Charges of intrigueheresy, and civil war surround the Vatican after the recently concluded Synod on the Family in Rome. And a 30-something writer on Reformation Day searched for higher grounds of authority than Roman Catholic theologians, including Pope Francis himself. What’s happening?

My guest on this week’s podcast is Gregg R. Allison, professor of Christian theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and an elder at Sojourn Community Church in Louisville, Kentucky. Allison has taught at several colleges and seminaries, including Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon, and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. He has written numerous books, including Roman Catholic Theology and Practice: An Evangelical Assessment. He joined me to try to make sense of the conflicts between liberal and conservative Roman Catholics following the recent Synod on the Family, and to answer the question of how much power the pope actually has to transform the church.