Baptists Reflecting On Adam & Eve In The ‘Long’ Eighteenth Century -- By: Michael A. G. Haykin

Journal: Southern Baptist Journal of Theology
Volume: SBJT 15:1 (Spring 2011)
Article: Baptists Reflecting On Adam & Eve In The ‘Long’ Eighteenth Century
Author: Michael A. G. Haykin

Baptists Reflecting On Adam & Eve In The ‘Long’ Eighteenth Century

Michael A. G. Haykin

Michael A. G. Haykin is Professor of Church History and Biblical Spirituality at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

He is also Adjunct Professor of Church History and Spirituality at Toronto Baptist Seminary in Ontario, Canada. Dr. Haykin is the author of many books, including The Revived Puritan: The Spirituality of George Whitefield (Joshua Press, 2000), “At the Pure Fountain of Thy Word”: Andrew Fuller As an Apologist (Paternoster Press, 2004), Jonathan Edwards: The Holy Spirit in Revival (Evangelical Press, 2005), and The God Who Draws Near: An Introduction to Biblical Spirituality (Evangelical Press, 2007).

The so-called “long” eighteenth century stretches from 1688, which marks the accession of William III and Mary II to the English throne and the end of overt persecution of English Dissent, to 1837, which is the beginning of the Victorian era, a time of great public power for evangelical dissent. This era between persecution and power is a period of remarkable fruitfulness when it comes to the varied realms of English Baptist thought, piety, and activity. Yet, it is an era of Baptist history that still needs much study. For example, one area of Baptist thinking in this period of time that is still relatively terra incognita (unknown land) is that of biblical exegesis. What we need are studies that reflect on the Baptist history of Scripture reception in this era. What follows is a very small contribution to this end. It is a collection of texts, across a range of literary genres, that reflect on the biblical accounts of Adam and Eve in Genesis 1-3. Despite some differences on what exactly constitutes the image of God, what I find striking is the overall harmony of these witnesses.1

Andrew Fuller: “God Created Man In The Image Of His Own Glorious Moral Character”2

This text is from Andrew Fuller’s commentary on Genesis 1:26-27 and 2:7, 18-25: Expository Discourses on The Book of Genesis, interspersed with Practical Reflections (London: J. Burditt, 1806), 13-14,18-19. From 1790 or so onwards Andrew Fuller (1754-1815), the most important Baptist theologian of the latter decades of the “long” eighteenth century, was in the habit of preaching through books of the Bible, as many of his Puritan forebears had done. His commentary on Genesis was derived from 58 sermons on this first book of the Bible. C. H. Spurgeon once remarked that he

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