John Newton

From Disgrace to Amazing Grace
Narrated by: Jonathan Aitken
Length: 13 hrs and 29 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (201 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

John Henry Newton (1725 - 1807) was an Englishman, Anglican clergyman, and a former slave-ship captain. He was the author of many hymns, including "Amazing Grace". Here is a fascinating, colorful, and historically significant portrait of the slave-trader-turned-Christ-follower.
©2007 Jonathan Aitken (P)2009 Hovel Audio

Critic Reviews

"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)

What listeners say about John Newton

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Inspiring Story...

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.

6 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Very insightful

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).

3 people found this helpful

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Excellant

Wonderful bio of John Newton. Very well done and read. Worth your time to listen.

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Great story, good book, okay narration

great story, good book, okay narration. Newton's life is an inspiration and so I enjoyed the book would have appreciated a longer more detail biography

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Powerful and moving

One of Christ's great ones, John Newton's conversion and ministry over a long life is finely and dramatically presented in this audiobook. Listen for the good of your soul.

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I once was lost, but now I'm found story!

I am so glad that I used a credit for John Newton's story. Jonathan Aitken left no stone unturned when studying Newton's life. Thankfully, Newton wrote down his every prayer and every thought whether spiritual or not so spiritual. From boyhood, raised by his Christian mother until 6 years of age; until almost his last breath; Jonathan documents it.

He also wrote in a way that history came alive for me. Thank God for John Newton and for Jonathan Aitken as Newton's story gives me hope for the rankest of sinners.....and for myself.

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Enlightening!

I knew so many bits and pieces to the story of John Newton that I was confident that this book would just fill in a few details for me. Was I in for a shock! So many nuances to Newton's life were fascinating and heart touching! thoroughly enjoyed this audio book and always enjoy hearing a book read by its author!

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Gods mercy

excellent book
encouraged me to believe it may not be to late for me

God is that longsuffering and unwilling that we should perish

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Only a grace-saturated writer could write a biography so grounded in gospel-sanity.

Such a helpful biography! Thankful for this contemporary classic on the life of John Newton.

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Amazing Grace is an amazing book!

I read this book about 3 years ago and was so taken with it that when I had the option to listen to the audible version, I jumped at it! Sure am glad I did! The book is narrated by the author and he is wonderful to listen to. I actually sped it up to 1.25 as it seemed to take forever at normal speed. 1.25 is fine and doesn't sound distorted at all. I loved hearing all the correct pronunciations for the different towns Newton lived in. It made it much richer overall hearing it versus reading it. Absolutely love this book and will probably relisten to it, especially now that I have learned how to save clips, etc. I highly recommend this audiobook!!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Colin
  • 07-02-11

Superb account of a remarkable life

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.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anna
  • 06-01-10

An amazing and very inspiring story

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!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Antony snowden
  • 01-09-17

The remarkable story of Gods grace and guidance

His life will both encourage and challenge the reader/listener to live by Gods Amazing Grace

1 person found this helpful

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  • James
  • 08-25-15

Incredible Story

long, but exceptional in the way the story glorifies God, his faithfulness and his amazing salvation displayed in John Newton.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ronnie.
  • 06-08-19

What a story!

Jonathan Aitken ,has surpassed himself in writing and reading this wonderful book. I enjoyed it very much .

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  • Escoffier
  • 10-10-14

Extraordinary man with profound story

Would you listen to John Newton again? Why?

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.

Who was your favorite character and why?

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.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

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.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, the chapters are well managed with good cliff hangers.

Any additional comments?

Marvellous biographical work and an interesting picture of the Church at the time.