James Boswell, best known as Samuel Johnson’s biographer, was a lifelong seeker of truth. He struggled to put together his Calvinist religious heritage with the insights and perspectives of the Enlightenment. From 1763 to 1765 he toured Europe not just to see the historic sites but to encounter some of its greatest living thinkers, among them Rousseau and Voltaire.
For there to be a heresy about the cross, there would have to be an orthodoxy about it. Michael Gorman argues that contentions over how Jesus saves lead to an inadequate grasp of what the Passion means and does.
José Gabriel Funes, who runs the Vatican’s astronomy program, is not bothered by the idea that there might be intelligent life on some other planet, such as on the recently discovered Kepler 452b which appears to be earthlike. “Just as there is a multiplicity of creatures on Earth, there can be other beings, even intelligent, created by God,” Funes said. “This is not in contrast with our faith because we can’t put limits on God’s creative freedom.” He does not believe that the discovery of extraterrestrial intelligent life would mean there could be another Jesus. “The incarnation of the son of God is a unique event in the history of humanity, of the universe,” he said. Pope Francis has already said the church should be open to baptizing extraterrestrials, should they ever be encountered (Washington Post, August 1).