Beza and Knox
The final two reformers on the Reformation Wall in Geneva are Theodore Beza (1519-1605), and John Knox (1513-1572). There are many others who represented the Protestant Reformation that are interesting to study as well. Each week this month I have been suggesting resources that you might find helpful in your study of the Reformation. Today I want to share, Reformation Heroes by Diane Kleyne and Joel R. Beeke. This book has several short chapters on reformers and is a great overview of the reformation and it is an easy read. We have read this book with our children and enjoyed it a lot.
Theodore Beza was a French reformer who succeeded John Calvin in Geneva. He originally became a lawyer, but after a struggle with illness, came to accept salvation in Christ. Shawn Wright in an article on the life of Beza, writes, “John Calvin was undoubtedly the father of Calvinism, but Beza very well may have been the first Calvinist. He also gave form to what we now call Calvinism by explaining and defending the biblical doctrines Calvin had rediscovered. Through his teaching and writing ministry, Beza defended the imputation of Christ’s righteousness as essential to a sinner’s justification, he explained the justice of double predestination, and he expounded the comfort a believer receives from Christ’s definite atonement.” I recently read and enjoyed a book on the Lord’s Supper by Beza entitled, “A Clear and Simple Treatise on the Lord’s Supper.”
John Knox was a Scottish minister who studied under Calvin and who brought the Protestant Reformation to Scotland. He is known as the founder of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland. Due to the political struggles in England, because of Catholic monarchs, he fled to Geneva. In 1558 he writes his best known work, a pamphlet entitled, “The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women.” This was written mainly in response to the queens who were persecuting Protestants in England. He had many meetings with Mary, Queen of Scots, in which he admonished her for her rule and her faith.
Christianity Today wrote an article on the legacy of John Knox, who was also known as the “Thundering Scotsman”. The article states, “Though he remains a paradox to many, Knox was clearly a man of great courage: one man standing before Knox’s open grave said, “Here lies a man who neither flattered nor feared any flesh.” Knox’s legacy is large: his spiritual progeny includes some 750,000 Presbyterians in Scotland, 3 million in the United States, and many millions more worldwide.”
I hope you enjoyed a very brief overview of some Reformation thought this October and that you will continue your own studies on the history of the Church.