We can often feel like pygmys in comparison to 'the measure of the stature of Christ' that some in the past attained to. But a good thing about 'A Long Line of Godly Men Profile' series from Reformation Trust (attached to Ligonier Ministries) is that it is designed to inspire. It is not eulogy disguised as biography. The lives of men like John Knox are studied to see the grace that was with them, and to point to their God - the ever living God. Douglas Bond has chosen to focus helpfully upon what he terms 'the mighty weakness' of Knox. That is, he was not a man who left sins and infirmities behind when he was born again, proceeding from strength to strength in a victorious life. No, out of fear he at first even refused to preach; he endured frail health all his days (although once spending months as a French galley slave!); and he had low views of himself and did not seek prominence. However, he fervently desired that Christ might be magnified among his fellow countrymen, and in prayer and preaching he laboured to that end. 'Out of weakness he was made strong.' He resembled the apostle Paul: 'I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.' Bond turns the spotlight upon Knox's power in a series of chapters on his submission to Christ and his word, prayer, preaching, writing, keynote doctrine (predestination), and pastoral care. But a glimpse into the greatness of Knox's spirit is seen in his attribution of the wonderful success of the Scottish Reformation: 'God gave his Holy Spirit in great abundance to simple men.' Oh for more such men!
The Mighty Weakness of John Knox published by Reformation Trust is a £12.99 quality hardback with dustjacket.