Sjolander Road Fellowship




Declaring the God of Unconditional Love

not quite so amazing grace

2/2/15

 

Almost anyone is familiar with the hymn, Amazing Grace. In fact, it is said to be the most popular hymn of all times.

 

Many probably have heard the story about how this hymn came to be written. The author was John Newton, an Englishman who had been previously employed in the slave trade. Out of that experience, the previously irreligious Newton was driven to a religious conversion and ultimately became a clergyman in the Church of England. He penned his now famous lyrics to extol God's graciousness in forgiving him despite his wretched past.

 

The story behind this song is both exhilarating and troubling. As most would recognize, the slave trade caused many, many slaves to die during their transport from Africa. These Africans were not deemed to be Christians which means that, according to Christian theology, they were God rejected at death. In other words, the practice of slavery was consigning many to eternal torment.

 

Newton was right to be amazed at God's graciousness where he was concerned. However, one must wonder how he reconciled God's rejection of those he had helped kill, with the subsequent forgiveness he rejoiced in. A truly amazing God has to be consistently amazing, not just to me but to the whole world.