Get The Works of John Newton, vol. 1 as April’s free book of the month. But hurry—tomorrow’s the last day!
Today’s guest post is from Tony Reinke, author of Lit! A Christian Guide to Reading Books. Tony, a researcher, writer, and content strategist for Desiring God, lives with his wife and three children in Minneapolis.
What compelled you to begin researching John Newton?
For several years, I helped serve the pastors of a small denomination in the United States, and Newton was one of the historical men I chose to study as a way of becoming familiar with the questions and pressures of pastoral ministry. I found him very readable and relevant to the contemporary needs and challenges faced by pastors.
Newton was not theologically educated (formally), but he leveraged his biblical insight and his street smarts about the world and his own heart to all of Christian life and to his rich pastoral counsel. He is a unique voice in church history for that reason. And so I really got to know Newton over those years, and the deeper I dove into Newton’s letters, the more I loved reading his works. The more I read, the more I became impressed with the cohesion I saw in the fragments of his pastoral care. The more I began studying Newton, the more secondary sources I began to read, and the more secondary resources I read, the more clear it became how difficult of a time others have had in trying to fit Newton’s pastoral counsel together. The challenge of fitting his works together drew me in even further to his writings. [Read more...]