So right now I’m a mentor for TEY (Theological Education with Youth) a really cool program of the ELCA that engages young adults on a high theological level. The event I’m mentoring is “Summer Academy” where our scholars (the young adults) study college level courses for two weeks at Susquehanna University. The mentors get to sit in on the classes!
One of the classes deals with science and religion. We’ve been dealing with quantum mechanics and “Multiverse theories.” One of these theories posits there are a near infinite number of universes based upon the idea that (I may be botching this—I’m a mere bible student after all) we can only know the probability that an electron is in any one space at any one time and therefore it is possible that electrons are in all these probable places at once, just in different universes.
The implication of multiple universes, at least within some of these theories, is that near identical versions of us are doing near identical, yet perhaps different, things in these alternate universes (think “Sliders”). Some of these differences are small, maybe even non-existent, others are large—think super-intelligent grasshoppers.
So my question related to all of this is whether slightly different Jesuses could still save the world (worlds?). Could there be a world in which Jesus is fallen? CS Lewis posits a soteriology in which a Narnia world is saved by a Lion version of Jesus—Aslan. In another work he wonders if our world alone experienced “The Fall.” Yet it still bothers me—what of a world in which Jesus was beat by Joseph as a child and goes all Alexander the Great on us? A world where Mary was never born? A world where Judas never betrays Jesus?
If there are near-infinite variations of universes for electrons to be reside in within the bell-curve of possible electron movement, which leads to a near-infinite histories/lives it is possible Jesus the man would be “passed over” (I know this isn’t orthdox language—in fact it is rather adoptionist, but dealing with this type of speculation I think it is appropriate) as Child of God? Would God come in another form or person? Save in a different way? As Judas or Paul, Buddha or Muhammad, Joan of Arc or Steve Jobs? (on a side note I’d feel more comfortable with an Aslan or even a grasshopper savior than a non-Jesus human… I imagine that speaks to my own biases in some way)
Or, do we assume that the once-for-all-ness of Christ’s atonement in our universe is cross-universal? That seems rather like navel-gazing—imperialist even—but I’m not sure.