Item description for Once Blind: The Life of John Newton by Kay Marshall Strom...
Overview Every generation seems to have people who make a habit of embodying evil, John Newton observed?people who have to look up in order to see the bottom. When they come to know God they are examples to others of God?s amazing grace. ?I,? John Newton wrote, ?was one of these.? This biography of the writer of Amazing Grace takes us on a journey worthy of a Hollywood extravaganza with swashbuckling adventures on the high seas coupled with the horrors of the slave trade. Once Blind retells Newton?s conversion during a crushing storm no one expected to survive and then the most unusual years that followed as an evangelical clergyman with the Church of England during which he was known for his ability to bridge gaping theological chasms. In the end, John Newton risked his reputation, his wife?s emotional well-being, even his cherished right to preach?all so that he could bear witness to the horrors he had witnessed and had participated in, and to help bring about laws that would stop the slave trade. This is indeed a timely book as we mark the 200th anniversary of the laws that set in motion the end of 18th century slavery, for God?s grace is every bit as amazing today as it was in Newton?s era.
Publishers Description Every generation seems to have people who make a habit of embodying evil, John Newton observed people who have to look up in order to see the bottom. When they come to know God they are examples to others of God?'s amazing grace. "I," John Newton wrote, "was one of these." This biography of the writer of Amazing Grace takes us on a journey worthy of a Hollywood extravaganza with swashbuckling adventures on the high seas coupled with the horrors of the slave trade. Once Blind retells Newton?'s conversion during a crushing storm no one expected to survive and then the most unusual years that followed as an evangelical clergyman with the Church of England during which he was known for his ability to bridge gaping theological chasms. In the end, John Newton risked his reputation, his wife?'s emotional well-being, even his cherished right to preach all so that he could bear witness to the horrors he had witnessed and had participated in, and to help bring about laws that would stop the slave trade. This is indeed a timely book as we mark the 200th anniversary of the laws that set in motion the end of 18th century slavery, for God?'s grace is every bit as amazing today as it was in Newton?'s era.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 5.5" Height: 8.25" Weight: 0.8 lbs.
Release Date Jan 2, 2008
Publisher AUTHENTIC BOOKS
ISBN 1934068276 ISBN13 9781934068274
Availability 0 units.
More About Kay Marshall Strom
KAY MARSHALL STROM is a partner in Kline, Strom International, Inc., and speaks at seminars, retreats, and special events throughout the country and the world. Kay is the author of 34 published books including Once Blind: The Life of John Newton, Harvest of Hope: Stories of Life-Changing Gifts, and Daughters of Hope: Stories of Witness and Courage in the Face of Persecution. A number of volumes and compilations contain her writing, including the newly released NIV Womens Devotional Bible 3. She and Don reside in Eugene, Oregon.
Kay Marshall Strom currently resides in Santa Barbara, in the state of California. Kay Marshall Strom was born in 1943.
Reviews - What do customers think about Once Blind: The Life of John Newton?
Interesting take on Newton's life. Sep 6, 2008
Several years ago I read The Infidel by Joe Musser (B&H 2001) and enjoyed it very much. It was a novel - rather than a biography - based on John Newton's life. Once Blind is very similar to The Infidel so both authors had obviously studied up on John Newton's life, though they had slightly different takes on the details. Once Blind was an easy read, though I found the symbols used to illustrate cursing like... #@(%& quite distracting at times. There was also an occasional point of view issue, but other than those minor things, I really liked the story. The fact that I finished it says a lot considering most books of the books I start never get read through to the end. At any rate, this biography was a nice review of John Newton's life and the comparison to modern day slavery issues at the end is worth considering. There is even a section that talks about how you can become a modern day abolitionist.
I also appreciated how the author used excerpts from some of Newton's sermons to make points in the story. Some scenes were pretty descriptive of the horrors of slavery, but nothing the average reader would get ill over. The details were not too graphic. At any rate, Once Blind is a worthwhile read and I definitely recommend taking the time to read it.
The man who composed Amazing Grace Aug 7, 2008
If you're traded to a slaver ship by the Royal Navy, no one is expecting much from you. "Once Blind: The Life of John Newton" is the true story of a lifelong troublemaker who straightens himself out and becomes one of the most profound pro-abolition voices of his time. With a focus on Newton's religious beliefs and how he felt that God was always looking out for him even through the worst, this biography of the man who composed Amazing Grace, one of the most famous songs in history, will keep readers reading all the way through. A top pick for community library biography collections.
Highly readable biography Jul 31, 2008
n a new addition to the body of works dealing with the abolitionist movement in 18th century Britain, Once Blind: The Life of John Newton is marked with gritty sin, slavery, God's grace, redemption, and abolition. Following the film Amazing Grace and print biographies covering the life of William Wilberforce, Once Blind reveals the life of another key character in the movement to end slavery, John Newton. Famous for penning the hymn "Amazing Grace", we are now introduced to his life as a sinner, conversion to a saint, and his subsequent efforts to abolish slavery. Kay Marshall Strom draws on Newton's own letters and her own previous work exploring his life -- John Newton: The Angry Sailor, a biography written for pre-teens -- to present us with a cohesive, highly readable and moving story of this man's life.
Strom introduces us to Newton as a young boy, already serving on the deck of his father's ship. A sensitive boy, unable to earn his father's approval, he quickly slides down into a life of sullenness, disobedience, rebellion, and rowdy behaviour. Strom fully develops the character of Newton as a young man - surly, blasphemous, an enemy of God, and of nearly everyone else who knows him. Strom is able to portray Newton's indulgence in swearing and blasphemy by utilizing asterisks, dollar signs and other symbols throughout his conversations, without actually inserting the curse words. She is able to thoroughly depict the extent of Newton's sin without divulging needlessly graphic details.
Due to his difficult nature and unhidden disdain for authority, Newton is transferred from ship to ship throughout his career. He serves for a time on a navy ship through enforced service during wartime (kidnapped at the docks). Readers of naval fiction will enjoy the authentic descriptions of life aboard a navy vessel, both from the lowly position of common seaman, and privileged position of midshipman. As we watch Newton descend into the darkest depths of his sin, some of the scenes we encounter are nightmarish, and nearly unbelievable, particularly after he leaves the navy. Some seem so far from our day-to-day experiences that they seem almost hallucinatory in nature.
When a disastrous storm strikes the ship that Newton is aboard he finally surrenders to God, and the transformation is abrupt and amazing. Like all conversions it is almost impossible to recognize the new man that Newton has become, though some traces are still present. Oddly enough, Newton enters into slave trading only after his conversion, and we are able to watch God's grace continue to work in his life, transforming him and eventually moving him out of the slave trade and into the ministry with his loyal wife beside him. He eventually pens his well-known hymn, and many others -- a fairly new form of worship in his day -- and comes to speak out publicly against slavery, while making known his own testimony and involvement in the trade.
Unlike other Newton biographies, Strom ties the history of the British abolitionist movement together with current day human rights issues - effectively, modern day slavery, that she outlines in the epilogue. She briefly explains some of the primary ways we find slavery enacted today. Also provided is a list of human rights organizations that we can partner with to learn more about these injustices, and work together with to eliminate them.
Written in an easy-to-read, narrative style, Once Blind is a rapid, yet comprehensive assay into the life, conversion and work of John Newton. Readers will stand in awe at the transformative power of God's grace in the work of all sinners who throw themselves on His mercy. The redemptive power of God is clearly shown, and I for one, love a good testimony! Highly accessible and recommended to both those seeking to learn more about this period in history, and those longing to know John Newton better as a man.
Amazing Read! Jul 21, 2008
Reviewed by Carol Hoyer for Reader Views (7/08)
"Once Blind" isn't the typical book you will read about Sir John Newton. Ms. Strom gives us interesting information on his life growing up, failures and successes that had an impact on his life.
John Newton came from a family where his mother pampered him, led him to believing in God and good deeds; while his father, a sea-going captain, pushed him away, and thought he was a sissy. John became very wild, instigating trouble wherever he went. John wanted to go to sea with his father to show him he could be a good sailor and the son he always wanted. At age 11 he got that chance, but it didn't go the way he thought it would; he was constantly in trouble, being chastised by his father and hated by other sailors.
As John got older, he was given the opportunity to be captain of a ship - a slave ship. At this time in history slaves were treated no better than the lowest animals on earth. But John thought he would have a better chance of getting all his slaves to ports to sell if he treated them better. Each day he would allow the slaves to come on deck, eat good food, get exercise and fresh air. His crew thought he was crazy, but he did in fact get all slaves to port without any losses.
"Once Blind: The Life of John Newton" is an amazing story that most will never know about, how a dishonest, boisterous man became a man of God and someone who helped put a stop to slave trade. In the end John became a preacher in an independent church and tried to make-up for his early beginnings. Everyone should read this book.
Prodigal Child Jul 11, 2008
John Newton's life makes a very strong testimony. Reading this biography of his life is a great addition to my library and knowledge base. Since I was a child, I can remember knowing that he was the man who was a captain on a slave ship until he found peace with Christ and wrote the lyrics to the beloved hymn "Amazing Grace". I did not however realize what all that he had endured in his life and just how "bad" he really had been. I guess I only received the child edited version of his life before. This book is told from practically a diary fashion and really takes the reader through the days and years of John's life, the good, and the very bad. In comparison to me, John is extremely strong and I would have given up early on. Comparing him to Job (Biblical Job), he still had not lost everything, but to him I'm sure it seemed he had. Reading through John Newton's life was really a personal and eye awakening experience, not just for the purpose of slave-trade, but for the purpose of being a Prodigal Child of Christ and how many times you can run, but never hide. Our God is an amazing God, and so many times we just do not see. We have all been and most of the time are just blind. I do give this book my full recommendation. I also suggest the film "Amazing Grace". This would be perfect would a group or individual study as well as a wonderful homeschooling piece.