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John Newton and the English Evangelical Tradition: Between the Conversions of Wesley and Wilberforce

by D. Bruce Hindmarsh

Buy the book: D. Bruce Hindmarsh. John Newton and the English Evangelical Tradition: Between the Conversions of Wesley and Wilberforce

Release Date: December, 2000

Edition: Paperback

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Buy the book: D. Bruce Hindmarsh. John Newton and the English Evangelical Tradition: Between the Conversions of Wesley and Wilberforce


Bruce Hindmarsh's biography will surprise most readers.

Bruce Hindmarsh goes far beyond the common understanding of John Newton to describe a gospel servant who began as an adolescent sailing with his father in the merchant marine. Later, he lived a blasphemous and destructive life after being impressed into the British navy, punished as a deserter and sent to service on a slave ship. Even after his earliest conversion he engaged in the slave trade, ultimately as a captain, before quitting that business which he found disgusting. He found new employment, new friends in the Evangelical community, and with his young wife, Mary, at first settled in Liverpool. His independent biblical and theological studies set him on a course that tied him closely with members of the English Evangelical movement but ultimately resulted in his ordination as a clergyman in the Church of England. Hindmarsh has carefully detailed Newton's growth over many years toward maturity and service as an Anglican parish minister and a preacher often mistaken for a Methodist because of his exuberance. Of course, Newton wrote hundreds of hymns for his parishioners to sing in worship services. The most famous today is "Faith's Review and Expectation," or "Amazing Grace." This is a scholarly book, well worth the price if you're serious about understanding Newton's theology, his rich and admirable service as a parish priest, his personal warmth and commitment to the people he served, and his historical significance as an Anglican who was a sort of bridge between his own church and the broad Evangelical movement during his long and productive life. Hindmarsh has done a great job of humanizing Newton; after reading this fine book I admire Newton so much because of the rich, committed life he lived for many years after he found conversion and quit the slave trade.

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