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College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences, CLASS, Great Minds Lecture Series, Calvanism


Andrew Fuller (1754-1815), Baptist minister at Kettering and founding Secretary of the Baptist Missionary Society, shaped the future of Baptists worldwide through his treatise, The Gospel Worthy of All Acceptation (1785). Fuller rejected the High Calvinist position that an “open” call to repentance undermined God’s prerogative of election and predestination as set forth in John Calvin’s Institutes (1527). Fuller argued that the scriptural doctrine of divine sovereignty did not preclude an “obligation,” or “duty,” on the part of the “unregenerate” to exercise faith. Fuller, like the American divine Jonathan Edwards, attempted to mediate between two uncompromising opposites: High Calvinism’s fatalistic, passive faith and a more active, Arminian faith grounded in free will. This mediation would become known as “Fullerism,” “duty faith,” and eventually “evangelical Calvinism,” a position that propelled Baptists in England (1792) and America (1814) to form global Missionary Societies that remain as testaments to Fuller’s treatise and the influence of Jonathan Edwards.

Remnant Trust Works: “The Institutes of the Christian Religion” by John Calvin, “The Gospel Worthy of All Acceptation” by Andrew Fuller, and “A Careful and Strict Enquiry into the Modern Prevailing Notions of that Freedom of Will” and “A Treatise concerning Religious Affections” by Jonathan Edwards

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