©2007 Jonathan Aitken; (P)2009 Crossway Audio
"Only God could take a vile slave trader and turn him into a useful instrument in abolishing the slave trade and igniting a gospel revival, the flames of which are burning still. The story of Newton's life inspires all who seek to follow the path of Jesus today." (Timothy George, Executive Editor, Christianity Today)
Accounts of Newton's life often begin and end with his youthful adventures and eventual conversion but treat the remaining decades of his life as almost incidental. This is understandable given the extraordinary events of his early days - fact really is stranger than fiction here! But Aitken has done a superb job of relating Newton's magnificent contribution to English church life (which didn't begin and end with the composition of 'Amazing Grace') as well has his indispensable role in the abolitionist movement.
Aitken is not a professional narrator and that shows at times. However, knowing that he is the author, and has had personal experience of 'disgrace to grace', means that this enhances rather than distracts from the listeners experience. The biggest irritation is the ghastly American voice that introduces each chapter and the nauseous music that accompanies it. However, not even that can detract from a magnificent story magnificently told.
This book is worth listening to....esp in this format! It could be hard going on paper, but it is, i found, so interesting and listening to it makes that possible to 'read'.
It is narrated by the author too, which makes it all that more special, esp when you know his story.
Some of of the content is from Newton's own diary, and he wrote beautifully...eg, the way he wrote about and loved his wife!.
It takes you away to another time, where they loved in a different way...where most people were hard working, and had respect and honour, and knew what it was to sacrifice and give.
The author/narrator, at times, does sound as if he has been reading for too long, but this didnt actually bother me, as i felt like i had a private reading session with the author, and him reading it aloud must have been hard going! So he did well!
But all in all, a beautiful, inspiring story and worth listening to!
This is a story you will want to come back to again and again. It is a message for all of us, not least as an example of God's redemptive powers.
John Newton was a remarkable hero in many ways. Little recognised and understood. Normally just seen as a converted slave trader and nothing more. He was far, far more. Poet, preacher, scholar, great shepherd of his flocks and remarkable husband.
Probably not tried to read when he was tired and over several chapters when he clearly had a chest infection. A shame really but he has a clear voice and enunciates well.
Yes, the chapters are well managed with good cliff hangers.
Marvellous biographical work and an interesting picture of the Church at the time.
A wonderful complementary piece to Metaxas' Amazing Grace, the story of William Wilberforce, the major opponent to the British slave trade who almost single-handedly turned the tide away from the evils of slavery toward human compassion in Great Britian, and eventually, in America as well. John Newton was an influence on the young Methodist-minded Wilberforce, as Newton had been a former slave ship caption, converted to Christianity and turned to the ministry, so he could relate the horrible truths of what happened during the hideous and infamous "middle passage." Read this along with Metaxas' book. The two books are a great lesson in history and how compassion can change the human heart.
I really enjoyed listening about the life of John Newton. He has a powerful story and a very interesting life. I learned a lot about him through this audiobook, though there were a few times where it felt a little drawn out (especially near the middle once he became a pastor).
"Very well done."
This was an overall a good book on a great man. I would have preferred more quotes from Newton in the body of this book.
"Well told tale of a redeemed life"
My only complaint is that the narration includes audible in-breaths. But I am fond of Admiral Ackbar, perhaps the most famous of all audible in-breathers.
"Very insightful and inspiring!"
The author did an awesome job of picking out the most important parts of Newton's life. The book moves in a well thought out pace. It really makes you stop and think along the way of how important God was to his life. Plus I never really understood the depths of his sin before. Newton was a godly example of a husband, pastor and servant of the Lord! The reading is also well done. I will go through this book again next year, it is that good!
"A masterful work on an inspirational role-model"
It is one of the finest that I have heard.
It has the depth of Jonathan Edwards by Marsden, but the intrigue of the story of the Apostle Paul in the book of Acts.
Obviously, John Newton.
Yes, if possible, but being such a long book, it was not possible.
This book is an inspiration to a young clergyman - Newton's life could serve as a godly pattern for any servant of the Lord wanting to make a difference in other individual's lives as well as in the world.
"Excellent! One of the best!"
I heartily recommend this to anyone.. A great book, easy to listen to.
Lots of historic characters with lots of researched detail on how they interacted.
Thank you John Aitken!
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