1 Corinthians 15:35,38b,39 – But someone will ask, "How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?" To each kind of seed [God] gives its own body. Not all flesh is the same: People have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another. (NIV)
After reading this portion of Scripture at the beginning of my Human Physiology class at Redeemer University College, I asked my students what they thought Paul was saying. The response was intriguing. Some students said that Paul was telling us that God did not use evolution to create a living soul. If God did, then our human flesh would be the same as animal flesh, and Paul would not have distinguished between the different kinds of flesh. Other students had another approach. They felt that Paul could base his theology only on creationism, since he did not know about all the modern evidence that is thought to confirm evolution as a scientific fact. If Paul really knew how God created, they said, then he would have certainly talked about all animals belonging to the same flesh.
Wow! Not quite the depth of thought that I was expecting, especially first thing in the morning. There were good points on either side. Unfortunately, the ensuing discussion focussed on origins, and prevented us from considering what Paul was saying about the future: the resurrected body. Is that body really physical? Will it require air to breathe and food to eat? If that body is not what we have now, how could we recognize who we are?
Hmmm. Maybe we could focus on these other questions at the start of my next human physiology class, if we could get past the origins debate!
Prayer: Our Lord and Creator, we come before You acknowledging that You are the source of all wisdom. We dedicate the work of our hands to Your glory, and we pray for wisdom as we interpret the new findings garnered from the scientific investigations of Your created world. May we never lose sight of our first love for You, and we pray that You will equip us to shine Your light in a world that rejects Your love. All this we ask in the wonderful name of Jesus. Amen.