Named after its founder Andrew Fuller, this was our study on the first and most destructive of heresies and this heresy is still today thriving. Perhaps under different names with different nuances here and there but at its root it is the same. There are many, many good and fine articles on the internet that give great details of what Andrew Fuller taught if you are interested in reading for yourselves and becoming more familiar with these teachings. Some of the more in-depth are written by George Ella. I believe it is always good to know the false teaching that is out and about and lingers so as to be on guard against them, I have appreciated these studies for this very reason.
If we remember that definite atonement was settled at the Synod of Dordt it will give us a better understanding of why what Andrew Fuller taught must be refuted. He wanted to mitigate what was perceived as a harshness with definite atonement and so he married Calvinism with Arminianism and that = fullerism. Today it might even be called ‘Cal-Minian’. Fuller affirmed the tenants of Calvinism but started mixing doctrines that contradict, such as universal atonement which led to the false hermeneutics of paradox teaching, synthesis, analogy and compartmentalization. Some basic affirmations of Andrew Fuller:
1. God and man are both sovereign. The both do all for their salvation.
In 1 Kings 18:21 Elijah asks the question: “How long will you falter between two opinions” giving us the basic idea of ‘dualism’, which is what Andrew Fuller taught doctrinally. It is the dualism of ‘team work in salvation’ of grace & works righteousness, God’s Sovereignty and man’s free will and the dualism of the theory that God has two wills.
The concept alone is foolish because it makes God a God who earnestly wants and desires to save everyone but can’t.
2. God is the lawgiver but He is also subject to the law of reason and common sense.
God is responsible to honor a greater law than Himself in the plan of salvation, which is the eternal law that God must follow in His dealings with man and this comprises much of the ‘fullerite’ gospel.
We know that God is not subject to any law greater than Himself and we can be assured that the fullerite gospel is nothing but a humanistic appeal to man’s nature. It has no saving value at all; it compromises the true Gospel and is a mock gospel. We should take heed to Paul’s words in Galatians as one who was not taught the Gospel by men but was taught of Jesus Christ.
3. Duty Faith
There are differing ideas about duty faith and Fuller wasn’t consistent on what he taught. From his ideas that God and man work together man we have the idea that man is able to ‘savingly’ believe the Gospel and therefore is partially responsible to be ‘born again’ by his own ability.
George Ella has many works on Andrew Fuller and here are a few quotes of his refuting some of these ‘duty faith’ ideas:
“To put it bluntly, within the covenant of grace it is the Holy Spirit’s duty to give faith to those for whom Christ died. It is not every man’s duty to appropriate this task to himself…The Holy Spirit will never honour a doctrine that relieves Him of His role or robs Him of His glory.”
Fuller can argue in this way because he believes that fallen man is by nature both aware of God and his inborn duty to accept the Gospel.
Fuller stressed time and time again that as God demands that the sinner believes the Gospel, it must be because the sinner is able to believe.
If it is the duty of all men to believe, they must believe that Jesus died far all men; that he will pardon all men, and save all men. If they believe not this, their faith is vain, and they are yet in their sins; and if all men do believe this, they believe a lie, for the bible affords no such warrant for the universal faith of these unconverted legions. "
This is just a very small portion of the teaching of Andrew Fuller, but it makes us aware of where and how these ideas get started. Ideas that we need to stand against regardless of the labels that might be put upon us. May we do so in the pure Gospel of Grace that has been extended to the saints in Christ alone by a most Sovereign God.
“ I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels”. Isaiah 61:10
Salvation is of the Lord!
Grace and Peace