Mark’s #48 – The Mighty Weakness of John Knox by Douglas Bond (2011)

As Martin Luther pounded the nail through his Ninety five Thesis on the church door in Wittenberg, Germany, three-year-old John Knox toddled around his home 800 miles away in Haddington, Scotland.  Luther’s spark turned into a raging inferno that would light much of Christendom ablaze with The Reformation.  By the age of twenty nine, this fire would reach into the heart of the priest John Knox and convert him to true faith in Jesus Christ.

Though slight of stature, and often of ill health, Knox saw the glory of God’s sovereignty and omnipotence, and found strength and confidence in these things rather than his own frail abilities and personal confidences.  John Knox was a man that understood theology and lived like it.

His life would be one of constant danger and fighting for the cause of truth in Jesus Christ alone, by grace alone, through faith alone, by the authority of the Scriptures alone, to the glory of God alone.  He wielded a broadsword in the defense of a besieged castle, whilst he also wielded the sword of God (the Bible) to proclaim to those inside the castle the gospel of grace.  After the fall of the castle, he spent the next 19 months as a galley slave for the French Navy.  Upon his release he preached before kings and queens in England, as well as Scottish peasants.   He boldly denounced the church idolatry, political church and state whims of leadership.  He narrowly escaped capture and certain death as he fled for Geneva to study under John Calvin and pastor an english speaking church.   After Mary Tudor’s death, Knox returned to Scotland where he reengaged a battle for the hearts and souls of his people against the sins, abuses, and idols of the church and the state.

This book recounts all of these struggles as well as the passion and theology of John Knox.  Knox saw the doctrine of God’s predestination as an essential truth for the rescue and the hope of lost sinners.  As such, many throughout history have tried to ignore or vilify Knox in order to write him off… yet the truth he expounded remains true today and forevermore – God is absolutely sovereign over salvation, and that’s a very good thing.   I was personally encouraged and edified by spending this time learning about the life, faith, and God of John Knox.

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