Billy Graham on the Bible and Alien Life

Billy Graham died yesterday at the ripe old age of 99 years. He was perhaps the greatest evangelist the world has ever witnessed. Moreover, he was the quintessential evangelical, a preacher whose primary focus was ever and always the Gospel, the personification of 1 Corinthians 2:2:

For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

It is perhaps surprising then to some folks that he believed that there is life in outer space.

Chapter 22 of his 1960 book My Answer includes the following (identical to his November 17, 1955 column of the same name):

“I am a student of the physical sciences. Some of my associates are inclined to believe that there is life on other planets. If there are people who inhabit these planets, what does that do to our faith in the Gospel? Can it be that God is primarily interested in this planet?

From my studies in the Scriptures I can find nothing that would change our essential faith in the Gospel if we did discover life on other planets. Our Bible is clearly designed for this particular planet with its particular problem of man’s sin. When we observe this fact we are on safe ground. It is not a part of the Bible’s message to inform us of what God has done elsewhere. Its message is concerned with earth dwellers, their origin, the reason of their existence, the cause of their misery and the plan of redemption for a fallen race. I am sure that if there are dwellers on other planets, they are either not involved in the sin problem, or else God has made satisfactory provision for them. The God of the Universe is the God of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is entirely able to support the entire creation and is able to govern it in righteousness.”

Graham fielded this question numerous times over the years (see the end of this post), but his answer remained consistent.

  • The Bible didn’t mention life in outer space
  • Life beyond the Earth was not part of the Bible’s message
  • Nothing about the discovery of extraterrestrial life would undermine any essential element of the Christian faith
  • He personally believed that extraterrestrial life exists
  • Though he initially allowed for the possibility that God had made satisfactory provision for fallen aliens, he eventually decided that only mankind was fallen in the universe, therefore:
  • Aliens did not need salvation, and
  • Mankind was the special focus of the universe

What is significant about his views is that while many anti-alien critics claim that the possibility of extraterrestrial life somehow undermines the Gospel, the Gospel was, undeniably, at the forefront of Billy Graham’s thinking.

Here are just a few of the many times where Billy Graham addressed the question of extraterrestrial life:

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Zack Russell says:

    I love how Billy Graham could direct any question into an answer focused on the gospel. For that really is the most important issue for us humans on planet Earth.


  2. richard says:

    I have seen aliens visitors maby they created god I believe we’re living in a simulation metaphysics created by someone seen aliens but never seen god very sad how the church manipulates people I believe in the gospel of Mary also Enoch and all books taken out of the Old Testament king James rewrote it all I agree with Billy Gramm life is out there wake up you little David’s.


    1. Tony Breeden says:

      The Dead Sea Scrolls prove that King James did no such thing. The Gospel of Mary is a Gnostic text written in the 2nd or 3rd century AD, and it even doubts its own revelations internally within the text. Not all that glitters is gold; Lots of pseudoepigraphica have their origins in men trying to lend authority to pet doctrines. Enoch is a piece of well-respected Apocrypha but it’s posotion is extracanonical precisely because it’s not written by Enoch. Note that Bible (in the Book of Jude) quotes Enoch himself not the Book of Enoch. The Book of Enoch is not part of the Jewish Scriptures either, which were completed and compiled about 420 BC. It’s a work of pseudoepigraphica (“falsely ascribed writings” who are written by someone else but ascribed to an author that lends the text more authority).

      If we’re living in a simulation, you’ve no way to rule out the Programmer being God.

      BTW, what evidence do you have that anyone has ever actually seen an alien?


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