My wife and I heard with sadness that my longtime friend and co-author Roger Forster passed away peacefully in his sleep on 17th January 2024.
He has gone to his reward from a lifetime of dedicated service to God, but his wife Faith, his church, ourselves, and the church generally will feel the loss. Our own lives would have followed a totally different path had I never met Roger, and this would apply in different ways to a great number of people.
I first met Roger when he spoke at my own church and on a university Christian house party in 1967 when I was still a student at LSE. We soon after started working together in studying the Bible and writing two joint books. Yes, But… was published in 1971 and the first edition of God’s Strategy in Human History in 1973. Books in those days were typed on a typewriter and stuck on sheets with cow gum before being typeset in galley proofs! These books were both published in the UK and America and in some other languages. God’s Strategy in Human History was reprinted several times in the USA and UK, a second much improved edition in the USA in 2001 by Wipf and Stock, and a later two volume third edition by PUSH publishing in the UK in 2013 with helpful editing by Roger’s son-in-law Joe Laycock. Since that time Roger and I had published a number of other joint-authored titles in both the USA and the UK on theology and apologetics, Including the big Reason, Science and Faith in 1999 and 2001 in both countries.
In the very early years I travelled around often with Roger, and he would go from one preaching engagement to the next at a whirlwind speed, seeing a lot of young people become Christians. He had been married to his wife Faith for a couple of years, and she was very patient as I hauled him off to work on the writing we began doing. At one point Faith was working for Wycliff Bible Translators at a conference, and it was so cold there that Roger and I finished up discussing Romans in an airing cupboard. In the early times Roger and Faith were also running a kind of home for troubled people, alongside other Christian activities.
Roger and Faith both met my wife Janice several times before we got engaged, and leading up to our wedding in 1970 at which they were honoured guests and Roger spoke. He also preached at our son’s wedding in 2003 and both he and Faith spoke at our daughter’s in 2005. We went to visit the Ichthus church he and Faith began soon after it started in 1974, though we were living in North London (and soon afterwards moved to Lancashire) and never joined an Ichthus church. We did attend and I sometimes spoke at seminars in the Ichthus Revive summer conference, and both our son and daughter went on outreach programmes led by Ichthus.
Since our final joint book on Romans and Galatians in 2016 we have met up only at the annual Ichthus Revive Conference, but have been in touch and in sympathy with Roger and Faith’s continuing service. He will be greatly missed by so many.