Cosmic Conflict with John Webster

In News by cwfeldmann

Dear friends,

I am happy to confirm that John Webster, Professor of Systematic Theology and Dean of the School of Religion at La Sierra University, will be leading out in our class the next three times.  He brings depth and enthusiasm to his topics.  My well-placed sources (read: two daughters) speak glowingly about John’s classes.  For his first topic, John will explore the notion of Christus Victor.  This refers to a concept and to an influential book by Gustav Aulén.  Aulén claimed that for the first thousand years of Christianity, the main view of Christ was not as sacrifice for sin but as the defeater of the forces of evil.  That is to say, the dominant view was a cosmic conflict narrative.  When the cry Christus Victor was heard in the churches, believers thought of Christ as the one who had defeated their enemy and set them free.  I am listing John’s titles below, and I have attached a short biographical sketch below:

  • May 19: Christus Victor
  • May 26: Four Views of the Gospel
  • June 2: God with Us

John Webster, accepted a call to join the School of Religion at La Sierra University in January 1999 as Professor of Theology and History of Christianity. In 2006 he was appointed Dean of the School of Religion (now the H.M.S. Richards Divinity School). He also continues to teach courses in systematic theology, ethics and church history to both undergraduate and graduate students. He has served as pastor, teacher and administrator in South Africa. It was while serving as chairman of the Theology Department at Helderberg College, that he became involved with the work of the South African “Truth and Reconciliation Commission,” writing the Adventist church’s Statement of Confession submitted to the TRC in 1998. Married to Cheryl (daughter of a missionary doctor family), with three sons and a daughter, the Websters have lived and worked in various parts of South Africa. In 1982 graduate studies took them first to Berrien Springs, Michigan and then to Princeton, New Jersey before they returned to South Africa in 1991. Today they make their home in Riverside, California.


Sigve Tonstad.