From Disgrace to Amazing Grace
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 Newton also had a huge impact on his times. A leader in the evangelical movement, a great preacher and theologian, and a seminal influence on abolitionist William Wilberforce. Newton’s friendship with Wilberforce is portrayed in the major motion picture Amazing Grace.
Jonathan Aitken’s new biography 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 It is the first biography to draw on Newton’s unpublished diaries and correspondence, providing fresh insight into the life of this complex and memorable Christian.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.
Aitken’s own remarkable story
The life of author Jonathan Aitken is a remarkable story in itself. Aitken is a well-known British author and former politician. He was a Member of Parliament for 23 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 in a civil libel lawsuit. During an eighteen-month prison stay, he converted to Christ.
About the Author
Aitken 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.
“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. His book, like its subject, must be rated spectacular.”
— J. I. Packer, Professor of Theology, Regent College; author of Knowing God and numerous other books
“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.”
— Jack Kemp, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development; former U.S. Congressman