This is where science may just be able to pick up the tale. Angels may just be the finger poking into Flatland—they may be 4th dimensional beings intruding on our 3-dimensional world.

But knowing what we do of our perception of a 4-dimensional creature, how would angels appear as normal human beings, as they so often do throughout scripture?

To answer this, take a look at your shadow. It’s flat, isn’t it? You could cast it over a sheet of paper, and the Flatlanders from our earlier illustration would perceive it as like unto themselves. Given enough effort and practice, perhaps you could even learn to project your shadow in a way that is somewhat familiar to Flatlanders.

So the humanoid angels that have been reported throughout history could be just that—shadow puppets in the firelight, the real shape and being of the angels hidden from us, completely beyond our minds’ ability to comprehend. This would be a kindness to our mortal senses.

So why is any of this important?

Because this is the intersection between science and theology, and we may be on the verge of seeing the two fields come together.

The scientific revolution of the 17th century saw our perception of the universe mechanized and secularized—everything, we decided, was made up of ordinary matter that adheres to Newtonian laws. And all of it, we could study, categorize, and neatly label, with enough progress. As a result, theology, as the study of the unseen and the immeasurable, began its long, slow decline, the supernatural being explained as psychological phenomena—imaginary.

But this mechanistic worldview is now being undermined—not by theology, but by science, itself. New discoveries, beginning with Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, have opened up possibilities about our universe that we could have never imagined before now—things like multiverses and extradimensional objects and the possibility of life that is beyond our comprehension. The natural and the “supernatural” may all be part of one seamless system.

Who ever thought that the work of Thomas Aquinas and Albert Einstein could parallel one another?

Science may very well be ushering in a new era of faith as we learn more about the universe around us. If all truth points to God, then our scientific endeavors to uncover the truths of the universe may, one day, take us right to Him.

“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.”

-Colossians 1:16