John Newton — from slave-trader to abolitionist

In this era of tearing down statues of anyone who had anything to do with slavery, the story of John Newton should cause some to question their actions.

John Newton was born in 1725 and died in 1807.  He is famous for having written the hymn "Amazing Grace."

He also was a slave-trader, who sold Africans into lifelong slavery. 

But something changed that path.  After a profound spiritual experience, he became a Christian and gradually came to see the sinfulness of what he had done. 

He then worked to oppose slavery and was instrumental in ending it in the British Empire, which occurred before slavery was abolished in the U.S.

One would think the leftists who are tearing down statues of Christopher Columbus might make an exception if they were to encounter statues of John Newton.

Perhaps some of them would, but they would face a conundrum.  The philosophy of the left makes little or no room for forgiveness and redemption, and these are central themes in the life of Newton and, indeed, in all Christians.

The political left sees only the evils of those whom its members hate but fail to see themselves or others as sinners, beloved by a forgiving God. 

Thus, they rage.

But the John Newton story is a far richer story.

Image credit: Adam Jones via Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 2.0.

In this era of tearing down statues of anyone who had anything to do with slavery, the story of John Newton should cause some to question their actions.

John Newton was born in 1725 and died in 1807.  He is famous for having written the hymn "Amazing Grace."

He also was a slave-trader, who sold Africans into lifelong slavery. 

But something changed that path.  After a profound spiritual experience, he became a Christian and gradually came to see the sinfulness of what he had done. 

He then worked to oppose slavery and was instrumental in ending it in the British Empire, which occurred before slavery was abolished in the U.S.

One would think the leftists who are tearing down statues of Christopher Columbus might make an exception if they were to encounter statues of John Newton.

Perhaps some of them would, but they would face a conundrum.  The philosophy of the left makes little or no room for forgiveness and redemption, and these are central themes in the life of Newton and, indeed, in all Christians.

The political left sees only the evils of those whom its members hate but fail to see themselves or others as sinners, beloved by a forgiving God. 

Thus, they rage.

But the John Newton story is a far richer story.

Image credit: Adam Jones via Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 2.0.