Updated: Nov 21, 2021
· At the atomic level we encounter
a phenomenon unknown elsewhere in the creation. Atoms are indestructible. Applying this understanding to the Incarnation, we cannot but make some surprising, unthought of, discoveries. Take the oxygen atoms of the air Jesus and the apostles breathed in Galilee. After all, they are still around today. Or consider the cells of Jesus’ body during his lifetime. None of the cells of the body he was born with were with him when he died. Given their finely differentiated life spans, they were renewed several times over while he was alive. The cells that lined his stomach were renewed every two days, over three thousand times! Every two to three weeks his body replaced every one of his skin cells, while a complete cell replacement of the body would have occurred over seven years, four times in his lifetime. While we can say nothing about the fate of the atoms of Jesus’s body during the resurrection, what we can say with the help of the new scientific creation story, is that the atoms of carbon, phosphorus, calcium, oxygen, hydrogen, helium, and so on are still around and have been recycled many times over in other creatures from snails to whales, from hummingbirds to humans, possibly often intermingling with those ingested by rabbits, rhinos and roebucks. Who would not agree that Christianity has some work to do in responding theologically to these realities?
If this post awakens your interest in the relation of science and Christian faith, you can purchase my book Cosmos and Revelation: Reimagining God's Creation in the Age of Science here.