Editorial: Continuing To Learn From Andrew Fuller (1754-1815) -- By: Stephen J. Wellum

Journal: Southern Baptist Journal of Theology
Volume: SBJT 17:2 (Summer 2013)
Article: Editorial: Continuing To Learn From Andrew Fuller (1754-1815)
Author: Stephen J. Wellum


Editorial: Continuing To
Learn From Andrew Fuller (1754-1815)

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 this issue of SBJT, we continue and finish our investigation into various aspects of the life and ministry of the important pastor-theologian from eighteenth-century Baptist history, Andrew Fuller. As noted in the previous issue [see SBJT 17.1 (2013)], our reason for doing so is to follow Scripture’s exhortation to learn lessons from those who have preceded us in the Christian life. Just as the apostle Paul served as a role model for Timothy and exhorted him to emulate his life, ministry, and doctrine as he followed Christ (see e.g., 2 Tim 3:10-13), thus passing on the baton to the next generation of leaders so that they would become, by God’s grace, more faithful gospel ministers, so we are to learn from godly leaders from the past. One reason why the study of church history is so important, not only in regard to ideas and theological doctrines but also people, is that it helps us learn from the positive examples of godly men and women who have lived their lives in faithfulness to Christ and the gospel (and sadly, we also learn what not to believe, be, and do from negative examples!). In the crucible of the real world, our Christian lives are tested and challenged, and learning how people in the past responded to various challenges, helps us today respond in a more biblically faithful manner.

In our last issue, our primary focus was on the life and ministry of Andrew Fuller as a husband, father, and pastor. After giving a biographical sketch of his life, Andrew Fuller, as a family man and pastor, was discussed with the goal of learning lessons from his life for us today. Fuller was no armchair theologian; instead he served, ministered, and lived in the real world, facing all of its difficulties and challenges, and faithfully discharging his responsibilities as a Christian man and pastor. In this issue of SBJT, our concentration is more on the theology of Fuller and how he serves as

an excellent role model in his biblical fidelity, sound theology, courageous defender of the faith, and gospel visionary.

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