R.I.P John Webster

“Theology is the work of the children of Adam who are slowly learning what it is to be the children of God.”

John Webster was a notable contemporary British theologian of the Anglican Communion.

He was an expert in the work of Eberhard Jüngel and Karl Barth (Two of the great theologians of our era).

It is very sad to hear of his passing.  I recommend anyone that wishes to send some well wishes to our brothers and sisters in the Anglican Church to do so.

In Christ we are all one.

“Theology arises from God’s presence, by which it is endlessly astonished and to which it never ceases to turn in humility & hope.”


About The Smiling Pilgrim

"Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God." -- 1 John 4:7 A simple man exploring the mysteries of love - TSP
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18 Responses to R.I.P John Webster

  1. Reblogged this on Irishanglican's Weblog and commented:
    Indeed he was a well read modern theolog!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have read my share of John Webster, perhaps one of his best books was his book: Karl Barth, (2000 and then the second edition, 2004, both Continuum books). It is a basic intro into Barth (pronounced Bart btw). At the end of the Preface to the Second Edition he wrote: “For the present, this little book may continue to serve as an “introduction a la lecture of this humane and Catholic Calvinist.” I like to the term Catholic Calvinist! And though Barth was surely NO real Calvinist, he did present his “Nein” / No to natural theology! (See his great debate with Brunner, 1934 … Chapter 4 in Alister McGrath’s 2014 bio of Emil Brunner, A Reappraisal).


      • I think you just did a wonderful summary! I have borrowed quite heavily from Barth myself.

        Although I have to admit his Church Dogmatics is something of a different order. That is one large Magnum Opus!


    • Wow you are the best! Thanks so much for sharing my memorial piece for this great brother in the church 🙂

      (Even though I am not anglican hah)


      • At my age, I can say with – much blessing – that I have read once all the way through Barth’s CD (14 volumes as I remember? And yes I still have the set). But I did this when I was much younger! But yes, I like Barth very much, I consider him to be sort of a modern Church Father. Btw too, if you get the chance read the Catholic, Von Balthasar’s book: The Theology of Karl Barth… I think Ignatius Press still publishes it? He and Barth were pretty good friends, and both loved music and Mozart together! And yes old Webster is a good read for Barth! His Barth, Second Edition is only 181 pages with notes and index. A very friendly read!

        Note, I am a Neo-Calvinist so I am friendly to some degree with both Barth and Brunner. Though I am a Augustinian for sure, and I hope something of a Calvin’s Calvinist! But note too, I am eclectic to some degree, and hold to the classic Historic Pre-Mill position (Post-trib), and am pro-Modern Israel! Where after being in Gulf War 1, I lived and taught in Israel.

        Btw too, I have more non Anglicans Christian friends… just the way it goes! 😉

        Blessings In Christ,
        Fr. Robert 🙂


      • I am in absolute awe that you have read the CD set lol. You are awesome!

        I have enjoyed a bit of balthasar’s material and your right he is amazing as well!

        Have you ever wondered into the Eastern Catholic/Orthodox thought. I’ve really liked that take on a lot of issues.


  2. Yes, if you see my blog, I am very friendly with the EO (especially their doctrine of the Trinity) and was raised Irish Roman Catholic, but left it in the late 70’s, and then became an Anglo-Catholic. But later I became even more Reformational & Reformed (I love Luther too btw), and my Catholic Augustinianism lead me into Calvin! Now, I see myself as a classic like Protestant, but an Anglican one (Thirty-nine Articles, etc.) And I do love Thomas Cranmer, that first great Anglican Protestant martyr!

    Btw, I have you ever heard of the Anglican Peter Toon? He was a great modern Anglican Brit Churchman and evangelical, but sadly died several years ago. We were friends, he was ten years older than me. He was also the president of the Anglican/Episcopal Prayer Book Society. He is buried in the USA in San Diego, CA. His daughter married an American Navy aviator. But, I am sure now he is out of the Navy, and together they are walking In Christ somewhere. I also live in the USA, in California, the OC.

    Liked by 1 person

    • But note, I was born in Dublin, and I came here about six years ago (wife and I). I am somewhat semi-retired now, doing only some hospital chaplain work. But, I am always theologically pressed!


    • I actually haven’t, I will check that name out thanks so much 🙂

      Do you mind me asking why you left the Catholic church? Be kind of curious since your theology seems to have a great engagement with Patristics and sacramental theology 🙂


      • Well that is a long story, I had a great-grandmum who was one who left Catholicism well before my time, and became one of those who was called unofficially among or with the Plymouth Brethren, though the Irish preferred to be called simply Irish Brethren. But then simply ‘the Brethren’ was also one of their monikers. Anyway, greatgram was also baptized by one of the original editors of the first Scofield Study Bible, his name was Rev. Arthur T. (A.T.) Pierson, D.D. He was also the first pastor of Spurgeon’s Tabernacle, after Charles Spurgeon died. And at some time she was baptized by Pierson. Anyway, she was very godly and knew and loved her Bible, and she had a great effect on me even as a young boy and a Roman Catholic. I can still remember her quoting whole chapters of the KJV! She surely helped plant the seed in me to know and love the Holy Scripture and Bible!

        And finally after Gulf War 1 (I am a retired RMC, Royal Marine Commando, recon and intell officer), in 1993 I came to the place of being a Christian Zionist, and I already had one doctorate in Philosophy, which I had done on Martin Luther’s doctrine of his Ontology of the Cross of Christ (on my own time). And then I came to the place of the PD, or Progressive Dispensationalism, reading both Darrell Bock’s and Craig Blaising book (new in 1993) called: Progressive Dispensationalism (Baker Books). And then too Robert Saucy’s book (also in 1993), The Case For Progressive Dispensationalism, The Interface Between Dispensational & Non- Dispensational Theology (Zondervan). And the rest is history for me, personally at least!

        I know this is quick and has some gaps, but I am for the most part a Reformed Anglican, but one who is also a Progressive Dispensationalist and in full support of the Covenant/covenants to National Israel. We Gentiles only come into Israel’s Covenant Blessings, (Romans 9: 4-5 ; 11: 24-29 / 1 Cor. 10: 32 / Eph. 2: 11-12-13, etc.)


      • Wow quite the life story 🙂


  3. As I have said, I am a real “eclectic” and even one who sees the scholastic of unio mystica … The orthodox define the unio mystica as the spiritual conjunction (coniunctio spiritualis) of the Triune God with the believer in and following justification. It is a substantial and graciously effective indwelling. In relation to the ordo salutis, or order of salvation, the Protestant scholastics distinguish the initial “unito”, or uniting, of the unio mystica, which is the basis for the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to the believer, and the ongoing unio, or union , of the unto mystica, which continues concurrent with sanctification throughout the life of the believer.


    • See btw, Richard Muller’s book: Dictionary of Latin and Greek Theological Terms, Drawn Principally from Protestant Scholastic Theology, (Baker Book House, first edition 1985). And yes, I have a first edition hardback. Now it only comes in paper.


  4. Love your blog and your shared inspirational words, do you fancy doing the 3 Day Quote Challenge? No pressure to accept, but if so, here is the link https://samanthamurdochblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/02/day-2-of-3-day-quote-challenge/ thank you!


  5. Added your site to my “Blogs Followed” page. I look forward to keeping in touch! God bless you for your service to all of us!

    Liked by 1 person

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