The SBJT Forum -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Southern Baptist Journal of Theology
Volume: SBJT 17:2 (Summer 2013)
Article: The SBJT Forum
Author: Anonymous

The SBJT Forum

Nigel David Wheeler is the teaching Pastor at Lakeview Bible Church in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.

He has ministered at Lakeview for the last seven years along with his wife, Janice, and their five children. Dr. Wheeler earned his PhD in 2009 from the University of Pretoria where he wrote a dissertation on Andrew Fuller entitled, “Eminent Spirituality and Eminent Usefulness: Andrew Fuller’s (1754-1815) Pastoral Theology in his Ordination Sermons.”

SBJT: Andrew Fuller Is Well-Known As A Model Pastor And Christian Minister. What Can We Learn From Andrew Fuller’s View Of The Ministry And What It Means To Be A Pastor?

Nigel D. Wheeler: In the year 1705, at the ordination of Rev. David Rees, Joseph Stennett explained that to “ordain” means “to constitute,” “to create,” or “to establish” a man in the pastoral office. The purpose of the pastoral office was for the edification of the saints mainly through teaching (Eph 4:11-16). Given this understanding, among Particular Baptists of the 18th century, a primary function of the pastoral office was the preaching of God’s word. And for Particular Baptists, ordination sermons were regarded as uniquely important and so they were frequently published. This was partly due to the fact that many Particular Baptists believed that the churches’ prosperity was tied directly to the appointment of God-called men to their pulpits.

An important component of an 18th century Particular Baptist ordination service was the “Charge” which was an admonition from one pastor to another pastor on how the office of elder should function effectively. These sermons represent a uniquely practical exposition of the goals, purposes, encouragements, challenges, and execution of the pastoral office. Beyond a systematic exposition of a Particular Baptist pastoral theology, they contain an exposition of pastoral theology purified in the crucible of practiced ministry. Pastors who learned to implement their inherited Particular Baptist theological convictions in their own unique context strove to transmit what they learned to a new generation of pastoral leadership. Therefore ordination sermons further shortened the gap between orthodoxy and orthopraxy by getting to the heart of what was really important to them.

There are at least thirty-one extant ordination sermons of Andrew Fuller (1754-1815). Thirteen of them are charges to an ordinand, nine are addresses to churches, five are single sermons which both address the church and charge the new pastor, two are charges to students, and the last two represent charges to miss...

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