"A Supreme Desire to Please Him": The Spirituality of Adoniram Judson
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SubjectJudson, Adoniram, 1788-1850.
Baptists -- Biography.
Spirituality -- Baptists.
Missionaries -- Burma -- Biography.
This dissertation is an inductive synthesis and study of the spirituality of Adoniram Judson. It argues that the center of Judson's spirituality was a heavenly-minded, self-denying submission to the sovereign will of God, which was motivated by an affectionate desire to please Christ, by obeying his final command revealed in the sacred Scriptures. Chapter 2 surveys Judson's life and the historical, theological, and spiritual contexts that formed him. Chapter 3 argues that the foundation of Judson's missionary spirituality was the Bible. His evangelical activism and conversionism grew out of his bibliocentrism. Chapter 4 contends for an all-consuming vision of God's sovereignty in Judson's piety. His submission to God's will affected his view of suffering, duty, and self-denial. Judson's response to his love for God was a self-denying asceticism. Chapter 5 demonstrates that Judson's interpretation of life's events was through the lens of eternity. His heavenly-mindedness permeated his vision for living and dying. Moreover, his eager expectancy of Christ's imminent millennial glory stimulated his evangelical activism. Chapter 6 highlights Judson's dominant spiritual motivation from his early days to his last days: to please Christ. Expressed many times in letters, journals, tracts, and sermons, Judson's supreme desire was to please him. Chapter 7 summarizes the research questions and the thesis, and it analyzes the unique features of Judson's spirituality. This chapter proposes other needed areas of research in the life and spirituality of Adoniram Judson, which were beyond the scope of this dissertation.