Think On the Word: Biblical Meditation in the Life of Andrew Fuller (1754–1815) and the Tradition in Which He Stood
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ABSTRACT THINK ON THE WORD: BIBLICAL MEDITATION IN THE LIFE OF ANDREW FULLER (1754–1815) AND THE TRADITION IN WHICH HE STOOD Ronald Clifford Barnes, DMin The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2019 Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Michael A. G. Haykin This thesis presents biblical meditation as an important spiritual discipline to be engaged in by devout Christians, rather than other forms of spirituality that look beyond the Scriptures. The purpose of this thesis is to show that biblical meditation is a practice encouraged in Scripture and to encourage believers to look to the past and the rich tradition of those who have gone before. Specifically, this means looking at the tradition of the Puritans and seventeenth-century Calvinistic Baptists who in both theology and practice informed Andrew Fuller. The thesis then presents the personal life and ministry of Fuller as an example that contemporary believers can follow. The thesis seeks to show that there is a rich heritage of biblical meditation to which contemporary believers can look to enhance their walk with God today. Chapter 1 is an introduction to the topic, presenting the need in view of contemporary Christians engaging in spirituality that bypasses Scripture. Chapter 2 exemplifies biblical meditation as it is presented in the Old and New Testament. Through the exegesis of pertinent Old and New Testament passages a biblical and theological foundation for the practice of biblical meditation is established. Chapter 3 examines the Puritan and seventeenth-century Calvinistic Baptists and their practice of biblical meditation. This presents the practice and tradition that influenced Fuller. Chapter 4 explores a biblical meditation in Fuller’s personal life, as expressed through his diaries and his ministry life as found his sermons. Chapter 5 presents the importance of looking to the past to escape the confines of the present and to learn the spiritual discipline of biblical meditation.