The Cross – J. C. Ryle


“Reader, as long as you live, beware of a religion in which there is not much of the cross. You live in times when the warning is sadly needful. Beware, I say again, of a religion without the cross.

    “There are hundreds of places of worship, in this day, in which there is every thing almost except the cross. There is carved oak and sculptured stone. There is stained glass and brilliant painting. There are solemn services and a constant round of ordinances. But the real cross of Christ is not there. Jesus crucified is not proclaimed in the pulpit. The Lamb of God is not lifted up, and salvation by faith in him is not freely proclaimed. And hence all is wrong. Beware of such places of worship. They are not apostolical. They would not have satisfied St. Paul.

    “There are thousands of religious books published in our times, in which there is everything except the cross. They are full of directions about sacraments and praises of the church. They abound in exhortations about holy living, and rules for the attainment of perfection. They have plenty of fonts and crosses both inside and outside. But the real cross of Christ is left out. The Savior and His dying love are either not mentioned, or mentioned in an unscriptural way. And hence they are worse than useless. Beware of such books. They are not apostolical. They would never have satisfied St. Paul. ”

–Excerpt from here.

Horatius Bonar – Follow The Lamb


Do not skim it or read it, but study it, every word of it; study the whole Bible, Old Testament and New; not your favourite chapters merely, but the complete Word of God from beginning to end. Do not trouble yourself with commentators; they may be of use if kept in their place, but they are not your guides; your guide is ‘the Interpreter,’ the one among a thousand (Job 33:23), who will lead you into all truth, and keep you from all error.

Not that you are to read no book but the Bible. All that is true and good is worth the reading, if you have time for it; and all, if properly used, will help you in your study of the Scriptures. A Christian does not shut his eyes to the natural scenes of beauty spread around him. He does not cease to admire the hills, or plains, or rivers, or forests of earth, because he has learned to love the God that made them; nor does he turn away from books of science or true poetry, because he has discovered one book truer, more precious, and more poetical than all the rest together. Besides, the soul can no more continue in one posture than the body. The eye must be relieved by variety of objects and the limbs by motion; so must the soul by change of subject and position. ‘All truth is precious, though not all divine.’


In so far, then, as time allows or opportunity presents, let us ‘seek and search out by word concerning all things that are done under heaven.’ But let the Bible be to us the book of books, the one book in all the world, whose every wisdom is truth, and whose every verse is wisdom. In studying it, be sure to take it for what it really is, the revelation of the thoughts of God given us in the words of God. Were it only the book of divine thoughts and human words, it would profit little, for we never could be sure whether the words really represented the thoughts; nay, we might be quite sure that man would fail in his words when attempting to embody divine thoughts; and that, therefore, if we have only man’s words, that is, man’s translation of the divine thoughts, we shall have one of the poorest and most incorrect of all books, just as we should have in the case of Homer or Plato done into English by a first year’s schoolboy. But, knowing that we have divine thoughts embodied in divine words, through the inspiration of an unerring translator, we sit down to the study of the heavenly volume, assured that we shall find in all its teachings the perfection of wisdom, and in its language the most accurate expression of that wisdom that the finite speech of man can utter.

Every word of God is as perfect as it is pure (Psa 19:7; 12:6). Let us read and reread the Scriptures, meditating on them day and night. They never grow old, they never lose their sap, they never run dry. Though it is right and profitable, as I have said, to read other books, if they are true and good, yet beware of reading too many. Do not let man’s book thrust God’s book into a corner. Do not let commentaries smother the text; nor let the true and the good shut out the truer and the better.

Specially beware of light reading. Shun novels; they are the literary curse of the age; they are to the soul what ardent spirits are to the body. If you be a parent, keep novels out of the way of your children. But whether you be a parent or not, neither read them yourself, nor set an example of novel-reading to others. Don’t let novels lie on your table, or be seen in your hand, even in a railway carriage. The ‘light reading for the rail’ has done deep injury to many a young man and woman. The light literature of the day is working a world of harm; vitiating the taste of the young, enervating their minds, unfitting them for life’s plain work, eating out their love of the Bible, teaching them a false morality, and creating in the soul an unreal standard of truth, and beauty, and love. Don’t be too fond of the newspaper. Yet read it, that you may know both what man is doing and what God is doing; and extract out of all you read matter for thought and prayer. Avoid works which jest with what is right or wrong, lest you unconsciously adopt a false test of truth and duty, namely, ridicule, and so become afraid to do right for right’s sake alone; dreading the world’s sneer, and undervaluing a good conscience and the approving smile of God. Let your reading be always select; and whatever you read, begin with seeking God’s blessing on it. But see that your relish for the Bible be above every other enjoyment, and the moment you begin to feel greater relish for any other book, lay it down till you have sought deliverance from such a snare, and obtained from the Holy Spirit an intenser relish, a keener appetite for the Word of God (Jer 15:16; Psa 19:7-10).

Sincerity Before God


“Without the heart it is no worship; it is a stage play, an acting a part without being that person really which is acted by us; a hypocrite, in the notion of the word, is a stage player. … We may be truly said to worship God, though we lack perfection; but we cannot be said to worship him if we lack sincerity.”
– Stephen Charnock

You Are Not Your Own


“We understand the nature of possessions. When we purchase something, we expect to take possession of it. We own it. No longer does it belong to the seller. Even when we buy things with credit, such as houses and cars, although we do not really own them and are making payments on them, we treat them as if they are ours. We think, “These are my possessions because I bought them.” The Bible says that Christ has paid the price for us. He bought us; therefore, He owns us. Furthermore, He did not purchase His people on credit; He paid in full. We are His.

“The fact that the church is Jesus’ personal possession is a powerful motivation for individual hopeful and holy living. Collectively, the church belongs to Jesus. Yet, the collective community is made up of individuals, each of whom has been purchased and redeemed by the blood of Christ. Knowing that we are the possession of Jesus and the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit should provide motivation for our pursuit of holy living in this body. As 1 Corinthians 6:19–20 puts it: ‘Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.’

“Being the possession of Christ is the hope of the Christian. To be a Christian is to belong to Him. To belong to Christ is the foundation for comfort and security in this life and in the life to come. This is the point poignantly made by Question One, Lord’s Day One, of the Heidelberg Catechism. The catechism asks, “What is your only comfort in life and in death?” The answer rings with the truth of the purchasing power of the blood of Christ and our security in His possession:

“That I am not my own, but belong—body and soul, in life and in death—to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ. He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood, and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil. He also watches over me in such a way that not a hair can fall from my head without the will of my father in heaven: in fact, all things must work together for my salvation. Because I belong to him, Christ, by his Holy Spirit, assures me of eternal life and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him.”

Anthony Carter; Blood Work – Kindle Edition (pg 18-19)

Cast Your Burden On the Lord


Psalm 55
Cast Your Burden on the LORD
To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. A Maskil of David.

Give ear to my prayer, O God,
and hide not yourself from my plea for mercy!
Attend to me, and answer me;
I am restless in my complaint and I moan,
because of the noise of the enemy,
because of the oppression of the wicked.
For they drop trouble upon me,
and in anger they bear a grudge against me.

My heart is in anguish within me;
the terrors of death have fallen upon me.
Fear and trembling come upon me,
and horror overwhelms me.
And I say, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove!
I would fly away and be at rest;
yes, I would wander far away;
I would lodge in the wilderness; Selah
I would hurry to find a shelter
from the raging wind and tempest.”

Destroy, O Lord, divide their tongues;
for I see violence and strife in the city.
Day and night they go around it
on its walls,
and iniquity and trouble are within it;
ruin is in its midst;
oppression and fraud
do not depart from its marketplace.

For it is not an enemy who taunts me—
then I could bear it;
it is not an adversary who deals insolently with me—
then I could hide from him.
But it is you, a man, my equal,
my companion, my familiar friend.
We used to take sweet counsel together;
within God’s house we walked in the throng.
Let death steal over them;
let them go down to Sheol alive;
for evil is in their dwelling place and in their heart.

But I call to God,
and the LORD will save me.
Evening and morning and at noon
I utter my complaint and moan,
and he hears my voice.
He redeems my soul in safety
from the battle that I wage,
for many are arrayed against me.
God will give ear and humble them,
he who is enthroned from of old, Selah
because they do not change
and do not fear God.

My companion stretched out his hand against his friends;
he violated his covenant.
His speech was smooth as butter,
yet war was in his heart;
his words were softer than oil,
yet they were drawn swords.

Cast your burden on the LORD,
and he will sustain you;
he will never permit
the righteous to be moved.

But you, O God, will cast them down
into the pit of destruction;
men of blood and treachery
shall not live out half their days.
But I will trust in you.

Greeky Goodness

For those of you who are studying Greek, there is an interesting article over at the B&H Academic Blog. It’s a post by a current MDiv student. It has a little of what’s new and what’s not-so-new-but-still-really-helpful (NSNBSRH).  The new is the latest contribution to the Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament series. The NSNBSRH is The Book Study Concordance of the Greek New Testament.

It is interesting to read what a current student finds helpful while they are in the midst of their studies. Check out the article here for a fair display of useful tools.

Thankful for this Watson

The Puritan named Thomas Watson is a wonderful author. Here are some quotes from his book ”The Doctrine of Repentance”.

“Under a veil a deformed face is hid. Persons are veiled over with ignorance and self-love; therefore they see not what deformed souls they have. The devil does with them as the falconer with the hawk. He blinds them and carries them hooded to hell.”

In speaking of true sorrow unto repentance…

“The salt water of tears kills the worm of conscience.”

“Godly sorrow shows itself to be ingenuous because when a Christian knows that he is out of gun-shot of hell and shall never be damned, yet still he grieves for sinning against the free grace which has pardoned him.”

Concerning sincerity of confession of sin, or rather insincerity…

“How many confess pride and covetousness with their lips but roll them as honey under their tongue.”

Concerning the necessity of confession unto God of our darkest secret sins…

“Those iniquities which men hide in their hearts shall be written one day on their foreheads as with the point of a diamond. They who will not confess their sin as David did, that they may be pardoned, shall confess their sin as Achan did, that they may be stoned.”

“When men commit sin they are the devil’s servants; when they plead for it they are the devil’s attorneys, and he will give them a fee.”

Seeing continuing in sin as unthankfulness…

“…to make an arrow of God’s mercies and shoot at him, to wound him with his own blessing! O horrid ingratitude!”

One more for now…

“To the godly sin is as a thorn in the eye; to the wicked it is as a crown on the head.”

A Little Biography

One Goal

I want to glorify God in everything, primarily by presenting the gospel of Jesus Christ accurately and faithfully. He is the one hope for the world and the one reason I am here.

Tell Me About Yourself

Where to start? As funny as it sounds, I would like to start with you. The online medium leaves a lot to be desired concerning connecting at a personal level. One small bridge we can build is through email. Please grant me this one indulgence and post a greeting in the comments or email me. Tell me a little something about yourself, offer an insight, ask a question, or just say hello. I enjoy meeting people and would like to get to know you, even if only in a small way. For tentmaker ministries, a friendly hello goes a long way.

Who We Are

Dave At Jude3

Dave At Jude3

Essentially, “we” at CRandE is me. My name is Dave Sherrill. I am a conservative evangelical Christian with a deep interest in theology and apologetics. The Lord has blessed me with a wonderful Christian wife and three great grown-up kids. My regular job is in the computer department of a national food manufacturer. I describe the CRandE website/blog as a tentmaker ministry. For those of you unfamiliar with the term “tentmaker”, Paul worked sometimes as a tentmaker while ministering the gospel. I’m not Paul, but I do have a regular job offline (what we used to call the real world before the internet came along).


I have had an online presence since the early 1990’s, primarily responding to the Jehovah’s Witnesses. My research began as the result of a family member becoming involved with the religion. Since that time I have collected and read a fair library of original Watchtower books and magazines, along with many Christian books and commentaries. One personal benefit for me has been a strengthening of my own faith through the challenges raised by critics and skeptics.


I have been called an informed layman by some of my friends. I have not had any formal schooling in theology through Bible school or seminary. I hope to pursue those studies at a distance in the next few years. Although focusing primarily on refuting the Watchtower Society (also known as Jehovah’s Witnesses), I have growing concerns about movements within or impacting the evangelical world (i.e. Open Theism, Post Modernism, Emergent Church). Special areas of study include the Deity of Christ, the Trinity, Justification, Apologetics, Systematic Theology, and Biblical Greek (boy, has Greek drug out ad infinitum).I characterize myself as a “conservative evangelical”. I hate to die the death of a million qualifications but I find that ‘evangelical’ is used very loosely these days. There are liberal evangelicals, ‘evangelical catholics’, post-evangelicals, and who knows what else will be coming around the corner (if you throw them all in a blender, you might get a postevangeliberaholic??). The list continues to grow.

In brief, I am inerrantist concerning bibliology, trinitarian concerning theology proper, calvinistic concerning soteriology, baptistic concerning the ordinances (i.e. baptism and the Lord’s Supper), and elder/congregational rule concerning church polity. Hopefully that adequately fleshes out what I mean by ‘conservative evangelical’.

My favorite authors and preachers (living and dead) include Charles Spurgeon, Horatius Bonar, Abraham Booth, James White, Ed Komoszewski, Rob Bowman, Robert Morey, John Piper, John Murray, John Calvin, B. B. Warfield, J. Gresham Machen, and William Hendriksen.


I am an active member of the First Evangelical Free Church of Sioux City, Iowa. I have served in many capacities there, including Overseer, Church Chairman, Adult Sunday School Teacher, and volunteer webmaster of their site and podcast. One of the greatest privileges I have ever had has been the opportunity to fill the pulpit in my pastor’s absence.

Thank you for stopping by the blog. I hope you will find helpful information here and through the links provided to other ministries. And don’t forget to drop me a line, ok? Ok.

A Lasting Legacy: Thoughts On Approach to 50

Written a couple of months ago.

“I want to leave a lasting legacy.”

I am less than two months from turning 50. It feels odd to say it. “50.”  I certainly don’t “feel 50”, whatever it’s supposed to feel like. I count my blessings in that, and in uncountable other ways.  Get it?  “Counting the uncountable”? I have always liked words and playing with them.  Those who know me know that I get a special joy in language, although sometimes it comes out in horrible puns.

I have been blessed with such a good life to this point. I had parents who loved, cared, and nurtured me. I have had relatively few physical maladies. I have been blessed with a great family. The churches I have been a part of over the years have proven to be blessings from God as well. Pastors who have shaped, challenged, and befriended me; preaching God’s Word to poor, needy people like myself. Friends who have stood by me when the water was deep and the current strong.

I know what it means to have a spouse who stands by my side in all situations, “for better or for worse”, which is a blessing beyond words. I also know the special joys of being a grandfather. I do not mention all of these blessings as a boast. I know better. Rather, this is an opportunity for me to express my thankfulness in words to the Lord who has been beyond gracious, beyond merciful to me.

Above all of these blessings, God has been gracious beyond measure to call me to His Son. I have known the One and Only Savior. He never leaves me, never forsakes me, never turns His back on me. He helps me in a million million ways every single day. He forgives my sin, chastens my rebellious heart, renews my mind that is so easily distracted by the world’s trinkets. He sticks closer than a brother. He shares His inheritance with me. He reveals joy unspeakable, hope unshakable, love immeasurable. Eternity is in His hand and He shares it freely with His children, that we might know Him better, praise Him constantly, and know ever-increasing joy in Him as the ages roll on.

Throw Back Thursday: The Watchtower

“Let us now unmistakably identify Jehovah’s channel of communication for our day, that we may continue in his favor. … It is vital that we appreciate this fact and respond to the directions of the “slave” as we would to the voice of God, because it is his provision.”

(The Watchtower; 6/15/1957; pp. 370)

Another interesting quote drawn from Watchtower publications.