April 27, 2009
April 26, 2009
well let me first say that i don't think you've studied enough of the jehovahs witnesses material on the subject to state what they believe and why. i am not a JW but i did study with them for quite some time and i do have a basic idea on they're beliefs and reasoning behind them. and quite frankly i was offended when you segragate the Jw and christians, what is your definition of a christian? by definition it is anybody who follows the teachings of christ, and that is exactly what the witnesses do, so you see they are christians. the second thing is addressing your trinity belief, if god and jesus and holy spirit are all one in the same, then lets go back to the time when john the baptist was baptising jesus and at the very moment that he was in the water the heavens opened up and from a cloud a dove appeared and a voice came down exclaiming "this is my son, the beloved, of whom i approve!" now if the trinity is as you say godhead in his human form, who was the godhead talking about when he said this is my son? coincidence that it happened in the middle of a baptism? i don't think so. And according to all accounts of jesus's life on earth there are numerous refferences to him saying that he is here on his FATHERS behalf. why would he be calling himself the father? Now you can put any kind of spin on it that you want to try and make it make sense but as far as i see it the truth is not complicated at all. and the fact that you have to put a spin on it at all should tell you something as well. so i hope you will be fair enough to post this comment on your website, unless you are afraid that it's to contraversal! wich i am sure will be the case, anyways you and i both know that i have posted some valid statements and weather you are as you say "doing gods work" by slandering his people on your website or not, remains to be seen. here's something else for you to think about, did you know that false religion is satan's greatest work?
It seems odd that you feel compelled to speak in defense of a religion that you do not follow. Nonetheless, your complaint of my ignorance of the Watchtower religion is unfounded. I've been studying the Watchtower religion for over 20 years. I have one of the oldest websites responding to and interacting with Jehovah's Witnesses, starting in the early 90's. I have a large personal library of Watchtower books and magazines and have spent countless hours interacting with active JWs. I take pains to represent their beliefs with accuracy, and have been complimented by active Jehovah's Witnesses for the accurate treatment their religion receives in my critiques.
You are offended when Jehovah's Witnesses are contrasted with Christians? Here is a news flash for you (and this is a big one so hold on to your seat). Jehovah's Witnesses believe they are following the only true religion, contrasting themselves with all other religions including "Christendom". Why you are offended when I draw the same contrast they already do is beyond me.
It is not my definition of what a Christian is that matters. What does God's Word say and how does the Watchtower religion compare? They differ with the Bible on nearly every major belief: God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the gospel, salvation, and the list continues. You cannot be a Christian without Christ. Watchtower leadership claims exclusive insight into the real meaning of the Bible, teaching that no one can understand it without their help. With this so-called insight they deliver a false gospel to the world, heaping up God's judgment against them for delivering a false message and a false hope.
It wouldn't make any sense for me to criticize the design of a nuclear reactor, since I have absolutely no idea how one works. Similarly, you should hold your tongue from criticizing the Trinity. It is obvious that you have absolutely no idea what the Trinity is, as your statements clearly reveal.
Your defense of the Watchtower is empty. This is fitting and echoes the nature of the Watchtower religion itself. Empty, devoid of hope, filled with falsehood.
It is my great hope and prayer for you to come to a saving knowledge of the Messiah of Scripture, not the false religion held forth by the Watchtower. Please open your Bible and read it.
April 25, 2009
April 24, 2009
This is my first foray into Machen's work. Please share any recommendations you might have for his other works.
April 22, 2009
"What is this? The ground is shaking? First they silenced the slave-girl with words, and now their songs start an earthquake?!?! I can't believe what I'm seeing. The prison doors wide open. My shackles, lying on the floor next to me. ... so strange. My head... all this shaking. I must be dreaming."
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 YourselfWhere 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
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 kids (who are all growing up WAY too quickly). My regular job is a project leader 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).
HistoryI 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.
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
April 20, 2009
April 19, 2009
The odds and ends of time are precious: little spaces of time, like the intervals between dinner and class, or when waiting at a railway station, are, like the dust of the diamond, all precious. How many chances have been wasted of doing good service for ,our Lord and Master because we have not seized the passing moments, "gathering up the fragments, that nothing be lost."
April 18, 2009
I hope to have the next installment of Paul In Philippi posted this weekend. There is much left to be gleaned from the account. I haven't forgotten (as I am prone to do). Here is where we're at up to this point.
April 14, 2009
April 11, 2009
Are you a believer that longs to be more holy? Are you one that finds his heart too ready to love earthly things? To you also I say, "Behold the cross of Christ." Look at the cross. Think of the cross. Meditate on the cross, and then go and set affections on the world if you can. I believe that holiness is nowhere learned so well as on Calvary. I believe you cannot look much at the cross without feeling your will sanctified, and your tastes made more spiritual. As the sun gazed upon makes everything else look dark and dim, so does the cross darken the false splendor of this world. As honey tasted makes all other things seem to have no taste at all, so does the cross seen by faith take all the sweetness out of the pleasures of the world. Keep on every day steadily looking at the cross of Christ, and you will soon say of the world as the poet does, --
Its pleasures now no longer please,
As by the light of opening day
Are you a dying believer? Have you gone to that bed from which something within tells you will never come down alive? Are you drawing near to that solemn hour when soul and body must part for a season, and you must launch into a world unknown? Oh! Look steadily at the cross of Christ, and you shall be kept in peace. Fix the eyes of your mind firmly on Jesus crucified and he shall deliver you from all your fears. Though you walk through dark places, He will be with you. He will never leave you, never forsake you. Sit under the shadow of the cross to the very last, and its fruit shall be sweet to your taste. "Ah!" said a dying missionary, "there is but one thing needful on a death-bed, and that is to feel one's arms round the cross."
Reader, I lay these thoughts before your mind. What you think now about the cross of Christ I cannot tell; but I can wish you nothing better than this, that you may be able to say with the apostle Paul, before you die or meet the Lord, "God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus.
Biblical Christianity: For Logos users: a terrific sale ends this weekend
April 9, 2009
Are you inquiring the way toward Heaven? Are you seeking salvation but doubtful whether you can find it? Are you desiring to have an interest in Christ but doubting whether Christ will receive you? To you also t say this day, "Behold the cross of Christ." Here is encouragement if you really want it. Draw near to the Lord Jesus with boldness, for nothing need keep you back. His arms are open to receive you. His heart is full of love towards you. He has made a way by which you may approach Him with confidence. Think of the cross. Draw near, and fear not.
Are you an unlearned man? Are you desirous to get to heaven and yet perplexed and brought to a stand-still by difficulties in the Bible which you cannot explain? To you also I say this day, "Behold the cross of Christ." Read there the Father's love and the Son's compassion. Surely they are written in great plain letters, which none can well mistake. What though at present you cannot reconcile your own corruption and your own responsibility? Look, I say, at the cross. Does not that cross tell you that Jesus is a mighty, loving, ready Savior? Does it not make one thing plain, and that is that if not saved it is all your own fault? Oh! Get hold of that truth, and hold it fast.
April 8, 2009
Reader, I know not what you think of all this. I feel as if I had said nothing compared to what might be said. I feel as if the half of what I desire to tell you about the cross were left untold. But I do hope that I have given you something to think about. I do trust that I have shown you that I have reason for the question with which I began this tract, "What do you think and fed about the cross of Christ?" Listen to me now for a few moments, while I say something to apply the whole subject to your conscience.
April 7, 2009
Reader, the cross is the grand peculiarity of the Christian religion. Other religions have laws and moral precepts, forms and ceremonies,--rewards and punishments. But other religions cannot tell us of a dying Savior. They cannot show us the cross. This is the crown and glory of the Gospel. This is that special comfort which belongs to it alone. Miserable indeed is that religions teaching which calls itself Christian, and yet contains nothing of the cross. A man who teaches in this way, might as well profess to explain the solar system, and yet tell his hearers nothing about the sun.
The cross is the strength of a minister. I for one would not be without it for all the world. I should feel like a soldier without arms,--like an artist without his pencil,--like a pilot without his compass,-like a laborer without his tools. Let others, if they will, preach the law and morality. Let others hold forth the terrors of hell and the joys of heaven. Let others be ever pressing upon their congregations the sacraments of the church. Give me the cross of Christ. This is the only lever which has ever turned the world upside down hitherto, and made men forsake their sins. And if this will not, nothing will. A man may begin preaching with a perfect knowledge of Latin, Greek and Hebrew. But he will do little or no good among his hearers unless he knows something of the cross. Never was there a minister who did much for the conversion of souls who did not dwell much on Christ crucified. Luther, Rutherford, Whitfield, Cecil, Simeon, Venn, were all most eminently preachers of the cross. This is the preaching that the Holy Ghost delights to bless. He loves to honor those who honor the cross.
The cross is the secret of all missionary success. Nothing but this has ever moved the hearts of the heathen. Just according as this has been lifted up missions have prospered. This is the weapon that has won victories over hearts of every kind, in every quarter of the globe. Greenlanders, Africans, South-Sea Islanders, Hindus, Chinese, all have alike felt its power. Just as that huge iron tube which crosses the Mania Straits, is more affected and bent by half an hour's sunshine than by all the dead weight that can be placed in it, so in like manner the hearts of savages have melted before the cross when every other argument seemed to move them no more than stones. "Brethren," said a North American Indian after his conversion, "I have been a heathen. I know how heathens think. Once a preacher came and began to explain to us that there was a God; but we told him to return to the place from whence he came. Another preacher came and told us not to lie, nor steal, nor drink; but we did not heed him. At last another came into my hut one day and said, 'I am come to you in the name of the Lord of heaven and earth. He sends to let you know that He will make you happy, and deliver you from misery. For this end he became a man, gave his life a ransom, and shed his blood for sinners.' I could not forget his words. I told them to the other Indians, and an awakening begun among us. I say, therefore, preach the sufferings and death of Christ, our Savior, if you wish your words to gain entrance among the heathen." Never indeed did the devil triumph so thoroughly, as when he persuaded the Jesuit missionaries in China to keep back the story of the cross!
The cross is the foundation of a church's prosperity. No church will ever be honored in which Christ crucified is not continually lifted up. Nothing whatever can make up for the want of the cross. Without it all things may be done decently and in order. Without it there may be splendid ceremonies, charming music, gorgeous churches, learned ministers, crowded communion tables, huge collections for the poor. But without the cross no good will be done. Dark hearts will not be enlightened. Proud hearts will not be humbled. Mourning hearts will not be comforted. Fainting hearts will not be cheered. Sermons about the Catholic Church and an apostolic ministry,--sermons about baptism and the Lord's supper,--sermons about unity and schism,--sermons about fast and communion,--sermons about fathers and saints,--such sermons will never make up for the absence of sermons about the cross of Christ. They may amuse some. They will feed none. A gorgeous banqueting room and splendid gold plate on the table will never make up to a hungry man for the want of food. Christ crucified is God's grand ordinance for doing good to men. Whenever a church keeps back Christ crucified, or puts anything whatever in that foremost place which Christ crucified should always have, from that moment a church ceases to be useful. Without Christ crucified in her pulpits, a church is little better than a cumberer of the ground, a dead carcass, a well without water; a barren fig tree, a sleeping watchman, a silent trumpet, a dumb witness, an ambassador without terms of peace, a messenger without tidings, a lighthouse without fire, a stumbling-block to weak believers, a comfort to infidels, a hot-bed for formalism, a joy to the devil, and an offence to God.
April 2, 2009
Paul and Silas have suffered nagging harassment from a slave girl possessed by a spirit, attacks of the crowd in Philippi, false charges, being stripped and beaten repeatedly with rods, and are now sitting within the inner prison, their feet held in stocks. How would our modern-day evangelical self-evaluate at this point? (Inner dialogue: I thought God had called me to Philippi. I must have been mistaken. In fact, where is He? How could He let me get stuck in a situation as bad as this? Maybe He doesn't love me anymore. I'm such a complete failure in ministry. After all, what kind of Christian ends up in circumstances like these? My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?) Paul's situation is so totally foreign to the success-based, happiness-based mindset of so many evangelicals, I fear we would fail and fall in droves were we placed in similar circumstances.
Grab your Bible and read Acts 16:1-24 now before continuing in this post. You can find it online at Bible gateway if you don't have your hardcopy handy.
Back now? Ok. What would you do? How would the account read if it was your back and your feet, your skin on the line? I'm serious. I can't answer for you.
What do Paul and Silas do?
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them (Acts 16:25, ESV)
Talk about getting hit in the head with a 2x4. I don't know about you, but I stand convicted. They were singing hymns of praise to God! In the midst of the battle, Paul and Silas didn't lose heart and they didn't merely whisper blessings to each other. They prayed and sang the praises of their God with great courage and gusto. The other prisoners were listening to them. God is their shield and portion, in the midst of this present trouble. And let's be clear about it. This is trouble. It hurts. The beatings, stocks, the filth of the prison, the immediate unknown future which could pour even more brutality over them. Where do they turn? To sing the praises of their Savior.
I must confess that I have never, in my life as a U.S. citizen, feared anything remotely resembling the kind of physical suffering that Paul and Silas endured. Have you? I thank God for the U.S.A. and the freedom from religious persecution we have been blessed with. After seeing what Paul and Silas are put through, I am amazed. The hammer of the state falls heavily on heaven's clay jars but does not shatter them. Instead, they ring with praise as the blows fall.
We will see the glory of the Lord shine even more brightly in part 3.
to be continued...
April 1, 2009
Would I know how exceedingly sinful and abominable sin is in the sight of God? Where shall I see that most fully brought out? Shall I tuna to the history of the flood, and read how sin drowned the world? Shall I go to the shore of the Dead Sea, and mark what sin brought on Sodom and Gomorrah? Shall I turn to the wandering Jews, and observe how sin has scattered them over the face of the earth? No! I can find a clearer proof still. I look at the cross of Christ. There I see that sin is so black and damnable, that nothing but the blood of God's own Son can wash it away. There I see that sin has so separated me from my holy Maker, that all the angels in heaven could never have made peace between us. Nothing could reconcile us short of the death of Christ. Ah! If I listened to the wretched talk of proud men, I might sometimes fancy sin was not so very sinful. But I cannot think little of sin, when I look at the cross of Christ.
Would I know the fullness and completeness of the salvation God has provided for sinners? Where shall I see it most distinctly? Shall I go to the general declarations in the Bible about God's mercy? Shall I rest in the general truth that God is a God of love? Oh! No! I will look at the cross of Christ. I find no evidence like that. I find no balm for a sore conscience, and a troubled heart, like the sight of Jesus dying for me on the accursed tree. There I see that a full payment has been made for all my enormous debts. The curse of that law which I have broken has come down on One who there suffered in my stead. The demands of that law are all satisfied, Payment has been made for me, even to the uttermost farthing, it will not be required twice over. Ah! I might sometimes imagine I was too bad to be forgiven. My own heart sometimes whispers that I am too wicked to be saved. But I know in my better moments this is all my foolish unbelief. I read an answer to my doubts in the blood shed on Calvary. I feel sure that there is a way to heaven for the very vilest of men, when I look at the cross.
Would I find strong reasons for being a holy man? Whither shall I turn for them? Shall I listen to the Ten Commandments merely? Shall I study the examples given me in the Bible of what grace can do? Shall I meditate on the rewards of heaven, and the punishments of hell? Is there no stronger motive still? Yes! I will look at the cross of Christ. There I see the love of Christ constraining me to live not unto myself, but unto Him. There I see that I am not my own now;--I am bought with a price. I am bound by the most solemn obligations to glorify Jesus with body and spirit, which are His. There I see that Jesus gave Himself for me, not only to redeem me from all iniquity, but-also to purify me and make me one of a peculiar people, zealous of good works. He bore my sins in His own body on the tree, that I being dead unto sin should live unto righteousness. All! Reader, there is nothing so sanctifying as a clear view of the cross of Christ! It crucifies the world unto us, and us unto the world. How can we love sin when we remember that because of our sins Jesus died? Surely none ought to be so holy as the disciples of a crucified Lord.
Would I learn how to be contented and cheerful under all the cares and anxieties of life? What school shall I go to? How shall I attain this state of mind most easily? Shall I look at the sovereignty of God, the wisdom of God, the providence of God, the love of God? It is well to do so. But I have a better argument still. I will look at the cross of Christ. I feel that He who spared not His only begotten Son, but delivered Him up to die for me will surely with Him give me all things that I really need. He that endured that pain for my soul will surely not withhold from me anything that is really good. He that has done the greater things for me will doubtless do the lesser things also. He that gave His own blood to procure me a home, will unquestionably supply me with all really profitable for me by the way. Ah! Reader, there is no school for learning contentment that can be compared with the foot of the cross.