Bitesize Biographies: John Newton Review
Title: Bitesize Biographies: John Newton
Author: John Crotts
Publisher: EP Books
Genre: Religious History/Biography
About the book:
The people who know John Newton’s name often only know one or two things about him. They recognize that he authored one of the most popular hymns of all time, Amazing Grace . The other thing they sometimes know is that he was a slave ship captain before he wrote that hymn. Those facts are true, but there is a great deal more to his story!
My sister and husband are both huge history buffs, they love learning about people and events of the past. I have to say that I really enjoyed reading this book for one main reason it’s small. I didn’t have to read a 1000 page book to learn so much more about John Newton. You are probably familiar with him because of the song “Amazing Grace”, but this book helps you see more about this man and bring the words of that song into perspective as to why he probably penned it and all his other hymns. Raised by a christian mother who was teaching him to have faith and invite Christ into his heart at a young age. However when his mother died he started on a path to denying Jesus and living a life far from what his mother taught him.
This book is a great reminder that even when we think God has forsaken us when we are hit with troubles and we chose to turn away from him instead of to him, that is does not forsake us as at all. Newton met and fell in love with a girl that he married eight years later, his love for this woman was with him in some troubling times. When Newton ended up working with a partner on the West Coast of Africa helping with the slave trade he himself ended up being enslaved. He was mistreated and starved, finally he was released to a new boss and that man treated him better. Surprisingly after his own brush with slavery he ended up being a captain of a slave ship himself. There was one line in the book that grabbed my heart, it read – “Newton marked March 10 as the day God began to blast away at his granite heart.” How profound to be reminded that God is always working on us even when we don’t see it. Slowly we see the transition from a sinner to a Christian, a minister, the creation of the hymns and letters.
I would give this book five stars because it’s such a smooth and easy read and it provides so much insight into a life that we barely know about while reminding of faith and the grace of God.
Disclosure: I was provided a copy of this book for review from Cross Focused Reviews. I was not required to provide a positive review and any and all opinions expressed are my own.