Those who are involved in reaching out to Roman Catholics with the Gospel are very familiar with the name of Karl Keating (photo left).
Forty years ago, Keating was a lawyer and conservative Catholic who was very troubled by the fact that many Catholics were leaving the church and joining evangelical and fundamentalist Christian churches. He created the Catholic apologetics organization, Catholic Answers, in 1979 and wrote his attack on Biblical Christianity, “Catholicism and Fundamentalism: The Attack on ‘Romanism’ by ‘Bible Christians'” (photo middle), in 1988. The book lumped together responsible ministries to Roman Catholics, such as Bart Brewer’s Mission to Catholics and Bill Jackson’s Christians Evangelizing Catholics, with disreputable individuals and groups like Chick Publications, the Alamo Christian Foundation, and Peter Ruckman.
Since 1979, Catholic Answers has spearheaded Catholic apologetics in America via print, the internet, lectures, and debates with evangelical Christian apologists. Unlike Judas evangelicals such as Billy Graham and Rick Warren, Karl Keating is under no delusion that Catholicism’s gospel of salvation by sacramental grace and merit is similar to the evangelical Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone.
Sixty-seven-year-old Keating retired from Catholic Answers last year, but he’s still a highly respected voice in conservative Catholic circles.
The reason I wrote all of the above was as a preliminary to the following:
I was perusing through Catholic news last night, as is my habit, and I came across the article below. I had mentioned a few months ago that I’m looking forward to a book from conservative Catholic, Philip Lawer, “Lost Shepherd: How Pope Francis is Misleading His Flock” (due out 2/28), that’s extremely critical of pope Francis. In the article below, Keating communicates his enthusiastic approval of the book.
When Francis began his tenure as pope in 2013, conservative Catholic apologists attributed his radical, off-the-cuff remarks to media misrepresentation. Over the last almost-five years, conservative Catholics have had to grudgingly face the reality that Francis is on a crusade to overturn many of their cherished traditions. His guileful lifting of the ban on communion for remarried divorcees via a footnote in “Amoris Laetitia” was the last straw. An increasing number of conservative Catholics are reluctantly labeling Francis as a heretic. It’s an amazing thing to witness. Catholics have always boasted that their pope was divinely guided and could never lead their church into error.
For Karl Keating to publicly throw his hat into the ring with Francis’s opponents is significant. Will the folks at EWTN and National Catholic Register be calling Francis a heretic down the road as well? The tension within the Catholic church increases.
Bible Christian, what has all of this got to do with you? Make no mistake that the betrayal of the Gospel through ecumenism with Rome will probably make inroads into your church if it hasn’t already.
Karl Keating on Phil Lawler’s Pope book