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The Mighty Weakness of John Knox [Kindle Edition]

Douglas Bond , Steven J. Lawson
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

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Book Description

John Knox, the great Reformer of Scotland, is often remembered as something akin to a biblical prophet born out of time strong and brash, thundering in righteous might. In truth, he was low in stature, and of a weakly constitution, a small man who was often sickly and afflicted with doubts and fears. In The Mighty Weakness of John Knox, a new Long Line Profile from Reformation Trust Publishing, author Douglas Bond shows that Knox did indeed accomplish herculean tasks, but not because he was strong and resolute in himself. Rather, he was greatly used because he was submissive to God; therefore, God strengthened him. That strength was displayed as Knox endured persecution and exile, faced down the wrath of mighty monarchs, and prayed, preached, and wrote with no fear of man, but only a desire to manifest the glory of God and to please Him.

For those who see themselves as too weak, too small, too timid, or simply too ordinary for service in God s kingdom, Knox s life offers a powerful message of hope the biblical truth that God often delights to work most powerfully through people who are most weak in themselves but most strong in Him.

Editorial Reviews


Another volume appears in the Long Line of Godly Men Profiles series, this time a profile of John Knox by Douglas Bond. To this very interesting book about a very interesting man, Bond brings his compelling narrative style, honed in his previously written novels. The preface ('John Knox: A Weak Man Made Mighty') sets the tone for the volume, as Bond demonstrates in a variety of ways how God took Knox's several weaknesses to make him one of the Reformation's strongest figures. Citing Knox's greatest strength is his submission to Christ, Bond then traces 'power' in Knox's life, whether it be power of prayer, pen, or predestination, or power in Knox's preaching. For those wondering whether the Pauline mystery of strength in weakness can become true for them, Bond's portrait of Knox will prove as edifying it is instructive. --Dr. T. David Gordon: Professor of religion and Greek Grove City College, Grove City, Pennsylvania

Though I love John Knox, I rarely enjoy reading about John Knox. Most biographers leave me feeling like a pathetic worm beside this mighty lion of Scotland. But to my great surprise, this book lifted my spirits and even inspired me. Why? Because Douglas Bond has capture and communicated the secret of John Knox's power- a genuinely felt and openly confessed weakness that depended daily and completely on the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ. Mighty weakness- what an encouraging message for all worms who want to be lions. --Dr. David P. Murray: Professor of Old Testament and practical theology Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan

In the compass of this small volume, Douglas Bond somehow manages to corral all the mysterious paradoxes of John Knox: the thunderous pulpit and the closet intercessions, the soaring intellect and the humble home life, the boldness and the meekness, the might and the weakness. In other words, Bond has captured the very essence of this remarkable model for reformational ministry. --Dr. George Grant: Pastor, East Parish Presbyterian Church Franklin, Tennessee

About the Author

Douglas Bond is the head of the English Department and a longtime teacher at Covenant High School, a classical Christian school in Tacoma, Wash. He holds degrees from St. Martin s University, (M.I.T. in education; B.A. in history) and a preliminary certificate in theology from Moore Theological College in Australia. He has written numerous works of fiction, many of them for young people, including the Crown & Covenant trilogy (focusing on a Covenanter family in Scotland) and the Faith and Freedom trilogy (following the same family to Revolutionary America). His fictional works also include The Betrayal, a novel on John Calvin. Among his non-fiction titles are Stand Fast in the Way of Truth and Hold Fast in a Broken World. In addition to his teaching and writing, Bond has an active speaking schedule, lecturing on literature, history, writing, and church music. He has led several study tours to France and the United Kingdom for high school students. Bond and his wife, Cheryl, have four sons and two daughters. They live in Tacoma.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1419 KB
  • Print Length: 175 pages
  • Publisher: Reformation Trust Publishing (June 22, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006ON35ZE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #308,382 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Short devotional biography of the Scots reformer August 9, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If you're looking for an in-depth bio of John Knox, this is not for you. The actual biographical portion only consumes one chapter of the book. The remaining chapters examine various aspects of Knox's life and doctrine and provides Christian readers with applications to their own lives. The book is inspirational, but leaves the historically-minded reader longing for more.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE COURAGE OF JOHN KNOX June 28, 2011
The Mighty Weakness of John Knox is the third installment in The Long Line of Godly Men Profiles. Dr. Steven J. Lawson serves as the series editor and hit the ground running with his superb volumes that survey the life and theology of John Calvin and Jonathan Edwards.

Douglas Bond, no stranger to the Christian publishing world, makes a solid contribution in this most recent work. Chapter one surveys the life and the legacy of John Knox. The author highlights pivotal moments in the life of the Scottish Reformer that include Providential persecution, his call to preach, ministry in England and Scotland - not to mention his ministry in Geneva alongside the godly French Reformer and pastor, John Calvin.

The author carefully explains the Reformed framework that Knox embraced. Two theological points are of special interest, namely, the doctrine of predestination and particular redemption. Knox not only embraced predestination and election; he made it clear that this doctrine was absolutely essential. James McEwen beautifully highlights the doctrine that Knox held dear: "It is unnecessary to apologize for the predestinarian strain in Knox's theology. It was his business to expound the Biblical faith, and the Biblical faith is predestinarian from end to end."

Additionally, Knox held to the doctrine of particular redemption. As such, Knox denied that Christ died a hypothetical death. Rather, his death atones for his elect: "Election is particular," writes Bond "and the work of Christ, of rigorous necessity, is particular." Bond's approach is both commendable and encouraging as he spells out the theological presuppositions of Knox. His graciousness is certainly worth emulating.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent overview! September 21, 2011
By Andrew
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Just finished this short but powerful read on John Knox. I have just started to dive into the world of reformed theology and the reformation in general. I'm so intrigued by this man's life and His passion to preach the word of God without apology. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to get a better understanding of the passion that drove Knox to say and do the things he did. It's a must read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Many Christian people in America, and even in Scotland, have not heard of John Knox. Or if they have, they know him only as a "fiery Scottish reformer" who preached damnation sermons and bullied the lovely Mary, Queen of Scots. Little admired or even noticed in his native Scotland--his tomb lies under a paved parking lot--John Knox is fading from the national memory. And largely ignored by the Presbyterian churches of the world, even though he is considered the father of Presbyterianism, John Knox, when he is remembered, is pictured as an embarrassing "odd uncle," a frightfully bigoted and unpleasant fellow who doesn't at all fit in with our enlightened and ecumenical environment.

Is it fair that we are relegating Knox to a dusty bookshelf of history, or are we missing something very important? Douglas Bond has done us all a favor by bringing this sixteenth century reformer into the light for us to see. Unlike the common misconception, Knox was not a fire-breathing, insensitive bully. Rather, he was small, naturally timid, and totally lacking in self-confidence. Yet, he managed to lead the Reformation of the church in Scotland and to establish the Presbyterian system there, from where it spread to many countries around the world.

Knox himself led a most varied and exciting life, full of danger, suffering, conflict, and fame. As in many other books on Knox, Bond outlines the major events in Knox's life. From his early conversion to the Protestant cause Knox aligned himself with Reformed leaders, starting with George Wishart, carrying a claymore to defend him while he preached. After Wishart was burned at the stake, Knox joined a group of Protestants holed up in a castle in St. Andrews and became their preacher.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars John Knox: weakness made strength August 27, 2011
The Mighty Weakness of John Knox - Douglas Bond

Reformation Trust - 2011 - ISBN: 978-1-56769-255-6

John Knox demonstrated by the way he lived his courage and commitment to Christ. He challenged kings and queens. He loved his family (he was a widower who remarried). He was an amazing student and he spoke with authority the doctrines of Grace.

Douglas Bond does an amazing job of laying out Knox's impact on the kirk (Scottish for church) during his days. This book is structured in such a way that you gain a good working knowledge of Knox's life so that an adequate exploration of his theology and work can be made. Bond takes the reader on a journey through Knox's time learning from John Calvin, his philosophy about preaching, and his writings on predestination. However, Bond's greatest contribution to understanding Knox comes when he demonstrates Knox's pastoral care for those are just as weak as Knox believed himself to be.

This book brings the reader a deeper understanding of John Knox while allowing everyone to have a person that they can emulate as they try to follow Christ better.

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. - Douglas Bond

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Blogging for Books book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book
If you are interested in the history of the church, church fathers, or just history in general, this series is really good and thorough. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Joe
3.0 out of 5 stars Beginner Bigraphy
This book is a great read to get a basic understanding of Knox and to also receive a pastoral charge into your own life. Read more
Published 6 months ago by T. M. Durey
3.0 out of 5 stars Mighty Weakness is a little bit Weak.
John Knox was an absolute giant of the Reformation, and a staple of Reformed thought. Surprisingly, this is the first direct interaction I’ve had with Knox, beyond the occasional... Read more
Published 7 months ago by ReformedArsenal
4.0 out of 5 stars The Mighty Weakness of John Knox
When thinking about the great men who were responsible for the lasting effects of the Reformation, usually it is Calvin and Luther that come to mind first and foremost. Read more
Published 7 months ago by jwchargers13
4.0 out of 5 stars Appreciation
I appreciated the author's insights and analysis of Knox's convictions. It was written in a clear, concise manner. I would certainly recommend it to others.
Published 9 months ago by Robert W. De Vries
5.0 out of 5 stars So Humbling
Bond writes of a man so humble that I actually had to put the book down for a while. I was left feeling so inadequate because of the pride I possess compared to a normal guy like... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Daniel
5.0 out of 5 stars John Knox
While there is not as much historical information available as there might be for some of the other reformers, this work puts what we do know in an inspirational context that... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Doug
3.0 out of 5 stars An encouraging read
This is most definitely an encouraging book to read. John Knox's loyalty to Christ amidst physical weaknesses is worthy of imitation. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Yehoshua
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay
I am not finished with this book yet but it seems to be pretty good. Not enough quotes from Knox himself though. It would have been nice to hear more of Knox's own words.
Published 17 months ago by MR Felkins
5.0 out of 5 stars Humbling
It is humbling to read about God's grace on such an amazing man. It gives strength, hope, and encouragement to even the most timid Gospel-believing souls to what can do with them. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Mark J Flores
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More About the Author

Douglas Bond, author of more than a dozen books, lives with his wife and six children in Washington State. He is a ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), has a master's degree from Saint Martin's University, teaches English and history at Covenant High School, and was awarded the regional Teacher Award for teaching young people how to write. He lectures on literature and Church history and leads study tours in Europe.

Bond first started writing books when his own children begged him not to read to them but to tell them original stories. He haltingly launched in. They wanted more. Some of those original stories came in installments and lasted for weeks. Then one night in 1999 he couldn't sleep. Ideas began pouring in for the Mr. Pipes books on hymnody. He sat up in the dark, so not to disturb his intensely patient wife, and scribbled out the opening episodes, mapping out the first book before morning. And then he began writing furiously.

And continues to do so. His fourteenth book, Guns of Providence will release in June, 2010, with more on the way. His best-selling book, The Betrayal, has been published by Den Hertog in Dutch. P&R Publishing and now Reformation Trust (Ligonier Ministries), are his primary publishers, with forthcoming books on John Knox and the Scottish Reformation, a childrens picture book in verse on the book of Job, an Anglo-Saxon historical fiction novel, and another volume to the Fathers & Sons series, likely to be entitled, HELD FAST By Christ Alone. And other ideas.

He also has written articles for MODERN REFORMATION magazine and other publications. If you'd like to follow his web site and blog go to and

One critic has written that "Douglas Bond is a rising star in the historical fiction genre for older and younger readers." Christian Book Previews

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