I have always been a fan of C. S. Lewis. His punchy lines and pensive reflections are something to be admired. My favorite book, by the way, is his Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold. It should be required reading, especially for those who have loved-ones (i.e., all of us).
At any rate, I was reminded today of something Lewis once said about humans coming into contact with other-worldly beings. Otherwise known as “aliens” or “extra-terrestrials” in modern parlance, Lewis seemed to have been open to the possibility of their existence. This can be seen from his May 7, 1963, interview with Sherwood Wirt of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Wirt queried Lewis about a host of topics—about writing, about his conversion to Christianity, etc.
After asking him about what he thought the future might hold, Wirt followed up with another fun question about space travel. To me, Lewis’ answer to this question is as interesting as it is sobering. As I said above, it gives us a glimpse into what Lewis thought about the existence of extra-terrestrials, but more importantly, it also gives us a snippet into his perspective about human nature and our need for redemption in Christ.
Mr. Wirt: Do you think there will be wide-spread travel in space?
Lewis: I look forward with horror to contact with the other inhabited planets, if there are such. We would only transport to them all of our sin and our acquisitiveness, and establish a new colonialism. I can’t bear to think of it. Once we find ourselves spiritually awakened, we can go to outer space and take the good things with us. That is quite a different matter.Source: The Timeless Writings of C. S. Lewis: The Pilgrim’s Regress, Christian Reflections, and God in the Dock (New York: Inspirational Press, n.d.), 482.