anthology Delight in Creation: Scientists Share Their Work with the Church with Rev. Scott Hoezee. Previously, Haarsma served as professor and chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Calvin University.
Download the transcript for this episode here.
- Want more Space stats (so you can be more like Director Mark)? Click here.
- Here’s some more about becoming an astronaut and the US Military Academy at West Point.
- Jeff Williams said he was inspired to become an astronaut after reading Tom Wolfe’s book The Right Stuff.
- Here’s something fun: Captain Kirk (aka William Shatner) went to the “edge of space” on Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin rocket.
- Jeff Williams went to space for the first time in NASA Space Shuttle Atlantis, which is now as exhibit at the Kennedy Space Centre. You can also watch the final Atlantis flight to the International Space Station here.
- Read more about the 5000-year-old rock paintings in Karkom, southern Israel.
- What’s an Exoplanet?
- All our science fiction references:
- Interstellar (2014)
- Arrival (2016)
- Stephen Hawking’s first extinction prediction (1000 years), as reported by The Washington Post.
- Annnd…. Stephen Hawking’s updated prediction: He gave humans a deadline of 100 years to leave earth.
- Read more about Elon Musk’s grand space plans in this Australian Broadcasting Corporation story, Launching Starship: Inside Elon Musk’s plan to perfect the rocket to take humanity to Mars.
- Also this from Futurism: When will the first human leave the Solar System?
- Deborah Haarsma enjoyed The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell, a novel that traces the fate of the first manned expedition to the stars. Here’s a NYT review of the book from 1996.
- We quote CS Lewis from the first book of his acclaimed Space Trilogy, Out of the Silent Planet .
- “We are not fit yet to visit other worlds. We have filled our own with massacre, torture, syphilis, famine, dust bowls and with all that is hideous to ear or eye. Must we go on to infect new realms?”
- And this other CS Lewis quote from his 1963 essay
- “We might meet a species which, like us, needed Redemption but had not been given it. But would this fundamentally be more of a difficulty than any Christian’s first meeting with a new tribe of savages? It would be our duty to preach the Gospel to them. For if they are rational, capable both of sin and repentance, they are our brethren, whatever they look like.”
- “Space exploration leads directly to religious and philosophical questions” – Carl Sagan from this BBC article.
- Here’s some of that Kremlin propaganda against religion, depicting Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin in space with the words “There is no God”.
- Buzz Aldrin took communion in space and, on his return journey from the moon to the earth on Apollo 11, read aloud the words of Psalm 8: “When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou has ordained; What is man that thou art mindful of him? And the Son of Man, that thou visitest Him?” Aldrin said later that NASA had asked him not to read the Bible passage, with the agency still reeling from a lawsuit (that was ultimately dismissed) brought by atheist activist Madalyn Murray O’Hair had claimed that a broadcast of astronauts reading from the Book of Genesis during the Apollo 8 mission violated the separation of church and state.
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Undeceptions is part of the Undeceptions Network. Seeking to ‘undeceive ourselves’, and let the truth ‘out’.