Sunday, 18 March 2012

The Mighty Weakness of John Knox by Douglas Bond

I received this book from the reformation trust and I am not obliged to give a positive review.

I have read a couple of this series before and have enjoyed them, this is no different but I do have some small issues with it. firstly in the opening section he suggests that John Knox is forgotten about in Scotland and in the Scottish Kirk, I don't believe this is the case, both the evangelical wing of the church of Scotland and the Free Church of Scotland consider themselves to be serving in Knox's court. The New College library of the church of Scotland in the centre of Edinburgh has a large bronze statute of Knox in it's courtyard. Secondly,  in spite of the title, the mighty weakness of John Knox, Douglas Bond in the short history of Knox he verges on hagiography as Bond treats Knox as a superhero rather than a man called by an extraordinary God. That said this error is probably a reaction to the treatment Knox has unfairly received in recent history where he is portrayed as a tyrant. Bond also recognises ' Knox saw himself as a weak man made mighty by God's grace, a self-assessment that enabled Knox to everyone else in Scotland in a hopefully light.' p.98.

What I really like about this book is that it interacts with Knox's character and his influence. What we see is that Knox is a man who loves his LORD and therefore in spite of being physically weak and naturally timid he can stand up against a monarch, a nobility and a corrupt church because of the strength of his God. Yet the same Knox could write and speak with tenderness to those weak and vulnerable members of the Kirk. This is because he lived in the reality of God's mercy and was only to willing to stand before the high and Might and the weak and lowly and telling them of the love of his God.

Douglas Bond does much to demolish the characture that has developed around Knox and shows that John Knox was a man greatly used by God. I commend this small book to you the book is very readable and engaging.

Stephen <><