Laminin: Evidence of God’s Existence?
In Him All Things Hold Together (Colossians 1:17)
When Louie Giglio, pastor of Passion City Church, pitched his congregation with the Laminin protein proposition, suggesting that the cross-shaped protein is scientific evidence that Christ is holding our bodies together, he got my undivided attention. His theological proposition suggests that Colossians 1:17 is directly referencing the cross-shaped laminin protein for two reasons: (1) It is shaped like the cross that Jesus was crucified upon, and (2) Laminin’s primary function of binding our cells together is the meaning of the latter part of verse 17, “in him all things hold together.” Therefore, Pastor Giglio excitedly concludes that God purposely created the cross-shaped laminin protein as proof that Christ is holding us together and referenced Colossians 1:17 as his proof text—right? Well, before we share our thoughts, let’s take a look at the pastor’s proposition as he shared it with his congregation in the video below.
You really need to watch the video to follow along, so please view it now.
As much as I would like to believe the laminin proposition, unfortunately, there is more to the laminin protein story then is being shared in the video and several theological issues that need to be addressed.
The first obstacle to Pastor Giglio’s narrative is that laminins exist in various shapes when viewed through an electron microscope. The “t” or t-like laminin protein shown above and being proposed as a perfect representation of the cross is only one of various shaped laminin proteins. Pastor Giglio’s belief that laminin proteins are in “the perfect shape of the cross of our Lord” is not supported by the empirical facts. The other colorful cross-shaped diagram shown above is an educator’s artistic depiction for teaching purposes only. It is not an identical replica of the laminin protein. In the illustration below we see various shapes of laminin protein as viewed through an electron microscope. Click the diagram below to view a larger size.
As you can see in our next example, there are only a couple of images in the group that resembles a “t” or a cross-shaped protein. If we selectively ignore the other shapes we could make a stronger case for lamimin being an exclusive cross-shaped protein. However, we must concede there exist too many variable laminin shapes to conclude that laminin proteins are exclusively cross-shaped. Therefore, the argument that a cross-shaped protein is referenced in Colossians 1:17 is inconsistent with the facts. Even if all laminin proteins were exclusively cross-shaped it would still not be the meaning of Colossians 1:17 for the following reason.
Taking a closer look at Colossians 1:15-20, we hear the apostle Paul speaking of Christ holding all things together, not the cross holding all things together. The “message of the cross” (1 Corinthians 1:18) is Christ who died in our place and purchased our salvation. In Colossians 1:22, just a few verses away from verse 17, we read how God reconciled the world by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight. It is not the cross itself, but the Christ of the cross that has reconciled us to God and it is Christ, not the cross, that all things hold together. While the cross served as a cruel altar upon which our Savior was sacrificed for the sins of the world (1 John 2:2), our focus must remain upon the one who carried our cross, bore our sins in His body (1Peter 2:24), was crucified, died, and rose again (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).
It is in Him (Jesus), by Him, through Him, and for Him that all things were created. “All things” includes all of God’s creation with its vast incomprehensible universe—the sun, moon, stars, all living things, and all things that are visible and invisible (the spiritual and heavenly things). All things are held together by his command, by his word, and by his will. The fact that “all things” (not just the human body) “hold together” (Gr. synistēmi) translated “consist” in the KJV, is what is being conveyed in Colossians 1:17. Without Him, nothing in creation can or would exist. “All things” in v 17 means “all creation” consist and is held together in, by, through, and for Christ.
The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. (Colossians 1:15-20)
All creation is a manifestation of God’s infinite power. It is the very first thing we are told in Genesis 1:1,”In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” To suggest that a variably shaped protein, “laminin,” is referenced in Colossians 1:17 is to diminish the full majesty and awesomeness of almighty God in His unfathomable creation, to wit the apostle is referring. We do not need an electron microscope to view proof of God’s power or existence.
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. (Romans 1:20)
The laminin protein is an amazing example of God’s intelligent design. It’s cohesive properties bind together the 37.2 trillion cells that make up the human body and serves to demonstrate God’s incomprehensible creation design, irrespective of its shape. However, after a careful examination of the Scriptures, it falls short of being the meaning of Colossians 1:17.
We must always be mindful that God’s word often requires more than a cursory reading to discover sound incontrovertible teaching. We must meditate on his word, prayerfully, diligently, and continually.
While Pastor Giglio may have gotten over-excited about his laminin presentation and mistakenly connected it to Colossians 1:17, he appears to be reaching a new generation with the good news of Jesus Christ. I saw nothing in his message or any of his other sermons that would lead me to believe that he is anything other than a soul-winning man of God. He was nurtured under Pastor Charles Stanley and his son, Pastor Andy Stanley.