John Knox

John Knox has been called a Hebrew Jeremiah set down on Scottish soil. After witnessing the martyrdom of Patrick Hamilton, a young nobleman returned from Germany with the Gospel, Knox was soon, in heart devotion, standing on the same side as the martyr. Knox boldly embraced the Reformation in a dangerously anti-Reformation realm. Though he was quite reluctant to accept a call to preach, almost immediately he was considered one of the most powerful preachers of his day. Knox strongly believed that the Roman Catholic Church was beyond repair and nothing less than a complete restart was necessary. That restart, he believed, could only come through a knowledge of the Word of God. Through a marvelous providence, not excepting persecution, Knox sought refuge in Geneva, under John Calvin. After some tutelage, Calvin encouraged Knox to return to Scotland because of its great turmoil, urging that he should be present to influence his nation for God. That he did, fearlessly. A noble said of him: "Here lies a man who in his life never feared nor flattered any flesh: who has been often threatened with pistol and dagger, but has ended his days in peace and honor." He demonstrated a fierceness for the freedom of the free gospel of the only Lord, Jesus the Christ and Savior.

Major contributions include:

  • A high view of Holy Scripture and its authority (sola scriptura)
  • A high view of God as specifically sovereign
  • A high view of God's providence
  • A deep commitment to prayer
  • Strongly opposed idolatry
  • Establishment of education throughout the realm
  • Formalization of a Reformed doctrine of the church