A Supreme Desire to Please Him

Author: Evan Burns
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
ISBN: 1498280269
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Adoniram Judson was not only a historic figurehead in the first wave of foreign missionaries from the United States and a hero in his own day, but his story still wins the admiration of Christians even today. Though numerous biographies have been written to retell his life story in every ensuing generation, until now no single volume has sought to comprehensively synthesize and analyze the features of his theology and spiritual life. His vision of spirituality and religion certainly contained degrees of classic evangelical piety, yet his spirituality was fundamentally rooted in and ruled by a mixture of asceticism and New Divinity theology. Judson's renowned fortitude emerged out of a peculiar missionary spirituality that was bibliocentric, ascetic, heavenly minded, and Christocentric. The center of Adoniram Judson's spirituality was a heavenly minded, self-denying submission to the sovereign will of God, motivated by an affectionate desire to please Christ through obedience to his final command revealed in the Scriptures. Unveiling the heart of his missionary spirituality, Judson himself asked, "What, then, is the prominent, all-constraining impulse that should urge us to make sacrifices in this cause?" And he answered thus: "A supreme desire to please him is the grand motive that should animate Christians in their missionary efforts."

A Supreme Desire to Please Him

Author: Evan Daniel Burns
Publisher:
ISBN:
Format: PDF
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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.