Baby boomers still run much of the world, and sadly, their greatest theologian has already died. John Webster, who passed away in May 2016, played an important role in the English-speaking Christian world. His singular achievement was to become an expositor rather than a conceptual innovator, a dogmatic theologian rather than that very modern theological figure, the creative and revisionary systematician. I count myself fortunate to have spent my formative years learning from him.
Born in 1955, Webster was a laconic Yorkshireman and low-church Anglican who had little regard for the pomp and pretension of upper-class English life. Educated at Cambridge University, he held teaching posts in Durham University and Wycliffe College at the University of Toronto, after which he was appointed Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity at Oxford. His time in Oxford was not happy, and when the opportunity arose, he went north to the austere precincts of Aberdeen, Scotland, to take up a teaching post at the university there. In the final years before his untimely death, he taught at the University of St. Andrews.