Andrew Fuller, born on February 6, 1754 at Wicken, Cambridgeshire, England, was the son of Particular Baptist parents. Raised in his parents’ farm, he did not have a good education nor did he have a formal theological training, and yet became arguably the most influential Calvinistic Baptist pastor-theologian of his time. At the age of seventeen, he was already preaching in a small Particular Baptist congregation in Soham. Then by the time he turned twenty-one, he was called to pastor this church. He remained in this congregation until 1782, when he became minister of another Baptist church in Kettering, Northamptonshire. He had been the shepherd of this flock for the rest of his life. On May 7, 1815 at the age of sixty-one he went to be with the Lord.
Fuller has been dead now for almost two hundred years, but his writings continue to make an impact on history. In fact, John Piper predicts that “Fuller’s impact on history, by the time Jesus returns, will be far greater and different than it is now.” (Piper originally said this in 2007, the same year he wrote “Holy Faith, Worthy Gospel, World Vision: Andrew Fuller’s Broadsides Against Sandemanianism, Hyper-Calvinism, and Global Unbelief,” a paper he delivered at the Desiring God Conference for Pastors, 2007.)
Piper goes on to say that Fuller’s “primary impact on history has been the impetus that his life and thought gave to modern missionary movement, specifically through the sending and supporting of William Carey to India in 1793.” In what follows is a summary of Piper’s paper with a special focus on Fuller’s major contribution to world missions. Fuller’s contribution is clearly seen in two areas of his life: his important role in the founding and maintaining of the Baptist Missionary Society and his works against Hyper-Calvinism and Sandemanianism.
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