Reformation Month: Day 18

31 Days, 31 Books

What started in Wittenberg and later in Geneva spread throughout Europe.  In some places, it took root; in other places, it fought for a position; and in some, it flourished for a season and then perished.  Scotland was one of the lands where the Reformation took root and came to largely dominate the culture and impact the national character.  I would think that Scotland, along with the Netherlands and the British colonies in America (and later, the United States) were the primary areas where Calvinism flourished.

The Scottish story is a fascinating series of chapters and adventures in church history.  Iain H. Murray’s book, A Scottish Christian Heritage (published by Banner of Truth), is a great survey of the history.  Murray is a Scot and one of the finest writers of histories designed to encourage and educate believers.

Reformation is never, never, never the work of one man.  But there is often a key leader who motivates, centralizes, and directs the work of Reformation.  In Scotland, that man was the courageous, indomitable, unyielding, and zealous John Knox.  His life story is astounding.  I know I have read several accounts of him through the years.  Murray’s book, as expected, contains a chapter on Knox.  Below are a few of the biographies that attempt to capture the life and challenges of Knox.

To the best of my recollection, W. Stanford Reid’s biography of Knox. Trumpeter of God, is a fine work.  It must have been over twenty years ago that I read it.  Douglas Wilson’s biography, For Kirk and Covenant: The Stalwart Courage of John Knox, follows the pattern of all the “Leaders in Action” series.  Each biography, based heavily on secondary sources, gives a short overview of the leader’s life, followed by a series of applications regarding that person’s qualities.

I think I have the biography by Lord Eustace Percy, but I will have to check out in the study to be sure.

More about Knox and the Reformation in Scotland can be gleaned from Knox’s own account:

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