News Letter April 1

April 5, 2018 by  
Filed under Newsletter

Under The Elmtree

In This Edition


* What Is An Evangelical?

* We Serve The Risen Christ

* for Ministry Support

* Book Review – Biblical Theology

* Pod Cast – – Thrive

* IgniteUS APP Coming Soon

* This Date in History – Persecution of Jews

* BLOG –  What Is An Evangelical?


What Is An Evangelical?


What and Who is an Evangelical? What is the Gospel?  What and Who is truly orthodox? As the American Culture swirls in the grip of moral corruption and the decline of precise theological inquiry, these questions plead for an answer that has clarity and theological integrity.


About 1900 the evangelical community produced what came to be known as The Fundamentals. I have a four (4) volume set of books by this title in my library. This material was produced to counter the corruption of sound theology being promulgated by those correctly labeled as Liberals. The concerns of the leaders of the Fundamentalist Movement were validated in 1923 by the publication of Christianity and Liberalism by J. Gresham Machen. Machen’s book has long been a classic defense of the orthodox Christian faith against Liberalism. Published at the height of the Liberal onslaught against orthodox faith, Machen established the traditional teaching of the church on Scripture, God, humanity, salvation, and ecclesiology. The theology  he promoted is not only defensible but orthodox and preferable to those propounded by Liberals


In 1978 the Chicago Statement On Biblical Inerrancy was produced. It begins – – The following statement affirms the inerrancy of scripture, making clear our understanding of it and warning against its denial. We are persuaded that to deny it is to set aside the witness of Jesus Christ and of the Holy Spirit and to refuse that submission to the claims of God’s own word which marks true Christian faith. We see it as our timely duty to make this affirmation in the face of current lapses from the truth of inerrancy among our fellow Christians (??) and misunderstanding of this doctrine in the world at large.


Since the first century the attacks on orthodoxy have focused on The Inerrancy of Scripture and The Substitutionary Atonement of Christ. This onslaught has not changed to this very day. Once the veracity of Scripture is abandoned, those that embrace such a posture are on a slippery slope to apostasy. One need only look at the current condition of what historically have been labeled the ‘mainline denominations’. The links that follow provide examples of this scenario in the present day. I urge my readers to read each of these articles and discern the core theological corruption that each portrays and/or warns against. Forewarned is forearmed.


Elaine Heath is the Dean at the Duke Divinity School at Duke University. Since 2016 she has promoted what she calls Generous Orthodoxy which is in fact absolute theological corruption. Beware of such Apostasy and the people that promote it!


The following link takes the reader to a list of eleven (11) titles that provide a path for your faith that is orthodox. The battle rages and the intensity in this struggle to preserve orthodoxy will only escalate as we go forward. I leave you with the exhortation of the Apostle Paul: Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.(1Cor. 15:58)


An additional source that provides insight into this struggle to preserve and serve with orthodox integrity. Evangelicalism Divided – A Record of Crucial Change In The Years 1950 to 2000 by Iain Murray.


We Serve The Risen Christ


Luke 24:1–9 (ESV) – The Resurrection

But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?  He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” And they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest.


Ministry Support $$


We are asking you to give – $10 a month. These funds enable us to provide  Scholarships to Pastors & Churches. Christ gets the Glory!  On our Home Page ( click on the banner labeled Online Giving and follow the prompts. THANKS to each one who gives! Appreciated!


Book Review – Biblical Theology


Book Review. Roark, Nick and Cline Robert. Biblical Theology – How The Church Faithfully Teaches The Gospel. Wheaton IL: Crossway, 2018, 158 pp. $14.99, ISBN # 978-1-4-335-5606-7, Available April 1, 2018.


This title is timely and makes a much-needed contribution to the current confusion in the evangelical community. Questions swirl such as ‘What is an Evangelical?’, and ‘What is The Gospel?’. This title provides clarity on both of these issues. This is one of the titles in the series produced by 9 Marks – Building Healthy Churches.


The church of Jesus Christ is a theological organism and ministry that is effective and honors Christ must be ordered and directed by theological constructs. In my ministry as a Consultant I encounter a host of principles that pastors and church leaders apply that have little or no foundation in the text or in sound orthodox theology. This title provides a refreshing corrective to such unorthodox and syncretistic corruption of the Gospel.


The authors are both engaged in ministry, Roark as a pastor and Cline as a denominational leader with the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.


In the opening chapter (The Need For Biblical Theology) Roark addresses a salient reality that pastors and preachers face today. People are missing the point. Biblical literacy is in precipitous decline. Words are symbols and when the listener has no proper understanding of what those symbols represent, the message conveyed by those words is lost. Roark offers the following to make his case.


When I was in elementary school, one of my classmates gave a book report about a story written by CS Lewis featuring four children, a lion King, a white witch, and a hidden magical land accessed through a wardrobe. I was mesmerized. So I purchased the Chronicles of Narnia for myself and read them with pleasure. But years later after my conversion to Christ, I realized I had been missing the author’s obvious intentions to point his readers to Jesus.


The chapter titles are:

1 The Need for Biblical Theology

2 What Is Biblical Theology?

3 What Is The Bible’s Big Story? Part 1

4 What Is The Bible’s Big Story? Part 2

5 Biblical Theology Shapes a Church’s Teaching

6 Biblical Theology Shapes A Church’s Mission


A weakness from this reviewer’s personal perspective – end notes rather than footnotes. A strength is the eight pages of Scripture references provided which is beneficial.


The appendix section (pp. 119-139) provides numerous correctives to faulty interpretive methods applied by ”Prosperity Preachers’ and other less than Orthodox pseudo theologians.


Roark provides a brilliant example in the conclusion that paints a portrait of where we are as a culture in relationship to hearing the message of the Gospel. He tells of a world class violinist, Joshua Bell. He played classical music in the Washington DC Metro Station for 43 minutes at morning rush hour. His instrument is a $3.5 million dollar Stradivarius violin. Yet, only a handful of people stopped to listen that morning.


The music played in Biblical Theology is of far greater value than those classical pieces that Bell provided. Yet, very few are listening. Theology was once accorded the status as ‘Queen of the Sciences’. It still is but few are tuned in. This title provides a genuine corrective to the message of the Gospel delivered by sound theology.. May the Sovereign God of the Ages bring the symphony of salvation to the USA and the nations of the world as shaped by the theological substance in this title


Reviewed by Pastor Tom Fillinger, CEO of IgniteUS Ministries. or 803 413 3509 (cell).


The Title to be reviewed in the April 15th News Letter will be 15 Things Seminary Couldn’t Teach Me. Foreword by Dr. Al Mohler, Edited by Collin Hansen and Jeff Robinson. 15 Contributors and very beneficial.


Pod Cast – THRIVE


The title of the Pod Cast is THRIVE. That is our desire for every pastor and every local church. We want you to thrive in making disciples, and developing leaders, all of which is to Glorify Jesus Christ. There is a banner on our web site – – – – just click on that banner. This Pod Cast has the potential to reach 35,000 listeners. If you listen and find benefit in the content, encourage folks in your sphere of influence to listen as well, then contact us. THANKS. I want to hear from you; or 800 472 3764.


Be sure you go to our Web Site ( and listen to the Pod Cast for 03/27.. You will be encouraged to have and be a true friend to others in pastoral ministry.


IgniteUS APP Coming Soon – Stay Tuned! I anticipate this will be available by April 15th.







This Date in History

1933 :Germany begins the persecution of German Jews by declaring a boycott of Jewish owned businesses

BLOG – What Is An Evangelical?

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