This book brings together a set of related studies on the nature of Scripture and Christian theology by one of the most prominent representatives of Protestant theology of our time. After a brief introduction to the setting of the book and its major themes, the first part of the volume examines topics on the nature and interpretation of Scripture. A comprehensive proposal about Scripture and its interpretation is followed by a study of Scripture as the embassy of the risen Christ and by three related chapters analyzing the ways in which major modern theologians (Barth, T. F. Torrance, and Rowan Williams) have understood the nature and interpretation of the Bible. The second part of the volume makes a cumulative proposal about the nature and tasks of Christian theology, examining the fundamental principles of systematic theology, the distinctive role and scope of reason in Christian theology, the relation of theology to the humanities, and the vocation of theology to promote the peace of the church.
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In ten elegantly crafted and precisely written chapters on Scripture and theological reason, John Webster shows himself to be the master of the domain he surveys and serves—and of which he is arguably the prime English-speaking minister. Taken together, these essays represent a bracing manifesto and compelling model of how to do theology with care, competence, and good cheer by situating one’s thought in the broader sphere of the triune God’s loving address. May its domain (of readers) increase!
—Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Blanchard Professor of Theology, Wheaton College and Graduate School
John Webster is a dogmatic theologian in the classic sense: he is seeking God’s face. Knowing in faith that God has lovingly addressed us in the Scriptures, he seeks this loving God therein, trusting in the light that shines from the risen Christ through the work of the Holy Spirit. Disarmingly modest, wonderfully clear, and always attentive to the human weakness and repentance that accompany theological speech, Webster gives us a taste of the joy that is to be had in knowing and loving the triune God through his Scriptures.
—Matthew Levering, professor of theology, University of Dayton
John Webster was Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity at the University of Oxford and is currently professor of systematic theology at the University of Aberdeen. His published work includes a number of books including Barth’s Moral Theology: Human Action in Barth’s Thought and Word and Church: Essays in Christian Dogmatics. He also edited The Oxford Handbook of Systematic Theology, and is an editor of The International Journal of Systematic Theology. He is also a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.