Subscribe now

In Their Own Words — The Testimonies of Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Knox, and John Bunyan

April 2020 | Review by Robbert Oliver
  • Publisher: Banner of Truth Trust
  • ISBN: 978-1-84871-837-1
  • Pages: 232
  • Price: £6.25
Buy this book »

Book Review

This little book is a gem. It is not a formal biography but a study of four men from different backgrounds. In their own words, each one recalls the way in which God intervened in his life to teach him the way of salvation and then shaped him to become a preacher of the gospel.

The important details are extracted from their published writings. Each was lifted from obscurity to become an eminent Christian leader not only in his own generation but leaving a legacy that continues to enrich the church today.

Martin Luther and John Knox provided dynamic popular leadership. John Calvin, an outstanding scholar, was able to communicate the riches of his understanding to all classes of people. He left very little of a directly autobiographical nature, but Professor Calhoun has gathered scattered comments from letters and even commentaries. John Bunyan had little or no formal education, but his preaching drew artisans on the one hand and university teachers on the other.

The introductions are good, and the quotations are carefully drawn together. Clearly the various chapters are not enough to give a total picture of their subjects — standard biographies need to be consulted to supply context and detail — but this is a fine taster. It can be recommended for Christian people generally, and hopefully will lead on to more detailed investigation of the Reformation and Puritan eras.

Robert W. Oliver

Bradford on Avon


Book Reviews

Read our latest book reviews

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Never Enough: Confronting Lies about Appearance and Achievement with Gospel Hope
Sarah Ivill

Never Enough is a well-written, thoughtfully structured series of ‘teachable moments’ based on the author’s own testimony of suffering from eating disorders and a battle between fitness and obsession. Ivill talks of how her need to be romantically loved made…

See all book reviews
Sexuality and Identity (trilogy)
Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Sexuality and Identity (trilogy)
Owen Strachan and Gavin Peacock

These three punchy books address pressing issues: what the Bible teaches about lust (on desire), about homosexuality (on Biblical sexuality) and about transgenderism (on identity). The trilogy approach keeps each book short and focused while dovetailing effectively. Each book has…

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
A Beginner’s Guide To Church History
Philip Parsons

This book is a must-read for every Christian, which covers a wide period from the apostolic age to the church under Communism. There are numerous excellent works on church history, like Philip Schaff’s eight volumes, or Andrew Miller’s three volumes,…

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Who Am I? Human Identity and the Gospel in a Confusing World
Thomas Fretwell

In today’s secular society, religion is often regarded as without rational or scientific basis, and therefore irrelevant to life in the modern world and all areas of public engagement. If that is our social context, then it is no wonder…