Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 7/30/22

Pope Francis returned to Rome yesterday after six days in Canada profusely apologizing for the abuse of indigenous children in Catholic-run residential schools. Revelations of the abuse last summer sparked nationwide outrage. Popes John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Francis have been kept busy apologizing for popes and prelates of the past, undermining claims of divine superintendence.

Conservative U.S. Catholics are forlorn as dioceses across the country are banning Latin masses in accordance with pope Francis’ 2021 directive. The Latin mass is a bastion of pre-conciliar conservatism and Francis claimed it was breeding division within the church. Francis’ 2021 directive overturned Benedict’s 2007 endorsement of the Latin rite. How can one “vicar of Christ” contermand the directives of another “vicar of Christ.”

Even progressive pope Francis is concerned about the radical (too much, too soon) reforms of the German Catholic Synodal Path (2019-2023).

After nearly three years of legal skirmishing, the local Rochester Catholic diocese continues to fight the claims of survivors of its predatorial priests.

At what point do solid Southern Baptist pastors and congregations admit the SBC ship is unsalvageable?

School children across the country are being indoctrinated into the Sodom-Gomorrah ideology.

Many companies like Dick’s are paying the travel expenses of female employees seeking out-of-state abortions.

Responding to “Meeting the Protestant Response,” #9: “If it’s not an exact parallel, then there’s no papal authority.”

Thanks for joining us today as we continue to examine and respond to Catholic apologist, Karlo Broussard’s book, “Meeting the Protestant Response” (2022). This week, Broussard continues his argument for Petrine primacy with Peter as the “Keeper of the Keys,” pointing to Matthew 16:19 as his proof text.


19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” – Matthew 16:19

Broussard continues his argument from last week, that there is a direct parallel between Isaiah 22:15-22 and Matthew 16:19, demonstrating that Jesus exclusively anointed Peter as chief steward/vicar of His church.

Protestant response #9: “If it’s not an exact parallel, then there’s no papal authority.”

Broussard quotes evangelical apologist, Jason Engwer (Triablogue), for the Protestant “comeback” to the Catholic claims for Isaiah 22:15:22-Matthew 16:19: “Any Catholic appeal to Isaiah 22 would have to be a partial appeal, not a complete appeal, since a complete appeal wouldn’t favor the claims of Roman Catholicism. God is the one who gives the keys in Isaiah 22, so an exact parallel would put Jesus in the place of God, not in the place of the king. If Jesus is God and Peter is the prime minister, then who is the king? Some church official with more authority than Peter? What about Isaiah 22:25? Should we assume that popes can “break off and fall,” and that the keys of Matthew 16 can eventually pass to God himself (Rev. 3:7) rather than to a human successor? If Catholics only want to make a general appeal to Isaiah 22, without drawing an exact parallel, then how can they claim that papal authority is implied by the parallel?” (p. 43).

Broussard’s response

Responds Broussard, “Engwer argues that for the parallel between Matthew 16:19 and Isaiah 22:22 to imply papal authority there must be an exact parallel between the relevant details. But this is an unreasonable demand because that’s not how prophetic foreshadowing or intertextuality works” (p. 44). Broussard then presents Hosea 11:1-2 as an example of an Old Testament foreshadowing that was not fulfilled precisely in the New Testament. Verse 1 parallels Matthew 2:15, verse 2 does not. Broussard hypothesizes that Isaiah 22:15-22 could be foreshadowing Jesus Christ as both God and King since He is plainly identified in other Scriptures as God and King.

My response

As I mentioned last week, there may possibly be a link between Isaiah 22:22 and Matthew 16:19 with the parallel citations of keys, and binding/shutting and loosening/opening. Let’s look at some of the background behind Isaiah 22:22. The “key” mentioned in the verse refers to governmental authority second only to King Hezekiah that was bestowed upon Eliakim in place of the faithless Shebna. What then does Jesus mean by the keys of the kingdom of heaven referred to in Matthew 16:19? We have some understanding from Luke 11:52: “Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering.” The lawyers, scribes, and Pharisees of 1st century Judea possessed the key to the kingdom of heaven (knowledge of Scripture, which contained the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith), but just as the vicarial key to the Davidic kingdom was taken from Shebna and given to Eliakim, the key to the Kingdom of Heaven was taken from the lawyers, scribes, and Pharisees and given to Peter AND the other apostles (Matthew 18:18). The lawyers, scribes, and Pharisees had the key, but did not use it for themselves and hindered other souls from entering God’s kingdom. Note that this key Jesus referred to in Luke 11:52 was not in the possession of one individual lawyer, scribe, or Pharisee, as Broussard claims for Peter. They all possessed the key of knowledge as revealed in Scripture and they all should have known better. We can see from complementary Scripture that the key that Jesus referred to in Matthew 16:19 was not an ecclesiastical office, but the correct knowledge and application of God’s Word.

There certainly appear to be some parallels between Isaiah 22:15-22 and Matthew 16:19, however, to extrapolate from Matthew 16:19 that Jesus was conferring chief stewardship/vicarship/papal authority upon Peter is a self-serving force-fit that defies Scriptural context. Because Jesus gave to Peter the keys of the kingdom of Heaven and the power to bind and loose as stated in Matthew 16:19, it does not mean He was conferring unique vicarial authority upon him as foreshadowed by Eliakim in Isaiah 22:15-22. Broussard readily admits in his own arguments that Old Testament foreshadowings did not precisely parallel New Testament fulfillments, but he then turns around and insists upon the RCC’s calculated and arbitrary extrapolation in the case of Isaiah 22:22.

I was tempted to summarize all of our evidence to this point, which conclusively contradicts Broussard’s arguments for Petrine primacy, but the Catholic apologist continues on this topic for thirteen (!) more weeks, so keep your seatbelts fastened. Suffice to say that Jesus certainly conferred the keys of knowledge of the kingdom of heaven to Peter, as He did to all of His disciples, and to every born-again believer in Jesus Christ.

Next week: Protestant response #10: “The key is not the keys.”

Above: The papal/Vatican City flag, displaying the papal triple tiara (see here) and the double keys. The silver key represents authority over the worldly/temporal, whilst the golden key represents authority over the spiritual/eternal. The white and gold backgrounds represent authority over the same two realms.

Throwback Thursday: Wow! Look what I’ve got!

Welcome to this week’s “Throwback Thursday” installment. Today, we’re going to revisit a post that was originally published back on September 9, 2016 and has been revised.


The other day I was reading 2 Samuel 24 where King David ordered a census of Israel and Judah. In this chapter it says that God incited David to take a census because He was angered with Israel:

“Again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, “Go, number Israel and Judah.” – 2 Samuel 24:1

The parallel passage in 1 Chronicles gives even further detail by saying it was Satan who incited David, which God allowed:

“Then Satan stood against Israel and incited David to number Israel.” – 1 Chronicles 21:1

So what was so bad about David taking a census? Rather than trusting in the power and might of the Lord, David was putting his trust in the number of his subjects and the manpower available to serve in his army. David was his father’s youngest of eight sons and started out as a lowly shepherd boy, yet God had raised him up to be a powerful king. It was ALL because of God. David should have been trusting in God completely! David also knew from Exodus 30:12 that only God could order a census and that a ransom was required to atone for the counting. However, David went ahead with the census anyway, even over the objections of his normally-unscrupulous military commander, Joab. The Lord subsequently punished David and the Israelites with a severe pestilence, which was halted at the threshing floor of Araunah, which David had bought and where he had built an altar of repentance. The location later became the site of Solomon’s Temple.

We’re quick to criticize David in these passages, aren’t we? What a dummy! What was he thinking? But the reality is we act just like David all the time. Churches are always checking the numbers these days. How many attended this year compared to last? Baptisms? Offerings? Today, it’s ALL about the numbers. Churches have adopted the world’s latest marketing methods to reel in the “unchurched” rather than leading lost souls to the Lord. A pastor is “successful” only if he has at least a thousand coming through the turnstiles every Sunday.

But what about me? What am I trusting in? Well, it’s certainly not my looks. But what about my health? My job? My 401K? My upcoming twenty years of happy retirement that’s due to me? All of it could be gone in the blink of an eye. As I get closer to retirement, I confess that I check my 401K balance about once every couple of weeks and it’s not doing too badly. But that rug could be pulled out from under me in an instant.

It’s pretty hard for me to point the finger at census-happy David. 2 Samuel 24 resonates strongly with me because it hits so close to home.

There’s only one sure thing in this world; only one solid foundation. Instead of trusting in our bank accounts and our abilities, we need to recognize it’s the Lord Who is sovereign and we need to put our faith in Him. Everything else is just sinking sand. Whatever we have is only because He provided it. He’s the Potter. We’re the clay. All glory and honor to Him!!!!

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit” – Jeremiah 17:7-8

Getting rid of the grime

Our house has a nice, curvy-shaped cement patio in the backyard where we often sit from May until September. Over the 18 years that we’ve lived at the house, the patio cement has slowly darkened from air, rain, and snow soot. It happened so gradually that I hardly even noticed. My oldest sister was coming up from Arizona to visit for several days recently and as part of the pre-visit scurrying, my wife asked me to rent a pressure washer to clean up the patio.

I had never used a pressure washer before. I drove to one of the local Home Depots that rents out tools and equipment and picked up a gas-powered pressure washer. It was fairly easy to hook-up and start and I was blasting the grime off of the patio cement in no time. The pressure washer did a fantastic job! What a difference! See the before and after photos above. After I was finished, I wrestled the heavy pressure washer back into the trunk of our small VW Jetta, securing it once again with lots of nylon twine, and returned it to Home Depot and gladly paid the $60 charge.

Like other aspects of house and yard work that I’ve written about in the past, cleaning the patio cement brought to mind a spiritual lesson. We may accumulate sinful attitudes, habits, and behaviors in our lives. We need to regularly evaluate our Christian walk in light of God’s Word and repent and confess our sins to the Lord. Scripture has a cleansing effect. I think of Ephesians 5:26 which speaks of “the washing of water with the word.” Although we are born-again through the Savior, Jesus Christ, we still retain our sin nature. We need to be in God’s Word daily so that the Holy Spirit will reveal to us where we’re getting spiritually “grimy” so we can repent and go to God to confess.

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. – 1 John 1:5-10

Truth from Arkansas! Sunday Sermon Series, #146

Today, in our ongoing “Truth from Arkansas” series, we’re featuring two new sermons from the brethren down under.

First, we have Pastor Roger Copeland of Northern Hills Baptist Church in Texarkana, preaching from Romans 4:13-25 on “Faith that does not Falter.”

Next, we have Pastor Cody Andrews of Holly Springs Missionary Baptist Church in Star City preaching from Romans 3:19-31 on “Justified.”

Both of these sermons were delivered on Sunday, July 10th.

Roger Copeland – Faith that does not Falter

Pastor Cody Andrews – Justified – Sermon begins at 31:05 mark

Billy Graham and His Friends

Billy Graham and His Friends: A Hidden Agenda
By Cathy Burns
Sharing, 2002, 788 pp.

4 Stars

Billy Graham is widely recognized as “the greatest evangelist of the 20th century,” but the history of Billy Graham is a history of paradoxes. Graham began his ministry as a Baptist fundamentalist, but he and like-minded cohorts, Carl Henry, Harold Ockenga, E.J. Carnell, etc., determined they would break from insular fundamentalism and set a new course that would be more open to cooperation with leaders of mainline Protestant denominations and even with Roman Catholics. Graham would eventually seek the cooperation of the local Catholic bishop/s in the planning of his crusades. When Catholics “came forward” at a Graham crusade they were followed-up by Catholic workers who explained that their acceptance of Christ as Savior was just a reaffirmation of the infant baptism and confirmation.

In this thick tome, Cathy Burns examines Graham’s friendly associations with liberal “Protestant” churchmen such as Norman Vincent Peale, Robert Schuller, and James Pike. Burns also documents Graham’s very friendly relations with the National Council of Churches and its parent World Council of Churches. The genuine Gospel can’t be found in either apostate organization. Instead there were/are appeals to socialism and interreligious cooperation. Many of the leaders of the NCC and WCC were/are openly sympathetic to Marxism. At his crusades, Graham often had NCC leaders seated prominently on the dais and many were invited to give the opening invocation. Burns also documents Graham’s very positive view of Roman Catholicism.

The author gets into the “conspiracy weeds” at times. As just one example, she points to Graham’s wedding on the evening of Friday, August 13th, 1943, replete with a full moon, as a possible link to Satanism (p. 354). There’s also A LOT of discussion about how many of the NCC and WCC types were linked either directly or indirectly to one-worldism. Yup, I get it. The world is gradually moving towards one government and one religion as the Bible foretells. Overreaches aside, Burns has thoroughly documented the fact that many of Billy Graham’s “friends” were adversaries of the genuine Gospel of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone.

Yes, Billy Graham was a paradox. While he preached the genuine Gospel at his crusades, he pioneered evangelical ecumenism with Rome and eagerly accommodated apostate churchmen.

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 7/23/22

A group of Roman Catholic students and teachers adopted the Pentecostal practice of speaking in tongues/glossolalia at the “Duquesne Weekend” near Pittsburgh in February 1967. Since then, the Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR) has grown to nine-million adherents in the United States and 150 million worldwide, including tens of thousands of priests and nuns. Although these Catholic charismatics are well-versed in evangelical parlance, they continue to hold to RC-ism’s false gospel of salvation by sacramental grace and merit. Pope Francis disparaged the CCR as a younger cleric. Said Francis, “Back at the end of the 1970s and the beginning of the 1980s, I had no time for them. Once, speaking about them, I said: ‘These people confuse a liturgical celebration with samba lessons!’” The pope has since learned that the CCR is a valuable ecumenical tool in bridging the gap to Pentecostalism and, hence, to evangelicalism. (Personal note: I am a “cessationist” who believes the sign gifts ceased after the apostolic era – Tom).

This article states that the Pontifical Academy for Life (PAL) has put out feelers regarding a possible revision of the RCC’s official ban on contraceptives, potentially allowing non-abortifacients. The church formalized its ban on all forms of artificial birth control in 1968 with pope Paul VI’s encyclical, Humanae Vitae (“Of Human Life”). Commentators state Humanae Vitae alienated many Catholics. RC sources report 98% of Catholic women have defiantly used artificial birth control. As this article mentions, archbishop Vincenzo Paglia is head of the PAL. We encountered Paglia previously in my 2017 post about the giant homo-erotic mural he commissioned for the cathedral of the Diocese of Terni-Narni-Amelia in Umbria, central Italy. See here.

Pope Francis will be visiting the Canadian cities of Edmonton, Quebec City, and Iqaluit, July 24-30, in an attempt to quell the nationwide outrage over the abuse of indigenous children at Catholic-run residential schools.

There’s a serious tug-of-war between conservative and liberal Catholics and progressive pope Francis has “stacked the deck” by promoting like-minded bishops to the college of cardinals, ensuring the 85-year-old’s successor carries on his “reforms.”

I used to consult Pulpit & Pen when I began this blog, but Hall’s polemics were beyond vitriolic.

This may seem a little J.D. Hall-ish, but I wonder why Bill Johnson did not heal his wife?

Debates over Dispensationalism aside, I imagine most evangelicals believe Israel was reborn as a nation in 1948 as part of God’s sovereign plan, with much more to follow. The PCUSA began heading down the road to apostasy way back in the mid-1920s

Tom’s retirement countdown: 14 more weekends to go!

Responding to “Meeting the Protestant Response,” #8: “There’s nothing important about the images of keys, gates, and doors. It’s stock imagery.”

Thanks for joining us today as we continue to examine and respond to Catholic apologist, Karlo Broussard’s book, “Meeting the Protestant Response” (2022). This week, Broussard begins a new chapter in which he will argue for Petrine primacy with Peter as the “Keeper of the Keys,” pointing to Matthew 16:19 as his proof text.


19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” – Matthew 16:19

Broussard states that “the keys” in this verse “allude to an institutional office in the Davidic kingdom known as the royal steward or master of the palace” (Isaiah 22:15-22). Argues Broussard, Jesus Christ uniquely gave “the keys” to Peter in Matthew 16:19 and by doing so, Christ was appointing him chief steward/vicar over His church.

Protestant response #8″ “There’s nothing important about the images of keys, gates, and doors. It’s stock imagery.”

Broussard quotes Protestant apologist, Steve Hays (former blogger of Triablogue), as representative of the Protestant argument that the keys in Matthew 16:19 don’t allude to the granting of a unique vicarship: “Catholic apologists typically allege that v.19 is an allusion to Isaiah 22, then imports the entire Isaian context into v. 19. However, the related metaphors of keys, gates, and doors are stock imagery (e.g. Matt. 23:13; 25:10; Luke 11:52; John 10:9; Acts 14:27; 1 Cor. 16:9; Col. 4:3; Rev. 1:18; 3:7-8; 9:1; 20:1), so it doesn’t require any special explanation, in terms of literary dependence to account for the imagery” (pp. 38-39).

Broussard’s response

Broussard agrees that the metaphors of keys, gates, and doors are used throughout the New Testament, but insists there is a direct connection between Matthew 16:19 and Isaiah 22. States Broussard, “Far from being a ‘stock image,’ the metaphor of a key is found in only one place in the Old Testament: Isaiah 22:22” (p. 39).

“And I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David. He shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open.” – Isaiah 22:22

Broussard argues both Matthew 16:19 and Isaiah 22:22 use the parallel imagery of the key/s, the kingdom (“house of David” in the latter), and the authority to admit and exclude, i.e., opening and closing, loosing and binding. Broussard argues that the majority of the passages presented by Hays do not use the metaphors of keys, gates, and doors in the same sense as Matthew 16:19 seems to in reference to Isaiah 22:22.

My response

I agree that Matthew 16:19 may allude to Isaiah 22:22 with the parallel metaphors of the key/s and opening and closing and loosing and binding mentioned in both, but we see from the context of the entire New Testament that Jesus Christ was not uniquely authorizing Peter as the chief steward/vicar of His church. Even Roman Catholics would agree that not every characteristic of the Davidic kingdom has a parallel in Jesus’ kingdom, but of course, it serves the RCC’s purposes to connect the chief steward/vicar role in Isaiah 22:22 to Peter in Matthew 16:19. As a response to Broussard’s claims in this section, I immediately think of Matthew 18:18 where Jesus confers the keys (implicitly) to bind and loose upon all of His disciples, but Broussard responds to that specific argument five weeks hence, so we’ll hold-off until then. More on this Matthew 16:19-Isaiah 22:22 argument in the upcoming weeks.

Next week: Protestant response #9: “If it’s not an exact parallel, then there’s no papal authority.”

Throwback Thursday: Sin: “Mortal” or “Venial”?

Welcome to this week’s “Throwback Thursday” installment. Today, we’re going to revisit a post that was originally published back on September 12, 2016 and has been revised.


How do we define “sin”? That’s pretty easy. Sin is rebellion against God. A Gospel Christian would rightly say that any thought, action, or act of omission that defies God’s will as revealed in His Word is a sin.

But Roman Catholicism draws a distinction between major or “mortal” sins and lesser or “venial” (Latin: venialis – pardonable) sins. If a Catholic dies with any unconfessed mortal sin on their soul, they are told they will be sent to Hell. If they die with only venial sins, they are taught they will be sent to Purgatory to be cleansed before proceeding to Heaven.

So what’s the difference between mortal and venial sins? Catholicism teaches that for a sin to be mortal it must meet the following three criteria:

  • Its subject must be a grave (or serious) matter. The Ten Commandments define grave matter.
  • It must be committed with full knowledge, both of the sin and of the gravity of the offense.
  • It must be committed with deliberate and complete consent, enough for it to have been a personal decision to commit the sin.

Examples of mortal sins include premeditated murder, purposely missing obligatory mass on Sunday, adultery, and stealing a large sum of money.

Examples of venial sins would be telling a “white” lie, nagging a spouse, smoking cigarettes, and stealing an inexpensive item.

Of course, the distinctions between mortal and venial sins get very hazy, very quickly. At what dollar amount does an inexpensive item become an expensive one? At what point does nagging become psychological abuse? When watching an R-rated movie with nudity, when does slightly-more-than-indifferent interest drift into unmitigated lust? Whether a sin is mortal or venial often depends on which priest you talk to.

So why does Catholicism distinguish between major and minor sins? Church father, Tertullian,* introduced the distinction between mortal and venial sins in the latter half of the second century. As the early church became increasingly institutionalized, simple, saving faith in Jesus Christ as Savior devolved into ritual and religious legalism controlled by the increasingly powerful clergy and corresponding changes in doctrine were introduced. If ALL sin was deadly to the soul, as the Bible teaches, then no one could possibly earn their salvation. By grading sin, it was postulated that people could successfully merit their way into Heaven with the help of the clerics. Over time, sin became even less deadly. The Jesuits are infamous for introducing the concept of “casuistry.” Using this intellectual sophistry, a person could commit even a blatantly mortal sin without any guilt if they had made a reservation in their mind that the sinful action would result in a moral good. Needless to say, Catholics flocked to Jesuit confessors because much of their mortal sin could be rationalized away.

In contrast to Rome’s teaching, the Bible teaches ALL sin is deadly. We aren’t sinners because we sin, we sin because we’re sinners. Yes, all of us are sinners and we all deserve eternal punishment. But God loves us so much He sent Jesus Christ, God the Son, to pay the penalty for our sins on the cross. But He rose from the grave, defeating sin and death, and offers eternal life and fellowship with God to all who accept Him as Savior by faith alone.

But aren’t there some Bible verses that talk about the “sin unto death”? Yup, but they’re not talking about the “mortal” sin of Catholicism. See here. But doesn’t the Bible talk about some sins being worse than others and meriting greater punishment? Yup, but sin is still sin. See here.

Catholics are walking a religious tightrope and are hoping by their efforts they can merit Heaven. The Catholic doctrine of mortal and venial sin gives Catholics the false hope that they can earn their way into Heaven. Because of this system, many Catholics seek to justify themselves, declaring something along the lines of, “I might not be perfect but at least I’ve never killed anyone or sold street drugs.” But God’s Word declares all of us are sinners to the core and none of us can possibly merit Heaven. Even the good things that we do are often motivated by sinful intentions.

“As it is written: ‘None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.’” – Romans 3:10-12

Like the thief on the cross without a single plea of his own, accept Jesus Christ as your Savior by faith alone. Once you have repented of your rebellion against God and accepted Christ, then you can follow Him as Lord of your life.

“Whoever believes (Greek: pisteuo – to believe, put one’s faith in, trust, with an implication that actions based on that trust may follow) in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” – John 3:18

* Webster, William. The Church of Rome at the Bar of History (Carlisle, PA: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2003), p. 104.

San Diego Padres at the All-Star Break

Above from L to R: Manny Machado (3B), Jake Cronenworth (2B), and Joe Musgrove (P) represented the San Diego Padres in the MLB 2022 All-Star Game. Cronenworth had a slow start this year, but a recent hitting surge meant a last-minute call-up to the All-Star Game as a replacement player.


Yesterday was the MLB All-Star Game, so how are the San Diego Padres doing at the break?

The Padres’ season started out on a low note with 23YO phenom, Fernando Tatis Jr., on the long-term injured list due to breaking his left wrist in the off-season. But Manny Machado carried the Padres to a very impressive 45-28 record at the June 24 mark. However, since then the Padres’ bats have gone cold and they’ve lost 14 of their last 21 games for a 52-42 record, 10 games behind the Dodgers. This disappointing stretch brings to mind the Padres’ complete collapse last year after the 2021 All-Star Game.

In past All-Star break reports, I’ve posted a lot of detail about the starters, but I haven’t been paying as much attention this year. Suffice to say the Padres have a .689 team OPS which ranks them at #11 in the NL. That’s pathetic. There’s a lot of blame to go around, but Luke Voit (DH), and Trent Grisham (CF) have been particularly ineffective at the plate. Some of the few bright spots besides Machado and a surging Cronenworth are journeyman outfielder, Nomar Mazara, signed by the Pads to a minor league contract in the offseason and promoted on June 2nd, and new #2 catcher, Jorge Alfaro. The Padres’ team ERA 3.77 ranks them at #6 in the NL, meaning the pitching has been decent, but not outstanding (aside from Musgrove that is).

There’s still a lot of baseball left to play, including the long-awaited return of Tatis, but it’s becoming evident that this current high-priced roster assembled by GM A.J. Preller is incapable of delivering an NL West pennant to San Diego. Preller’s had 8 seasons at the helm to figure this out. How much longer do the owners give him?