1. It’s interesting seeing you guys (and gals) respond to each other (as article contributors), so often and so quickly. I enjoy it!

  2. Jes Drew says:

    Interesting article. However, while different there may be differences in cultures, technologies, and histories in alternative realities, people wouldn’t really be any different there than here since we have the same fallen nature, and God’s Word would be the same for each of them since He is unchanging and neither is His Word that will exist even when this reality burns away. I would also argue that Christ died once for all in a way that affected each universe equally should there be more than one, just like they all had the same beginning and will have the same end.

    • Travis Perry says:

      Well, if you allow for different choices in Bible times, then perhaps (for example) David would not have committed adultery with Bathsheba with the consequences that brought. That would change the Bible.

      Of course, if you don’t allow for anyone in the Bible to make any other choices (everyone else could, but not them), then the Bibles could all come out the same–or only with ordinary textual variants we already have.

      If the Bibles are all the same, the sacrifice of Christ presumably would be simultaneous across all the universes. So only events outside the Bible would be different.

      That would work fine, actually. But would demand certain elements of ancient history were exactly the same. History would not be able to diverge for a large portion of the world until around AD 100. But a person could make a story like that.

  3. Stephen Smith says:

    I read the article with great interest since I’m somewhat fascinated with quantum physics. But it seems to me you’re implying that as Christians we can only write about alternate realities that can somehow be scientifically possible. That unless we can envision alternate realities through the lense of scientific probability–no matter how remote–our story is therefore suspect. Or are you saying that we could only claim that our story “might actually be true” if it lines up with the rationale expressed in the article? I don’t really believe in alternate realities (though I don’t think it would destroy my faith if we discovered they existed), yet I still love speculative stories that include alternate realities with a Christian worldview.

    • Travis Perry says:

      I would say that God could make other flavors of alternate realities as he wishes. I hinted at that in the article, but didn’t say so directly. I was mainly covering why alternate history stories are a big deal in science fiction–because of a particular interpretation of quantum physics.

      I think we could use the MWI interpretation to craft alternate realities but I would not say the imagination of a Christian author is bound to that. I hinted at this when I said the difference could be centered on moral choices, instead of on quanta. That’s actually a big difference.

  4. Alternate realities are definitely fair game for Christian authors. In a way we all already do write about alternate realities, since there’s no way we can write exactly according to what actually happened. The difference is that we don’t present it as an alternate reality. Like, we pretty much say ‘within the story, this is the one reality.’

    One time I saw (but didn’t read) this one Christian fiction novel that explored what could have happened if Adam and Eve hadn’t sinned. Unfortunately I don’t remember the title. I might try to dig around for it and link it if I find it.

    For regular authors, though, it can be really fun to design alternate realities of their own work. Like, in some anime and manga, I’ve seen authors do a short Highschool AU.

    The new Voltron series on Netflix explored alternate realities just a bit. The last episode was totally rushed, though…

    The question is how much we should be playing around with this stuff, though. Like, we could end up breaking something and destroying everything. Or one person looking for their perfect reality could be so intent on finding their own perfect reality they don’t care how their quest affects everyone else. Voltron actually showed something like that eventually.

    Could be interesting if someone found evidence for a spiritual realm in all this research, though. The idea of realities being stacked on top of each other kind of starts edging in that direction just a bit.(like, if there were different realities stacked on top of each other as a manifestation of multiple human choices, maybe there’s multiple realities stacked on top of each other in terms of planes of existence.)

    • Travis Perry says:

      I like your idea of making alternate reality versions of our own stories!

      Also, I recently watched the Netflix series Travellers, which featured time travellers trying to create better realities by invading the bodies of 21st Century people who were about to die anyway. Every tweak the Travellers made in the timeline, every alternate reality, only created new problems…

      • I wish more authors would do it. I have a few planned down the road, though I won’t be getting to them for a long time. Buuuut, I haven’t seen it as much outside anime and fanfiction. Or maybe webcomic authors that do very short episodes or single illustrations portraying different versions of the characters or whatnot.

        I think Travelers might have been one of the shows my parents have been watching lately, but I don’t remember for sure. Sounds like it fits with how I’d imagine alternate reality stuff to end up. Like, maybe people would actually be able to succeed in solving the problem they set out to solve, and maybe things would be good for long enough that they wouldn’t notice the damage they did, but sooner or later, something bad would probably happen in every reality or timeline. The universe will never be pain free, unless God makes it so after the apocalypse or something 😛

        Have you seen Steins Gate? It’s a cool time travel anime. The main char has an amusing ‘mad scientist’ persona. He and his friends end up building this time machine thing and end up sending text messages into the past. The main char has to suffer through a lot of heartbreak because a huge part of the show ends up revolving around the quest to save one of his friends. And it eventually involves people having to sacrifice things they love in their current reality in order to reach a reality where one of their friends stays safe. They came out with a new season(Steins Gate 0, I think, which starts out with Okabe dealing with an AI of Makise Kurisu), which I haven’t seen much of. I’d recommend people start with the original anime first instead, where Okabe first encounters time travel and all that, since that will actually give context to all the other anime adaptations.

  5. Martin LaBar says:

    I suppose you know this, but just in case, Philip Pullman’s “His Dark Materials” works of science fiction used the MWI. Pullman is definitely NOT a Christian.


  6. Mark Carver says:

    Good stuff, Travis. I don’t actually discount the possibility of alternate universes full-stop, just the irrelevance to my life of seriously considering their existence. I perused the subject several months ago (http://speculativefaith.lorehaven.com/one-in-a-million/) and concluded, like you, that God’s sovereignty would transcend all possible worlds, since He would be the author of their creation, albeit indirectly. Most likely hogwash (it’s very presumptive to think that our choices would actually spawn new realms; if we’re all just stardust anyway, why would our choices be more significant than another animal’s, or a snowflake that happens to fall on this leaf rather than that? Every particle in existence would be continuously churning out new realities based on where it did or didn’t go) but it’s fun to think and write about. The bottom line is that God works all things for His glory in the end, and there could be no reality where that didn’t apply.

    • Travis Perry says:


      Sorry if I misunderstood your point. Thanks for the clarification.

      Though our choices would only be more important if God chose to make them that way–the MWI types really do think every piece of dust (along with everything else) is churning out new realities, a continuously expanding set of universes, not just by human choices. Which seems seer nonsense to me–where does the matter and energy come from to continually generate new universes?

      If you ask me, I’d say the only way it could actually work would be if God made it so… 🙂

  7. Kirsty says:

    Fascinating idea! I like the suggestion of it all starting and ending the same.
    Just thinking – although the reason for it is not the same, and they don’t all start together, the different worlds in the Narnia books all go to the same place.

  8. The theory here is plausible. Like extra terrestrials alternative universes are not essential to Christianity. But not a threat either.

    Anyone else read the unfinished novel “The Dark Tower” by C.S. Lewis? For some reason a lot of Christians had a fit when it was posthumously published.

What do you think?