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Most Christians know John Newton as a man who once captained a slave ship, was dramatically converted to Christ on the high seas, and later penned one of the greatest hymns of the faith, “Amazing Grace.” But he also had a huge impact on his times as an icon of the evangelical movement, as a great preacher and theologian, and as a seminal influence on abolitionist William Wilberforce.
Jonathan Aitken’s new biography of John Newton explores all these facets of Newton’s life and character. It is the first biography to draw on Newton’s unpublished diaries and correspondence, providing fresh insight into the life of this complex and memorable Christian. The result is a fascinating, colorful, and historically significant portrait of John Newton, a self-described “great sinner” redeemed by a great Savior through amazing grace.
“A new life of John Newton is a fitting celebration of the bicentennial both of Newton’s death and of the abolition of the slave trade, Wilberforce’s triumph in which Newton played a key role. Master biographer Jonathan Aitken is in fine form, sympathetic, insightful, scholarly, and vivid, and his book, like its subject, must be rated spectacular.” - J. I. Packer, Board of Governors’ Professor of Theology, Regent College
“A riveting historical account of the life of this notorious eighteenth-century sinner who was dramatically saved by God’s grace. This book should be required reading for any person who loves history, loves the song, and is serious about following Christ.” - The Honorable Jack Kemp, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development; former U.S. Congressman
“A rip-roaring adventure, a passionate romance, and an astonishing journey of faith all in one. I knew the story well, but this telling made a deep impression on me.” - Os Guinness, author of The Call
“Even more amazing than Newton’s life with all its drama and color is the reminder of how completely revolutionary is God’s agenda to change the world his own way and through imperfect, broken people. Newton is just another entry to God’s long resumé of his amazing grace in changed lives.” - James MacDonald, Senior Pastor, Harvest Bible Chapel, Rolling Meadows, Illinois
Jonathan Aitken is a well-known British author and former politician. He was a Member of Parliament for twenty-three years, serving in the Cabinet as Chief Secretary to the Treasury and also as Minister of State for Defense. His political career ended when he pleaded guilty to charges of perjury as a result of having told a lie on oath in a civil libel lawsuit. During an eighteen-month prison stay, he converted to Christ. He is president of Christian Solidarity Worldwide, a director of Prison Fellowship International, and executive director of The Trinity Forum in Europe. He is the author of twelve books, including the award-winning Nixon: A Life and Charles W. Colson: A Life Redeemed.