Book Review: The Might Weakness of John Knox

I’m very excited to post my first review as part Reformation’s Trust Publishing (the publishing arm for Ligonier Ministries) blogger program. I received this book for free in exchange for posting a review. I look forward to reviewing more from RT, especially in the Long Line of Godly Men Profile series.

The Mighty Weakness of John Knox – Douglas Bond

My Rating – If You are Looking for Something

 Level – Short, easy

It’s difficult to write a summary of a biography. The book itself is a biography of the life of John Knox. To hit some high points: Knox was friends with John Calvin in Geneva, preached to an English speaking church in Frankfurt, help occupy a castle and endured a siege, was on a slave galley (rowing for a ship) for 18 months, preached before kings and queens, and helped write the Scots Confession.

Bond’s central theme for this short biography is contrasting Knox’s physical weakness with his spiritual might. Apparently, Knox was small and frail and suffered lasting injuries from his time in the galley. When first asked to preach/teach during the castle siege, he ran away crying. However, once he gave in to God’s call, he preached like a trumpet blast and produced many writings as well.

The end of the book also contains the Scots Confession, which is a short (25 articles) confession that is well worth reading.

My Thoughts
This is my first encounter with the ‘Long Line of Godly Men Profiles’ series and will likely not be my last. I knew basically nothing about Knox, other than he was Scottish and was responsible for the Presbyterian Church. His life was interesting enough, and the author wrote well with a clear passion for Knox.

However, one thing I did not like was how often it seemed that Bond was being defensive of Knox. Maybe it is because knew very little of him, but Bond was constantly raising criticisms and then almost too briefly dismissing them. Maybe the legacy of Knox is questioned or viewed negatively, I couldn’t say, but this aspect gave the book an apologetic tone.

Overall, if you are looking for a biography on someone from the Reformation, this is a good start. John Knox led a very interesting life; but if you already know a decent amount about him, there are probably better biographies. This book has piqued my interest in him enough to search out a more in-depth biography.

Readers Guide to Amos

This is my attempt to help in reading the Minor Prophets. Today we hit on Oracles against the Nations (1:3-2:16).

Amos is speaking for Yahweh and judgements/condemnations that start off are against foreign nations (Aram, Philistia, & Phoenicia). The would have been met with applause by the hearers. He then moves in relative nations (Edom, Ammon, & Moab), then judgment against Israel’s sister nation (Judah). Finally, after spending 20 verses on those first 7 oracles, he drops 10 verses on Israel.

We have the narrowing in of judgement. We have something like this – consider for a moment that the Ancient Near East is now the Modern ‘Western’ World. The first three judgements would be some countries in Europe, perhaps German, France and Spain. The next three would be England, Ireland and Scotland and the seventh Canada. Continue reading

Dover Thrift Editions

This isn’t quite a series or book review, but if you haven’t been looking for the Dover Thrift Editions when you are buying books, you need to start. These are pretty much all classics of Literature at about as cheap as you can get.

I’ve bought these editions for as low as $1, and box sets at $8. For the most part, Kindle and other ebooks can’t even compete with the prices. If you have Prime you have free shipping already, but if not or you pruchase from somewhere else, you can load up on seven to eight books for super cheap and have then mailed for free.

If you like classics or have any interest in reading them, I highly recommend doing it with these editions. I buy all the classics I read this way. Though, maybe they are not always the best translations. If you are reading Tolstoy or someone else who’s book translations are disputed, do a little research first, it may not always be best.

I’m not getting paid, nor is this whatever the hell those fake post are called, to write this. I just like books and happen to have Prime. I’m also trying to hit a lot of the classics I missed in school or are just now hearing of. That being said, remember I do have an amazon store, so if you want to go browse it, you can click on Dover Thrift Editions to see what all they have to offer.