Recent Trends in Andrew Fuller Studies, Part Two

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In yesterday’s post, I looked at Andrew Fuller Studies during the twentieth century. I also argued that a renaissance in Andrew Fuller Studies began around 1980 and was marked by a number of dissertations, book chapters, and journal articles. In this post, I hope to demonstrate that Fuller Studies entered into the next stage of scholarship around the turn of the twenty-first century. While scholars continue to write helpful dissertations and essays, recent years have also witnessed the publication of scholarly monographs and collections of essays.

Several significant monographs have been published, all of which were revised from theses and dissertations. Peter Morden’s Offering Christ to the World: Andrew Fuller (1754-1815) and the Revival of Eighteenth Century Particular Baptist Life (Paternoster, 2003) has been widely heralded as the best introduction to Fuller’s life and thought. It has become the starting place for those interested in Fuller Studies. Paul Brewster’s Andrew Fuller: Model Pastor-Theologian (B&H Academic, 2010) is the best introduction for those interested in Fuller as an ecclesial theologian. I assigned Brewster’s book in my course on Fuller’s theology this past semester (I heavily emphasized the importance of pastor-theologians in the course). Most of the students also read Morden’s study.

Chad Mauldin’s Fullerism as Opposed to Calvinism: A Historical and Theological Comparison of the Missiology of Andrew Fuller and John Calvin (Wipf and Stock, 2010) compares and contrasts the two theologians’ respective views on missions. Mauldin contends that Calvinistic Baptists should identify with Fuller more than Calvin. Chris Chun’s masterful The Legacy of Jonathan Edwards in the Theology of Andrew Fuller (Brill, 2012) is the most substantial work of scholarship yet published on Fuller. Chun demonstrates where and how Fuller interacted with Edwards and later Edwardsians such as the New Divinity men. In addition to these monographs, an important collection of scholarly essays on Fuller’s apologetical writings was edited by Michael Haykin ( Paternoster Press, 2004).

Numerous recent scholarly book chapters and journal article have focused upon Fuller Studies and closely related themes. Authors include Haykin, Alan Sell, Chun, Tom Nettles, Morden, Brewster, Jeffrey Jue, Carl Trueman, Jeremy Pittsley, Nigel Wheeler, Peter Beck, Bruce Hindmarsh, Clive Jarvis, Gerald Priest, Keith Grant, and Nathan Finn. Fuller also received careful consideration in the important studies of Baptist historical theology written by William Brackney and James Leo Garrett, respectively. Scholars such as Roger Hayden, Crawford Gribben, Paul Fiddes, Robert Oliver, Stephen Holmes, Kenneth Dix, and Peter Naylor also interact with Fuller’s thought and legacy in some of their writings.

The number of Fuller-related dissertations continues to grow. In addition to the aforementioned studies that have been revised and published, several noteworthy unpublished works have been written in the past few years. Aaron Jason Timmons wrote on the anti-Socinian writings of several Baptist theologians, including Fuller (2008). Bart Box wrote a study of Fuller’s theology of the atonement (2009). Fuller factors into several dissertations written on other thinkers or themes of his era, including  John Parnell (2005), Michael Sciretti (2009), Jonathan Anthony White (2010), and John Gill (2012–no, not that John Gill). Keith Grant wrote a useful masters thesis on Fuller’s influence on evangelical pastoral theology (2007). There are no doubt others of which I’m unaware. Please leave a comment and let me know if you’re currently writing a thesis or dissertation on Fuller or a closely related topic.

  7Comments

  1. Keith Grant   •  

    Hi Nathan,

    Thanks for these really helpful historiographic essays. It’s fascinating to see the diversity of historical and theological themes that are raised by Fuller’s work and life.

    A quick note, too, that my Regent College ThM thesis has been revised, and is going to be published in 2013 as part of Paternoster Press’s monograph series, Studies in Baptist History and Thought. It will be called _Andrew Fuller and the Evangelical Renewal of Pastoral Theology_.

    A version of the book’s chapter on Fuller’s preaching appeared in the journal CRUX in Spring 2012. I believe this will be reprinted in an upcoming issue of the Andrew Fuller Review.

    Thanks again for the great series of posts!

    Grace and peace,

    Keith Grant
    PhD candidate, University of New Brunswick

  2. Nathan Finn   •     Author

    Keith,

    Thanks for your comment. I’m very pleased to hear the thesis is being published by Paternoster. I’ve read the reprinted Crux article in The Andrew Fuller Review. I also have a copy of your thesis, which I was looking forward to reading in January. Perhaps I’ll just give it a skim now that a revised version is being published!

    Best wishes with your doctoral studies.

    NAF

  3. Evan Burns   •  

    Hi Dr. Finn,

    I appreciated these few posts on Fuller studies. I am a PhD candidate at Southern, and though I have not officially started my dissertation writing, I am already doing research and reading on Fuller. My hope is to write my dissertation on Fuller’s spirituality, with a focus on his missions-centered spirituality. I’ll keep you posted over the next year or so. I heard you lecture at this year’s Fuller conference; maybe I’ll see you again next September. God bless.

  4. Nathan Finn   •     Author

    Evan,

    Thanks for your comment and best wishes with your doctoral studies.

    NAF

  5. A. Chadwick Mauldin   •  

    Dr. Finn,

    I am working on a dissertation for the Free University of Amsterdam. I am looking at Fullerism as a comprehensive system, rather than simply a soteriological distinction.

    Chad

  6. Nathan Finn   •     Author

    Chad,

    I’m glad to hear about your dissertation plans. I thought I remembered you wanted to write on Fuller’s theology. Best wishes with the project.

    NAF

  7. Ryan Hoselton   •  

    Dr. Finn,

    I’m working on a ThM thesis with Dr. Haykin on Fuller’s theology of virtue. Should be fun. I’d be happy to receive any suggestions you may have!

    Chad, I think you’re right to present Fullerism as a comprehensive system. It seems that too many Fuller scholars have reduced his theology to Bebbington’s quadrilateral in order to make him fit the new evangelical scheme. Looking forward to reading this when it’s finished.

    Ryan

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