Most Christians know John Newton as the slave ship captain who famously converted to Christ on the high seas and then penned one of the greatest hymns of the faith: "Amazing Grace." Less well-known is Newton's significance in his own day as an evangelical icon, great preacher and theologian, and important influence on abolitionist William Wilberforce. In this fascinating biography, Jonathan Aitken explores many facets of Newton's eventful life story, helping readers better understand his remarkable conversion and passionate fight to end the slave trade. The first modern account to draw on Newton's unpublished diaries and correspondence, this colorful and historically significant portrait provides fresh insights into the life and legacy of one of the most important Christians of the 18th century. Now available in paperback.
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"Jonathan Aitken gives an authentic picture of the life and times of John Newton, best known as the creator of the timeless hymn "Amazing Grace." Newton was also a preacher, theologian, and serious influencer of abolitionist William Wilberforce, who instigated the successful campaign to ban the British slave trade. Aitken's dynamic range and effortless narration capture Newton's dramatic disregard for authority, including his escape attempt from the Navy, which demoted him to the lowest rank of seaman. His seamless narrative portrays Newton's rise to captain of his own slave ship, on which he sailed the Ivory Coast, where he was taken captive himself and experienced terrible brutality at hands of another slave-trader, an experience that transformed him. Aitken delivers a credible biography, which includes a foreword by Philip Yancey. G.D.W. (c) AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine"
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