“Meeting the Protestant Response,” #40: “In John 16:25, Jesus confirms that his words at the Last Supper were figurative.”

Thanks for joining us today as we continue, after a five-week break, to examine and respond to Catholic apologist, Karlo Broussard’s book, “Meeting the Protestant Response” (2022). This week, Broussard continues his second of two chapters defending transubstantiation and the eucharist, this time using Matthew 26:26-28 as his proof-text:

26 Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” 27 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, 28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.


Protestant response #40: “In John 16:25, Jesus confirms that his words at the Last Supper were figurative.”

Writes Broussard, “The (Protestant) comebacks so far have appealed to evidence from which a Protestant infers that Jesus was not speaking literally when he said, “This is my body . . . this is my blood.” (Evangelical apologist) Todd Baker, however, makes an argument that Jesus, in John 16:25, explicitly tells his disciples that his words are to be understood figuratively.”

“I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures of speech but will tell you plainly about the Father.” – John 16:25

Broussard continues by quoting Baker, “Indeed, right after the Last Supper was celebrated, Jesus told the disciples that his teachings and the words he spoke to them up to that point in time were given in figurative language.”

States Broussard, “Baker argues that since Jesus says this after the Passover meal, which included the words of institution, we must conclude that ‘the words Jesus spoke about the bread and wine being his body and blood were figurative expressions for the New Covenant and of the Messiah’s imminent death on the cross for the salvation of man.'”

Broussard’s response

Broussard presents three reasons why Baker’s argument is problematic:

1. “It takes a verse in John (16:25) and applies it to the words of institution . . . but John’s account of the Last Supper doesn’t include the words of institution.”

2. “This comeback suffers from…the assumption that just because Jesus used figurative language for one thing at the Last Supper, he must have intended to use figurative language for everything he said at the Last Supper.”

3. “This comeback…fails to consider the immediate context in which we find two plausible referents for Jesus words” – the woman in labor (John 16:21) and Jesus various statements about the Father in John 15 and 16.

Concludes Broussard, “So a believer in the Real Presence doesn’t have to conclude that Jesus was speaking figuratively when he said, “This is my body . . . this is my blood.”

My response

It’s not completely beyond the realm of possibility, but in the context of John’s Last Supper account, paroimia “figures of speech” in John 16:25 does not appear to be referring to “This is my body . . . this is my blood” of Matthew 26:26-28. As Broussard states, the “words of institution” are not mentioned in John’s account. Broussard himself writes, “Numerous Protestant scholars do not endorse this proposal in their commentaries on John,” therefore it’s duplicitous to present this particular “comeback” as representative of Protestant apologetics.

Next week: Protestant response #41: “The apostles were already thinking symbolically in light of the symbolism of Passover.”

Play ball! The San Diego Padres begin the 2023 season

Today is Opening Day throughout Major League Baseball. The San Diego Padres begin their 55th season with a four-game homestand against NL West rivals, the Colorado Rockies. Last season, the Padres made it all the way to the NLCS, but lost to the Phillies. How does 2023 look for the Padres? They still have to get past the Los Angeles Dodgers who have won nine of the last 10 NL West titles. However, the Blue Bums appear to have taken a step backwards in the offseason with the loss of several free agents while the Padres took a step forward by retaining their core and adding all-star shortstop, Xander Bogaerts. Fernando Tatis Jr. will transition to the outfield on April 20th after serving out the remainder of an 80-game suspension for PEDs.

The projected starting lineup looks like:

C – Austin Nola

1B – Jake Cronenworth

2B – Ha-Seong Kim

SS – Xander Bogaerts

3B – Manny Machado

LF – Juan Soto

CF – Trent Grisham

RF – Fernando Tatis Jr. beginning April 20th

DH – Matt Carpenter and Nelson Cruz

P – Yu Darvish, Blake Snell, Joe Musgrove, and Nick Martinez will anchor the starting rotation with Josh Hader closing.

A lineup featuring Tatis Jr., Soto, Machado, and Bogaerts hitting back-to-back will have opposing pitchers begging for mercy. Cronenworth, Kim, Carpenter, and Cruz are all capable of some big at-bats. After decades of having one of the lowest payrolls in MLB, the Padres trail only the Mets and Yankees in that regard. Anything less than a World Series appearance will be viewed as a disappointing season.

The Padres have had many players over the years who were outspoken about their faith in Jesus Christ.

Go Padres!

How are my other sports teams doing? Let’s check in briefly:

The Los Angeles Chargers finished the 2022 season with a respectable 10-7 record, but were embarrassed by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC Wildcard Playoffs. The Jags overcame a 27-0 second quarter deficit to win the game, unquestionably the most humiliating defeat in Chargers’ franchise history. Chargers fans have serious reservations about whether Brandon Staley is the right Head Coach to lead QB phenom Justin Herbert and the Bolts to the Super Bowl.

The Rochester Institute of Technology Men’s Hockey Team – The Tigers – had an excellent 2022-2023 season, going 25-13-1 and ranking in the NCAA Division I Top 20 consistently throughout the season. Unfortunately, the #1 seed Tigers were upset by #7 seed Holy Cross in the Atlantic Hockey Conference semi-finals.

The New York Knicks improved tremendously with the pre-season addition of point guard, Jalen Brunson. The Knicks are currently 44-33 and the #5 seed in the NBA Eastern Conference with only 5 regular season games left to play. They’ll clinch a playoff spot with just one more win. All-star, Julius Randle, injured his ankle in last night’s victory over the Heat and that’s concerning.

Welcome to more of my Odds and Ends

I regularly write down ideas on my blog planning sheet that I don’t ever get around to developing into full-blown posts, so every so often I need to clean out my Odds & Ends in-basket.


Our labradoodle dog, Gracie (photo above), is now 15.5 years old and has slowed down quite a bit in the past six-months. She’s increasingly confused about “bathroom protocol.” When we let her outside to go, she’ll just stand there for several minutes doing nothing. We’ll then let her in and she’ll proceed to relieve herself on the floor. We had to buy diapers for her.

Our Son’s Return

This handsome guy above, our youngest son, began serving in the Air Force in March 2001 at the age of 22. For the past 22 years, he’s been stationed all over the world, including Italy, Germany, England, Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Qatar, New York, Mississippi, Texas, and Florida. One of the most interesting assignments he had was installing communication cabling in the White House, including cable in the ceiling above the Oval Office. He’s retiring from the Air Force in a couple of days and will be moving back with Mom and Dad until he gets himself re-established. We’re happy to have him back. We didn’t see much of him during his long Air Force stint, maybe once every two-years, on-average. I honestly didn’t think he’d move back to the Western New York tundra after living in warm climes for so long.

Me and Fred Mertz

When I was a kid I used to enjoy watching reruns of the “I Love Lucy” television show. I noted that the Ricardos’ friend, neighbor, and landlord, Fred Mertz (photo left), sported a night cap on his bald noggin. Well, I’m not quite as bald as Fred, but it’s pretty thin on top. My wife turns the heat down at night so when I got up in the early morning at 4:30 to 5AM, I slipped on a thick winter hat. That was a bit much for indoors, so my wife ordered me a night cap similar to what Fred used to wear. Man, it’s the best. After I wake up, I immediately put on my Fred cap and wool shirt-jacket (photo right), make a cup of hot java, sit down on the couch with a blanket on my lap, and open my laptop. Ahhhh. What a way to start the day! Good morning, Lord! Actor William Frawley (d. 1966) played the Fred Mertz character from 1951 to 1957. He looked beyond-ancient to me when I watched the show as a kid, but I now see he was my current age at the time.

Tom Museum?

Above: My “big mess” before the purge

Over the years, I had accumulated six large plastic bins full of “memorabilia” and my wife has been nagging me to sort through it all. Mind you, my wife has numerous bins, shelves, and closets FULL of tchotchke and clothes throughout the house, but for some reason my six bins neatly arranged in a corner of the basement greatly annoyed her. Well, being retired, I finally went through the memorabilia and reduced the number of bins from six to three. I had hung onto all kinds of things, as if I was going to open a “Tom Museum” someday. The bulk of the stuff consisted of materials from college. I attended the Rochester Institute of Technology’s evening college from 1977 to 1980 and from 1997 until I finally graduated in 2000 and kept everything, including every semester course catalog. What was I thinking by keeping all of that stuff?

Blogging a Part-Time Job

I love reading and writing. My blog is a personal ministry, a chance to connect with like-minded believers, and also a creative outlet. I don’t know how much time I spend blogging each week, but it’s not insignificant. p.s. What’s with the obtrusive new advertising at WordPress? Sheesh! Well, I guess I shouldn’t complain seeing as the platform is still free.

Finney Burned Over

Evangelist Charles Finney (above) was quite famous for his revivals in Rochester and Western and Central New York in the 1830s during the Second Great Awakening. It was Finney who first labeled the area as the “Burned Over District.” There had been so much religious fervor and revivalism in the region that Finney doubted whether it could sustain any more, hence the “burned over” label. I’m not a fan of Finney who preached a Wesleyan/Holiness type of evangelicalism.


Popular “evangelical” YouTuber, Cameron Bertuzzi (photo left), caused a minor stir this past Fall when he converted to Roman Catholicism. After I heard the “news,” I listened to a back-dated video (recorded May 10, 2022) of evangelical apologist, James R. White (photo right), trying to convince Bertuzzi of the errors of RC-ism (see here). Bertuzzi had presented himself as an evangelical apologist, but in reality he was a guy with a YouTube channel whose guests did most of the talking. His knowledge of the Bible and church history wasn’t all that deep, as James R. White revealed. Bertuzzi never genuinely trusted in Jesus Christ as Savior by faith alone or he wouldn’t have opted for the RCC’s false gospel of salvation by sacramental grace and merit. No genuine believer would/could choose spiritual chains over spiritual freedom in Christ.


I retired on October 31 after working for 48 years. It’s “strange” having to work for soooooo long and then suddenly stopping and receiving a monthly Social Security check from the government. Don’t get me wrong, I love not having to go into work every week. My last job was physically demanding and definitely not something I pine about. But retirement is an abrupt change and does require some major re-adjusting. There are some retirees who have trouble acclimating to the new circumstances and who develop retirement depression.

Defunct Occupations and Things

Speaking of working, I worked at Eastman Kodak from 1976 until 2019 when I was unceremoniously laid-off, which led to a year of unemployment and job searching and then two years at my final job at L3Harris Technologies. Kodak was a booming business when I started, with 60,000 employees in the Greater Rochester area. The changeover from analog to digital technology brought the once-industrial giant to its knees. From the information I could find, it seems there’s only around 1000 Rochesterians working at Kodak currently.

Many other occupations/companies/industries have been rocked by changing technology and social trends. Below are some things and occupations that were standard when I was younger that have either greatly declined or been eliminated altogether:

  • Gas station attendant (photo above)
  • Milkman
  • Record stores
  • Book stores
  • Magazines
  • Dictionaries and thesauruses
  • Blockbuster and VCRs
  • Home stereo systems, including 8-track, cassette, and CD players
  • Television repair shops, tube televisions, tv vacuum tube testers, tv antennas
  • Grocery store stamps – green, yellow, plaid
  • Paper maps
  • Typewriters
  • Word processors
  • Adding machines
  • Bank tellers
  • Landline telephones, telephone operators, switchboard operators, phone booths, party lines
  • Yellow pages
  • Microfiche
  • Computer punch cards
  • Daisy wheel printers
  • Daily newspapers and newspaper classified ads
  • Billard parlors
  • Roller skating rinks
  • Kirby vacuum salesmen
  • Fuller brush salesmen
  • Encyclopedias
  • Smudge pots aka “highway torches” used to warn oncoming traffic of road maintenance at night.
  • Slide rulers
  • Travel agencies
  • Howard Johnson’s
  • Toll booth attendants
  • Elevator operators
  • Five and dime stores (Woolworth’s and Neisner’s)
  • Wind-up clocks
  • Time cards for work check-in, check-out
  • Calling a business or service phone number and immediately speaking to a live person
  • Customer service representatives based in the United States
  • Children going to school and not getting shot
  • Gender based on biology
  • Men marrying women, women marrying men
  • Libraries without “Drag Queen Story Hour”

What are some occupations or things from the past that you can remember that have gone by the wayside?

The sands of this world are shifting at an ever increasing rate, but the Lord is our Rock and sure Foundation.

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” – Hebrews 13:8

Truth from Arkansas! Sunday Sermon Series, #181

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

First, we have Associate Pastor Kelvin Richardson of Northern Hills Baptist Church in Texarkana, preaching on Elijah, a man of faith.

Next, we have Pastor Cody Andrews of Holly Springs Missionary Baptist Church in Star City preaching from 2 Chronicles 7:14 on “Revival Is Not Easy.”

Both of these sermons were delivered on Sunday, March 12th.

Kelvin Richardson – Elijah, a man of faith – Sermon begins at 16:05 mark

Pastor Cody Andrews – Revival is not Easy

Reformanda Initiative Podcast, S2.E4: An Evangelical Critique of the Roman Catholic Doctrine of Transubstantiation

Welcome to this week’s installment of our Reformanda Initiative podcast series! I’m excited to present the ministry of Dr. Leonardo De Chirico and his associates at Reformanda Initiative as they examine Roman Catholic theology in order to inform and equip evangelicals.

Season 2, Episode 4: An Evangelical Critique of the Roman Catholic Doctrine of Transubstantiation

Show Notes

In this episode the Associate Director of the Reformanda Initiative (Reid Karr) examines and critiques the doctrine of transubstantiation and the sacrament of the Eucharist in Roman Catholicism. The critique is grounded in a review of Dr. Brant Pitre’s book “Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist: Unlocking the Secrets of the Last Supper.” Dr. Pitre is a Catholic theologian and distinguished* professor at the Augustine Institute.

My Comments

The fallacious doctrine of transubstantiation, the claim that Catholic priests miraculously change bread wafers and wine into the actual body and blood of Jesus Christ, is not new to us because we’ve spent a tremendous amount of time examining and refuting Catholic apologist, Karlo Broussard’s defense of transubstantiation in his book, “Meeting the Protestant Response.” In this podcast, Reid Karr rebuts Catholic author, Brant Pitre, who attempts to frame the Jewish Passover ritual as a “liturgy” that “repeats” and “renews” the Passover sacrifice as the foreshadowing of the Catholic mass eucharist liturgy that claims to “represent” and “renew” Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for sin. As Karr points out, Pitre conveniently omits any mention of the non-ambiguous once-for-all-time language of Hebrews chapter 10 (e.g. “For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified” – Heb. 10:14).

*I realize academia has its standard parlance, but I would not append “distinguished” to a Catholic professor who propagates his church’s false gospel.

Season 2, Episode 4: An Evangelical Critique of the Roman Catholic Doctrine of Transubstantiation
Featuring Reid Karr
November 11, 2020 – 46 minutes

For the YouTube video version of this particular podcast, see here.

Next week: Season 2, Episode 5: An Introduction to Mariology and Marian Devotion

Essentials of Catholic Theology – Lesson 4: The Seven Roman Catholic Sacraments

Thanks for joining us this Sunday as we review Dr. Gregg Allison’s fourth of seven lessons comprising his “Essentials of Catholic Theology” course.

BiblicalTraining.org offers this online course free of charge. To find out how to access these free lessons, see my introductory post here.

Lesson 4: The Seven Roman Catholic Sacraments

Dr. Allison presents an excellent overview of Roman Catholicism’s seven sacraments – Baptism, Confirmation, the Eucharist, Penance, Anointing of the Sick, Marriage, and Holy Orders. Gospel Christianity and RC-ism have very different views regarding God’s grace. Gospel Christians define God’s grace as “God’s unmerited favor,” which He grants according to His will. Most importantly, salvation is by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone. Roman Catholicism views grace almost as a material commodity that is administered by its priests through its seven sacraments. Catholics partake of the sacraments with the hope of receiving alleged graces, which they are taught will help them resist temptation and avoid sin so they might possibly merit Heaven at the moment of their death. The RCC teaches that Mary is the Mediatrix and Channel by which all of God’s graces flow to the church and through its sacraments to the worthy supplicant.

Lesson 4 Outline: The Seven Roman Catholic Sacraments


A. Augustine

B. Nature-grace interdependence


A. Definition

B. Christ’s Pascal mystery

C. Three types of sacraments

D. The sacraments as they relate to nature and grace

E. Ex opere operato


A. Two sacraments/ordinances in Protestant churches

B. Why only two sacraments/ordinances in Protestant churches?

C. What about the other five Roman Catholic sacraments?


Next week: Lesson 5, The Roman Catholic Sacrament of the Eucharist

Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 3/25/23

This Pew Research article reports that only 18% of non-evangelical Americans have a very or somewhat favorable opinion of evangelicals, a markedly lower percentage compared to Jews, mainline Protestants, and Catholics. Is this because people find our witnessing for the Lord and charitable help bothersome? I’m guessing at least some of this negative attitude is because a large percentage of evangelical Christians are known for being passionately tied to temporal politics. Perhaps there’s also an increasing bias against those who hold to a Biblical worldview? Our ultimate goal is to please the Lord Jesus Christ rather than people, but maybe we aren’t always examples of the love of Christ and joyful proclaimers of His free gift of eternal life through faith in Him alone.

New York State passed the Child Victims Act in February 2019, which lifted the statute of limitations on sexual crimes against children. The Roman Catholic diocese of Rochester, N.Y. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on September 12, 2019 in anticipation of massive payouts. Lawyers have been kept busy the last 43 months, but a settlement was finally reached yesterday with $75.6 million dollars to be paid out to 475 survivors or $159,158 per person. This scenario is being played out all over the country and the world. The RCC knew its priests were preying on children for many decades, but covered up the crimes and transferred pedophile priests from parish to parish. The corruption reached the highest echelons of the RCC. Allegations that pope John Paul II enabled predatory priests while he was archbishop of Krakow (1964–1978) have recently surfaced.

Last weekend, I mentioned that the German Catholic Synodale Weg (Synodal Path) had concluded, with the progressive initiative authorizing German priests to bless S&G “marriages” along with several other liberal reforms. Predictably, cardinals Raymond Burke of the United States and Gerhard Müller of Germany, two of a handful of conservative prelates willing to publicly oppose pope Francis’ reforms and other liberal initiatives, demanded the RC hierarchy remove the German bishops for defying current RC dictates and permitting same-sex marriage blessings. How will pope Francis respond? Stay tuned. This controversy is going to ramp up.

As we reported in a previous roundup, Catholic bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois implied in a February 28th essay that cardinal Robert McElroy of San Diego was a heretic for stating in an article that “the moral integrity (legitimacy) of gay sex is an open question.” Paprocki has since stated he is not backing down from his accusation that the cardinal is a heretic.

Pope Francis has publicly affirmed abortion genocide supporter, Nancy Pelosi, several times. Pelosi has now returned the favor by calling Francis a rule-bending “pope for the people” on the occasion of his ten-year papal anniversary.

There’s speculation that 13 American Catholic archdioceses and 21 dioceses could need new bishops by 2025. Francis has already stacked the college of cardinals with progressives to ensure his successor continues his liberal reforms. It’s a given that Bergoglio will draw from liberal candidates for all U.S. episcopal openings.

Sisters of Mercy nun, Rosemary Connelly, will be receiving a medal from the University of Notre Dame (“Our Lady”) for her work with disabled children. This reminds me of when Mother Teresa won the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize for her work with the poor and sick of India. Charitable work is great, but I’m troubled when awards for charity are presented and accepted. Jesus spoke against this (Matthew 6:1-4). Mother Teresa is often extolled by evangelical pastors as a shining example of Christian charity, but she (like Rosemary Connelly) propagated her church’s false teachings regarding merited salvation and Universalism. Also, the protocols used by her hospices were less than ideal (see Tim Challies’ article, “The Myth of Mother Teresa” here).

Jerry Falwell Jr. and his wife have done much harm to the cause of the Gospel and need to just go away.

Look! Up in the sky! It’s a skyscraper! It’s a church! It’s Rochester’s “Skyscraper Church!”

I’ve been meaning to write the story of the notable Second Baptist Church of Rochester, N.Y., later known as the Baptist Temple, for quite a long time. It’s a unique story and ultimately a sad one.

By 1834, the First Baptist Church* of early-Rochester had increased to 370 members and had outgrown its building on the west side of the Genesee River. As a result, 53 members left to form the Second Baptist Church on the east side of the young city. They purchased a building on the corner of Main St. and Clinton Ave. and began worshiping there on April 12, 1834. The meeting house burned down in 1859 and a new church building was built on the corner of North and Achilles Streets in 1860. Another fire in 1892 made it necessary to rebuild again.

By the early-1920s, the vibrant church had outgrown its existing structure. Pastor Clinton Wunder, thirty-one-years-old, came up with the novel (aka quirky) notion of a combination church-high rise hotel! He envisioned a nine-story hotel as an “economic engine” for the adjoining church. The plans eventually changed to a fourteen-story structure that would serve as an office building rather than a hotel. Many in the Second Baptist congregation thought that it was unwise to build a fourteen-story “Skyscraper Church” (yes, a fourteen-story building was still considered a “skyscraper” at that time), but Pastor Wunder prevailed. The existing church was quickly demolished and construction began sometime in 1924. The architects were Gordon & Kaelber (who also designed the iconic Kodak Tower company headquarters) and Carl R. Traver. The congregation temporarily worshiped in the old Lyceum Theater on Clinton Avenue. The new Temple Building and the adjoining Baptist Temple auditorium were dedicated on September 7, 1925. The cost was $3M ($53M in 2023 dollars).

During the early years of its use, the building’s church auditorium was often filled to its 1800-seat capacity. Pastor Wunder had strong homiletical gifts and each year more than 100,000 people walked through the Temple doors to attend worship services or an occasional debate. In 1926, Pastor Wunder hosted “Monkey Trial” lawyer, Clarence Darrow, for a debate at the new Baptist Temple on the topic, “Has Life A Purpose?” The church prospered and the combination Temple Building-Baptist Temple became one of Rochester’s most unique landmark destinations. For decades into the 1970s, the Temple Building was the premier office location for Rochester’s medical professionals. The “resourceful” Dr. Wunder resigned the pastorship in 1929 to join the firm of Ward, Wells & Dreshman, specialists in philanthropic, educational, and religious financing.

The Baptist Temple auditorium was one of the largest Protestant church sanctuaries in the City of Rochester and was often used for adult and youth worship rallies by Christians of various denominations into the 1940s and 50s. However, as a part of the increasingly-liberal Northern Baptist Convention (later American Baptist Convention), the Baptist Temple gradually shifted from the Gospel to the Bible-denying social gospel. The seeds of this disturbing decline were evident even as far back as Pastor Wunder’s tenure at Baptist Temple, as can be seen in a revealing Time Magazine article from 1925 (see here).

In 1964, the congregation moved from the Temple Building in the middle of bustling downtown to a new building five-miles east at 1101 Clover Street in the quiet suburb of Brighton. The membership declined over the years and in September 2022 the Brighton building was sold to The Potter’s House Christian Fellowship (Pentecostal).

The old Baptist Temple auditorium at 50 Liberty Pole Way has sat vacant for long stretches and was also ignobly used in a succession of nightclubs – Renaissance Theater, Heaven (1990-1995), New York Nites, Spectrum, and Gotham City – and once again as a church for five years – Grace Road Church (2016-2021). It’s now utilized as the Temple Theater, a multi-use venue. The medical professionals gradually left the Temple Building and the former office spaces have been converted to 84 apartments ($3500/month for a two-bedroom!).

Commentary: I don’t believe it was a wise idea for Second Baptist to build a fourteen-story office building as its “economic engine.” The staggering financial commitment and subsequent long-term landlord role were not appropriate for a church. It’s a good thing that Pastor Wunder’s idea of churches linking to secular businesses as “economic engines” didn’t catch on. That aside, the Second Baptist Church/Baptist Temple was once a bright Gospel beacon to the City of Rochester, but over time it slid into modernist “social gospel” apostasy and its candlestick was removed. The structures at 50 Liberty Way and 1101 Clover Street are sad commentary on the decline of the Baptist Temple specifically and the apostate American Baptist Convention generally.

For some reason, I was always fascinated with the story of the Temple Building, even as a young unbeliever, and I’m glad I was finally able to do the research and write this post.

The facts for this post were culled mainly from the articles below in addition to several others:


*First Baptist Church of Rochester continued to grow and built a large, grandiose structure in 1840 (see old Daguerreotype photo here). FBCR preceded Baptist Temple by moving to Brighton in 1953 to a location just 1.5 miles from 1101 Clover Street. FBCR is still operating, but is also an ABC church and has gone fully apostate.

Above: The entrance to the former Baptist Temple auditorium, 50 Liberty Pole Way
Above left: The exterior of the former Baptist Temple auditorium
Above: The interior of the former Baptist Temple auditorium
Above: The final home of the Baptist Temple at 1101 Clover Street
Above: A vintage postcard showing the proposed Baptist Temple and Office Building and Pastor Clinton Wunder. The design of the building was subsequently altered with the addition of a tower (see photo below).
Above: This bird’s-eye-view of the Temple Building and adjoining Baptist Temple auditorium shows the tower (for elevators?), which was added to the original architectural plans.
Above: The newest addition to my “man cave.”

Throwback Thursday: Back before they muddied the Gospel

Welcome to this week’s “Throwback Thursday” installment. Today, we’re going to revisit a post that was originally published back on January 16, 2017 and has been revised.


Why a Preacher and Not a Priest: A Biography of Evangelist John Carrara
By Harriet Hamilton Cowell
Zondervan, 1953 (Ninth Edition), 160 pages

5 Stars

Way, way back in the day, pastors of evangelical and fundamentalist churches used to regularly invite itinerant evangelists to their churches for several days of “revival.” These fellas preached the Gospel with passion and the Holy Spirit, often resulting in many souls accepting Jesus Christ as Savior and believers rededicating themselves to the Lord. One such evangelist was John Carrara (1913-2008) of Fairview, New Jersey.

Carrara was born into a Roman Catholic family and as a young teen even thought about becoming a priest. When he was fifteen, Carrara attended a Protestant service unbeknownst to his parents and was stirred by the sermon and the Bible verse displayed on the church wall: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). John was convicted by God’s Word and eventually accepted Jesus Christ as His Savior by faith alone at a following service. He faced significant persecution from his family and friends for rejecting the Roman Catholic church and its false gospel of salvation by sacramental grace and merit. During a savage beating, his father struck him so hard with a broomstick that one of his shoulders became separated. The Lord soon called him to be an evangelist and John immersed himself in God’s Word in preparation. Despite the many obstacles, young John began preaching before people at the age of sixteen and over the course of his ministry he preached the Gospel in churches and assemblies in 40 states and Canada.

I enjoyed this biography of Carrara tremendously once I got used to the flowery prose of its time. The book was very popular resulting in Zondervan publishing twelve editions between 1937 and 1967. The author only lightly touches upon the many secondary differences between Roman Catholicism and Bible Christianity, but great emphasis is given to the most important difference – justification. Is a person made righteous through the Catholic sacraments (baptism, confirmation, the eucharist, confession, and last rites) and by obeying the Ten Commandments (impossible!) and church rules as Rome teaches or is a person made righteous solely by accepting Jesus Christ as Savior by faith alone and receiving Christ’s imputed perfect righteousness? I imagine many born-again believers presented this popular book with its clear, uncompromised message to Roman Catholic friends and family members back in the day.

Rarely will you encounter a book like “Why a Preacher and Not a Priest” on the shelves of Christian book stores these days. John Carrara was born in 1913, back when most evangelicals knew the difference between the Gospel of grace and Rome’s false gospel of sacramental grace and merit. Another traveling evangelist, Billy Graham, was born just five years after Carrara in 1918. While many accepted Christ because of Graham’s ministry, few did more to muddy the irreconcilable differences between the genuine Gospel and Rome’s false gospel. Graham counseled Catholic men and women who, like Carrara, were drawn to the Gospel, to remain in the Catholic church, errantly claiming that it too proclaimed the Gospel. Many evangelical pastors and para-church leaders have followed Graham’s lead. 

“Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.” – Luke 6:26

The world still reveres Graham who died in 2018, but has forgotten about John Cararra and the other evangelists of a generation or two ago who faithfully preached the pure Gospel of grace.

Used copies of “Why a Preacher and Not a Priest” are readily available through Amazon.com.


The ROC – The history of the Rochester, N.Y. airport

The ROC – Journey thru the 20th Century: The story of Rochester’s 100 year old airport
By Rick Iekel
Independently published, 2022, 218 pp.

5 Stars

Remember back when you were a child and were regularly in awe of things? As people get older and accumulate more experiences there’s a tendency to become jaded about God’s creation and remarkable inventions.

Back in my younger days, I was fascinated with certain aspects of Rochester’s transportation history. I had strong interests in the Erie Canal and the humble Rochester Subway. I think I also would have enjoyed and researched Rochester’s New York Central train station, which was designed by Claude Bragdon and opened in 1914, but was demolished in 1965. I can’t remember if I ever set foot in that grand structure.

Anyway, I was also fascinated with the Rochester airport and plane travel. One of my earliest childhood memories was going to the airport with my family on September 28, 1960 to greet presidential candidate, John F. Kennedy, as he arrived for some political stumping at the downtown War Memorial auditorium later that evening. Back in those days, non-passengers could walk the airport concourse and even step out on the tarmac and watch the planes depart and arrive. My first airplane trip was in 1966 when our oldest sister took another sister and myself to NYC because she was interviewing for a dietician internship at a Manhattan hospital. I’m not much of a traveler. I think I’ve made around ten trips from the airport in the fifty-seven years since then. With today’s security restrictions, and the public’s nonchalant familiarity with air travel, visiting the airport isn’t the thrill it was in the early-1960s.

I saw this book mentioned in a local freebie newspaper and eagerly downloaded it to my Kindle. I enjoyed “The ROC” and learned quite a bit. Construction of the original airport next to Scottsville Road (Rt. 383) began in 1927-28 when Hangar 1 and runways A and C were built. The small airport was only a mail stop at that point. Hangar 2 was built in 1929 and Hangar 3 in 1938. I had passed the three hangar buildings off of Scottsville Road all my life and never knew that was the site of the original airport until I read this book. I had assumed they were just facilities for small single or double-engine prop planes in addition to the airport terminal on Brooks Avenue. Nope, the terminal was moved to the north end of the airport complex along Brooks Avenue in 1953 due to the growing demand for passenger air travel. An expansion of the Brooks Ave. terminal followed in 1962 and a major reconstruction/expansion was completed in 1992.

The author of this book, Rick Iekel, was Assistant Manager of the ROC airport from 1973 to 1989 and Manager/Administrator from 1989 until he retired in 1993. Rick shares lots of interesting history and behind-the-scenes stories, including the tragic take-off crash of Mohawk Airlines Flight 112 on July 2, 1963, which killed 7 people (2 crewmen and 5 passengers) and injured 36. Every Rochesterian over the age of 65 remembers that crash.

This book is well-done given that it’s self-published, although the chronology is not always linear. Lots of neat photos and illustrations are included.

Above: An aerial view of the Frederick Douglass – Greater Rochester International Airport aka the ROC. Our airport is a relatively small one with just two short A and B concourses.
Above: This vintage postcard shows the red brick Brooks Avenue terminal building with the towering clock as I remember it from the early-1960s.
Above: The old Scottsville Rd. Rochester Airport, circa mid-1930s. From upper-left corner to lower-right corner, Hangar 3, Hangar 1, and Hangar 2 (note the small control “tower” rising from the Hangar 2 structure).
Above: A vintage postcard showing the Scottsville Road terminal, c. 1940. L to R, Hangar 3, Hangar 1, and Hangar 2. Note that Hangar 2’s short control “tower” has been replaced by a taller stand-alone tower.
Above: The original Scottsville Road airport complex as it appears today. L to R: Hangar 2, Hangar 1, and Hangar 3
Above: Hangar 2 (1929). Note the airport’s first control “tower” beneath the arrow
Above: Close-up detail of the Hangar 2 control “tower”
Above: Hangar 1 (1927)
Above: Hangar 3 (1938)
Above: Current map of the ROC showing the location of the Brooks Ave. terminal in relation to the original Scottsville Rd. (Rt. 383) terminal.