A Place For Faith

I was amused by this Bible passage today:

Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, 12“Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.” 14 So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days.

15 At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. 16 So the guard took away their choice food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead.

Daniel 1 v 11-16 (NIV)

It was posted online by someone who (quite rightly) said that he had found evidence of clinical trials taking place in Bible times.

I like this passage (I must  confess I seem not to have read it before). I like it because, as I understand matters, Daniel was very much a man of God. And he uses science (empirical evidence) in this passage to show the guard that he need not fear the king.

Thus, God does not reject science (Daniel was not, to my knowledge, punished by God for this trial). God’s people use science in certain circumstances to certain ends. In other words, sometimes science is appropriate. And sometimes faith is appropriate. The trick is knowing when the research question demands that scientific inquiry should end, in favour of faith in God.

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