Bitesize Biographies: John Newton
By: John Crotts
When I first started to read Christian books about 25 years ago, I was told to read as many Christian biographies and autobiographies as I could, and that in reading them, I would find out how God uses men for His glory. I now have a very good collection of them in my library.
People who know John Newton’s name often only know one or two things about him. They recognize that he wrote one of the most popular hymns of all time: “Amazing Grace”. The other thing they might know is that he was captain of a slave ship before he wrote that hymn. Those facts are true, but there is a great deal more to his story! (p.10)
I will leave it for readers to find out more about the rest of his story, and by the time you finish this book, you will realize that it is not “Bitesize” at all. I do want to share one of Newton’s gifts that God bestowed upon him: the gift of writing. God used him to write letters to a young lady named Polly, with whom he fell in love and later married.
John Newton’s letters have comforted many Christians and brought the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to many of those with whom he corresponded. Back in his day, it would take anywhere from four to six weeks to receive a letter from someone, and Christians were very eager to receive his letters.
I’m grieved at the fact that Facebook, Twitter, blogs, websites, and emails allow us to receive messages within an instant of second from someone and yet we don’t take our time to read most or any of our emails when a ministry sends it to us.
Despite making comments about the negative impact of emails or any of the above social media, I believe that when we take our time to write like John Newton, we can reach and comfort others. I pray that you will get this book, read it, and treasure it. It is not just about the hymn “Amazing Grace”; you will find out what prompted John Newton to say, “I'm a great sinner and Christ is a great Savior.”
I received this book for free from Evangelical Press via Cross Focused Reviews for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."