I remember reading Arthur C. Clark back in my high school days, “Rendezvous with Rama.” and “Childhood’s End” and of course where most people first heard about him, “2001: A Space Odyssey.”
This afternoon, I was browsing my news feed in Google Currents and saw an old interview with Arthur C. Clark. Some of the interview was interesting, just from a personal perspective…getting to know a little bit more about how someone I have read thinks. But it was the end of the interview that caught my attention. Here is what he said:
Contact with extraterrestrials would be the turning point in history, to discover that we’re no longer alone. I can’t imagine anything more important.
I agree. The difference between he and I (at least at the time of the interview) is that I believe we have already been contacted by an extraterrestrial intelligence and like him, I believe that he really has made a difference.
One of the dangers that Clark mentioned about meeting up with aliens, is that they would be so far ahead of us that we would become couch potatoes in response. It would have been easy for God to have made us into couch potatoes…He could have handed us the Encyclopedia Britannica 3001 edition, back in 4000 BC. He could have explained germ theory, nutrition, and how to kill cancer cells. He also could have given us a systematic theology text.
Strangely, He didn’t take any of those options…perhaps precisely to avoid the danger that Clark foresaw. Instead, we have a Bible…a book with at least 1500 years of editorial processing (not exactly an instant data dump)…and in truth, a work in which He is “only” co-author.
But, of course, beyond God’s word…we actually had God’s Word…the Logos…Jesus, himself, walked amongst us as one of us. Because, of course, if he had come in all of his glory that would have been a bit too much intimidating. And Jesus really didn’t want to do that…he wanted disciples…not couch potatoes.
Of course, that begs the question….does the church in America produce more disciples or couch potatoes.