Eusebeia – Issue 9 Available Soon!

The Spring (yes I know it is Summer already!) issue of Eusebeia: The Bulletin of the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies is almost finished being edited and will be available soon. The following is the list of articles in the upcoming journal. All but two articles were presented at last years Annual Conference.

“A GREAT THIRST FOR READING”: ANDREW FULLER THE THEOLOGICAL READER by MICHAEL A.G. HAYKIN

ANDREW FULLER: HEIR OF THE REFORMATION by JEFFREY K. JUE

JOHN OWEN AND ANDREW FULLER by CARL R. TRUEMAN

ANDREW FULLER’S READING OF JOHN GILL by BARRY HOWSON

THE INFLUENCE OF JONATHAN EDWARDS ON ANDREW FULLER by THOMAS J. NETTLES

SENSE OF THE HEART: JONATHAN EDWARDS’ LEGACY IN THE WRITING OF ANDREW FULLER by CHRIS CHUN

CHRIST’S ABSOLUTE DETERMINATION TO SAVE: ANDREW FULLER AND PARTICULAR REDEMPTION by JEREMY PITTSLEY

ANDREW FULLER’S ORDINATION SERMONS by NIGEL WHEELER

THE LETTERS OF JOHN ERSKINE TO THE RYLANDS by JONATHAN YEAGER

For more information about receiving this issue, subscribing to Eusebeia, or attending this year’s conference (August 25-26, 2008 at SBTS) then contact Steve Weaver at andrewfullercenter@sbts.edu.

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Missiological Implications of the Optimism in Jonathan Edwards’s Humble Attempt

It is well known that Humble Attempt helped spark the missionary movement when John Ryland Jr. received a parcel of books from John Erskine in 1784. Ryland, fully aware of the esteem in which Fuller and Sutcliff held Edwards, swiftly send them the books and thereby changed missions history. The secondary literatures have recognized the influence of Humble Attempt on the Prayer Call of 1784, but few have seen the role that Edwards’s eschatological optimism played in driving the British missionary enterprise. Edwards’s thinking about the end of the world depended on his interpretation of the slaying of the witnesses in Revelation 11. Some thought this implied a coming catastrophe for the church, but Edwards argued for the exact opposite in order to promote the Concert of Prayer. Edwards feared that if the slaying of the witnesses were a future event yet to be fulfilled, it would be a great “hindrance” for the Concert. Instead Edwards argued for an unprecedented outpouring of the Spirit of God, and a time when the whole world would embrace the light of the gospel, with Christ’s kingdom victorious against the dark world. Fuller also saw the ransacked days of the church as a thing of the past, for he interpreted the French Revolution as a crucial sign that that shook the “papal world to its centre.” The fact that Humble Attempt was reprinted in 1789, when the Revolution began, seemed to confirm the optimistic Edwardsean eschatology which Fuller adopted. Although Fuller did not stress immediacy in the way Edwards did, both believed the latter days would be publicly discernible, and that the current ascendancy of Protestantism, coupled with diminishing papal authority in Europe and America, were evidence of fulfillment of apocalyptic forecasts in the Book of Revelation. This optimistic eschatological outlook encouraged Fuller and motivated those in Northamptonshire to pray more fervently. It became the groundwork for courage to engage in rigorous foreign missions. In describing the 1789 edition of the Humble Attempt, Fuller speaks about “how much this publication contributed to that tone of feeling” and gave the confidence to “venture,” and face their “fear” in taking on a missionary task of “such magnitude.” He adds, “I cannot say; but it doubtless had a very considerable influence on [BMS].” In such a setting, it is not surprising that William Carey was able to find confident expectation in propagating the success of the Great Commissions to the church, and thus coined his famous phrase, “Attempt great things for God; Expect great things from God.” It could therefore be reckoned that while Edwards and Fuller may have been mistaken about their interpretations of the apocalyptic particulars in the history of the world, but there is no doubt behind the formation of BMS in general, and Fuller’s view in particular that this was the worldview that fuelled the global missions. For good or ill, it is in this eschatological climate, that BMS and the Modern Missionary Movement was born. 

 

– Chris Chun –

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2nd Annual Conference of the Andrew Fuller Center: “The English Baptists of the 17th Century”

On August 25-26, 2008 the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies will host its second annual conference on the campus of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. This year’s conference focuses on the English Baptists of the 17th century. There will be papers presented on the conference’s theme by both established and up and coming historical scholars. For a complete schedule of the conference click here. Conference speakers include R. Albert Mohler, Jr., Malcolm Yarnell, Tom Nettles, Barry Howson, and Austin Walker. For a conference advertisement listing all the speakers for the conference click here.

Everyone can attend. Registration is $80 or $40 for students (includes conference materials, and meals – 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, and 1 dinner). To attend, please fill out the Registration Form and mail to:

The Andrew Fuller Center Conference
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
2825 Lexington Road
Louisville, Kentucky 40280

Online registration for the conference will be available soon. Guest room reservations at the Legacy Center at Southern can be made by calling 877-444-7287 or by going online at www.legacycenteratsouthern.com. Please reference Group ID#35728 when making your reservations.

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Announcement from an Elephant of Kettering Member

I received the following news from Chris Chun, member of The Elephant of Kettering blog:

He has finally submitted his PhD dissertation (260 pages). The thesis is entitled: “The Greatest Instruction Received from Human Writings: The Legacy of Jonathan Edwards in the Theology of Andrew Fuller.” The only thing left is the oral defense (viva) of his thesis, which is scheduled in June of 2008. To add to this great news, he has been appointed professor of Church History at Golden Gate Theological Seminary in San Francisco, CA.

Many congratulations to this excellent up and coming Church historian and Fuller lover!

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Early Andrew Fuller Biographies Online

Google Books is a really, really cool thing. What could possibly be better than zillions of free books, with more being added all the time? Well, besides print copies of zillions of free books . . .

While web-surfing this evening, I discovered that several 19th century biographies of Andrew Fuller are available at Google Books:

John Ryland Jr., The Work of Faith, the Labour of Love, and the Patience of Hope, illustrated; In the Life and Death of the Rev. Andrew Fuller, Late Pastor of the Baptist Church at Kettering, and Secretary to the Baptist Missionary Society, From its Commencement, in 1792 (Charlestown: Printed by Samuel Etheridge, 1818).

J. W. Morris, Memoirs of the Life and Writings of the Rev. Andrew Fuller, Late Pastor of the Baptist Church at Kettering, and First Secretary to the Baptist Missionary Society, First American, from the last London edition, ed. Rufus Babcock (Boston: Lincoln and Edmonds, 1830).

Andrew Gunton Fuller, Men Worth Remembering: Andrew Fuller (London: Houghton and Stoddard, 1882).

These fine works are of course in addition to the dozens and dozens of Fuller’s written works that are available on Google Books. What a tremendous resource for pastors, students, scholars, and anyone else interested in the life and writings of Andrew Fuller.

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Liam Goligher Lectures Available Online

The Liam Goligher Lectures are available online now from the annual Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies conferece held in Cambridge, ON on Saturday.

The Emergent Church: Reinventing Liberalism

Preaching the Cross Today

See blog reviews by Michael Haykin and Kirk Wellum.

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Annual Canadian Lectures – Dr. Liam Goligher

Announcing the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies Annual Canadian conference being held in Cambridge, ON on April 5, 2008.

Dr. Liam Goligher will be speaking twice that day on two very important topics in theology today:

Emergent: Reinventing Liberalism?

Pierced for our Transgressions: Preaching the Cross Today

The lectures will begin at 9:30 AM and will conclude by 12:15 PM. They are being held at Grace Bible Church.  There is no cost for the lectures but we will be taking a love offering to help cover the costs of the lectures. Sola Scriptura Ministries International will be having a book table there selling affordable Reformed literature. If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact me at allen.mickle.jr [at] gmail.com.

FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE SEE THE LECTURE FLYER AVAILABLE HERE.

Liam Goligher is Senior Minister of Duke Street Church, Richmond, London. He studied at Irish Baptist College, Belfast; University of Waterloo, Ontario; and Reformed Theological Seminary, Jackson, Mississippi and has pastored churches in Ireland, Canada, Scotland, and London. A regular at the UK’s Keswick Convention and at similar conventions throughout the world, Dr. Goligher has led University missions in the UK and Europe and his Sunday sermons can be heard throughout the UK on Premier Radio.

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Andrew Fuller News!

Greetings friends of Fuller!

I wanted to keep you abreast of some Fuller news…

First, with some slight changes, this next issue of Eusebeia: The Bulletin of the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies will be dedicated to Andrew Fuller. Instead of the issue on the Puritans (which has been moved to the Fall 2008 issue) this coming issue (Spring 2008) will have many of the papers that were presented at last years Fuller conference that was held at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary as well as a few others that were not. So, if you are a fan of Fuller, look forward to this coming issue with articles by Tom Nettles, Barry Howson, Jeff Jue, Carl Trueman, and Russ Moore amongst others!

Second, if you are anywhere near the Chicago area on March 28-29 be sure to visit the Midwest Regional Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society being held at the Moody Bible Institute. On Friday at 11:00 AM, yours truly, will be presenting a paper titled, “‘To Declare the Whole Counsel of God’: Andrew Fuller (1754-1815) on Preaching.” I do hope at least a handful of people will attend! If you are unable to attend the conference presentation, I will be planning on seeking publication for the article in the near future and will keep you all informed.

Blessings to you all!

Allen Mickle

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Happy Birthday!

 

Friends of Fuller rejoice! It was just our good friend, Andrew Fuller’s, 254 birthday yesterday. Fuller was born on February 5, 1754. Let us continue to celebrate and remember the influence that this man of God had in his own time and that he continues to have today! Happy Birthday Andrew Fuller!

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Andrew Fuller’s Pastoral Priorities

There are not enough good pastoral role models. It’s true. Oh, there are some good ones out there, and many of them have quite a following among the collegians, seminarians, and young pastors who find them. But it’s unfortunate there are not more good pastoral role models, or perhaps better, more role models who have the ability (or platform) to influence younger ministers. Many of the godly role models out there are laboring in small churches in sometimes obscure locales. Because these brothers do not write books, speak at all the prominent conferences, and preach in seminary chapel services, aspiring and less experienced pastors are unable to benefit from their wisdom and influence.

Because of this vaccuum, many younger (and seasoned) ministers turn to the examples of faithful pastors from bygone days. This is possible because of the faithful ministry of publishers committed to reprinting works of historical import (e.g. Banner of Truth, Particular Baptist Press) and the growing number of resources available on the internet. Resources like, Lord willing, this very weblog!

I believe contemporary pastors can learn much from the life of Andrew Fuller. My friend and fellow contributor, Paul Brewster, has written a much-lauded dissertation on Fuller’s pastoral theology, and many of us expect to see a published version of that work in the next two or three years. Of course there is the forthcoming multi-volume Andrew Fuller Works project, as well as other versions of Fuller’s writings available through Sprinkle Publications or, more recently, Banner of Truth.

This is what one notable biographer says about Fuller’s pastoral priorities:

Thus he prosecuted his pastoral and ministerial work, most grateful and joyous when he had experienced “a good time” in preaching or in prayer, and most deeply dejected when he had felt no “tenderness of heart” in conducting the public services. He was a constant visitor, especially at the houses of the poorer members of his church, and acknowledged that he gained much good from the practice. The griefs and sorrows of his people became his own, and he entered into their joys with all his heart. Knowing that the success of his work depended in no small measure upon his own spirituality, he hungered and thirsted after righteousness. Every hour of the day the care of the church was upon him. He thought but little of popularity, but earnestly desired to accomplish great things for the glory of God.

[Andrew Gunton Fuller, Men Worth Remembering: Andrew Fuller (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1882), pp.57-58, available online here.] 

What a contrast to what we too often see in today’s pulpits. In a day of CEO pastors, virtually prayerless ministries, never-ending church growth seminars, and the proliferation of what some have called our “therapeutic culture,” Fuller’s model of simple, Christ-centered faithfulness resonates with those longing to find a better–and more biblical–approach to pastoral ministry. May we all benefit from his example and the examples of countless others, whether they be other historical role models, contemporary pastors laboring in those fields deemed less “strategic” by wordly standards, or even those dozen or so “Reformed Rock Stars” to whom so many in my generation rightly look for pastoral wisdom.

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