Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Mighty Weakness of John Knox by Douglas Bond

The Mighty Weakness of John Knox by Douglas Bond is part of a series of books called "A Long Line of Godly Men Profile" that was conceived by Steven J. Lawson. The purpose of this series is to introduce giants of the Christian faith and to show how they used their particular spiritual gifts, personality traits, or ministry abilities in serving God. The goal of this series is to set forth followers of Christ who are themselves worthy to be followed. And for the most part, this book does just that.

The Mighty Weakness. That's an interesting combination of words, don't you think? At first glance, these words seem to be a contradiction of terms. How can someone be mighty and weak at the same time? Or better yet, how can someone find their might when they are weak? That's the story of John Knox (and of all mighty Christians throughout the history of the world). Bond puts it like this:
"Knox is a model for the ordinary Christian, especially the one who feels his own weakness but who nevertheless wants to serve Christ in a troubled world. Knox is eminently relevant to all Christians who have ever been forced to come face to face with their own littleness." (xx)
I posted the other day that there is glory when we feel inadequate. That was Knox. But it was first the Apostle Paul who said in 2 Corinthians 12:10, "when I am weak, then I am strong." It seems such a paradox. But as Bond says,
"Weakness, in Paul's theology of ministry, is an essential prerequisite to being used of Christ. The Almighty is in the business of raising up simple, frail, and little people, and empowering them to be strong in Christ." (xxii)
What was his weakness? He grew up in a time in Scotland with severe persecutions. He was timid. He didn't want to preach. In fact, the first time he was asked to preach, he ran out of the room crying. He soon would return to preach and said, "O Lord Eternal, move and govern my tongue to speak the truth" (9). That's when God can use someone. When they feel as though the only way this message will be successful is when God takes the simple words that come out of the mouth and move them.

So much more could be said about Knox, but then you wouldn't have to buy the book. And you should read it. I do not know if I have read a book about a guy who literally had to dodge bullets as he was preaching (and I mean literally). But it was his unrelenting reliance upon the Lord that enabled him to move an entire country for Christ. Charles Spurgeon once said of Knox,
"When John Knox went upstairs to plead with God for Scotland, it was the greatest event in Scottish history." (33)
This was a fairly good book. It did present just enough of Knox to give his history, background, and to become familiar with him.


  1. As far as I know, John Knox was a murderer. And you make yourself guilty of promoting him as godly man.

    You are speaking agains the Holy Spirit in doing so.
    This is what the bible says:
    1 John 2:9 He that saith he is in the light and hateth his brother, is in the darkness even until now.
    Romans 12:17 Render to no man evil for evil. Take thought for things honorable in the sight of all men.
    Matthew 7,15+16 Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves. By their fruits ye shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
    James 3: 18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace for them that make peace.
    Ephesians 5:11 and have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather even reprove them;
    2 Thess 3:6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.


  2. Manfred,

    Thank you for your comment, but I think you are drastically wrong for two reasons.

    First, what evidence do you have that he was a murder?

    Second, so was the Apostle Paul, who is the author of three of the passages you quoted above. Isn't that the point of the gospel? The gospel that Knox promoted with all his heart, that nobody can be good enough to earn eternal life. It is all of God's grace.

    1. First - You are asking for evidence
      You may have a look at this page:

      Paul repented from what he was doing in the time before he became a Christian. Knox claimed to be a Christian and walked in darkness as far as I can see from the information about him (see link).
      Is that not a big difference.



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