Information about The Christian Sabbath by Dr. Robert P. Martin (Now Available)
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Albert N. Martin
How does one even begin the foreword to a book written by a beloved friend whose dying breaths spread themselves over all its pages?
This book, written by one who was addressed affectionately and respectfully by those who knew him as “Dr. Bob,” is in many ways, the work of a lifetime. The first paragraph of his Preface establishes this assertion.
In December of 2014, Dr. Martin relinquished his office and functions as the pastor of the Emmanuel Reformed Baptist Church of SeaTac, Washington, and relocated back in New Jersey, placing himself under the oversight of Trinity Baptist Church of Montville. It was our brother’s intention to give his remaining years to a concentrated writing ministry.
However, the return of aggressive prostate cancer along with several other factors required his return with his family to the SeaTac area where he would be treated by doctors thoroughly acquainted with his condition. The medical treatment proved ineffective, and on February 3, 2016, our beloved brother departed his cancer-ridden body to be with Christ.
When it became clear that the aggressive cancer was most likely to cut short the days of his life, he selflessly resolved to spend his remaining strength in editorial labors with the manuscripts of this and several other writing projects. Many of us who knew the situation were amazed by God’s grace to our brother, enabling him to fulfill this dimension of his providential stewardship. This explains my comment about his dying breaths spread all over these pages.
To gain your serious attention for the topic of this book, I would use Dr. Martin’s own persuasive words:
I appreciate your interest in the subject of the Sabbath. It is a wonderful theme. I hope that you have taken this book in hand because you want a biblical answer to the question, “Is there a Christian Sabbath that I should observe as a matter of conscience before God?”
This book has been written for Christians who want a biblical answer to the question, “Under the terms of the New Covenant, does God require me to keep a Sabbath day?” If this is who you are, my prayer is that the Lord of the Sabbath will bless you as you go with me into the Scriptures to see what they teach about the Christian Sabbath.
At the outset, he plainly says he is using the “redemptive-historical” method. To quote him, “This means that we will begin with the first appearance of the Sabbath in biblical history and follow this theme progressively as it unfolds in the Scriptures.” While making a biblical case for keeping a Christian Sabbath, Dr. Martin also tackles claims that some biblical passages undermine the idea with its accompanying practice.
Thankfully, before Dr. Martin entered into that aspect of our Sabbath rest which greets us when we are absent from the body and at home with the Lord (Rev. 6:11; 14:13), he was able to complete his final editorial labors on this book. He was content to let others tend to further preparations and the actual printing of the manuscript.
Many years ago, I was introduced to the magisterial treatise by John Owen entitled “Exercitations Concerning the Name, Original, Nature, Use, and Continuance of a Day of Sacred Rest” ( An Exposition of the Epistle to the Hebrews, II.261). Although my religious background lacked any introduction to or support for a New Covenant Sabbath, Owen’s treatise so firmly established my growing convictions that no objections I have heard since have shaken them. It is my prayer that many will find the pages of Dr. Martin’s book helping them in a similar way in their understanding, convictions, and practice in connection with God’s appointment of a day of “sacred rest.”
Trinity Pulpit Press, a ministry of Trinity Baptist Church of Montville, New Jersey, considers itself greatly privileged, to set before the Christian public Dr. Martin’s masterful exposition with its full title, The Christian Sabbath—Its Redemptive-Historical Foundation, Present Obligation, and Practical Observance.
May God be pleased to use these pages to bring many to the place where they will be enabled conscientiously and joyfully “to call the Sabbath a delight”.
The Christian Sabbath: Its Redemptive-Historical Foundation, Present Obligation, and Practical Observance is now available for purchase. Buy it now.
Christian history has shown that in each generation the issue of the role of God's law in the Christian life always resolves itself into a critical question, especially for those who wish to affirm the integrity and on-going authority of the Ten Commandments as a God-given ethical norm for Christian behavior. The question: what about the fourth commandment? Most believers have no doubt concerning the other nine commandments of the Decalogue. But under the terms of the New Covenant, does God require his people to keep holy a Sabbath day? This question never proves simple, but the answer given in some cases defines a group of Christians as much as their answers on other disputed points, such as church order, baptism, or spiritual gifts. Here is an honest attempt to answer this question biblically.
Dr. Robert P. Martin
This volume began as studies prepared for the people of Emmanuel Reformed Baptist Church, Seattle, Washington, a congregation that is committed confessionally and affectionately to the observance of the Christian Sabbath. Subsequently, these studies were included in a course of lectures on Christian Ethics delivered at John Wycliffe College, the seminary of the English Reformed Church, Randburg, South Africa. In the fifteen years following, I have expanded these studies into the present form and now submit them to the public.
I do not pretend to unravel every difficulty on this subject. I heartily agree with Thomas Shepard who said that “whoever finds no knots or difficulties to humble his spirit herein, either knows not himself, or not the controversy” (<em>Theses Sabbaticae</em>, 3:15). I do offer this volume, however, believing that I have made a reasonable, biblical case for keeping the Lord’s Day as a Sabbath to the Lord.
Special thanks to the staff of the Roberts Library, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas, for access to many of the volumes used in research, to the Cyprian Project, for making J. P. Migne’s <em>Patrologia Graeca</em> and <em>Patrologia Latina</em> easily accessible to internet researchers, and to my dear friends Stan and Colleen Sorensen, who enthusiastically and carefully read the final draft to see if it made any sense.
Unless otherwise noted, the English Bible translation cited is <em>The New King James Version</em> (Thomas Nelson, 1982). The only changes are minor, in the interest of consistency of style with the main body of this volume.