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Friday, April 26, 2013

Book Review: Suzanne McDonald - John Knox for Armchair Theologians

http://covers.booktopia.com.au/big/9780664236694/john-knox-for-armchair-theologians.jpgThis is the third book in this series I have read. The previous volumes have been very good, and this one is no exception.

Not as many people know about Knox as they do Calvin and Luther. Knox dealt with a lot of controversy. His book, "First Blast of the Trumpet against the Monstrous Regiment of Women", could have literally got his head cut off. McDonald takes us through the different stages of Knox's life and shows us how it molded his beliefs.

Like other reformers, he wanted to bring church back to the Gospel. He felt the church had turned from Biblical worship to idolatry. Their worship was created in men’s mind as opposed to Biblical worship that comes from God. If we worship in any way the Bible has not prescribed we are sinning.

Knox's biggest struggle was with Roman Catholicism. He believed the ceremonies used in the mass were idolatry. The bread and wine were not the literal blood and body of Christ and bowing would be worship to an idol. He believed in the Reformation doctrine of justification by grace alone in opposition to the Roman Catholics. They added other things like penance and indulgences.

He desired to overthrow the Government because it was forcing people to worship in a Roman Catholic manner. He sought theologians of his day to ask if it was biblical to rebel against an ungodly government. He believed that any time the government backed idolatry, the citizens should resist. He also wrote much against women being in authority. He even called Mary Tudor a Jezebel.

He spent time with Calvin in Geneva and considered it, “the most perfect school of Christ that ever was on earth since the days of the Apostles.” He wanted to see the same kind of society in other countries.

This book was a good summary of Knox's life. I enjoyed the book, but feel that it is a little out of place in the Armchair Theologians series. I dropped a star because, even though it is a great little biography, the Theologians series is usually more about theology than biography.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

I received this book free of charge from Westminster John Knox Press and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

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