October 28, 2007


As much as I love to rile people up...and I don't exactly "like" it, I just think it's sort of fun to do, I also have another love (besides my wife, kids and Lord) -- and that love is writing.

I've been writing since I was thirteen (37 years for those of you who are curious) and I've had 35 articles, essays, guest columns, stories, curriculum pieces, and a book published (http://www.csspub.com/prod-788012940.htm) and even a children's musical staged. I'm somewhat experienced as a writer and I think I've had a wide variety of publications. I'm a current member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America ( http://www.sfwa.org/members/gstewart/ ) as well as the Society of Children's Writers and Illustrators. I regularly appear as a guest teacher in Young Author's Conferences all over the state of Minnesota and for five years I was a COMPAS Writer and Artist In The Schools (I dropped out to finish my master's degree in guidance counseling). I've been a classroom teacher for 27 years and have taught science from astronomy to zoology. Every summer for the past 11 years, I teach classes in Writing To Get Published and (Constructing) Alien Worlds. I've been husband to one wife for 20+ years and father to two kids, Josh (19) and Mary (16). They have ALL appeared in my writing in some way or another during that time.

While I don't make a living with my writing, I add significantly to the family income BECAUSE of my writing. That may not be irrititating to you, but please rest assured that as time goes on, I'll probably say something you find bothersome. If I do -- let me know and I'll see what I can do about it!

All of the above is to announce that I will begin to include essays on WRITING as interludes between my rants on SF, Christianity and aliens...so stay tuned!

October 27, 2007


Any accusation or argument that Christianity is anthropocentric is inherently indefensible. There is no evidence that it is as we cannot compare the Bible to an alien scripture.

So until we can actually do that, a critical judgment of whether Christianity is anthropocentric will have to wait until we have that alien version of the Bible/Koran/Bhagavad Gita/Analects/Talmud/Tao-te-ching, etc.

As to the universality of Christianity, it’s not even common to all members of humanity – how can it be common to anyone off Earth? On the other hand, Christianity is FOR everyone. Matthew 11:28 says, “Come to me ALL who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.” Christianity is for any intelligences we meet in space.

Christianity has adapted to a number of human cultures. There’s no reason to think that it can’t adapt to alien cultures. Christians have been adapting their faith for 2000 years – but have kept the essential tenets of Christianity: humans broke their relationship with the Creator through disobedience; Jesus came to restore the relationship by paying the penalty for disobedience—which was death – for us; He dies, but returned to life because His was the sacrifice of an innocent life. That humans can return to a right relationship with God through Jesus is logical because He was the one who paid the penalty. How can anyone return to a right relationship with God except through the one who bought them passage back?

Christianity is the only religion to claim that God came to Earth in human form with the express purpose of replacing us in receiving punishment for something he didn’t do – though the punishment was undeniably OWED. It is a type and can be universal. Who’s to say that God did not incarnate on any world where its people rebelled against the Creator of the universe? Who’s to say He didn’t die a thousand deaths and experience a thousand resurrections for a thousand intelligences? Who’s to say that Jesus didn’t die once for ALL on an obscure planet in an obscure galaxy – it would certainly fit the motif of being born to humble parents in a stable in a non-world-power among an obscure people!

God made the universe before he made humans – Scripture is very clear on this in Genesis 1:14-15. If Christians are acting as if they were here first and are foremost, that is a very different story than assuming that the document from which the doctrine was derived directed them to believe that way. Genesis 2:1 says, “the heavens and the earth were completed and ALL their hosts.” God made it all, cares for it all and will redeem any part of it that falls. C.S. Lewis posits that not all created beings failed their obedience test in his SF book, PERELANDRA.

In conclusion, I believe that Christianity is not anthropocentric but universal. The Bible itself is, indeed anthropospecific; and Jesus Christ, the Son of God is universal when he says, “Come to me ALL who are weak and heavy laden and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

October 17, 2007

CHRISTIANITY -- ANTHROPOCENTRIC OR UNIVERSAL II: God Appears To Have Disappeared From Science Fiction (B)

Five years ago, I started pondering this question and people have clicked on this essay nearly a thousand times, making it the single most-viewed thing I’ve ever posted. I’d like to continue thinking out loud on the issue now that I’m older and the world has changed a bit...

First a couple of definitions: (taken from a google search, specific sites available on request)

anthropocentric: with a human bias, considering humans the center of the universe; regards the human as being the central fact or final aim of the universe; the idea that humans are the most important beings in the universe; human-centered; for humans, humans must be the central concern and humanity must judge all things accordingly

universal: applicable or common to all members of a group or set; adapted to various purposes, sizes, forms or operations; a universal “type”, a property or a relation; pertaining to all, especially all times, all places and all things

First the accusation: Christianity is anthropocentric. I would argue that rather than being anthropocentric, the BIBLE is anthropospecific. It was a message from God directed to humans using metaphors and symbolism with which we are familiar. There is nowhere in the Bible that speaks to Jesus being the exclusive property of humanity. In fact, John 10:16 can be used to argue quite the opposite (it’s been used to argue Joeseph Smith’s message from the angel Moroni as well as ultimate salvation of all people in all religions). “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring and they shall hear my voice and there shall be one fold and one shepherd.” (KJV). Another part of the argument is that Jesus was a human, so he can’t represent any other alien KPCOFGS (Kingdom, Phylum…). But out of SF, the response must be obvious: is Odo human? Is Paul Muad’Dib human? Is R. Daneel Olivaw human? No – merely human on the outside. Their essence is decidedly NOT human. While Jesus was obviously human on the outside, was he essentially human? The answer to this is “yes” He is human. It is also “yes” He is God. Frank Herbert allowed that in DUNE, Paul Muad’Dib was both human and god-emperor – and I agree. So Jesus could represent all sentient life in the universe – there’s nothing in the Bible that says He is only “for” humanity.

Genesis 2:1 gives some evidence that Jesus is for all intelligent life: “Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array…” Not “the earth in its vast array” – but the heavens as well. God created it all, declared it all good (Genesis 1:8), cares for it all (Romans 8:38-39) and sent His Son to save it all (John 3:16 – NOTE: the English word here “world” is actually translated from the Greek word “kosmon”, the same root word as the English “cosmos”…which we use interchangeably with “universe”. No mistake here, but a different emphasis makes a real difference.)