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John Knox and the Reformation

By Iain H. Murray
January 2012 | Review by Paul Mackrell

Synopsis

It is the duty of all Christians to remember those faithful men from whom they heard the gospel of Christ. For those of Scottish descent no Christian leader deserves more to be remembered than John Knox. Born in Haddington around 1514, he took his stand for the Reformation alongside that 'blessed martyr of Christ', George Wishart. Assured of God's call to the ministry of the Word while at St. Andrews, Knox endured many hardships in bringing the gospel's message to a people in great spiritual darkness. Under God's blessing he was instrumental in transforming the nation and his stamp, though somewhat faded, still bears its impress upon the Scottish people, both at home and abroad. Commemorating the 500th anniversary of the birth of John Knox, this little book will encourage readers to not only remember the man but also consider the outcome of his life and imitate his faith.

  • Publisher: Banner of Truth Trust
  • ISBN: 978-1-84871-114-3
  • Pages: 132
  • Price: 5.50
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Book Review

John Knox and the Reformation
D Lloyd-Jones & I Murray
Banner of Truth Trust
132, £5.50
ISBN: 978-1-84871-114-3
Star Rating:

2014 will mark the 500th anniversary of the birth of John Knox. Has the culture of any nation been shaped by one man quite as much as Scotland’s has by John Knox? Her educational attainments, her commitment to democratic principles and above all her spiritual heritage, all bear testimony to this remarkable individual. And yet, at the same time, have any people sought to distance themselves from their spiritual founder quite as much as the Scots have done? We really ought to know more about him.

In recognition of this approaching anniversary, the Banner of Truth have compiled three separate essays related to John Knox. The first is the transcript of an immensely powerful address given by Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones in Edinburgh’s Usher Hall in 1960. It was an occasion to mark the Reformation in Scotland and therefore goes considerably wider than John Knox. If you want to understand the importance of church history and be moved by an account of the Lord’s mighty work in Scotland then look no further. Over 50 years have elapsed since the address was given, but it is as relevant today as it was then and remains extremely stirring stuff.

The second is a paper given by the Doctor at the 1972 Westminster Conference in London entitled ‘John Knox – the Founder of Puritanism’, setting out the details of his life and character, and providing an account of his accomplishments and influence. The third is an essay by Iain Murray on ‘John Knox and “the Battle”’, offering a complementary perspective on his life and the battles he was called upon to fight.

As ever Iain Murray never leaves the reader with a mere piece of historical analysis, but seeks to draw out relevant lessons for our benefit.

The book opens with a fitting reference to Hebrews 13:7 ‘Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.’ This book gives encouragement and reason for us to start heeding this verse.

 

Paul Mackrell,

Dorking

4

 

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John Knox

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