You can read Lane Keister’s criticisms at Green Baggins. My response doesn’t come until later in the comments, as I didn’t realize he had written anything about the book until I swung over to his blog randomly a few days ago.
Lane believes that I misrepresent Protestantism’s view of authority. He believes that in Protestantism the authority of “the Church” and its “pastors,” is greater than that of the individual Christian. The problem with that belief, as I point out in the comments, is that the Called to Communion guys definitively showed it to be false. First in the big sola reduces to solo post and then in Dr. Mike Liccione’s follow-up.
Protestants are forced to define “the Church” circularly:
But how does he determine what is the Church? Being Reformed, he defines ‘Church’ as wherever the gospel is found, because the early Protestants defined the marks of the Church as including “the gospel,” where the gospel was determined by their own private interpretation of Scripture. So he claims that it is in the Church that the gospel is found, but he defines the Church in terms of the gospel. This is what we call a tautology. It is a form of circular reasoning that allows anyone to claim to be the Church and have the gospel. One can read the Bible and formulate one’s own understanding of the gospel, then make this “gospel” a necessary mark of the Church, and then say that it is in the Church that the gospel is found. Because one has defined the Church in terms of the gospel [as arrived at by one’s own interpretation of Scripture], telling us that the gospel is found “in the Church” tells us nothing other than “people who share my own interpretation of Scripture about what is the gospel are referred to by me as ‘the Church.’” This kind of circular reasoning allows falsehood to remain hidden.
The Catholic position does not suffer from this circularity, because ‘Church’ is not defined in terms of “gospel,” but in terms of apostolic succession, involving an unbroken line of authorizations extending down from the Apostles.
This is an incredibly difficult truth for Protestants to see. I remember sitting in my room during my Evangelical Protestant days, trying to work out in my mind whether this was true or not. I didn’t want it to be true, and I tried to see how it was not a tautology. But it was, and I eventually realized it. Now it seems obvious, but back then it did not. It is not obvious to Lane or to Dr. Mathison, or to many learned and Christ-loving Protestants.