Last evening we were treated to an excellent lecture by Pastor Jeremy Walker on ‘Wrestling – The Life of Andrew Fuller (1754-1815)’. The lecture was full of appropriate illustrations from Fuller’s life, dripping in theological truth, an eye on the Glory of God and His Gospel and delivered with challenging clarity, concern for truth and with suitable emotion. Just brilliant! It was a real joy to once again meet up and have fellowship.
You really need to listen to the audio (Will post when available) as this brief post is a very poor substitute for the real thing. It was a privilege to be there and once again we are so grateful to extremely gifted, and not to say busy, pastors and teachers prepared to travel to a small, probably unknown, Church in the Midlands, UK.
‘Hyper’ or ‘High’ Calvinism
Andrew Fuller was raised in an atmosphere of ‘Hyper’ or ‘High’ Calvinism and in such an oppressive atmosphere the ‘free offer of the Gospel’ was not to be heard. Unless significant signs of awakening were to be observed or experienced there was no warrant to urge a sinner to call upon Jesus for salvation. This is such an important aspect of the lecture that I need to come back to this. Jeremy very kindly offered to send me his lecture transcript and when that arrives (assuming he remembers) I’ll deal with this more fully then.
Not an Imitator
One aspect that powerfully stood out was Fuller’s individuality. Early on in life he determined to literally ‘follow’ another man’s furrow. This was a disaster, Fuller’s furrow rather than being the straight furrow he anticipated was full of twists and turns. From this he determined never to be an ‘imitator’. This had great significance because in his determination not to be an imitator Fuller went directly to the Scriptures for his doctrine. This meant ‘wrestling’ directly with the text of Scripture rather than relying on another man’s ‘dividing of the truth’. This applied most directly to the preaching of the Gospel offer. Fully persuaded the Bible taught that all people should be urged to repent & believe the Gospel he preached Christ and Him crucified urging sinners to call upon Christ for salvation.