“Meeting the Protestant Response,” #18: “The exchange is merely the opportunity to make up for the three times he denied Christ.”

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 yet another chapter arguing for Petrine primacy, titled “Chief Shepherd of the Flock,” in which he uses John 21:15-17 as his proof text:

15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.

States Broussard, “For Catholics, the exclusive command to feed Jesus’ sheep clearly signals Peter’s unique role as leader of Jesus’ Church” (p. 67).

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Protestant response #18: “The exchange is merely to give Peter the opportunity to make up for the three times he denied Christ.”

Writes Broussard, “Perhaps the most common counter-response given to John 21:15-17 is that Jesus was simply giving Peter an opportunity to repent for his three denials. (Norman) Geisler and (Ralph) MacKenzie put it succinctly: The overall import of the passage in John speaks more to Peter’s weakness and need for restoration than to his unique authority. The reason Peter is singled out for restoration, being asked three times by Jesus…was that only Peter denied the Lord three times and so only Peter needed to be restored. Thus, Jesus was not exalting Peter above the other apostles here but bringing him back up to their level.”

Broussard’s response

Broussard readily concedes the connection between Peter’s threefold denial and his threefold restoration in John 21:15-17, but claims the passage reveals Peter’s primacy according to the following arguments:

  • All of the apostles abandoned Christ, but Christ singles out Peter alone in the passage. Therefore, contends Broussard, Peter is restored to “a unique role of leadership to feed Jesus’ lambs and shepherd his sheep, including the other apostles” (p. 69).
  • Contrary to Geisler’s and MacKenzie’s claim, the passage reveals Peter was not only restored, but also invested with shepherding duties – governance and leadership.
  • The Greek word “tend” (poimainō) is used in the New Testament to convey not only a shepherd feeding/protecting his flock, but also the act of governing by rulers.

My response

Peter was certainly a leader of the apostles prior to his thrice denial of Christ, which made his betrayal that much more scandalous. Jesus lovingly restores Peter as a leader of the apostles in John 21:15-17. In Acts 1-12, Peter plays a leading role among the apostles in declaring the Gospel to the Jews, to the Samaritans, and to the Gentiles, but we don’t see him ruling/governing the apostles or the early church in a papistic sense as Broussard contends. As I’ve stated previously in these multifarious assertions of Petrine primacy, we see no references to Peter in the Acts of the Apostles or in the thirteen Pauline epistles or in the eight other epistles which follow that either explicitly or implicitly suggest Petrine papastical authority over the other apostles or the early church. Rather, we see multiple texts that contradict the notions of Petrine primacy and papal authority (see previous installments).

Thanks for hanging in there with me throughout this tediously long harangue for Petrine primacy. Just five more installments and we’ll be “out of the Petrine woods.” It’s quite revealing that Catholic apologist Broussard devotes his opening 23 points to Petrine primacy as the basis for papal authority with very little focus on Jesus Christ.

Next week: Protestant response #19: “There are other shepherds.”

Throwback Thursday: Watch Your Teaching! A warning from 49 years ago that was ignored by many

Welcome to this week’s “Throwback Thursday” installment. Today, we’re going to revisit a post that was originally published back on October 19, 2016 and has been revised.

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Watch Your Teaching!: A Comparative Study of Roman Catholic and Protestant Teaching Since Vatican Council II
By Stuart P. Garver
Christ’s Mission, 1973, 167 pages

5 Stars

If you are/were a Roman Catholic born during the 1950s or earlier, you can certainly remember the dramatic surface changes brought about by the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965). Pope John XXIII initiated the council to “open the windows (of the church) and let in some fresh air” of reform. Some of the alterations introduced by the council that I remember the most included the change of the liturgy of the mass from Latin to English, the priest facing the people during the mass instead of the altar, nuns’ habits (outfits) being modernized, the lifting of the ban on meat on non-Lenten Fridays, and some familiar saints being scrubbed from the church’s calendar. But perhaps the most significant change was the church’s switch from its confrontational approach to Protestantism and to the other religions of the world. After the council, Catholicism would take an ecumenical/interreligious approach, especially with Protestants, with the aim of eventually recovering the “separated brethren.”

In this book, published in 1973, Stuart Garver, director of Christ’s Mission, a ministry to Roman Catholics, evaluates Catholicism in light of the reforms of Vatican II. His conclusion: despite the many superfluous changes to its window dressing, Catholicism’s erroneous doctrines remained largely intact. Most importantly, Rome’s false gospel of salvation by sacramental grace and merit continued just as before. In the chapters listed below, Garver compares the beliefs of post-Vatican II Catholicism with Biblical Christianity:

  1. The Church
  2. The New People of God (Clergy and Laity)
  3. The Pope
  4. The Priest and the Priesthood
  5. The Sacraments
  6. The Mass
  7. Penance
  8. The Rule of Faith and Practice
  9. Mary
  10. Mixed marriages
  11. Ecumenism
  12. Education
  13. Church and State

Following Vatican II, many Protestants praised Catholicism’s new willingness to “dialogue,” but sixty years after the council, it’s crystal clear that while some evangelical Protestants have done quite a bit of accommodating, cooperating, compromising, and outright betraying the Gospel in their efforts to court the pope and Rome, Catholicism remains dedicated to its false gospel of salvation by sacramental grace and merit and is resolved in its efforts to eventually recover all Christian “ecclesial communities.” Sadly, many evangelicals are more interested in ecumenical unity based on deadly-shallow theology rather than heeding any warnings to “Watch Your Teaching” and defend correct doctrine and the genuine Gospel.

This informative, short book is still quite relevant for today’s Catholics and evangelicals. Stuart Garver served as executive director of Christ’s Mission from 1960 to 1977. The mission began in 1879 in New York City as a Gospel outreach ministry to Catholic priests and ex-priests, but eventually shifted its outreach to Roman Catholics in general. It ceased operations in 1984.
http://www2.wheaton.edu/bgc/archives/GUIDES/276.htm

New Series: Reformanda Initiative Podcasts

I’ve been blogging for…sheesh…seven-plus years now and over that long span the bulk of my 2300+ posts have been devoted to outreach to Roman Catholics and educating evangelicals about Rome’s false gospel and the dangers of ecumenism. In my research, I’ve come across several ministries that address Roman Catholicism. One of the best that I’ve found is the Reformanda Initiative, led by Dr. Leonardo De Chirico. Others associated with Reformanda Initiative include Gregg Allison and Michael Reeves. I respect these three solid theologians and brothers in the Lord very much.

Reformanda Initiative produces blog posts, articles, books, seminars, videos, and podcasts informing both Catholics and evangelicals about Roman Catholicism’s false gospel of salvation by sacramental grace and merit in comparison to the genuine Good News! Gospel of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone.

Last week, I presented a couple of interesting RI podcasts that dealt with the topic of “invalid” RC baptisms, a topic I’ve touched upon previously. While preparing that post, I noticed that RI has an archive of 54 podcasts dealing with RC-ism, hopefully with many more to come. It occurred to me that the podcasts would be excellent material for a weekly series. Each Monday, I’ll post a single podcast and also include the introductory notes from the RI staff along with my own short evaluation. We’ll begin the podcasts next Monday.

I’m really excited about this new series! By myself, I’m just one ex-Catholic, born-again, believing blogger with no formal theological education swimming against the rising tide of ecumenical compromise with Rome. What a joy it will be to “team” with a formidable ministry in Christ like the faithful and knowledgeable brethren of the Reformanda Initiative.

Reformanda Initiative website

Next week: Season 1, Episode 1: What is the Reformanda Initiative?

Responding to “Meeting the Protestant Response,” #17: “The Bible says that other people ‘strengthen’ as leaders in the Church.”

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 concludes his chapter, “Leader of the Church,” advocating for Petrine primacy and papal authority using Luke 22:31-32 as his proof text.

“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, 32 but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”

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Protestant response #17: “The Bible says that other people ‘strengthen’ as leaders in the Church.”

Writes Broussard, “Some Protestants also deny the significance of Peter’s instruction to strengthen the brethren because the terminology of “strengthening” is used elsewhere in the New Testament. James White is one example:

[W]e find no basis for reading papal prerogatives into the passage, for such terminology is common in the New Testament. For example, the term used here [sterizein] (Acts 14:22; 15:32; 15:41; 18:23) is used of Paul’s confirming the churches of Syria and Cilicia, of Judas and Silas’s confirming the brethren at Antioch, and of Timothy’s confirming the Thessalonian Church. Amazingly, Paul uses the same Greek term in writing to the Church of Rome: “For I long to see you so that I may impart some spiritual gift to you, that you may be established” (Rom. 1:11). And in Romans 16:25 Paul praises God, who is able to strengthen them according to his [Paul’s] gospel! No mention is made of Peter at all!” – from “The Roman Catholic Controversy,” p. 115.

Broussard’s response

“A motif being used for multiple people doesn’t mean they are equal with regard to what the motif expresses. In our case, Scripture tells us that God strengthens, and Paul strengthens, and Peter strengthens, but we are not forced to conclude that each means the same thing. Other details must be taken into consideration to determine how the motif applies to each individual. Are there details indicating that Peter must strengthen the brethren in a way that’s unique to his role as leader? There are: all the evidence we gave in our response to the previous objection. Peter receives the command to strengthen the brethren, which the context reveals to be the apostles, immediately after Jesus told them that Satan was going to sift them all and promised to pray exclusively for Peter. This indicates that Peter had a special task of “strengthening” that the other apostles did not. Also, both the promised prayer and the command to strengthen come after Jesus told all the apostles that he’s assigning to them the kingdom (v.29) but affirming that among them one is the greatest and the leader” (p. 66).

My response

James White presents a credible argument in his rebuttal of Catholicism’s use of Luke 22:31-32 as a proof-text for Petrine primacy and papal authority. All Christian leaders are to strengthen the brethren.

“And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.” – Ephesians 4:11-12

Peter certainly was a leader of the apostles and he did strengthen the brethren following his betrayal and repentance, but extrapolating the papal office from Luke 22:31-32 is preposterous.

In the previous verses, Luke 22:28-30, Jesus promises the apostles that they would all sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel, but a special position is not accorded to Peter as one would expect if Petrine primacy was valid.

Next week: Broussard begins yet another chapter arguing for Petrine primacy, titled “Chief Shepherd of the Flock,” in which he uses John 21:15-17 as his proof text. He begins with Protestant response #18: “The exchange is merely to give Peter the opportunity to make up for the three times he denied Christ.”

Defying Roman Catholicism

Defy Roman Catholicism
By Sonny L. Hernandez
Independently published, July 2022, 110 pp.

4 Stars

Pastor Sonny Hernandez was raised as a Roman Catholic, but eventually accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior by faith alone and renounced his membership in the RCC. He currently serves as as pastor of Trinity Gospel Church in Shelbyville, Kentucky.

In this short book, Hernandez addresses the major anti-Biblical doctrines of Roman Catholicism: the papacy, Mariolatry, and, most importantly, Rome’s false gospel of salvation by sacramental grace and merit.

Throughout the book, Hernandez compares the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) with Scripture and notes the irreconcilable differences.

There’s some excellent information here from Pastor Hernandez. He’s admittedly blunt and a bit “rough around the edges” with his forthright, polemical approach, which some might view as a drawback. However, remember that the Reformers had no qualms about “calling a spade a spade” when it came to the RCC.

Contents

  • Introduction: Defy Roman Catholic Dogma
  • Defy the Pope: Anti-Christ, not authentic Christian
  • Defy Mariology Myths
  • Defy Rome’s False Gospel

“Defy Roman Catholicism” can be ordered from Amazon here.

“Invalid Baptism” Redux

Religious legalism and works-righteousness false gospels always, always, always lead to contradictions and unanswerable rabbit-hole conundrums. Two of the most glaring examples I’ve come across in my seven-plus years of blogging were the bizarre cases of Catholic priests, Matthew Hood and Andres Arango.

As a preliminary, we recognize that the RCC teaches un-Biblical baptismal regeneration:

“Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit (vitae spiritualis ianua), and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: ‘Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word.'” – CCC 1213

Let’s now get to our two examples:

  • In the Summer of 2020, RC priest, Matthew Hood, of Detroit discovered via an old family video that a Catholic deacon had baptised him as an infant using an incorrect incantation. Instead of using the prescribed formulaic incantation, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” the deacon said, “We baptize you…” Hood’s baptism was thereby ruled to be invalid by RC church authorities, meaning his priestly ordination in 2017 was invalid, which meant that all of the sacraments Hood had administered over the course of three years as an illegitimate priest – baptism, eucharist,* confession, matrimony, last rites – were also invalid. Hood had to be rebaptized, reconfirmed, and reordained. The Archdiocese of Detroit set about to contact as many affected Catholics as possible to re-receive the requisite sacraments from a valid priest. See my 2020 posts on Hood here and here.
  • Then, in February 2022, it was discovered that priest, Andres Arango of the Diocese of Phoenix had been using the incorrect “We baptize you…” incantation for 20 years. The Phoenix diocese also attempted to contact those who were affected. See my 2022 post on Arango here.

Needless to say, the secular press had a field day with the two cases. They mistakenly believed inane Catholic scrupulosity represented Christianity.

The above should raise serious questions about the legitimacy of baptismal regeneration in the minds of those who espouse it. Does salvation hinge upon a precise formulaic incantation? What about all of the affected people who died or couldn’t be reached? How many other priests and deacons have used incorrect baptismal incantations? How can Roman Catholicism teach baptismal regeneration requiring a precise incantation when it incongruently allows that all non-Catholics and even atheists may also merit Heaven if they follow their conscience?

I was recently perusing the Reformanda Initiative website and I noticed two podcasts that examine the “invalid baptism” quandary mentioned above. Reformanda Initiative is both a Gospel outreach to Roman Catholics and an educational resource for evangelicals. There’s some excellent discussion on this radically bizarre example of Roman Catholic legalism and I invite you to listen:

Recall Notice! Your Baptism is not Valid: Part I – March 1, 2022 – 38 minutes
Featuring Clay Kannard and Reid Karr of Reformanda Initiative with guest, Jordan Standridge, missionary to Rome.
https://reformandainitiative.buzzsprout.com/663850/10165146-s3e10-recall-notice-your-baptism-is-not-valid-part-i

Recall Notice! Your Baptism is not Valid: Part 2 – March 14, 2022 – 32 minutes
Featuring Leonardo De Chirico, Clay Kannard, and Reid Karr of Reformanda Initiative
https://reformandainitiative.buzzsprout.com/663850/10246210-s3e11-recall-notice-your-baptism-is-not-valid-part-2

*Some Catholics claim that they have a sublime, ecstatic experience after consuming the consecrated Jesus wafer. As I asked in one of my referenced posts, how is it that over the course of three years not one Catholic noticed that invalid priest Hood’s wafers were not transubstantiated?

Postscript: Listening to these podcasts gave me an excellent idea for a weekly series. Tune in for the announcement next Monday.

Responding to “Meeting the Protestant Response,” #16: “Peter only strengthens by helping others not to make the same mistake that he did.”

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 chapter, “Leader of the Church,” advocating for Petrine primacy and papal authority using Luke 22:31-32 as his proof text.

“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, 32 but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”

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Protestant response #16: “Peter only strengthens by helping others not to make the same mistake that he did.”

Writes Broussard, “The next couple of Protestant comebacks aim to undercut the significance of Peter’s instruction to strengthen the brethren. One attempts to limit the nature of the instruction to helping fellow Christians repent when they have fallen. Todd Baker (an evangelical apologist) takes this approach:

As an apostolic minister of the gospel, Peter was to learn from this past mistake, and in turning back to the faith in Christ, which he previously fell from when he denied his Master three times, the apostle was to strengthen fellow Christians who had also fallen in a moment of weakness. He was to further safeguard other believers from making the same mistake he made, particularly in times of severe trial and persecution. Peter did this very thing so eloquently in both of the canonical epistles in the New Testament bearing his name (see 1 Pet. 1:5-9, 5:6-10, 2 Pet. 1:5-12, 2:9, 3:17-18).

Broussard’s response

Broussard’s response is rather lengthy, so I will summarize it briefly without omitting the main points. He dismisses Baker’s response as “basically speculation without evidence.” He then interprets Luke 22:24-32 as a contextual argument for Petrine primacy:

  • Luke 22: 24 – A dispute arose among the apostles as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest.
  • Luke 22:25-26 – Jesus instructs the apostles that they are not to exercise authority in the manner of Gentile kings, but as servant leaders.
  • Luke 22:29-30 – “Jesus makes explicit his intention that the apostles were to exercise royal authority.”
  • Writes Broussard, “Immediately after this, Jesus makes the exclusive promise to pray for Peter as a response to Satan’s attempt to sift all the apostles like wheat and gives Peter the exclusive instruction to strengthen the brethren” as the preeminent servant leader. Broussard then cites eleven passages in Acts (also written by Luke) demonstrating Peter’s leadership role in the early church.

Concludes Broussard, “For Luke, Peter’s command to strengthen the brethren is not merely one of keeping Christians from losing faith and helping them repent when they do. Peter is to strengthen the brethren by leading the Church.”

My response

I scolded Broussard last week for not acknowledging Luke 22:24-26 (the apostles argue over who is greatest/preeminent and Jesus rebukes them) in context with Luke 22:31-32, but he does so here, in an attempt to build a case for Peter’s primacy.

The Acts of the Apostles, chapters 1-12, certainly records that Peter was a leader of the apostles and of the early church and that he did strengthen the brethren, albeit not in the preeminent/papal sense that Roman Catholicism claims. The remainder of Acts, chapters 13-28, focuses on the missionary work of the apostle Paul. In the 13 Pauline epistles and the 8 other epistles that follow Acts, we see no reference to Peter as pope. In contradiction of Catholic claims, Paul writes in Galatians 2:6 that he was the equal of all of the other apostles.

Broussard correctly notes that Jesus rebuked the apostles for desiring apostolic/ecclesiastical primacy according to the pattern of Gentile monarchs and regents, instructing them instead to be as servants. Even casual students of church history know that the bishops of Rome developed the papacy according to the Caesarian imperial model. The pope became ipso facto the religious Caesar and in some respects the temporal Caesar. Although popes claimed the humbly-pretentious title of Servus Servorum Dei (Latin: “Servant of the Servants of God”), a precursor of Soviet double-speak, their wealth and political-religious control rivaled and surpassed that of most European temporal monarchs. The worldly, monarchical pattern that Jesus Christ specifically forbade in Luke 22:25-26 was precisely the pattern embraced by the bishops of Rome. This is a stark incongruity that a lost Catholic soul such as Broussard is completely oblivious to. Luke 22:25-26 is a stunning refutation of the historical Roman Catholic papacy.

Next week: Protestant response #17: “The Bible says that other people ‘strengthen’ as leaders in the Church.”

Responding to “Meeting the Protestant Response,” #15: “Jesus prays for others as well.”

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 chapter, “Leader of the Church,” advocating for Petrine primacy and papal authority using Luke 22:31-32 as his proof text.

31 “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, 32 but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”

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Protestant response #15: “Jesus prays for others as well.”

Writes Broussard, “Another comeback that aims to undercut the significance of the prayer for Peter appeals to Jesus’ general role as intercessor. Protestant apologist Ron Rhodes argues, ‘Jesus’ prayer for Peter is in keeping with is general intercessory ministry for all believers.’ He then goes on to cite Romans 8:34, Hebrews 7:25, and John 17:15, which affirm that Christ intercedes for us. So Jesus was not signaling a special role for Peter but merely doing what he does for all his flock – interceding before the Father” (p. 61).

Broussard’s response

“It’s true that Jesus has a general ministry of intercession for all believers. But this argument ignores the context of Jesus’ prayer for Peter, which intentionally follows his telling the apostles that Satan desired to sift all of them. Jesus is not exercising his general intercessory ministry for all believers in this passage because Luke explicitly tells us the the prayer is for Peter alone, even though Satan was going to test them all. That Jesus has a general intercessory role as our high priest in heaven doesn’t take away from the fact that, here, Jesus prays for Peter in a unique way. And that unique prayer reveals Peter’s unique role as chief leader in the Church.”

My response

As I mentioned last week, Jesus’ says in Luke 22:32 that He prayed exclusively for Peter, not because he was the pope, but because he was “a” leader among the apostles and his impending thrice betrayal would be particularly odious. Jesus’ intervention on behalf of Peter in this circumstance is an example of Jesus’ mediatorial intercession on behalf of all Christians. It is not a validation of Petrine primacy and papal authority.

Got Questions – What does it mean that Satan wanted to sift Peter as wheat (Luke 22:31)?
https://www.gotquestions.org/sift-you-as-wheat.html

Next week: Protestant response #16: “Peter only strengthens by helping others not to make the same mistake that he did.”

Responding to “Meeting the Protestant Response,” #14: “The prayer is to ensure that Peter will repent and not lose his faith completely.”

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 continuing his argument for Petrine primacy and papal authority, titled “Leader of the Church” with Luke 22:31-32 as his proof text.

31 “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, 32 but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”

The Catholic interpretation of Luke 22:31-32 is that Jesus singled out Peter alone in this passage because he’s “the preeminent apostle who must strengthen the others” (p. 57).

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Protestant Response #14: “The prayer is to ensure that Peter will repent and not lose his faith completely.”

Writes Broussard, “The claim here is that Jesus’ prayer has nothing to do with Peter being the chief leader of the Church. Rather the prayer is merely to ensure that Peter would repent of his future betrayal and not completely lose faith like Judas. Here’s how (evangelical apologist) Steve Hays puts the argument:

‘Peter is singled out, not because he outranks the other disciples, but because he will betray Jesus. The prayer anticipates his denial. Jesus prays for Peter’s restoration in advance of his betrayal. As a matter of faith, Peter’s faith did fail. He lost his nerve and publicly renounced Jesus. That’s a paradigmatic act of infidelity. In context, the meaning of the statement is not that his faith will be unwavering, but that his failure won’t be permanent. Jesus prays that Peter won’t abandon the cause. Having betrayed Jesus, he will repent of his betrayal and renew his commitment'” (p. 58).

Broussard’s response

Broussard notes that in the passage, Luke used the Greek second person plural pronoun, humas, to record that Jesus informs the apostles that Satan desires to sift all of them, however, the Greek text then switches to the second person singular, sou, communicating that Jesus is praying uniquely for Peter, because He is intending “a role for Peter as chief leader of the church” (p. 59). Broussard argues that Luke’s focus on Peter in Luke 22:31-32 proves he was the preeminent apostle. “If Peter didn’t have a special authority, there would be no need for Luke to record the rebuke” (p. 60).

My response

Discerning readers of the New Testament Gospels and Acts know that Peter was a leader of the apostles and of the early church, but not in the preeminent/papal sense that Rome claims. Although all of the eleven apostles abandoned/forsook Jesus (Matthew 26:56), Peter’s thrice denial was the most scandalous betrayal, prompting Jesus’ special attention.

It’s “interesting” that Broussard and other Catholic apologists use Luke 22:31-32 as a proof text for Petrine primacy and papal authority because just a few verses previous is a passage which is devastating to the Catholic claim. Luke 22:24-27 records that a dispute arose among the apostles, as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest. One can easily imagine that Peter may have been one of the loudest and insistent in this quarrel. If the Catholic view of Petrine primacy was accurate, Jesus should have immediately settled the dispute by acknowledging Peter as the preeminent apostle. Instead, He rebukes the apostles’ worldly, Romanish way of thinking. Broussard’s deliberate omission of Luke 22:24-27 in context with Luke 22:31-32 displays a flagrantly deceitful and self-serving eisegesis.

Next week: Protestant response #15: “Jesus prays for others as well.”

Responding to “Meeting the Protestant Response,” #13: “The other apostles have the same authority to bind and loose.”

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 concludes this “Keeper of the Keys” chapter and his argument for Petrine primacy using Matthew 16:19 as his proof text. For those of you who have been following along, but are tiring of Broussard’s prolonged dwelling on this Petrine primacy claim, you won’t want to skip this installment.

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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 the last five weeks, that there is a direct parallel between Eliakim being appointed to the royal stewardship of the Davidic Kingdom in Isaiah 22:15-22 and Peter being given the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven (and, hence, vicarship of Christ’s church as Catholics would claim) in Matthew 16:19.

Protestant response #13: “The other apostles have the same authority to bind and loose.”

Writes Broussard, “Some Protestants collapse the meaning of the ‘keys of the kingdom’ into the meaning of ‘binding and loosing’ and argue that since Jesus gives this latter authority to the other apostles in Matthew 18:18, ‘Peter is not unique.’ Geisler and MacKenzie concur: ‘The same authority Jesus gave to Peter (Matt. 16:18) is given later to all the apostles (Matt. 18:18)'” (p. 53).

Broussard’s response

Broussard argues that the keys of the kingdom were uniquely granted to Peter and that act should not be combined with the bestowal of the power to bind and loose,* which was also granted to the other apostles in Matthew 18:18.

My response

Although Broussard refers to Matthew 18:18 in this argument, he avoids quoting it, so I will:

Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

While the “keys of the kingdom of heaven” are not explicitly mentioned in Matthew 18:18 as they are in Matthew 16:19, they are certainly implied. In the context of Matthew 16:19, we see that the keys are immediately used to bind/close and loosen/open. The same contextual meaning is understood in Isaiah 22:22, which Broussard loves to reference:

I will place on his shoulder the key to the house of David; what he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.

To be able to bind and loose, the other apostles necessarily required the aforementioned keys. By granting the other apostles the power to bind and loose, Jesus was necessarily bestowing to them the keys to do so. Broussard’s ludicrous attempt to dissociate the keys (noun) from the binding and loosing (verbs) is duplicitousness and artifice of the lowest order.

Jesus’ granting of the keys and the power to bind and loose to the other apostles in Matthew 18:18 is a powerful refutation of Catholic claims for Petrine primacy and papal authority. It’s really a “Gotcha!” debunking of the Catholic argument. It’s no wonder that Broussard craftily does not quote the verse and sweeps it under the rug as the last entry in his Matthew 16:19-Isaiah 22:22 discourse.

*Catholics errantly interpret the power to bind and loose as the priestly ability to forgive sins in the confessional while Gospel Christians correctly interpret the power to bind and loose as the preaching of the Gospel for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38).

Next week: A new chapter, “Leader of the Church,” and Protestant response #14: “The prayer is to ensure that Peter will repent and not lose his faith completely.”