Who Was John Newton?

You probably know of John Newton as the man who penned the famous words of Amazing Grace. You might even know a little of his story — maybe about him being a slave-trader or living a rough life on the seas.

But there’s so much more to John Newton than that.

For instance, did you know he fell hopelessly in love with his future wife (Polly) when they were only in their mid-teens? Did you know he was famous for writing hundreds of letters by hand?

God truly led him in a miraculous way. So many times, he could have been destroyed either physically or spiritually, and yet God spared him. Saved him time after time, although he wasn’t yet trusting in the Savior’s redemption.

Who Was John Newton?I recently had the privilege of reviewing John Newton (affiliate link) by John Crotts, and thoroughly enjoyed learning more about this great man of God. His hymns have blessed me — and thousands of others. Many of his other writings have been preserved and encouraged so many Christian hearts.

This biography contains a lot of information in only 137 pages. It has 5 chapters dedicated to various aspects of Newton’s life, and 2 chapters containing some of his hymns and other writings. It also includes a very helpful section at the end with recommendations for further reading.

John Newton is more than just a biography, though. The author offers some observations based on Newton’s life that might be relevant to today’s readers. He doesn’t just tell the story from beginning to end, but weaves events together to portray God’s miraculous hand working in His timeless fashion. It was a little different than what I’d expected, but I came to appreciate his style of presenting things by the end of the book.

If you want to learn more about the great hymn-writers and theologians in our church’s history, I would recommend this Bitesize Biography of John Newton.

Do you enjoy biographies? Why or why not?


Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for sharing my review, which has been shared on Amazon as well. This post also contains my affiliate links.

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14 thoughts on “Who Was John Newton?

  1. This is very funny. I was just thinking of writing a post about him. There is a lot of knowledge of him based on the movie Amazing Grace. But his testimony is absolutely amazing. I am teaching the kids another one of his hymns, Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken. He wrote a lot of hymns, and everyone mentions prayer or the grace of God, or both.

    1. I really like that hymn too (Glorious Things). So much good theology!

  2. Glad you enjoyed the book, Elizabeth! I loved the way it highlighted his graciousness, as well as sharing how the hymns came out of his life and out of his desire to teach the truth of God effectively.

    1. Thanks for the recommendation!

  3. I love biographies. 🙂

    1. I ignored them for a while, but lately I’ve been devouring them! You can learn so much from others’ examples!

  4. I love biographies, and I knew John Crotts (the author) from college. I love it when people I know write books-it’s like the best of two worlds!

    1. Ok, that’s awesome!

  5. Hi Elizabeth! I found your blog through the Fellowship Friday blog hop. I love reading biographies and autobiographies and this one sounds like a great read.

    I’ve read John Newton’s autobiography called ‘Out of the Depths,’ which I really enjoyed it. : )

    1. I need to put that one on my to-read list! Thanks so much for stopping by, Cathy!

  6. Hi Elizabeth,

    Also stopping by from Fellowship on Fridays. You did a lovely job on this review. I will have to add this book to my long to-read list.

    I’m more of a fan of fiction, but I’m working on reading more non-fiction, including biographies. 🙂

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Anna! I love fiction too (probably too much!) but biographies can be so inspiring! And they often read like fiction, so what’s not to love? 🙂

  7. Elizabeth,

    Thanks for contributing to the blog tour.

    Shaun Tabatt
    Cross Focused Reviews

  8. […] Reviewer: Elizabeth Johnson (dogfuranddandelions.com) […]

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