On the sad news of the death of John Webster. Here is a small section from Ivor Davidson's chapter entitled 'John' in the very recent festschrift written in Webster's honour.
Quite a few moons ago, I had occasion to introduce a public lecture by John Webster. In the usual way, I took a quick look at the CV I had been sent to see what he had been up to since the last work of which I had known. As I ended up saying to the folk who gathered that evening, looking at John's resume can, in honest, by bit depressing: you are confronted with all the themes on which you suspect there is little point in trying to say much ever again ... It is not just the range [of John's work], but the sheer quality across that range - the depth of learning, the precision of thought, the distinctiveness of approach, the elegance of style - that makes John's work so exceptional.
For those who knows its author, all of it has been done by probably the most unassuming scholar they have ever met. John is firm in his convictions, no question, and crystal clear in presenting them. He is equally devoid of personal grandeur, and suspicious of quests for scholarly prestige which jeopardise the uniqueness of theology's vocation. His life's work has, in truth, been motivated by different ambitions than those that typically sway in the realms of academic culture. 'The matter to which Christian theology is commanded to attend,m and by which it is directed in all its operations, is the presence of the perfect God as it is announced in the gospel and confessed in the praises and testimonies of the communion of saints' (Confessing God). Most scholarly prose does not sound like that. For John, the idiom is standard issue, and deeply felt. As he sees it all theological work occurs in the history of grace, its mandate and possibilities determined solely by the miracle of divine generosity.
Ivor Davidson, 'John' in Theological Theology: Essays in Honour of John Webster (Bloomsbury T & T Clark, 2015)