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Baptist study center opens at SBTS

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)–Southern Baptist Theological Seminary is the home of a new center to promote the study of Baptist history and doctrine.

The Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies will be headed by noted church historian Michael A.G. Haykin, who recently was appointed as professor of church history and biblical spirituality at Southern.

The center is named for Andrew Fuller (1754-1815), an early 19th-century British Baptist pastor/theologian who opposed aberrant doctrine among Baptists in England and was instrumental in the founding of the Baptist Missionary Society. Fuller was a contemporary of William Carey, founder of the modern international missions movement.

“When English Baptist life was threatened by the winter chill of hyper-Calvinism, Andrew Fuller warmed the churches with the free offer of the Gospel and thus fueled the modern missions movement,” said Russell D. Moore, dean of the seminary’s school of theology and senior vice president for academic administration.

“The Fuller Center will exist to promote a Baptist theology that equips churches and pastors to both contend for the faith and plead for the lost,” Moore said. The Fuller Center will hold conferences at the Louisville, Ky., seminary, beginning with an Aug. 27-28 conference on Andrew Fuller, and will publish materials including a journal and Internet-based resources on what Moore described as “warmhearted convictional Baptist theology.”

The upcoming “Andrew Fuller—The Reader” conference will examine the influence on Fuller’s theology by giants of Christian thought such as John Owen and Jonathan Edwards. Speakers will include Haykin, Moore and Tom Nettles, professor of historical theology at the seminary.

The center will hold one major conference each year plus other events that examine various aspects of Baptist history. It also will be tied to the publication of a critical edition of the works of Andrew Fuller. Twice each year, the center also will publish Eusebeia, a journal that will carry articles and book reviews related to Baptist history and thought.

Haykin said the center will be “a vehicle whereby scholars, pastors, Christian leaders and interested laypeople can reflect on what it has meant to be Baptist in years gone by and draw wisdom from the past on how to live as a Baptist today. It has some very exciting possibilities.”

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  • Jeff Robinson

    Jeff Robinson is director of news and information at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

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