One thing that I love to hear about is the history of a hymn. I love to know more about the person behind the hymn, and why those particular lyrics were written. I just finished reading a book about John Newton, who is the man behind the extremely well-known hymn, "Amazing Grace". Author John Crotts talks about Newton's life in what is called a "bitesize" biography.
I didn't read the book with any preconceived notions about John Newton, but his early adult life was pretty interesting. He was born in the early 1700s, and was involved in the navy and also somewhat in slavery. He was quite an immoral person in his early adult life, and actually had several near-death experiences. From being thrown off a horse at an early age (and almost flying into stakes) to bad storms at sea to people wishing him harm, God saved him over and over again, even though at the time he probably seemed pretty useless. The author talks several times, though, how it almost seemed that Newton had a head knowledge of God, and probably would have done great things earlier for God, except that he had no foundation. No church, no saved friends, no one to talk to about his faith.
After Crotts has spoken of Newton's full life, he delves into some hymns and letters of John Newton's. This is very interesting to me and made the book more than just a biography.
I would certainly recommend this book to others, and would enjoy reading some other biographies in this category as well.
Thank you to Cross Focused Reviews and Evangelical Press for providing me this book in return for my honest review.
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