Reinke, Tony. Newton on the Christian Life. Theologians on the Christian Life. Edited by Stephen J. Nichols and Justin Taylor. Wheaton: Crossway, 2015.
John Newton provided a wealth of spiritual counsel in his numerous letters. One disadvantage of receiving Newton’s counsel in this form is that the various topics he covers are scattered through numerous letters. Tony Reinke addresses this challenge by presenting Newton’s counsel topically. Reinke has carefully read Newtons letters and gives readers a rich entrance into his thought about the Christian life.
Reinke summarizes Newton’s teaching thus:
John Newton’s vision for the Christian life centers on the all-sufficiency of Jesus Christ. Awakened to Christ by the new birth, and united to Christ by faith, the Christian passes through various stages of maturity in this life as he/she beholds and delights in Christ’s glory in Scripture. All along the pilgrimage of the Christian life—through the darkest personal trials,. And despite indwelling sin and various character flaws—Christ’s glory is beheld and treasured, resulting in tastes of eternal joy, in growing security, and in progressive victory over the self, the world, and the devil—a victory manifested in self-emptying and other-loving obedience, and ultimately in a life aimed to please God alone (30).
The book unpacks this summary by presenting John Newton’s teaching on each point. Read worshipfully, this book really does increase one’s longing to love Christ and live for him.