Amazing Grace : The Life Of John Newton And The Surprising Story Behind His Song by Bruce Hindmarsh and Craig Borlase
View book: Amazing Grace : The Life Of John Newton And The Surprising Story Behind His Song
Experience the incredible journey of John Newton and the power of God’s amazing grace with Amazing Grace: The Life of John Newton and the Surprising Story Behind His Song. This captivating biography, which reads like a novel, delves into a tale of love against all odds, a plunge into deeper suffering, and the harsh reality of the slave trade. Uncover the compelling story of sin and redemption behind the beloved song that has touched the hearts of millions.
Dive into the depths of brokenness, repentance, and the desperate need for God’s amazing grace as you immerse yourself in this remarkable book. Drawing from years of meticulously researched material, the author skillfully sketches the journey of John Newton with honesty and empathy. This powerful narrative resonates with the universal need for grace in our lives, encouraging us to confront our own shortcomings even when we feel ashamed.
With its sturdy hardcover binding, this book is a must-have for any book lover. It also makes for a thoughtful gift that is certain to inspire and uplift. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to witness the incredible transformation of John Newton and the enduring power of God’s amazing grace.
Invest in your personal growth and enlightenment by grabbing a copy of this extraordinary biography today. Allow the story of John Newton to inspire you and remind you of the boundless nature of God’s grace.
Amazing Grace: The Life of John Newton – A Redemptive Journey
Thanks for joining us at Regent College for the launch of Bruce Heinmarsh’s new book, “Amazing Grace: The Life of John Newton and the Surprising Story Behind His Song.” I’m Cindy Alders, your host for today’s event. Tonight, Bruce will be speaking about the book and then we’ll have time for a Q&A session. If you have any questions, please come to one of the microphones in the aisles after the lecture. And don’t forget to visit the Regent bookstore for a book signing. The book has received great reviews and I highly recommend it. In fact, I devoured it in two sittings.
Before we begin, I’d like to make a few announcements. This Saturday, we have another event here in the chapel called Bible Saturday. Ian Provin will be speaking on the topic “All Creatures Great and Small: The Psalms Global Perspective,” starting at 9:30 am. It’s free of charge, but consider supporting the bookstore by purchasing a book, perhaps Bruce’s new book.
Now, let’s turn our attention to our speaker tonight, Dr. Bruce Heinmarsh. He is the James M. Houston professor of spiritual theology and the professor of the history of Christianity here at Regent College. Bruce is not only a renowned scholar but also a gifted writer. His previous books have explored various aspects of John Newton’s life and work. And now, he has co-authored “Amazing Grace,” a gripping and thought-provoking book that delves into the life of John Newton in a novel-like format.
In his lecture tonight, Bruce will give an introduction to the book in four parts: the writing of the book, the form of the book, the occasion for the book, and the message of the book. So, let’s dive in.
The Writing of the Book
Bruce’s journey into researching and writing about John Newton began 30 years ago when he finished his doctoral thesis at Oxford. He extensively studied Newton’s archives, including his diaries and letters, to explore his role in the early Evangelical Awakening. This research culminated in a book that focused on Newton’s theology, ministry, and contribution to the Evangelical Revival. However, it did not delve into his early life or his later accomplishments, such as his role in abolition or his relationship with troubled poet William Cooper.
Fast forward to 18 months ago, when Charles Morris, executive director of Haven Ministries, approached Bruce with the idea of writing a book about John Newton’s life. This idea was inspired by the desire to produce a documentary and a book that would tell Newton’s story for a new generation. Co-author Craig Bourlays, a seasoned writer, joined Bruce in this project. They began storyboarding and discussing the book’s form.
The Form of the Book
Bruce and Craig decided to write “Amazing Grace” as a novel-like narrative, aiming to vividly tell John Newton’s dramatic story from the inside. They wanted to show rather than tell, adopting Newton’s point of view and immersing the reader in his experiences and emotions. While they stayed true to the historical record, they allowed themselves creative freedom in creating dialogue and internal thoughts based on the sources available. Their goal was to present the truth of the story while capturing the essence of Newton’s journey of redemption.
The Occasion for the Book
The launch of “Amazing Grace” commemorates the 250th anniversary of the hymn’s introduction in the congregational singing at the church in Olney, England, where Newton was a pastor. Over the years, “Amazing Grace” has become a beloved and widely recognized song, crossing borders of denomination, culture, and race. It has been sung during moments of personal grief, national tragedy, and civil rights movements, serving as a powerful reminder of the universality of God’s grace. The book explores the enduring impact of this hymn and its message of redemption.
The Message of the Book
“Amazing Grace” tells the story of John Newton, a man transformed by God’s grace. It highlights his remarkable journey from being a slave trader to becoming a wise spiritual counselor and a courageous abolitionist. Newton’s life demonstrates that Grace, when truly experienced, leads to a deep humility and tenderness of spirit. It fosters a desire for peace, mercy, and understanding instead of discord and judgment. The story of Amazing Grace reminds us that even in the face of evil, grace has the final word, offering hope and mercy.
“Amazing Grace” is a powerful exploration of John Newton’s life and the profound impact of his hymn. It invites readers to reflect on their own lives, reckon with their flaws, and embrace the transformative power of grace. It reminds us that no one is beyond grace and that it has the power to change hearts and bring about redemption.