Saturday, January 13, 2018

Signs And Wonders: Laminin, The Cross Shaped Protein?

            We long for signs and wonders! Wouldn’t it be fascinating if there are tangible signs of God's existence? So when a credible source presents a sign that reveals God’s existence, we would naturally be thrilled.

            Years ago, those who heard Pastor Louie Giglio’s sermon were thrilled when he presented laminin. Laminin is a vital protein, found in humans and animals, which is responsible for the maintenance and survival of living tissues. The intriguing aspect of laminin is that its image or structure resembles the cross and it functions as glue!

            Louie Giglio presented laminin as a God molecule or an evidence for God’s presence. Christians who heard Giglio were thrilled because laminin seemed to demonstrate God’s existence. However, this thrill was fleeting, since laminin is neither a God molecule nor an evidence of HIS existence.

            Dr. Georgia Purdom, in his article, expresses the reasons as to why laminin cannot be construed as a God molecule:1
            In a sermon, Louie Giglio asks how we can know that God will hold us together (which he infers from Psalm 33). He states, “That’s really what we want to know today, and I’ll tell you how you can know today that God will always hold you together, no matter what.” Mr. Giglio then discusses the function of laminin (as glue), and its structure (a cross) in the body. He relates this to Colossians 1:17, which states, “He [Christ] is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”…
            While I appreciate Mr. Giglio’s passion for the Word, I would suggest that this type of argument is not a good one to use…The main problem with this type of argument is that it appears that something outside of Scripture (in this case, laminin) is vital to know the truthfulness of a biblical truth. Laminin is used to prove a biblical truth. However, we should never use our fallible, finite understanding of the world to judge the infallible Word of God…
            The structure of laminin was not made popular until 2008, yet I have no doubt that many Christians before that time have trusted the truth presented in Colossians 1:17 because it is God’s Word. Would Colossians 1:17 be any less true if laminin were not in the shape of a cross? No. If five years from now we discover that the laminin protein actually has a different shape (in fact, some electron micrographs of the protein do not resemble a cross at all…), would that change the truth found in Colossians 1:17? No, because our belief in the truthfulness that Christ holds all things together should start and end with God’s Word alone!...
            Certainly God can use signs to reveal things, and that is evident from Scripture. In Luke 2:12 an angel tells the shepherds, “This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” However, Jesus also admonishes those that improperly seek signs (Matthew 16:4). In today’s “fast food” society, many people prefer the “drive-thru” when it comes to knowing God’s truths. A sign is much quicker than studying and reasoning from the Scriptures, taking the time to pray, and discussing God’s Word with other believers….
            Starting with unaided reasoning and reading our own ideas into the Bible can lead us to all sorts of absurd conclusions. For example, the Ebola virus, which causes a horrific form of hemorrhagic fever that usually results in death, happens to have the structure of what is commonly referred to as a shepherd’s crook. The Bible tells us that Jesus is the Good Shepherd (John 10:14). So, if the shape of laminin supports the biblical truth that Christ holds all things together, then what would we conclude about the Good Shepherd from the shape of the Ebola virus? And if laminin can represent a cross, then why not a sword (Ephesians 6:17; Hebrews 4:12)? As Christians, we cannot allow our fallible, finite interpretations to supersede the Word of God (2 Peter 1:20)….
            Romans 1:20 makes it clear that we can know God through what He has made. God certainly designed the laminin protein and gave it a structure that allows it to perform the function He designated for it. In fact, one of the early papers on the structure and function of laminin said this: “Globular and rodlike domains are arranged in an extended four-armed, cruciform shape that is well suited for mediating between distant sites on cells and other components of the extracellular matrix” (emphasis mine).1
            The supremacy of Christ that is talked about in Colossians 1:15–20 is probably one of my favorite passages in all of Scripture. Paul begins talking about Christ as Creator and moves to Christ as Redeemer. These are truths not because they appeal to our unaided reasoning, but because they are revealed in God’s Word. (Emphasis Mine)
            Pastors and preachers offer effective illustrations to drive home their point. Louie Giglio used laminin to illustrate that Christ holds all things together. That’s about it. Laminin is merely an illustration, certainly not an evidence for God.

            Our belief in Christ cannot be predicated on signs and wonders. Our love and trust in Christ should be intricately connected to our close relationship with God, which is determined by the effectiveness of our prayer-life, and our growing knowledge of HIS Word.

            Signs and wonders are innate to Christianity, for God communicates with mankind or intervenes in human affairs through signs and wonders. However, our faith in Christ cannot increase or decrease based on our anticipation of signs and wonders from God.

            The Bible is the most wondrous sign of God to man. Communicating with God through prayer – not only speaking to HIM but also hearing HIM speak to us – is another fantastic sign that HE is real and living.

            God has given us two most wondrous signs – the Bible and prayer. The Bible and prayer are necessary and sufficient for us to love, trust, and obey HIM at all times. Over and beyond these two fantastic signs and wonders, let not our faith demand or desire for more.

            God works in you and me - in our individual and family life - through various signs and wonders (unexpected blessing, miraculous protection or deliverance from an imminent adversity, divine strength and power to overcome trials and tribulations etc.). These signs and wonders are pertinent only to us. If our desire is for signs and wonders, then let us be content with these signs and wonders that equip and nourish us in HIM.

            Let our prayer be that we are perpetually content that God in Christ will hold us in HIM this year and always. Amen.


1 , last accessed 13th January 2018.    

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