The death of a loved one is something we usually prefer not to think about…until we have to. If a Christian close to you were to die, would you know how to grieve biblically? That is, would you have a clear understanding of all that the Bible teaches on the subject of Christians in the afterlife, so that your grief could bring glory to God, as well as hope and comfort to your soul?
I doubt that many of us are really prepared to grieve to God's glory or—just as important for the sake of the church—to help others do so. When death strikes close by, we need something more solid to hold onto than a vague sense that our loved one is now “with Jesus.” We need the comfort, hope, and solace of Scripture. We need wisdom.
Grieving, Hope and Solace: When a Loved One Dies in Christ, is probably not quite like any book you have ever read, and this is largely due to the deep wisdom and intense God-centeredness of the man who wrote it.
Many of you will be familiar with John Murray, the late professor from Westminster Theological Seminary who wrote the classic, Redemption Accomplished and Applied. In regard to an upcoming conference at which he was scheduled to preach, Murray once said of this book’s author, "If Al Martin is to be there I really think he should be asked to take the three evening services proposed for me. He is one of the ablest and most moving preachers I have ever heard...I have not heard his equal."
Pastor Albert N. Martin shepherded the people of Trinity Baptist Church in Montville, New Jersey for 46 years. He was a Reformed Baptist at least a quarter-century before anyone considered it to be cool. Now retired from ministry, he has written this book to recount what he learned from the death of his wife, Marilyn, at age 73.
His book has been endorsed by Joel Beeke ("Al Martin weaves together personal tenderness and biblical teaching in this sweet book of comfort...), Steve Lawson ("Albert N. Martin is a seasoned pastor, skilled teacher, and gifted writer who has given us a priceless treasure in Grieving, Hope, and Solace.), and many others. Joseph Pipa, President of Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, wrote,
Occasionally, serendipitously, we stumble upon a rare finding: turning the corner and being met by a glorious moonrise, discovering a painter or musician who touches us in the deepest recesses of our being, or reading a special book. This little book by Pastor Al Martin has been such an experience for me; written from profound biblical insight, tested by experience, Grieving, Hope and Solace: When a Loved One Dies in Christ is a delightful, edifying book, which you will want to read and re-read. Whether you are a pastor or counselor, one who is experiencing the pangs of grief, or a member of the church who wants to be useful to others, you need to read this book. Of particular use to me, is how the book helps one to train his mind and emotions for the 'rough door of death.’
When a book about death is being called delightful, something very interesting must be happening.
The early reviews confirm the promise this book holds out. Kevin Fiske wrote , “I had no idea that I'd be so immensely impacted in such a short amount of time.” And Terry Delaney at Christian Book Notes brought a unique perspective to his review: “I have worked in a funeral home the past couple of years… I have seen plenty of death and preached numerous funerals...It is a rare occasion when there is true faith in Christ present before, during, and after the time of death….Sadly, most members of local congregations are not prepared to die nor have they been taught to biblically grieve the death of a loved one or friend. Albert Martin, through his own struggle to correctly grieve and give God glory at the same time has penned a resource that is clear, concise, and necessary for the church today.”
Grieving, Hope and Solace is the August release from Cruciform Press, the publishing company I co-founded. Learn more about the book and read excerpts here. We put out a new, short book the first day of each month, and if you sign up for a subscription you can get them for as little as $3.99.