Editorial: Learning From The Life And Ministry Of Andrew Fuller -- By: Stephen J. Wellum

Journal: Southern Baptist Journal of Theology
Volume: SBJT 17:1 (Spring 2013)
Article: Editorial: Learning From The Life And Ministry Of Andrew Fuller
Author: Stephen J. Wellum


Editorial: Learning From
The Life And Ministry
Of Andrew Fuller

Stephen J. Wellum

Stephen J. Wellum is Professor of Christian Theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

In addition to his role on the faculty, Dr. Wellum serves as editor of The Southern Baptist Journal of Theology. He received the Ph.D. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and he is the author of numerous essays and articles, as well as the co-author of Kingdom through Covenant: A Biblical-Theological Understanding of the Covenants (Crossway, 2012).

In the Pastoral letters, the apostle Paul repeatedly encourages his young pastor-apprentices, Timothy and Titus, to follow his example as he follows the Lord Jesus Christ. For example, in the well-known passage of 2 Timothy 3, Paul not only warns Timothy about the difficult and challenging task of Christian ministry in the “last days” (3:1); he also encourages him to follow carefully the Scripture since it is God’s own breathed-out word (3:14-17) and to emulate the example of his life and ministry (3:10-13). Timothy, in other words, was not only to obey Scripture (which, obviously, is first and foremost); he was also to learn lessons from the teaching, life, and example of the great apostle, as Paul rightly and properly followed the Word of the Lord and the Lord of the Word. Not surprisingly, this pattern which Timothy was to follow was to be reproduced in Timothy to those God had placed under his pastoral leadership. Timothy, then, was not only to follow the example of Paul, he was also to serve as Paul did for him, namely, as a role model for God’s people entrusted to his shepherding care. This is why Paul commands Timothy—“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, conduct, in love, in faith and in purity” (1 Tim 4:12, NIV).

The Scripture’s important emphasis on the need for godly leaders, the incredible significance of biblically faithful and Christ-exemplifying role models, provides warrant for Christians to learn from those who have preceded us. One reason why the study of church history is of value is that it helps us learn from the positive examples of godly men and women who have preceded us, who have lived out their lives in faithfulness to Christ and the gospel, and who have stood strong in the face of opposition and various challenges. Even though historical circumstances change, a study of positive role models in church history helps Christians today better...

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