Eugene Peterson, Best Known for “The Message” Bible, Draws Criticism After Reportedly Endorsing Homosexual Marriage and Saying Homosexuality Is Not a Sin
Bestselling Christian author Eugene Peterson, known for “The Message” paraphrase of Scripture, reportedly said in an interview with Religion News Service he does not believe homosexuality is sinful and that he would perform a same-sex wedding if asked.
LifeWay Christian Resources told Baptist Press it will stop selling all works by Peterson if he confirms he holds the views reported by RNS.
“LifeWay only carries resources in our stores by authors who hold to the biblical view of marriage,” LifeWay told BP in a statement. “We are attempting to confirm with Eugene Peterson or his representatives that his recent interview on same-sex marriage accurately reflects his views. If he confirms he does not hold to a biblical view of marriage, LifeWay will no longer sell any resources by him, including The Message.”
NavPress, which publishes The Message, did not respond by BP’s publication deadline to a request for comment.
Peterson, a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) minister, announced his views on homosexuality in an interview with RNS’s Jonathan Merritt published today (July 12). Peterson is the author of more than 30 books and a former professor at Regent College in Canada.
“I wouldn’t have said this 20 years ago,” said Peterson, 84, “but now I know a lot of people who are gay and lesbian and they seem to have as good a spiritual life as I do. I think that kind of debate about lesbians and gays might be over. People who disapprove of it, they’ll probably just go to another church.
“So we’re in a transition and I think it’s a transition for the best, for the good. I don’t think it’s something that you can parade, but it’s not a right or wrong thing as far as I’m concerned,” Peterson said.
In response to a question from Merritt, Peterson said he would perform a same-sex wedding if asked to do so.
Peterson also told of pastoring a congregation that was willing to consider hiring an open homosexual as minister of music.
“We didn’t have any gay people in the whole congregation,” Peterson said. “Well, some of them weren’t openly gay. But I was so pleased with the congregation. Nobody made any question about [the applicant’s sexuality]. And he was a really good musician.”
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SOURCE: Baptist Press