John Newton: From disgrace to amazing grace

Book Announcement
John Newton: From disgrace to amazing grace
By Jonathan Aitken

Today I’ve decided to try something a bit different in our frequent book announcement feature. These book announcements are intended to bring your attention the new releases that look excellent but not necessarily are going to get a full review.

The new look of the book announcement is the product of watching my friends come over and pick through my library looking especially for highlighted and marked pages in my books and reading the comments I write in the back cover. So today I’m going to attempt something similar online by pointed out a few pages from a new book that I found especially interesting and will show you these pages using the online browsing feature from the publisher.

The book under the spotlight today is Jonathan Aitken’s excellent new biography, John Newton: From disgrace to amazing grace (Crossway: 209781581348484.jpg07). Although Newton’s life is worthy of the cinema, even biographies of the slave trader turned preacher of the Gospel are quite rare. This biography by Aitken is a special treat … So like when you take a stack of books to a comfortable chair in the back of Barnes and Noble and relax for a browse, I invite you to brew some coffee, relax and take a few moments to look through these selected highlights:

… Read the interesting background of the author and why it makes him especially suited to write this bio (page 13).

… The song Amazing Grace was originally written in hymn form so its rich theological truths could be easily remembered by a few lace-makers and farmers (read page 351).

… Read about the powerful impact George Whitefield had upon Newton in 1777 when Whitefield passed through Liverpool (pages 133-137).

… Read Newton’s encouragement and exhortations directed towards William Wilberforce that prevented Wilberforce’s retirement from politics. Wilberforce would become famous politically for his role in the abolition of slavery and we have Newton ‘s relationship to thank for this (see pages 314-317).

… Vivid pulled quote from Newton’s pamphlet, Thoughts Upon The African Slave Trade written in 1788 (on page 23). Being so familiar with the African slave trade and willing to talk about its horrors, it is no wonder Newton led such a powerful abolitionist movement himself.

… The introduction to Newton’s life (pages 17-24) and the epilogue of Newton’s life are especially good (pages 351-356).

Overall Aitken has written an excellent biography and will make for a great Summer read to marvel in the amazing grace of God. Highly recommended.

Title: John Newton: From disgrace to amazing grace
Author: Jonathan Aitken
Reading level: 2.0/5.0 > easy
Boards: hardcover (not cloth)
Pages: 400
Volumes: 1
Dust jacket: yes
Binding: glued (not sewn)
Paper: normal
Topical index: yes
Scriptural index: no
Text: perfect type
Publisher: Crossway
Year: 2007
Price USD: $21.99 from Crossway
ISBNs: 9781581348484, 1581348487

4 thoughts on “John Newton: From disgrace to amazing grace

  1. Tony,
    Thanks for the recommendation. I recently wrote a review of the book myself at and I would definitely encourage anyone involved in church music to give it a read as you see Newton’s pastoral heart poured out as he and Cowper penned some of the greatest songs of praise ever put to paper.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s