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John Knox - Bitesize Biographies (Murray)

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Evangelical Press

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As well as modelling the Church in Scotland, Knox laid the foundation of an extraordinary forward-looking new state, way ahead of the time in such matters as education, social welfare and democracy. The Reformation had its effect in all spheres of national life. Knox roused the common man to a sense of his true dignity. He said: ‘Before God all men are equal. In matters of religion God requires no less of the subject, be he ever so poor, than of the prince and the rich man.'

Table of Contents:

  1. The Background: ‘Wherefore was Master Patrick burned?’
  2. The early years: ‘One is sufficient for a sacrifice’
  3. St. Andrews: ‘where God opened my mouth to his glory’
  4. In England: ‘that great rest’
  5. At Geneva: ‘the most perfect school of Christ’
  6. Back to Scotland: ‘John Knox is come’
  7. Contending: ‘I see the battle shall be great’
  8. Civil war: ‘blowing the Master’s trumpet’
  9. The new beginning: ‘the face of Christ’s Kirk’
  10. Summoned by Mary: ‘Madam, in God’s presence I speak’
  11. The last call: ‘Now it is come’
  12. The Knox legacy 


"Educationally the Reformation gave a great impetus to literacy as the common people learned to read the Bible for themselves. Knox brought forward the first comprehensive scheme of national education, where every parish would have a schoolmaster and every notable town a college, and where the children of the poor would have their education free. The importance of education became a basic characteristic of the Scots both at home and abroad." - Rev. John J. Murray, retired. Congregations Served: Oban Free Church 1978-1989; Edinburgh Free Church 1989-2002. Positions Held: Assistant Editor of Banner of Truth Magazine.

"This short biography is the "essential" John Knox with all his passion, power and devotion to Christ. It is Knox at his pithy best without the frills and distractions. We are all indebted to John J. Murray for distilling the Scots Reformer into an intoxicating elixir. This appetizer that will no doubt tantalize readers to further feast on the whole of the life and works of John Knox."  - Dale Walden Johnson - Professor of Church History, Erskine Theological Seminary

"In short space Mr Murray sets John Knox in the context of the wider Reformation movement and of the Scotland of his day, providing a useful introduction to the much neglected history which lies at the foundation of the development of Scotland as a Protestant nation. It is good to have a book in print, written by a living author, drawing sympathetic and yet realistic attention to one to whom Scots are indebted under God for much of the goodly heritage which our generation is busy jettisoning. One hopes that it will awaken interest in volumes such as Knox's own History of the Reformation in Scotland and M'Crie's Life of John Knox and in the Biblical truths which were recovered at the Reformation. We wish this bite-sized biography a wide circulation." - Rev H M Cartwright, former Professor of Church History at the Free Church College and minister of the Edinburgh congregation of the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland

"In these dark and depressing days for my beloved homeland, Scotland, it is so encouraging to be reminded that God often chooses such an unlikely backdrop to revive, reform, and renew His Church. May this short, pacy biography of John Knox keep us hoping and keep us praying, 'Lord do it again.'" - Rev Dr David Murray, Professor of Old Testament and Practical Theology at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids.