“‘Very Affecting And Evangelical’: A Review Of Keith S. Grant, Andrew Fuller And The Evangelical Renewal Of Pastoral Theology” -- By: Michael A. G. Haykin

Journal: Southern Baptist Journal of Theology
Volume: SBJT 17:1 (Spring 2013)
Article: “‘Very Affecting And Evangelical’: A Review Of Keith S. Grant, Andrew Fuller And The Evangelical Renewal Of Pastoral Theology”
Author: Michael A. G. Haykin


“‘Very Affecting And Evangelical’:
A Review Of Keith S. Grant, Andrew Fuller And The Evangelical Renewal Of Pastoral Theology”1

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 “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), and Rediscovering the Church Fathers: Who They Were and How They Shaped the Church (Crossway, 2011).

In this new study of Andrew Fuller’s pastoral theology—a revision of a Th.M. thesis written under the supervision of historian, Bruce Hindmarsh, at Regent College in 2007—Keith Grant, currently pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of New Brunswick, has done students of Fuller’s thought an immense favor by detailing the way that Fuller’s involvement in the revival of the Particular Baptist cause at the close of the eighteenth century also entailed a renewal of pastoral theology, a veritable “transformation within the existing pastoral office” (p. 3).2 The idea of such a transformation had been suggested by earlier students of this era, notably Deryck Lovegrove and W. R. Ward, but Grant’s work is the first publication to lay out the details of this transformation as it applies to Fuller’s understanding and practice of pastoral ministry, and more generally, as it relates to the English Calvinistic Baptist scene.3

His first chapter, which deals with Fuller’s pathway to conversion and to his pastorates at Soham and Kettering,4 concludes with the way that Fuller’s groundbreaking The Gospel Worthy of All Acceptation (1st ed.: 1785/2nd ed.: 1801)—David Bebbington once dubbed it “the classic statement of eighteenth-century Evangelical Calvinism”5—entailed a rethinking of pastoral theology with regard to conversion (p. 45-49). Grant helpfully shows the way that, although Fuller’s first pastor, John Eve (d. 1782) failed to offer the gospel freely, God was nevertheless gracious to Fuller. Particularly noteworthy is the role that “reading and reflection” played in Fuller’s conversion. Grant points ou...

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