In Memory of Walter Martin (1928-1989)

Many people involved in apologetics and countercult ministry have fond memories of Walter Martin — founder of the Christian Research Institute, and considered the original ‘Bible Answer Man’.

2009 marked the 20th anniversary of Martin’s death, prompting former colleague Kenneth Samples to share what he learned from his former boss and apologetics mentor:

Have you ever had a Jehovah’s Witness knock at your door? Perhaps it’s just me, but they always seem to come to my house at the most inconvenient times.

The first story I ever heard about Walter Martin involved turning the tables on the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The story is that Martin, a native of New York City, went to the headquarters of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society located in Brooklyn. He knocked on their front door and began witnessing to them about the Jesus Christ of historic Christianity. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Martin had what my Jewish friends call “chutzpah.” I had the distinct privilege of working with and for him at the countercult organization he founded, Christian Research Institute, in the late 1980s.

In light of the 20th anniversary of Martin’s death (June 26), I’d like to share six things I learned from his example as a gifted and accomplished Christian apologist. These lessons have been enormously helpful in my own trek through the challenging Christian apologetics enterprise.

– Source: In Memory of Walter Martin (1928-1989): The Original Bible Answer Man, Kenneth Richard Samples

After his death the ministry Walter Martin left behind was, in the eyes of many, usurped — and it subsequently became involved in several controversies, causing many former supporters to look elsewhere for apologetics and countercult-related ifnormation.

Fortunately Martin’s work in is carried on — in the spirit in which he himself carried out his ministry — by his eldest daughter and her husband, Jill and Kevin Rische through Walter Martin’s Religious InfoNet.

Five years ago saw the publication of an updated edition of Walter Martin’s landmark book, The Kingdom of the Cults — this one edited by Ravi Zacharias. Jill and Kevin Rische served as managing editors.

Last year, The Kingdom of the Occult was published. Jill Rishe and Kurt van Gordon compiled and edited Walter Martin’s writings, sharing his extensive knowledge and insight.

See Also

Walter Martin’s Religious InfoNetoffsite
Walter Martin Ministries Blogoffsite
Walter Martin Ministries Forumoffsite
Walter Martin on YouTubeoffsite

This post was last updated: Feb. 21, 2015