John J.Murray shows how Knox, as well as modelling the Church in Scotland, laid the foundation of an extraordinary forward-looking new state, way ahead of the time in such matters as education, social welfare and democracy. The Reformation had its effect in all spheres of national life and John Knox roused the common man to a sense of his true dignity.
Knox himself said: ‘Before God all men are equal. In matters of religion God requires no less of the subject, be he ever so poor, than of the prince and the rich man.'
Educationally the Reformation gave a great impetus to literacy as the common people learned to read the Bible for themselves. Knox brought forward the first comprehensive scheme of national education, where every parish would have a schoolmaster and every notable town a college, and where the children of the poor would have their education free. The importance of education became a basic characteristic of the Scots both at home and abroad.
‘This short biography is the “essential” John Knox with all his passion, power and devotion to Christ. It is Knox at his pithy best without the frills and distractions. We are all indebted to John J. Murray for distilling the Scots Reformer into an intoxicating elixir. This appetizer that will no doubt tantalize readers to further feast on the whole of the life and works of John Knox.'
Dale Walden Johnson – Professor of Church History, Erskine Theological Seminary
Rev. John J. Murray is a retired minister of the Free Church of Scotland (Continuing). He served congregations in Oban and Edinburgh Free Church 1989-2002. Prior to that he was an editor with the Banner of Truth Trust.