Exposition of “Amazing Grace:” An Appreciation of 250 Years of Edifying Influence

Editorial Comments on Founders Journal

Exposition of “Amazing Grace:”

 An Appreciation of 250 Years of Edifying Influence

The 250th anniversary of the first singing of “Amazing Grace” was January 2023. It was written by John Newton and sung by his parish congregation in Olney, England. This Journal is committed to a theological exposition of that hymn. I have written the discussion of verse three and a biographical sketch of Newton. My pastor, Cam Potts, who preached a series of sermons on “Amazing Grace” at the beginning of 2023, has written how a study of the hymn energized certain pastoral commitments. A seasoned musician and profound theological thinker, Jim Carnes, worship pastor at Southwoods Baptist Church in Germantown, Tennessee, has provided an enlightening discussion of verse one. Paul Taylor gives an edifying exposition of verse 2 and includes a doctrinal investigation of the concept of the fear of the Lord: “ ‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear.”  Erik Smith, a theologically and historically trained business man, discusses verse four by looking at how God’s promise [“The Lord has promised good to me”] is worked out in the various aspects of his providence. How pleasant and assuring it is to consider the truths of which Erik reminds us. Joe Crider, Dean of the School of Church Music at The Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, has taken on verse five and the often fearful impressions given concerning the time “when this flesh and heart shall fail.” He gives us a look at the vail of death and the pleasant prospects that God’s saving and preserving grace present to believers. Joe Nesom, pastor at First Baptist Church in Jackson, Louisiana, looks at verse six with a peek into the dissolution of this present temporal order (“The earth shall soon dissolve like snow”) that will be replaced by an eternal fellowship with the living God.

Tom has most recently served as the Professor of Historical Theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He previously taught at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School where he was Professor of Church History and Chair of the Department of Church History. Prior to that, he taught at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary. Along with numerous journal articles and scholarly papers, Dr. Nettles is the author and editor of fifteen books. Among his books are By His Grace and For His Glory; Baptists and the Bible, James Petigru Boyce: A Southern Baptist Statesman, and Living by Revealed Truth: The Life and Pastoral Theology of Charles H. Spurgeon.
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