Fear No Evil

I’m re-reading David Watson’s ‘Fear No Evil’

David Watson an Anglican clergyman, was famous for his ministry at St Michael-le-Belfry in York in the 1970s, where the congregation grew to many hundreds in only a few years. Subsequently he was involved in missionary enterprises throughout the world.

In 1983 Watson was diagnosed with terminal cancer. He wrote ‘Fear no Evil’ following this diagnosis, saying: ‘One test of any religion is how far it will stand up to the crises of life, especially the final crisis of death…’

He had major surgery and spoke with the utmost respect and gratitude for the medical staff who dealt with him.

‘Expert’ scientists in the current Covid pandemic have discussed the transmission of the virus, minimising the spread of the disease, and progress with vaccines and immunisation. This leads to discussions about the capacity of the NHS, lockdowns, circuit breakers, mass school-closures…

Watson writes powerfully about the limitations of medical science:

‘We have given the medical profession authority over life and death… Everything outside the boundaries of science  is viewed as dangerous and false.’

‘…Instead of seeing science as an invaluable servant for the benefit of mankind, we have elevated it into an object for awe and worship. It controls our minds. It limits our faith. It dictates our understanding. It is the master of our lives and we have become its slaves. What science says is true. No other truth is permissible.’  

In his final sermon, early in 1984, he preached on Psalm 91. ‘He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.’’

David Watson died peacefully a few weeks later. He knew truth bigger than science and faith bigger than death.  

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