Andrew Fuller was a zealous promoter of world missions. He is likely to be unknown to most Christians. Before reading this biography Andrew Fuller: Holy Faith, Worthy Gospel, World Mission by Dr. John Piper I had no real idea who he was other than I might have read of him at some point in my readings on church history. Andrew influenced a lot of people including countless missionaries like William Carey. He championed the importance of sound doctrine for the perseverance and fruitfulness of world evangelism. In this short biography, John Piper puts Fuller’s movement-inspiring life on display, calling all Christians to devote themselves to knowing, guarding, and spreading the true gospel to the ends of the earth.
Piper considers Fuller’s thoughts on modern missions, risk and perseverance, the way he thinks, against hyper-Calvinism and other bad theology, and the vital link between doctrine and world missions.
My favorite thing about reading biographies by Piper is how biblical and gospel-centered they are. They encourage the reader tremendously to consider who the person is and how their thought was biblical and focused on the gospel. This is on full display in this biography on Fuller as well.
We are living in a day of doctrine, theological, and moral decline. Piper notes:
“One critical lesson from Andrew Fuller’s life is that the exegetical and doctrinal defense of true justifying faith and true gospel preaching in the end did not hinder but advanced the greatest missionary movement in world history. Getting Christian experience biblically right and getting the gospel biblically right are essential for the power and perseverance and fruitfulness of world missions” (55-56).
Having a right understanding of doctrine and theology and how they go together and apply to the Christian life is critical for the Christian life and ministry. Not only is this a problem in missions it’s a problem all across the board in Christianity today. Men like Andrew Fuller who love the Word, who love the local church, and want to see God’s Kingdom expanded in our day are needed more than ever.
Whether you’ve read Andrew Fuller’s works and are familiar with his life and ministry or not, reading, Andrew Fuller: Holy Faith, Worthy Gospel, World Mission will prove fruitful to all of our lives and ministries. Reading this book reminded me of the need to keep the Word central in my ministry and continue to faithfully proclaim the gospel.
Wherever you are at in your Christian life, I encourage you to read biographies like this one by Dr. Piper. They are encouraging and helpful and will help you to learn from great men and women of God who have proclaimed the faith once and for all delivered to the saints and gone on to their reward with Jesus.