Today’s Andrew Fuller Friday is a excerpt1 from David Prince’s new book, Preaching the Truth as it is in Jesus: A Reader on Andrew Fuller. If you enjoy this weekly Fuller content, then you will throughly enjoy this latest work.
Fuller was gospel-centered and missional well before that verbiage became vogue in evangelicalism. Michael Haykin observes, “Even where the atoning work of Christ is believed and embraced, Fuller was convinced that the failure to be crucicentric will have its baneful effects.”2 Fuller exhorted, “The army of the Lamb is composed of the whole body of Christians. Every disciple of Jesus should consider himself as a missionary.”3 The commitment of Fuller’s life and ministry to knowing and living based on “the truth as it is in Jesus” enabled him to challenge biblical-theological, ecclesial, and missiological errors from all directions. In 1780, Fuller covenanted before Lord, “Thou has given me a determination to take up no principle at second-hand; but to search for everything at the pure fountain of they word.”4 Fuller opposed the errors of his day, not as an end, but always as a means to the end of honoring Jesus, summing up all things in him (Eph. 1:10) and calling the whole world to do the same. . . . Fuller vigorously rebutted man-centered Arminian theology on the one hand, and the doctrinally serious, but evangelistically sterile anti-missions High Calvinism of his day on the other. He defended the faith against Socinianism (which denied the full deity of Christ, penal substitutionary atonement, and moral inability of man to convert himself), Sandemanianism (which argued that saving faith reduces to mere intellectual assent to a fact or proposition), and Antinomianism (a still-common belief that Christians are under no obligation to obey the laws of ethics and morality). Perhaps one the greatest reasons Fuller’s works are of benefit to modern pastors is the fact that the theological errors that Fuller combated have so many contemporary heirs.
- David E. Prince, Preaching the Truth as it is in Jesus: A Reader on Andrew Fuller (Peterborough, ON: H&E Publishing), 5-6.
- Micahel A.G. Hyakin, ed. The Armies of the Lamb: The Spirituality of Andrew Fuller (Dundas: Joshua Press, 2001), 39.
- Fuller, “Conformity to the Death of Christ,” Complete Works, 1:315.
- Fuller, “Momoir of Mr. Fuller,” Complete Works, 1:20.