Nathan A. Finn

Historian, Theologian, Teacher, Preacher



November 2012



Andrew Fuller Finn: What’s in a Name?

Written by , Posted in History

The Finn Family ca. November 2011

The Finn family continues to grow. Leah is currently expecting our fourth Finnling, who is due the last week of April 2013. A few days ago, we were delighted to learn that the baby is a little boy. We’ve decided that his name is Andrew Fuller Finn. We intend to call him Fuller. We love this name. In fact, it holds special significance to us for several reasons.

Andrew is a name that has been used in my family for three generations of Finn men. Fuller will represent the fourth. My paternal grandfather is Robert Andrew Finn Sr. (Our son Baxter’s middle name is Robert, in honor of his great-grandfather.) My father is Robert Andrew Finn Jr. (Dad goes by Andy.) I’m Nathan Andrew Finn. And now our son will be Andrew Fuller Finn.

Andrew is also a name that appears in Leah’s family tree. Her younger brother is Andrew Joel Phillips. He has the unusual distinction in our families of actually going by the name Andrew. So as you can see, Andrew has significance for both families. But what about the name Fuller?

Andrew Fuller

As many regular readers of this blog will know, Andrew Fuller (1754–1815) was a Baptist pastor, theologian, and missions advocate from an earlier era. Fuller has had a significant impact on my own spiritual life, ministry priorities, and theological convictions. You can read more about him in this short article written by my friend Steve Weaver. Southeastern Seminary students know that I call Andrew Fuller my “all-time favorite Baptist.” Like Fuller, I want to be a faithful pastor, a thoughtful theologian, and a tireless advocate of global missions.

Andrew Fuller has become the focus of much of my scholarly attention. I’m currently teaching a class at Southeastern on his theology, which, along with my class on the History and Theology of Revival, has become one of my two all-time favorite classes at SEBTS. I’m also writing several articles and book chapters related to Fuller that will begin coming out in 2013, Lord willing. I have also agreed to edit two volumes in the forthcoming critical edition of the Works of Andrew Fuller.

As Leah and I were considering names for our little boy, we thought of many different possibilities, some better than others. Fine names came and went, but Fuller was always near the top of our list. With Andrew being a longstanding family name, and with Andrew Fuller being such an important part of my professional life, we finally came to the conviction that the best name in the world had been obvious all along. As Leah remarked, she’s always thought that if he was a little boy, he’d be a Fuller.

Please join us in praying that little Andrew Fuller Finn will continue to be healthy, that his wonderful mother will continue to be healthy throughout her pregnancy, and that he (and the other Finnlings) will love and serve the Lord from a young age. We praise the Lord for little Fuller and look forward to meeting him in a few months, Lord willing.