Book Review – Bitesize Biographies: John Newton

John Newton is perhaps best known for the classic hymn he penned, “Amazing Grace” although most people are not aware of the life journey of the man behind that most famous of hymns. John Crotts, in his book Bitesize Biographies: John Newton, provides the reader with valuable insight into the transformation of Newton heathen sailor to evangelical leader and man of God. This book is divided into two main parts, the first chronicling the early life, seafaring days, transformation and ministry of Newton with the second part recounting the glorious hymns Newton wrote concluding with an engagement of his literary works. Each chapter is written in a manner that even the most seasoned historian would enjoy. Crotts aptly walks the reader through each phase of Newton’s life, noting the amazing journey Newton took from rebellious swashbuckler to one of the 18th century’s greatest evangelical leaders. This is a journey that is pregnant with the hand of God ever so present in the life of Newton. Furthermore, Newton’s story demonstrates that one is never too far from the mighty hand of God. For example, the young adulthood of Newton was one of pursuing all manner of activities that were certainly not representative of a man who feared God or who was even concerned with His existence. Crotts notes this period of Newton’s life was one of a “sinful tiger…now with...

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