Andrew Fuller on seeing Baptists prosper

Andrew Fuller

Andrew Fuller is (1754-1815) one of my Baptist heroes. His personal life, theological convictions and missionary zeal have challenged and instructed me since I first learned about him over 30 years ago. Recently, my friend, Michael Haykin, Professor of Church History and Biblical Spirituality and Director of The Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, posted the following quote and brief commentary on Facebook. It is such timely wisdom, especially for those who live and serve in churches affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, that I gladly repost it here.

If we wish to see the Baptist denomination prosper, we must not expend our zeal so much in endeavouring to make men Baptists, as in labouring to make Baptists and others Christians.

-Andrew Fuller
Dr. Michael Haykin

Then Haykin offers the following observation:

And the same goes for being Reformed etc! I have increasingly little time for the debates about who or what is or is not truly Reformed. Much of it is activated by little more than what Fuller aptly called “a party spirit.”

Fuller wrote the above words in a fugitive piece entitled “The Necessity of Seeking Those Things First Which Are of the First Importance”. I am Baptist and Calvinistic: not ashamed of either. But first things first.

Amen. In a denomination where 60-70% of our members cannot be found, this is a good and timely reminder. Let’s make it a matter of first priority to “make Baptists and others Christians.”