Under the Mulberry Tree: The Correspondence of Andrew Fuller and Christopher Anderson

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Under the Mulberry Tree: The Correspondence of Andrew Fuller and Christopher Anderson

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edited by Brian Talbot & Chance Faulkner

This volume presents a fresh study of Andrew Fuller’s close friendship with and mentoring of Christopher Anderson through forty letters of correspondence. Fuller’s correspondence with Anderson provides a helpful example of what it looks like for an older, more experienced minister to mentor someone early in his ministry. Although Fuller was older in the faith—twenty-eight years older—and it is evident that Anderson looked to him for guidance and wisdom as a mentor, there is still a shared friendship and mutual respect. Fuller treats Anderson as a co-labourer and friend. Much of the content of these letters has to do with providing updates on their everyday lives: everything from travel plans, ministry updates, the state of their souls, news of other ministers, Scripture verses, what they are reading and thinking about, and business updates regarding the ministries they were partnered in (Baptist Missionary Society, the Bible Society, the Baptist Magazine, etc.). They also shared their fears, struggles, and hardships, and gave one another warnings, encouragement, and counsel.

Interviews

Brian Talbot on Covenant Podcast

“Andrew Fuller was an able Baptist pastor who served at Kettering in Northamptonshire from 1782 down to his death in 1815. He was also a theologian who, more than any other, was responsible for persuading most Baptists not to leave the conversion of men and women to the Almighty but to proclaim that it is the duty of sinners to believe in Christ. From its foundation in 1792 Fuller acted as secretary of the Baptist Missionary Society that, under the leadership of William Carey, was spreading the gospel in India. Fuller wanted Christopher Anderson, a young pastor in Edinburgh, to succeed him in his Kettering church and in the BMS work. This carefully annotated edition of their correspondence, containing frank discussion of theological questions, missionary issues and personal troubles, shows something of the practical spiritual life of two dedicated ministers of the gospel.”

David Bebbington
Emeritus Professor of History,
University of Stirling.

 

“Andrew Fuller’s close friendship with and mentoring of Christopher Anderson is something that I have long desired to see fleshed out in book form. And thus I am positively elated to see this fresh study of their relationship as well as what remains of their correspondence. This is further proof of Fuller’s ability to develop and maintain deep friendships. Moreover, it also serves to remind us of the important ministry of Christopher Anderson, who was such a vital figure in the history of Baptist witness in Scotland. A gem!”

Michael A.G. Haykin
Chair & Professor of Church History,
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

 

“This sweet, brief collection of correspondence between Andrew

Fuller and his younger friend, Christopher Anderson, shows something of a spiritual father-son relationship wrapped in a spirit of cordial fraternity. While many crave a kind of formal ‘mentoring,’ this shows the reality at its natural and tender best. Here is a refreshing mutuality of respect, affection, sympathy, concern, humility, and the pursuit of God’s glory. Unspectacular, and yet with something of heaven’s gleam about the friendship, this is a soothing, satisfying, stimulating book that will encourage the hearts of God’s servants who read it.”

Jeremy Walker
Author, On the Side of God: The Life and Labors of Andrew;
Pastor, Maidenbower Baptist Church

 

“Andrew Fuller’s influential ministry made profound contributions in theology, missiology, and apologetics, but what draws me to Fuller’s life and writings is that he addressed all topics with the sober-minded clarity of a working pastor. Fuller was, above all else, a gospel shepherd. As a gospel shepherd, Fuller knew the importance of and spent time nurturing Christian friendships. This volume, Under the Mulberry Tree: The Correspondence of Andrew Fuller and Christopher Anderson, provides a beautiful example of Fuller nurturing a Christian friendship with a fellow gospel shepherd. Clearly, Fuller is the mentor in the relationship, but his letters to Anderson are not in the least transactional but lovingly relational as brothers seek to walk together through daily life with Jesus.”

David E. Prince
Assistant Professor of Christian Preaching, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary;
Author, Preaching the Truth as it is in Jesus: A Reader on Andrew Fuller

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