Jul 122017
 

In an interview with Jonathan Merritt announcing his departure from public life, Eugene Peterson affirmed homosexuality and same sex marriage on his way out the door.

Lord help those of us who love Eugene Peterson.

Long time readers here will know that I have been a staunch defender of Peterson and a grateful student of his works.

 

There won’t be enough time in the day to defend him from his legion of enemies now, even if one wanted to.

I can’t agree with our modern day sage on this matter…as my mentor said with concision, we (the church) can’t overturn two thousand years of Christian teachings and tradition on sexual morality because the culture changes.

None of us have that right.

Scripture, tradition, and reason stand against such.

Peterson here is not making an argument for his position, but showing his heart…which has always been pastoral.

He’s undoubtedly known folks who were gay that appeared to be walking in faith and it is those relationships that defined his thoughts.

This is an apologetic that is not foreign to me…I have those friends too.

It is, however, a faulty apologetic.

I disagree with him, but I can’t and won’t condemn him.

I do wish he had been more careful and thoughtful with his words.

The tragedy here is that the vast amount of spiritual wisdom that Peterson has provided over the years will now be tainted by this short statement in response to a gay affirming reporter.

Those who have always despised him will use this as proof of their righteousness in slandering him and those who might have found help in his works may never read them at all.

Whenever his work is recommended, his position will be used as a caveat to it’s reading.

Peterson will now be defined by this statement, by this one issue that has consumed us.

I’m not moving his books to a lower shelf.

History will treat him better than we will…when this issue has shrunk to its proper size.

  188 Responses to “On Eugene Peterson”

  1. I appreciate your love and defense for one who has been helpful to you through the years.

    The numbers of people condemning him will be greatly outnumbered by those cheering him on. He has chosen the wide path on this issue.

    He’s not going to Hell, but he has damaged the cause.

  2. The pastoral impulse cannot bear exile. The alienation of a whole community of people is unbearable to the pastoral heart. It is the only threat to my own position. Love for people is what hold us. The gay community has been in exile and is now in process of changing positions with those who held them at bay. I am constantly in pain over the shallow thinking that undergirds the process of change we are enjoining. I will choose exile. It is not hard for a 40 year veteran to be pushed to the margins. That is bearable. What is unbearable is to know we are sowing to the wind in hopes of stopping the tornado.

  3. I commented on the Linkathon thread I think pretty much at the same time this new article was posted. So I will copy over my comment here:

    “I, too, like Peterson, but am disappointed to read this.

    All the more disappointing, the reasoning he gives is not even based in any Scriptural reference. Now, if he were to make a more fuller attempt to address the issue, I would think it quite likely he would draw from Scripture. But the answers he chooses to give here about the acceptance of gay marriage and homosexual behavior basically boil down to “they seem like good people”.”

    With that said, I will not disparage Peterson as a teacher, pastor, or writer and make him out as somebody most definitely to be avoided, as many most assuredly will. (Or they will just pile on top of plenty of previous disparagement.)

    I’ve never read a book by Peterson, but the articles and videos I have read/seen by him and about him have left me thinking well about him. And that includes some articles by those who trashed him, as the trashing appeared to be more slanderous than having any solid basis.

    But, at the very least, his reasoning on homosexuality will leave me wondering how much this same type of rationale/reasoning could be an influence in his other teachings. Many teachings that are surely good, but other ones that could potentially include some faulty basis. Unfortunately, it will probably be something in the back of my mind whenever I read anything more by or about Peterson.

  4. BD,

    “The alienation of a whole community of people is unbearable to the pastoral heart. ”

    That is gold.

    I’m right there with you on your statement.

  5. I guess we could check this out to see, is he showing his pastors heart or is he actually issue oriented? I wonder if he would have considered a person for the music director who admitted that he was living an adulterous lifestyle and kept an apartment for his girlfriend?

    I found The Message interesting, but I wish that it was more classified as an opinion piece on scripture. I had a lady in my class (she was the retired school principal at our school) and she used The Message. When we came to tough passages I had her read what the message had to say. Sometimes it was quite clarifying — at others it was a real head scratcher.

  6. For me, any moral issue is not a matter of my personal evaluation; it’s not an issue I am invited to decide.

    The issue is: Is the Bible God’s Word, and if so, what does it say about the issue? I must believe what He says, even if it goes against human reason or understanding.

    In the case of homosexuality, there is the added dimension that natural law reinforces God’s Word.

  7. I also think this is a bad translation on “a pastor’s heart.”

    Surely, the pastor wouldn’t want for his people to live in rebellion to God. I don’t think the pastor who sticks with the biblical view has any less of a pastor’s heart.

  8. I don’t know anyone who isn’t in rebellion to God some place in their soul at some time.

    As someone who has roamed the sewers of the church for decades, it’s hard for me to declare us “holy” and “them” evil.
    Once you have relationship with a sinner of any kind, it’s difficult to condemn…especially if you know your own heart.

    I’m not playing one group of pastors against another…I think I made my own position clear above.

  9. The alienation of a whole community of people is unbearable to the pastoral heart.
    ————————————————————————–
    Indeed, Dread. I grieve for them, I grieve for the families who love them.

    My hope, at least my hope for my own ministry, is to show there is a 3rd option.

    Presently the option seems to be a straight either/or. Either support the person in their lifestyle choices, or tell them they are doomed to a lifetime of unhappiness, unfulfillment, and an exile of sorts of their own.

    This is EXACTLY the argument made by the Baptist pastor I spoke of earlier in the week. Who then asked, “So which of the two is the better fruit”

    The 3rd option is that there is an unimaginable, incredible life of fulfillment and joy in following the Lord. I don’t know what that would look like for each individual – but it exists. Maybe some will find fulfillment as eunuchs for the Kingdom’s sake. Maybe others will indeed find a spouse of the opposite sex (or go back to the one they might have left to pursue a same-sex relationship. Our church has seen heterosexuals leave spouse and children (their own offspring) to divorce to embrace the homosexual promise of the world. God does have a plan for us all in Christ per Eph 2:10

    This is similar to the divorce issue decades ago. The argument was framed as either/or. Divorce and be happy, stay married and be doomed to a lifetime of misery. Few considered the power available in the Lord and His Spirit to CHANGE us and thereby give us a totally different happiness than we could have imagined, while staying in those marriages.

    Of course, the divorce issue was lost, and even the most conservative churches really have little impact on it today. I imagine this is where our present issue(s) will take us in the decades to come….

    With some still preaching (as Dread put it) in exile.

    I do know this, I was very happy in my sin, my multiple debaucheries. No rock bottom, jail cell or living in the car conversion for me. Lexus, condo on the lake, money in the bank. The idea that a Christian life would bring fulfillment to equal or supersede the pleasures I was having was absolutely ludicrous and dismissed out of hand when the occasional offer came to me from a follower of Christ to “come to church with me someday”. Uh, no thank you pal.

    I know we can’t argue people today into making that trade. Give up what they know now for some preacher’s promise of fulfillment in Christ. It’s laughable.

    And so it must happen as a work of God. His conviction for our sins through the power of the Scriptures working with the Spirit to drive us to the glorious, loving, message of the Gospel.

    I didn’t come to Christ looking for fulfillment. I came because I was convicted by God to be a sinner before Him facing His judgement. And His love drew me to His saving mercy and grace.

    No preachers. No Christians. A Bible, my reading, and the living God.

    Maybe we will have more success, see more souls saved, with less preachers….as long as we can keep the Bibles in circulation…..

  10. That’s deflection, Michael. Of course, we are all in rebellion to God in some ways at times. There is no other issue where encouraging and celebrating that rebellion is called “Having a pastor’s heart”.

    If I ever once call me holy and them evil may the Lord strike me dead.

  11. Michael,

    If I might defend Josh’s #7, in case you didn’t understand him,

    “yes” we are all sinners, but the pastor must rightly preach God’s Law,, even though he is also preaching to himself.

    As an educated theologian, Peterson appears to have subordinated God’s Law to his experience of knowing “nice” homosexuals. But for whatever reason, he is confirming them in their sin.

  12. I understand what Peterson has said and what he has done.
    I also think I understand why.
    I was hopefully very clear that his basis for his view is in error.
    Unfortunately I also have great difficulty in separating relationship and doctrine at times.
    People always matter more to me…and in some cases, that’s not healthy for any involved.
    There are worse things to be guilty of, I think…

  13. It’s strange, I could not perform a same sex wedding, but I have gay friends who have been together for 30 years. I’m not sure if that says more about me or them. The trouble is, I’ve also seen the older gay culture up close and personal… and what I saw was not attractive. Of course, most were of my generation and, I can honestly say that many of them were abusive and more than a few were predatory. Apart from a very few LGBT people and their friends, I do not know many in the younger generation of that community. They seem to be different. That being said, many of the younger relationships often seem casual and many have no interest in marriage. How do we then look at those relationships. It is sex out of marriage without a doubt.

    It seems to me that Peterson is approaching the subject “person to person”, and, as has been mentioned, with a pastor’s heart. Yet there does not seem to be an ecclesial or moral framework to back it up. The argument is along the lines of, “it seems to me”. I respect Peterson, but I’m not sure that we can formulate moral theology on the basis of, “I know these two great people…”

    One this is certain, there is no easy answer. For now, unless I can be convinced otherwise, I have to stand by my earlier statement to Michael that we (the church) can’t overturn two thousand years of Christian teachings and tradition on sexual morality because the culture changes. I won’t overturn the friendships I have with people in the LGBT community and I love them as I always have, but I also cannot compromise my own conscience…

  14. I think we need to clarify between sins of individuals vs what the church is supposed to do with it.
    No one would attempt the adulterer from attending church. The question is does the church just accept him as unrepentant and not confront the openness of his / her sin?
    I want the sinner sitting in the pew weekly and I want them to squirm in their sin as the pastor preaches the law fully and bluntly to them – oh wait, that encompasses the entire congregation.

    The question is – now what? Does the church celebrate their sin? (well, the ELCA does) but I am speaking of normal churches.

  15. before i read the comments posted today, i have come to a conclusion regarding people who are attracted to their sex in a manner that Scripture is very succinct and clear on…
    Most of us know gay people and many are definitely kinder and more likable than some straight folk.
    They are victims and, while i pity them, it falls into a category much like a birth defect or PTSD… what “feels” right to them is the result of damage to either their bodies or their brains… should we love them? yes, we should if they are sincere and rational people… but the phrase that is so hated, “love the sinner, hate the sin,” is absolutely spot on IMV

    we, in the Church, have every reason to, with grief and revulsion, reasonably and firmly examine this issue

  16. Duane,

    I think the major difference is that during the second half of the 70s, disco was huge. “I love the night lights…” 🙂

  17. #16 Jean

    Indeed. On a personal note, I had a friend who was the senior nurse at an NYC research hospital. She was on the commission that investigated the bathhouses and sex clubs in NYC during the initial outbreak of AIDS. Her report was terrifying with regard to promiscuity and recklessness. That was, however, the “older generation”. My chaplaincy in NYC were the AIDS wards before the “cocktail” was developed. I attended far too many funerals to take the issue lightly.

    That being said, I do think the younger generation is different. Yet again, however, that is a cultural shift. I am very, very uneasy about any section of the Church simply reversing centuries of biblical, historical and moral theology according to the whims of culture.

    I know that I am not as “fierce” or adamant as some here. Nor do I need to be. Living together without benefit of marriage, multiple marriages (look in the White House, please) and other areas of the breakdown of moral theology have been tacitly accepted by large numbers of Christians. While the LGBT issue is more alien to most of us (in that they are “other”, i.e. not like us) it is no different in terms of moral theology than these other issues.

  18. This is why I keep going back to Cortez. (The Baptist, Biola, Calvary Chapel guy) He remains theologically conservative in all areas by arguing an exegesis that says the only sinful homosexual activity spoken of in Scripture is that of prostitution, rape, and indiscriminate “one-nighters” of the debaucherous sort – all of which was prevalent in the 1st Century Roman Empire.

    What is not known is if Peterson believes today that homosexual sexual activity is sinful.

    If he does not, then his position makes perfect sense for a pastor. Of course he will agree to marry a homosexual couple. Encourage the hiring of a homosexual music director.

    Someone should ask him…..

  19. #17 – agree 100%.

  20. one other factor here that has little or nothing to do with the Church, perhaps…
    can we not show historically that nations accepting depravities (of all kinds including some religious) go downhill fast… it is one thing to say, oh there’s always been this sort of thing and quite another thing to conclude that because it is, it must be okay…
    watching the Senate committee hearings for the new FBI director this morning made me realize how corrupted these political animals are … in my eyes they seem so corrupted that they think their dishonesty, their cagey, duplicity is admirable and, i fear, so does the nation

  21. Duane, my wife is a nurse who worked extensively with dying AIDS patients in the 80s.

    She too has quite an experience with this “older population”

    I agree with your thesis that there is a difference it seems with the younger generation.

    For example, what does that young music director Peterson referenced mean when saying “I am gay” – Assuming he is single, isn’t it still incumbent on him as a follower of Christ to stay sexually pure until he meets Mr. Right and they commit to one another in marriage and have their first night. Shouldn’t that be what the church would expect from a heterosexual single music director?

    I had an old friend who pastored in a part of California with a massive gay population and while most did not come to his church, he did have visitors from time to time claiming “Born again and born gay” – His message was simple. I don’t care how you identify but straight or gay you are to avoid fornication if you follow Christ. With plenty of Scripture references and clearly noting it was not just for gays, but for straights too.

    He said, some never came back. But once in awhile someone truly wanted to follow Jesus above all else, would stop having gay sex, and over time would stop identifying as gay anymore. Like you said, the younger generation is different. And I think this is a wise bit of counsel for pastors in similar situations.

  22. The disheartening thing is what was said in the interview has the potential to lead many astray. James 3:1.

  23. I am sad for Peterson and for those who have been supporters of his, as they are now in the awkward position of not only having to comment on his position but also to try and make sense of his stand.

    It brings me back to a few years ago when Tony Campolo (love him or hate him!) very strongly came out in favor of same sex marriages. My thought was, what has changed? As ancient mariners navigated the seas by the heavens that do not change, so we Christians have navigated life and our pilgrimage through the unchangeable word of God. If a mariner were to have an impulse that maybe east was west or right was left, he would have gone dangerously off course. The heavens wer his compass. So is the word of God to us, irrespective of our feelings or impulses. Maybe a simplistic analogy but true.

    I didn’t condemn Campolo, nor will I condemn Peterson. But I am saddened to see Peterson veer away from the unchangeable word of God.

  24. Peterson will now be defined by this statement, by this one issue that has consumed us.

    I’m not moving his books to a lower shelf.

    ___________________________________________________________________

    I believe Peterson will always be defined by the “Message” and not this issue. And this book I have deliberately put on the lower shelf many years ago not because its evil but rather because its one man’s opinionated paraphrase of the bible and nothing more or nothing less.

  25. I think I said the other day on the other article was this is the likely out come of leading with love. But I got pounded into the ground, so I will not bring it up again. 😉

  26. #25 MLD

    You just did… you were wrong then, and you’re still wrong today.

  27. MLD is wrong, but Michael is wrong that this is the symptom of a pastor’s heart.

  28. David at #23,

    I love your analogy.

  29. To repeat, the problem is the incomplete and rather mixed message here. Peterson was asked about the morality of “same sex relationships” – I guess you could say he answered that by the followup question that he would perform a same sex marriage. But what constitutes a ‘relationship” in that question. What about same-sex sex in general?

    Because he also says “It should not be paraded” – I don’t know if that was a pun on the fact there actually ARE parades, but what did he mean by that? So is it immoral behavior or not? Does he want gays to stay more silent?

    Again, I am not going to draw conclusions from a very surface interview that printed just one lengthy answer which even then did not really answer theologically but just anecdotally. It is clear he certainly is not some activist with an agenda like a lot of others on this issue.

    Maybe the interview was much longer but some other things he said were not printed. That happens with the press all the time. They print what they want.

    In any event, I would think fans of Peterson and his work would encourage him to not let this be his one and only real word on this subject. Hopefully, he could give (like Pastor Cortez) a lengthy, detailed statement of his beliefs, if they changed and why – and how the Scripture connects to it all.

    One may still disagree with his conclusions, but this interview frankly, is printed (even the other parts) as if it was an obligation to fulfill with no real desire to get too involved or detailed in it.

    Which often happens on the book tour when one is doing a ton of interviews, which I think this is, and I am sure he is (tired). I’m sure he gets tired like us all…..

    I would not be surprised if some clarification or elaboration is offered by Peterson in the nearterm future. After all, this article just broke today.

  30. Josh,

    This pastor loves some folks in far greater sin.
    I think BD spoke to it well.

  31. “This pastor loves some folks in far greater sin.
    I think BD spoke to it well.”

    Again, not the issue. The lord loves me and I am in great sin.

    Do you encourage those people to continue in that sin? Throw a party for them on behalf of that sin.

    Duane’s reaction to this issue is the pastor’s heart. Let’s not point people to bad examples.

  32. My friend Matt Redmond posted this quote before the story broke:
    “In matters of God’s grace, hyperboles are understatements.”

    — Eugene Peterson
    We both think the quote (which Peterson wrote before all this) goes a long way in explaining the statement.

  33. Josh,
    The possibility exists that I’m a poor excuse for a pastor and my heart is deceived…but if I made an issue if every besetting sin I encounter the church would be empty.
    I don’t encourage or applaud sin…but I also know how much grace my heterosexual brokenness requires.

  34. God’s grace doesn’t contradict the bible.

    Peterson has taken a bad path here. He is in the wrong. It’s not for goodness, this is sinful.

  35. “Duane’s reaction to this issue is the pastor’s heart. Let’s not point people to bad examples.”

    Agree, and there’s only one good example, which should drive all of us to repentance.

    So let’s end all the former burn out or gang member testimonials in church, etc. Let’s stop exalting celebrity pastors, and let’s boast in the Lord.

  36. Steve

    We’ll agree twice in a day (a record)… It is a very confused situation, especially in mainline churches. I know of several situations in which a pastor/priest has been called to a church and has shown up with a same-sex partner to whom he/she is not married, and it has been allowed. If, however, I showed up as a straight man with my live-in girlfriend and moved into the rectory or parsonage, I would most likely lose my job and quite possibly be brought up on denominational charges of immorality. There’s something wrong here…

    Then there’s the issue of where we draw the line. If all the organists, choirmasters, praise band members and music ministers who are gay or lesbian were dismissed tomorrow, a vast number of churches, mainline and evangelical, would be accompanying their hymns with harmonicas this coming Sunday.

    We’ve really lost the sense of moral theology as a discipline and, as I said above, its been reduced to, “I know these two really nice people…” That’s what came through to me in the Peterson article.

  37. @33 – If you don’t understand the difference in your statement, and what Peterson has said, I don’t know what to say.

    Will you perform marriages for adulterers with their mistresses?

  38. Josh,
    I already agreed it’s wrong.
    I’m simply saying I think he’s wrong for the right reasons.
    That doesn’t change it to right, but makes it understandable and an opportunity to be gracious.

  39. I pastored a guy at CCLE for a year or so before he moved away. This was a few years ago.

    He was seeking to fight the same-sex attractions he had, to not act out on them. He had lived sexually active as a gay man for years before Christ got a hold of him.

    We prayed, he shared, sometimes he fell and he would come and confess to God with me, we prayed some more. Because he KNEW God did not want him to have sex with other men. And I of course agreed and shared that view of God and Scripture. Truth and love.

    If instead, as a pastor of Jesus Christ I had sought to change his mind and encourage him in the name of love only that he need not beat himself up like this. God loved him, obviously made him this way with the same-sex orientation, and he was under a lot of false, fundamentalist guilt, not the conviction of God’s Spirit…..he should keep searching for love in a man, and one day God most likely will bring him a wonderful partner to share life with…….let’s pray for that.

    well, that would be pretty unloving in my opinion. But it sure would be called “love” by the masses.

  40. Josh,

    I already agreed it was wrong.
    My only point is that my guess is that he’s wrong for the right reasons. Doesn’t change the truth.

  41. @35 – Jean – I agree.

  42. So let’s end all the former burn out or gang member testimonials in church, etc. Let’s stop exalting celebrity pastors, and let’s boast in the Lord.
    ————————————————————————
    Jean and I agree. Amen to this.

    (And I agree with Jean and Josh on the value of what Duane shared above)

  43. “My only point is that my guess is that he’s wrong for the right reasons.”

    And respectfully, you are wrong. He has bent his belief to fit the popular cultural narrative.

  44. Josh,

    I doubt that.
    My guess is that Peterson is doing exactly as Duane has described…he knows some very nice people.
    I will also amen Duane’s lament of a lack of a holistic moral theology today…

  45. I admit I haven’t read all the comments, but I wanted to chime in about a resource on the subject of gay believers that is new to me. Dr Christopher Yuan. There are numerous videos of his messages on YouTube…this is a brief one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwmUNqrirO4

    His classic line is “The opposite of homosexuality is not heterosexuality. It is holiness”.

    His testimony is incredibly inspiring. When I think if his ministry (staff prof at Moody), the verse ‘for such a time as this” comes to mind.

  46. Friends,

    Let me be clear, I’m not saying something different from Michael. Peterson approached this issue personally, with the desire to show grace. We may not agree with his conclusions, but, on the other hand, let’s not impugn his motives.

    #37 Josh

    “Will you perform marriages for adulterers with their mistresses?”
    Any of us who have been in ministry for decades probably have, knowingly or unknowingly…

  47. Thank you Michael. I do not have heroes, but Peterson is one of two men who have come close. His writings have saved my faith when I was at the point of shipwreck. They have also saved the ministries of several Pastors close to me. No living writer, in my opinion, comes close to him and his biblical insight. The Message started out as a personal project to help some of his parishioners, and while I don’t always agree with his translations (as though my opinion is worth a rat’s ass, seeing as how I have never translated the entirety of the Scriptures from the original languages) I respect his knowledge and the intimacy with the Scriptures that comes from that kind of grueling work and wrestling with the text every day for the 20 years it took to finish the Message. NONE of us are that well acquainted with the Scriptures. Also none of us are doctrinally pure. Peterson has not denied the Incarnation, Trinity, the atonement or any other Cardinal doctrines that would earn the label heretic. I disagree with him on homosexuality and gay marriage. I wish he had been more careful with his statement, but at the end of the day, the Church Militant will be much poorer when he joins the Church Triumphant. I wish him peace and a long and fulfilling retirement. I posted a video on my FB page of an interview with him. I was shocked at two things. First, the man is absolutely steeped in joy, deep peaceful, contented joy. Second his relaxed and unshakeable confidence in the future of the church. May a portion of that spirit come to me also.

  48. “…as above, so below…”
    ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6:7-13‬ ‭MSG‬‬
    http://bible.com/97/mat.6.7-13.msg

    What else to say?

  49. “Peterson approached this issue personally, with the desire to show grace. We may not agree with his conclusions, but, on the other hand, let’s not impugn his motives.”

    If this is the case for Peterson, then the homosexual issue really is over. To act against the bible and Christian history is to act with grace.

    Men, I know you like Peterson. Please don’t go with that narrative.

  50. I recommend literal translations for theology but The Message has helped me at times.

    As a wonderful pastor who i regard highly told me, “Every news report I’ve ever seen or heard that involved someone I knew personally had essential elements completely wrong.”

    I wonder.

  51. The CDC government stats for 2015. Actual, not estimated diagnoses.

    Gay and bisexual men accounted for 82% (26,375) of HIV diagnoses among males and 67% of all diagnoses.

    The CDC also reported this frightening stat:
    Young people were the most likely to be unaware of their infection. Among people aged 13-24, an estimated 51% (31,300) of those living with HIV at the end of 2013 didn’t know.

    I will never understand how it can be considered loving to encourage the behavior that leads to such statistics. Not when we have such a wonderful message of power and love to declare – the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ to set a person free.

    I imagine the stats connecting liver disease with alcoholism would be rather high as well. Of course, we don’t encourage people to stay drunk but seek to help them into sobriety – even with church-financed rehab centers.

    God defines the sins because He knows they are destructive to ourselves and others. There is no sin in the New Testament that is not destructive.

    This is why I am impassioned. To encourage destruction of a life created in the image of God is what Satan has been doing since the beginning….to see it done in Jesus Name today is inexplicable to say the least.

  52. Nobody here is encouraging sin.
    We’ve all made that clear.
    I think Billy Graham was around the same age when he made some ill advised comments…

  53. ” To act against the bible and Christian history is to act with grace.”
    No one is saying that.
    We’re saying that Peterson is guilty if loving people more than doctrine and thus this error.
    I will correct the error but I refuse to condemn the man or his work.

  54. What comments did Billy Graham make? If they are bad call them out for it.

  55. #49 Josh

    I think his conclusions are wrong. I believe that I made that clear. We can “desire to show grace” and be wholly at odds with what is right. We can act from good and high motives, and the action can be wholly wrong. I cannot count the number of times that I have said, after a situation has become a disaster, “but I was only trying to help…” That is why I said, let’s not impugn his motives. I personally think that every vote cast for a certain person in the last election was a massive mistake, but I will not impugn the motives of the many people who were acting from a real desire to do the right thing.

  56. Who has condemned anything but this stance?

    But it must be clear, this is not some noble stance erring on the side of grace. Grace is not performing gay weddings.

  57. Josh,
    I’m not going to impugn Graham because of a couple of comments at the end of his service.
    You can look them up…it was a mess at the time.
    When we get older, we grow less concerned about some things and much more concerned about the love and grace of God…at least it’s true for some of us.

  58. Josh,

    Who here has said they want to perform same-sex marriages?

    And, I’m not sure what you mean by your first question…

  59. “Will you perform marriages for adulterers with their mistresses?”
    Any of us who have been in ministry for decades probably have, knowingly or unknowingly…
    ———————————————————————-
    Duane, I have to really throw a flag on this comment. There was an obvious context to that question Josh asked.

    Pastors can, should (and in my case DO) a lot of getting to know the people we are asked to marry. That certainly involves discussing any past marriages, the reasons for there coming to an end, how the couple met, when, circumstances and a host of other background issues before agreeing to perform a marriage. Not to mention asking about their walk with Christ, their church membership and the like.

    I know you couched it with “unknowingly” – but if someone lies through their teeth throughout a thorough investigation and inquiry of the sort that can and should be done, it certainly is not the pastor who is to blame.

    So back to the question that was actually asked. If the pastor KNOWS this couple is together because one or both of them committed adultery, destroyed their old marriage and spouse, in order to now ask you to bring them together in the Lord, would any pastor here perform THAT marriage.

    I assume there will be “no’s” across the board.

  60. #59 Steve

    I don’t know about others, but I’ve found out “after the fact” more than once…

  61. Josh,

    Sometimes…some of us mistake empathy and a desire to show kindness for grace.
    It happens to me and it leads to error at times.
    Kindness and empathy are in such short supply we should be careful when applying correction.

  62. I think Billy Graham was around the same age when he made some ill advised comments…
    ————————————————————–
    It’s funny. I was just thinking about Graham and something I saw in the heat of the 1990s

    In a lengthy primetime interview on one of the major networks with one of the heavyweight interviewers like Walters or Sawyer or Donaldson (I forgot whom)

    They just tossed out of the blue “What do you think of Bill Clinton?” – again, this was in the middle of the madness that was that time in the later 90s.

    And without missing a beat, in what was clearly sincerity and truth, Graham said “Why I love, Bill Clinton” – almost seemingly taken aback by the question itself as if there could be any other answer.

    It convicted me to the core and stays with me today.

    (I thought of it because I read Peterson’s reply about Trump…)

  63. I don’t know about others, but I’ve found out “after the fact” more than once…
    ——————————————————————
    So did they lie to you about being divorced…or lie to you about the circumstances of the divorce.

    Whatever the case, like you said, after the fact. Hardly the case when a same-sex couple approaches the pastor and he agrees, as Peterson said he would do.

  64. #63 Steve

    Over the course of more than 40 years, I’ve had both happen. In NYC, they could live in an outer borough and all you know of them is what you see in church. You often would not even know their home or living circumstances. Then again, you are interim for a year in a small church and all you know is what you are told at the time – although you might eventually be told the “real” story from a parishioner.

  65. Sometimes…some of us mistake empathy and a desire to show kindness for grace.
    It happens to me and it leads to error at times.
    —————————————————————
    This happens to us all.

    In questions on the fence I will always err on the side of grace, not law – as anyone who works with me will tell you when we have pastor meetings or Board meetings.

    But where my confusion lies, and I think I can speak for Josh, is that when it comes to homosexuality and relationships, the issue really is not couched in gray colors. Unless one makes it so….and certainly the issue is not one that comes as a surprise or a “Boy, I’ll have to pray about this circumstance, I’ve never heard of it before”

    The couple could have the spiritual depth and Christ commitment of the Apostles Peter and Paul but I still would not bring them together in marriage. That’s just one of those settled things for me.

    I stand by my prediction we hear some clarification from Peterson on this in the near future.

    A book tour interview with a gay marriage advocate media outlet that (based on what they actually printed must have been all of five minutes long) is hardly a position paper for a theological scholar.

  66. I’ll wade into this mess. I think one of the biggest problems on this issue, is allowing society to define people as gay, as if it’s character trait like ethnicity or race or height, as opposed to a specific sexual act. I must oppose the act(s) but not the person.

    I have a nephew who’s had a committed partner for longer than I’ve been married. They are now married too (for about 7 years) and have adopted two girls. My nephew is a kindergarten teacher in inner-city DC and his husband is an influential lawyer with Homeland Security. There is much to applaud in their lives (adopting, good careers, caring for each other, home ownership, volunteering, even church attendance).

    Society insists that I must condemn all of this or applaud all of it. I refuse to do either. I will not ignore the sin just because of the accompanying good. (but it’s not like many in my large family are asking my views on any of this) The sin saddens me, for it will be a hard lifestyle to escape.

  67. Not interested in slandering

    Considering his works being “tainted” by a few words:

    My thought on the matter is the old compass analogy.
    If he wound up so far off true north at the end, he was most likely going slightly the wrong direction in the beginning.

    Replacing love for truth in this case.

  68. I’ve been running errands since I posted this…have had time to think a bit about the issue…and why I really don’t care much about it.

    I remember joining in on the online pile-on attacking Marsha Stevens here…and then Dave Rolph coming on and telling her story and why she came to the place she was.

    I was ashamed and embarassed by my words and attitude.

    Whether we like it or not, I also see the gross hypocrisy of so many in the “straight” church and I still think we need to clean up our house before we get too vociferous in our condemnations of others. If I put up a list of pastors that I know for a fact have been “restored” from their adultery, the list would go on and on…and I have yet to see anyone who knows what I do screaming about moral theology in these cases.

    Finally, 81% of evangelicals voted for and count as a Christian a man who celebrated his immorality until his agenda changed.

    No…I’m not going to be real fervent about this issue…unless it’s part of a whole package that includes our licenses for sin.

    Torches are available for a small fee in the lobby…

  69. The god that convicts us of thought crimes, convicts us of the things we do with those we love, the god who demands antiquated laws be held in cultures then that had no such inhibitions, or even reason to hold such inhibitions, the god who apparently demands now that those beliefs be defended, that god is who damned Eugene Peterson. Make no mistake about it. Failure for anyone here to do so uses the holy scriptures as I do, and that is a theological issue I will debate with anyone, having rejected this god, and the great theologians who shaped my theology, including Peterson.

  70. Can’t deny that EP has done published some great works. I was disappointed to see his public affirmation of same sex marriage though.

  71. It’s helpful to quote Jesus when discussing the subject of LGBTQ persons and their relationship to Him. He said…

    “__________________________”, “_____________”
    “_______”, “_______”, and especially, “__________”,

    …which sums it up for me.

  72. Duane @ 58 – Peterson said he would perform same sex weddings.

    Michael, you know that I’ll gladly condemn anything Trump, that I’ve bumped heads with every friend that did vote for him. Since I spoke out against that, can I now affirm what the bible says about homosexual relationships, or are there more hoops that I need to jump through.

    Again, you guys like Peterson and that makes this tough. I’d rather hear you plainly say “I love Eugene, but he’s wrong on this issue”, than to give the justifications for all the good reasons he is wrong. We could do that with any sin. Oh, he was coming from a good place, and just got caught up…That’s just not the clearest way to respond. If our guide is the bible, Eugene is wrong. I’m sorry that he has chosen this path, and I hope he will repent.

    And for the record, because it is being thrown around more and more often…no one on this page has condemned Peterson, or homosexuals.

  73. “I’d rather hear you plainly say “I love Eugene, but he’s wrong on this issue”.

    Do I need to count have many freaking times I’ve said exactly that today?

    Hold on…I’ll go back through and give you the number…

  74. Let’s start with the piece I wrote…

    “I can’t agree with our modern day sage on this matter…as my mentor said with concision, we (the church) can’t overturn two thousand years of Christian teachings and tradition on sexual morality because the culture changes.

    None of us have that right.

    Scripture, tradition, and reason stand against such.

    Peterson here is not making an argument for his position, but showing his heart…which has always been pastoral.

    He’s undoubtedly known folks who were gay that appeared to be walking in faith and it is those relationships that defined his thoughts.

    This is an apologetic that is not foreign to me…I have those friends too.

    It is, however, a faulty apologetic.”

    There is twice in the body of the article.
    I’ll go check comments now.

  75. Did you read the rest of my sentence, or just blow up midway through?

    My problem, which surely I’ve made clear, is not with your love for Peterson or your stance on gay issues. It is the couching of his stance as “pastoral” or “grace”. It is neither of those things. It is serious error.

  76. “I was hopefully very clear that his basis for his view is in error.”

    “” To act against the bible and Christian history is to act with grace.”
    No one is saying that.
    We’re saying that Peterson is guilty if loving people more than doctrine and thus this error.
    I will correct the error but I refuse to condemn the man or his work.”

    “Nobody here is encouraging sin.
    We’ve all made that clear.”

    Directly to you,

    “Josh,

    I already agreed it was wrong.
    My only point is that my guess is that he’s wrong for the right reasons. Doesn’t change the truth.”

  77. I disagree that he is wrong for the right reasons. That is your padding the blow because you like him. He made a bad choice. There is no good involved.

  78. ” I’d rather hear you plainly say “I love Eugene, but he’s wrong on this issue”, than to give the justifications for all the good reasons he is wrong.”

    Just to finish my quote, for context’s sake.

  79. I’m checking out for a bit.

    The issue is that I haven’t blasted Peterson into the teeth of hell because of his stance on gay issues.

    Yet, every time I post on straight folk scandals, I’m the SOB for bringing them up.

    My name is a swear word in one non denom denomination for doing so.

    They vigorously oppose gay marriage though.

    I’ve never understood it and I still don’t…but I’m in a rage and need to back away.

  80. If you’ve seen me say any of that…I just don’t know. In fact, I said the opposite.
    I’ve blasted every person from every straight person you’ve ever posted, and occasionally been called down by you for it.

    I haven’t advocated for you condemning Peterson, nor have I condemned him.

    I do oppose gay marriage.

  81. Josh,

    We see the world and the church very, very differently.
    That’s ok.
    It doesn’t change my deep affection and respect for you.
    It means that I should not engage you in places where we will differ as there will be no profit to it.
    I, (and the rest of the community) appreciate your involvement here and your place at the table is permanent.

  82. Josh

    In referring to same-sex marriage, I said “here”… as in people on this thread. I read what Peterson said and disagreed… and said so, and for what reasons! We’re on your side, my brother…

  83. ( |o )====:::

    Jesus affirmed all that the Bible of his day said – every jot and tittle. That would include the parts about guys dressing up as dolls etc.

  84. I have a serious question for the exegetes in the house: When Jesus said (and did)

    “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today”

    how many rules of the pious Jews did Jesus violate? Was this a minor disregard for the law of Moses and the traditions of his people, or was this a huge deal?

    Was Jesus endorsing Zacchaeus’ job or lifestyle by staying at his house?

    Was Jesus’ act of unconditional grace an endorsement of Zacchaeus’ lifestyle or job?

    What did it accomplish?

    Was it worth it?

    Is there an application?

  85. “We see the world and the church very, very differently.”

    Really? Wow. Alright. I always appreciate your kind words. I don’t think that there is such a deep chasm in our world views that we can’t discuss Peterson’s view on homosexuality. I don’t get it. I really don’t get it.

    Duane – yes, I know. My issue is with the couching here. Specifically, calling it a pastoral heart that led him to this decision. That is a disservice to the many wonderful loving pastors who have chosen the harder path of sticking with the scriptures.

    But I am saying something that is infuriating Michael, so I’ll stop.

  86. “how many rules of the pious Jews did Jesus violate? ”

    Who cares how many rules of men were broken? This was the issue I have been making in my studies of Matthew. By the time of Jesus, the Jewish religion was all about the Pharisees and the other religious groups – nothing about God.Take note – God never reentered the Temple after the captivity – not until the baby Jesus was brought into the Temple was God there.

    All fluff, no substance.So Jesus didn’t break any laws.

  87. Josh,

    It’s very important that you speak as you think.
    I don’t ever want this to become an echo chamber.
    I’ll be fine.

  88. I love Peterson’s writings, and the grace that imbues his speech. I cannot agree with his stance, but I think I understand it, if that makes sense. If Piper, MacArthur and Peterson were at three different tables in a restaurant, if I had my choice, I would eat with Peterson.

  89. I’m pretty neutral on Eugene as I have not read any of his books. I don’t really care what his motive is, his conclusion is still in error. Love absent of truth is not really love at all.

  90. If anything I think I’ve given the guy the greatest benefit of the doubt. Suggesting maybe we didn’t get the whole answer or see the whole interview, or that this was just one of no doubt many book tour interviews at the end of a long day for the octogenarian.

    Expecting a followup when this blows up. Or at least a Biblical reason of some sort (like the ones I have shared are being used by those seeking a justification).

    I’ve talked the ISSUE all week, not personalities. And that is why I’ve shared what pastoral love should look like when it comes to the CDC and other posts, largely ignored in the discussion. And how I have tried to show pastoral love in action with a true example that happened at our place.

    But hey, I chose to vote in the last election, as I have every election since turning 18. And I didn’t vote for that paragon of virtue Hillary Clinton…so that mutes everything I have to say about pastoral ministry and the homosexual.

  91. Josh,

    As I’ve gotten older I’ve found that dogmatism beyond the creeds doesn’t fit real well anymore…kind of like the pants I used to fit in to.

    I’ve also found that the volume and frequency of declaring something sin has little effect on the holiness of the hearer.

    I realize that the church sees this as a war to the death with the culture.

    I don’t.

    Lost people need the grace of God no matter their sexual proclivities.

    The gates of hell will not prevail and it’s still the kindness of God that leads to repentance.

    So, yes, I’m probably going to be soft with old Eugene…because he’s consistently shown me things about Jesus I never knew.

    This leads me to believe he probably knows Him better than I do…even if he errs in some things.

  92. Rick,

    Save a chair for me…

  93. And the idea that calling out straight people’s scandal has been avoided is ludicrous. I’ve messaged Michael on more than one occasion on financial issues of scandal he has reported on….among the pastors of my own tribe. So his story did not err in some point or two.

    And my opinion on adulterous pastors and their permanent disqualification is quite known.

    When Trump and other pastor scandals start getting thrown in, I know the flailing has begun in earnest and time to depart

  94. Steve,

    The problem is that you argue as if someone were disagreeing with you here.

    I think we’ve all affirmed that we do not support same sex marriages.

  95. Gladly, Michael…

  96. “When Trump and other pastor scandals start getting thrown in, I know the flailing has begun in earnest and time to depart.”

    If you call it flailing to point out the discrepancy in how vociferously two sins are opposed by the same demographic, then I’m flailing away and will continue to do so.

  97. Well, I don’t want to fight with anyone. We mostly agree. I’ve made the nuance of my thought as clear as I can.

    I am disappointed with Peterson’s stance.

    Have a good evening, everyone. Hebrew to do.

  98. A good read for any who have not yet read Peterson, (or for that matter who have) is his autobiographical book The Pastor. Peterson the scholar lived a very practical theology as a pastor engaging the difficult, messy areas of life that he could have avoided had he chosen strictly a life of academia. He has a lot of credibility with me as one who chose to do trench ministry when he could have majored in the celebrity circuit that afflicts our church culture.

    I cannot be mad at him any more than I could be mad at a veteran who served that I would disagree with politically. They have earned my respect, and a huge amount of deference, even in disagreement.

  99. Rick,

    Absolutely affirm your # 99…

  100. I don’t want to fight with people on this blog either, and I recognize the pretty universal agreement.

    However,

    I didn’t want to fight when I started the week noting that too often in our culture love is being divorced from the truth of Scripture. But it came anyway. (I know – my tone as Kevin told me. 🙂 )

    I didn’t want to fight when asked why I always had to bring it back to the gay issue. But it came anyway.

    I didn’t want to fight when declaring that homosexuality is a different sin because of the pressure to proactively affirm it that does not exist with other sins.But it came anyway.

    And that was before the Peterson revelation here today…..which in one little article hit on all three of those notes.

    But like the guy said in the centerforfaith article Michael just linked….”I call it Wednesday” 🙂

  101. I choose E. Peterson or J. Piper to dine with. I don’t know much about Peterson (except from what the comments here say), and I prayed with Piper once when I lived in MN and attended his church. MacArthur? Sorry, but I fear I would walk away feeling like I wasn’t in “the family”.

  102. #91 Michael

    This is for you (others can listen as well) https://youtu.be/wgOTPIZ7Fs8

  103. Dan,

    If you’ve never read Peterson…do so.
    He’s been awesome for a long time…except evidently on Wednesdays… 🙂

  104. Thanks for the recommendation Michael!

  105. Duane,

    Boy, was that apropos…thank you.
    I’ll be listening to that for a while…

  106. I found the blog link that was posted just to be another “nothing theologically matters, so just move on” article.
    I’ve seen that a lot lately.

  107. Actually, that article was by Preston Sprinkle who wrote an entire book on why theology applies to this issue.

  108. “You will be remembered, Eugene Peterson. For how could we forget?”
    –Jonathan Merritt

    He’ll be remembered, all right. The warriors are lining up to fight the war to define his memory. They only know him from afar, but that won’t stop them. Those who do know him? They won’t be as apt to fight.

    Remember, history is always written by the victors.

  109. From my perspective, the challenge is that as a culture, and unfortunately for much of the church, there are no longer absolutes. Period. Goodness, when we can speak of “assigning gender” as if that is possible, where have we come? We have so capitulated across the years that the tail is now clearly wagging the dog. In everything from dress to language to music to values, as goes the culture, in about 10 years, so goes the church. Scripture as a basis for values? Seriously? That is truly tragic.

  110. Michael, I know who Preston Sprinkle is. According to his article He thinks the reason this issue has not been resolved in favor of the homosexual affirming party, is the fault of old white guys.

  111. MLD,
    Sprinkle does not affirm same sex marriage.
    Evidently, you didn’t read the book.

  112. He is very homosexual affirming even if he now does not affirm same sex marriage.
    But I think he makes the point that once the few 21st century protestants are out of the way, then the landscape will change.
    But then he did say the Petersen announcement was a yawner – and that’s where I got the “move on” mandate.

  113. BrianD…good to see you here, my friend.

  114. Michael @ # 91 :

    I’m with you. Dogma just doesn’t have the old pizazz it held for me when I was younger.
    There’s a wide latitude of difference between tolerance of and affirmation of something.

  115. #106 Michael

    I’ve known Randy for decades, but this is a favorite of mine. I thought it might “speak”….
    God bless, brother.

  116. I have always been favorably inclined towards Eugene Peterson. I still am.

    But he has convinced himself that he is more loving than God is. The Scriptures say “this” but he, being more loving than God, says “that.”

    Seriously, keeping in mind that story I told a few days ago about the nun’s letter to the mother of the homosexual son, if these Christian leaders want to have these opinions it would be so much better if they kept them to themselves rather than stumbling people who admire them.

  117. Michael, are you Gay?

  118. caballero,

    I’m not…but why in world would you even ask the question?
    I’ve been accused of much, but this is a first…

  119. Fake name.
    Fake email adress.
    Very odd ip address.

    Such courage…

  120. It is a fitting epilogue…

  121. well, celebrity status ministers make bigger waves in the pond than the usual anonymous ones who do the heavy lifting day in and day out…but have to deal with the debris left by the big-name guys. As if their tasks weren’t hard enough.

  122. it was kind of like he crop-dusted the room as he exited…

  123. Well… I guess that one could certainly declare that monogamy and loyalty trump promiscuity and treachery … that is good secular logic
    Why couldn’t a pastor make such a declaration with the qualifier that he (she) is speaking from human viewpoint and hasten to add that God, however, makes no provision for human viewpoints that contradict His revelations to us?

  124. Gluttony is still the most destructive sin in the church (if poor health and impact on families, healthcare costs, financial burden on society etc is the standard). But, Gay ain’t the way and is also a very destructive sin to those who practice it.

    My guess is Eugene likes men, which probably colors his views on the issue from a social/political perspective.

  125. https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/should-we-still-read-eugene-peterson

    Russell Moore says it better than I did.

    And of course Lifeway is not selling his books. Kinda goes with the territory. If you want to be marketed to Southern Baptists (Lifeway), you don’t affirm gay marriage.

    I think filbertz has dropped some wisdom in his usual humorous style.

  126. How many of you have listened to the song “”Same Love” by white guy rap artist Macklemore?

    It’s an antichristian and openly pro gay marriage screed, but the backup singer has a HAUNTING lyric:
    “I can’t change even if I tried
    I can’t change even if I wanted to”

    The suicide rates, alcohol abuse rates, drug abuse rates (and domestic violence rates) are THROUGH THE ROOF in the gay community.

    The condemnation of the above phrase is rampant. That condemnation–“it’s impossible to change” is killing gay and “gay” people.

    I’ll leave for now with this:
    A young man who prayed with me to become a Christian weeks earlier brought a young man to my house after Christmas awhile ago, said I was “cool,” understanding, could help him.

    He (as is nearly ALWAYS the case in the men I’ve talked to) had been molested as a boy.

    He wanted to become a Christian. We prayed. He started walking it out, but his gay friends made it difficult in their reactions.

    Weeks later he said, “When I came out of the closet (in high school) EVERY SINGLE ONE of my Hetero friends supported me. Now that I have become a Christian EVERY SINGLE ONE OF MY GAY FRIENDS ARE PISSED!” In fact two tried to physically fight him; it was only his roommate who worked for law enforcement that kept the fight from happening.

    Pray for these gay and formerly gay people.
    Many want freedom.

    But it will take way more courage for these gay people to repent, walk it out and deal with the current gay friends and family than it will for the increasing number of “breeders” who get courage by flip flopping on the issue as former President Obama did.

    So I don’t feel bad for Mr Peterson, if properly understood. But I do wonder if we have the story straight or if it’s being used as a club against him.

    This is the time of Cain and Abel.

    May the witnesses be strong.

    May those with the evil that actively desires and stalks them, wanting to rule over them smash that Enemy under their feet.

  127. His books are being pulled, people are being critical….

    He’s not a victim. He was given the gift of celebrity and he misused it to condone grave sin. There are consequences. His progressive friends (the cool ones) will applaud him and his conservative friends (the dinosaurs) will be critical. He has given in to the spirit of the age and he is not the first nor will he be the last.

    However, he is a very old man. Pastor Chuck and Billy Graham said some goofy things at the ends of their lives as well.

  128. #127 Thanks for posting that Josh.

    “There is much I’ve learned from Peterson, and much I am sure I will learn in the future. But one of those things is this: if a wise man who has translated and written commentaries on the prophets, on Romans, on Revelation, can make that sort of turn, with that little revelatory authority behind him, then I could easily talk myself into some error too (1 Cor. 10:12).”

  129. I know that I probably should keep my mouth shut here, but here it goes anyway. And I am sorry for the length.

    James Fowler wrote years ago about stages of faith development. He wrote along this lines of, and was influenced by Jean Piaget’s theory of cognitive development, and Lawrence Kohlberg’s stages of moral development. I read Piaget college, Kohilberg had to wait until seminary. Fowler’s stages were:

    Undifferentiated
    Intuitive
    Mythic
    Synthetic
    Individual-Reflective
    Conjunctive
    Universalizing

    These are supposed to be age related and the last one, universalizing is supposed to be old age and it is the one most often unattainable. I do not recall Fowler pointing out the dangers of each stage, though it has been many years since I read him.

    I think we can see that Peterson may be labelled as universalizing or enlightened. I think we all hope to be that way when we age. But the danger is that we sometimes go too far in our universalizing. I think, maybe out of compassion, maybe for other reasons,he has gone way too far here. I think it is easy to lose theological discipline when we want to be nice and everyone happy which seems to be an element of old age.

    Some one said that he did not deny any major theological principle. But he did, he is denying the nature of God and the nature of man. In the creation order, God made man in his image, male and female and the man and woman were pair bonded, binary, a man leaves his mother and cleaves to his wife. Marriage is defined by the nature of God and the nature of man as he is created. To me this is why the issue of homosexuality is so serious. There is no such thing has homosexual marriage. Civil union is another subject.

    According to James, teachers are held to a higher level of accountability, “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.” (Jas. 3:1 ESV) It is important for us to remember this. We need to remember what Paul said, “But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” (1 Cor. 9:27 ESV) I think what Paul had in mind was disqualification from the ministry to which he was called.

    I think this declaration by Peterson is a disqualifying statement. I’m not saying that we should ignore his previous work, so much of it has shaped me through the years. The idea of the subversive pastor was first in a book part of a Christianity Today series (I don’t think that was the title) and it helped me to understand my devious role as a pastor seeking to change the hearts of people. However, I never liked The Message, I don’t think that paraphrases are helpful for Bible study or devotional reading. But I think that in wanting to be gracious to others he went beyond his ministerial calling, outside of Scripture and broke his usefulness to the community of faith. Now why would I say that?

    Jonathan Merritt is a homosexual himself and writes with an agenda and is read by the homosexual community. Peterson’s statement has become ammunition for the homosexual apologist who seek to prove that the Bible is not anti homosexual. He will be celebrated as progressive and holding a proper position concerning homosexual marriage. He will be used as both an excuse to be closed minded to their sin and as an example of what they think Christians ought to believe.

    So, I have to agree with Lifeway’s decision to pull his book from their shelves. This is one of the points of cultural conflict of our day and it seems to me that we have to take a side. I don’t think we should ever be the kind of person who does not welcome the homosexual into our churches as we would any sinner, as we would welcome ourselves. But we cannot condone adultery or murder or gossip, or even homosexuality. So it is a subject must oppose. Somewhere between welcoming the person and opposing the sin is where we must stand against sin, even against our most personal and private sin.

  130. I have read every comment since this thread began. There has been much wisdom shared here and I am always blessed at the grace that most display here. I have to admit that Xenia and Josh have spoken well of this whole gay affirming position taken by EP.

    The one thought that keeps coming to my mind is tolerance. It seems as though many of us may not condone or share the same sentiments as Peterson yet we are willing to tolerate his thinking. This whole process has caused me to wonder where else in God’s Word has Peterson decided to take a contrary position.

  131. “I first heard the gospel with clarity from an evangelist who was later revealed to be an adulterer. Would I check out carefully anything else I ever heard that evangelist say? Yes. Would I have him preach for me, or send anyone else to his church? No. Was the gospel I heard from him any less than the power of God unto salvation, whatever his personal sin? Not at all.

    I am not equating the situations; Peterson has lived a long life that is morally above reproach. I am saying we can learn from one who has been in grievous error at some point or other.”

    This passage reminded me of the Donatist Schism: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donatism

    In a nutshell – Don’t throw out everything EP has contributed or done because he made the comments published yesterday. He is just a man like the rest of us. If you have benefitted by something he said or wrote – praise God.

    In fact – Lifeway is waiting for a response from EP before they pull his books(read the link carefully). Which makes me think that would be a bad idea to toss out anything by EP before the comments are confirmed as authentic.

  132. What must one do to be saved? Repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.

    How many readers of the Peterson interview are struggling with homosexuality and *might* be of the verge of repenting but read Peterson’s words and say to themselves “Ah, this venerable, well-respected Christian, this expert*on the Scriptures, after all he has learned in his long life, is affirming homosexuality and even says he’d be willing to perform a homosexual wedding. What wonderful news! My sodomy is not a sin after all! No need to repent, no need to change anything. Thank you Mr. Peterson!”

    If, as Randy says, the interviewer is himself a gay activist, who are the people most likely to be reading his interview? Homosexuals in need of repentance, that’s who. Homosexuals who have just been given permission by Peterson not to repent. This is DEADLY. How many souls will be lost, I wonder.

  133. #133 Papias

    Even Augustine learned from Tychonius, who was a Donatist…

  134. Tertullian coined the term “Trinity” yet we still use the term Trinity even though later in his life Tertullian joined a heretical cult, the Montanists.

  135. #136 Xenia

    Indeed… although I’ve always thought of the Montanists as not so much heretical but as the full blown charismatics of their day!

  136. Duane @ #137

    Shhhhh… Charismatics think it all started in 1904….. 😉

  137. It is interesting that, though there is a difference between a personal moral failing, and a variant teaching, there is that similarity that has been dealt with here for many years when “good teacher” pastors have fallen – We’ve even had the debate whether the old messages of Coy or others should be pulled from church websites.

    I give no quarter on pastors in adultery and believe it must result in removal from their office. (To again be clear). And that is stated clearly in our bylaws which I have helped write. I’ve never supported those in Calvary Chapel guilty of this, no matter how painful it felt to me to hear the news, or how much appreciation I might have had for their ministry.

    However, Xenia makes a tremendous point. @134

    Coy, Tchivdjian and a few others are rare in their celebrity. Most pastors who are in adultery destroy their family, their church family of maybe 100-200 average size but that is the extent of the people who even might know about the sin. As serious as that is (and in no way am I diminishing it) – what about the morally upstanding pastor and scholar with a reach of millions due to celebrity and fame that teaches an approval of immorality. How many more people will that effect.

    Maybe that’s why both warnings are given in the New Testament. For pastors to be morally qualified and for teachers to be careful what they teach.

  138. #135 Duane

    That’s true.

    But I am thinking more along the lines people very easily slipping into a Donatist position in regards to our heroes of faith….I guess…

    Now for those who were never read EP or liked the Message… the comments he made just validates their position…

  139. Shhhhh… Charismatics think it all started in 1904
    ————————————-
    You mean the cessationists, Papias. 🙂

    That was the standard fallback for just about everyone I read denying the validity of all the gifts for the Church today in my thesis research.

  140. I have no desire to in any way “beat up” on Peterson (after all, I am an Anglican, not Reformed), but another issue has been troubling me. He made the statement (we assume) at the age of 84 as he is leaving public life… That is, he’s fully retiring. He is not accountable to an academic institution, local congregation, etc. – only to the Presbyterian Church (USA) which has already voted as a denomination to accept same-sex marriage. In the most practical terms, he has his book royalties (which may or may not be affected), his pension, and all the rest. I mention this only to say, it always concerns me when people take a “controversial” stand on a matter, with nothing whatsoever to lose, apart from the support of some people with whom you already disagree. No real price is paid. Again, I do not say this in any way to be snarky, but just as an observation.

  141. At least Peterson is being frank, clearly telling what he thinks without being coy. You don’t have to wonder.

    That celebrity nun I keep talking about…. she was coy. She said “The Orthodox Church says active homosexuality is a sin and what I am going to say is in conflict with traditional EO teaching, but I am gonna say it anyway.” So says she knows it’s a sin but proceeds to give utterly foolish advice (“Let your 14 year old son bring his gay boyfriends to the house”) and calls it being loving, pastoral and realistic. (She is obviously more loving and pastoral than God and the Church, in her opinion.) She has just given all her fans (and she has a lot of them) permission to act out on their homosexual impulses which they may have been in a genuine, godly struggle over. She gave them permission to give up the battle, suggesting it’s a battle they cannot win anyway.

    So Protestants are upset about Peterson and the Orthodox are upset about Sister V. As well we all should be.

  142. I find Petersen’s comments somewhat troubling as his comments help fuel the cultural fires. Yesterday I was reading how the attorney general of the US was being blasted for speaking before a hate group.

    Who was the hate group? The attorney’s who defend the bakers etc who won’t bake the cake for same sex wedding receptions.Perhaps Petersen just took the easy road.

  143. Duane. Thanks for sharing your point @142. Indeed, that thought crossed my mind more than once yesterday as well…

    Coming from you, it is quite valued in this discussion.

  144. I think that was filbertz point @ 142. You may have to search urban dictionary for “crop-dusted”. 🙂

  145. Steve and Josh

    I was thinking about it yesterday, because of what I have been witnessing across the board in the Episcopal Church, UMC, etc. As you know, all the mainlines have aging clergy. I cannot even count the number of times I’ve heard clergy say to me, “I’m just keeping my head low until I retire…” And that is from progressives as well as conservatives. They don’t want to “rock the boat” while they are still in a situation of being accountable (to a bishop, conference, congregation, etc.) and endanger their future. Accountability does mean that there is a price to be paid for stands taken. Unfortunately, I think this is contributing to the malaise of many denominations here in the States and elsewhere.

    Recently, I was approached about writing a book about church decline in America and Europe. I contacted an older friend in the UK about writing with me on the subject. His response was, “I can’t put out anything that might be controversial or talk about the decline of the church, because several bishops are gatekeepers for my funding sources and would cut me off…” Just to say, this issue cuts across conservative and liberals lines alike.

  146. yes, it does.

  147. Duane, is this then related to “the love of money” being the root of all kinds of evil?

    I wouldn’t know how to spell pension and it is rare to even get my monthly paycheck on time, in full.

    And a whole lot of CC pastors could say the same….As could pastors from all sorts of traditions.

    I recognize the legitimate concern for one’s future when their earning years are behind them, but God help us all when the moral authority of the pastorate is subservient to “keeping our heads down until I can cash out”

  148. By “this” I did not mean Peterson but the trend you described in #147

  149. @142 Yes,

    One of my friends assumed that his word would have some impact on me. From my perspective it was a zero. It was indicative of the fact that we can expect wholesale abandoning of traditional morality on the part of the non-catholic/orthodox communions.

    I am always wondering how culture seems to be the revelator over the apostles and prophets. Hollywood not the Holy City is the prophet of our times. This is the outcome of doing theology ‘from below’ as the liberation theologians desired.

    We are in a cultural revolution that will change us more vastly than we imagine. This is an ocean with no bottom.

    @33 Papias the day has come when our comparisons of homosexual activity to what we see as sin is invalid. This is the wholesale move of a category of sin into the category of creational destiny. The gay agenda does not have any room for being accepted like ‘any other sin’ as something to be forgiven. They want repentance from the non-gay world and they are getting it wholesale.

  150. X said it very well here: “He’s not a victim. He was given the gift of celebrity and he misused it to condone grave sin. There are consequences.”

  151. Peterson is flawed, so is PCUSA.

    They have their own major issues and Abuse Scandals of their own: https://www.thenewamerican.com/culture/family/item/657-presbyterian-church-usa-hit-by-abuse-scandal

  152. Read so many insightful comments on this post, but why can’t we all accept that man is fallible? Every single man (generic). Why can’t we the Church, be taught from square one, to measure every single teaching against the Word?
    Xenia’s conclusion in her #134 comment should be everyone’s reaction – IMHO… If you are teaching God’s approval of same sex conduct, even, sanitized with commitment (can’t call it “marriage” unless you want to declare that you can marry a garden hose with an electric outlet) – if you waffle, let alone teach compromise as acceptable to God, you are anathema – a false teacher… if a teacher is unsure of the Word , they should keep their mouth closed, at least. IMNSHO … again.

  153. There are days when I’m so far away from the prevailing thoughts of Christendom that I worry about my own soul.
    This is one of those days.
    I will assume the fault is entirely mine and find my solace in works from other places and times.
    I still cannot help but think that perhaps these gay activists were the creation of homes that experienced multiple divorces and children raised by televisions instead of parents.
    Too often, moral theology only applies to what they do…
    Perhaps the p**** grabber in the White House will lead us to new heights of moral excellence.

    If the revolution has come and this ocean has no bottom, then we wrote the manifesto to follow.

    I’ve wrestled with how to think about this issue for a long time.
    Duane actually settled it for me when he spoke of the consistent witness of the church over the centuries…to me, this is inarguable.

    Having said that, we are still dealing with human beings made in the image of God…and that makes general application a bit more difficult.

    I think about Henri Nouwen…

    I think too much.

  154. #149 Steve

    Not so much the love of money… it’s fear. I never, ever thought that my wife and I would have to sit down with a financial advisor to talk about the totality of our resources for retirement… but this last year we had three such meetings even though neither of us really intend to retire! Most clergy of my age are doing the same evaluations.

    So, you’re in a small UMC parish and you’re 63. In two or three years you can retire with your pension and SSI. You’re conservative and your bishop is liberal… or the other way around – you get the picture. Or, in your small parish where you hope to serve out the next two or three years, you have a mix of opinions and a few “troublemakers”. In both cases, you keep your head low, don’t make waves, etc.

    As I said, it is part of the malaise taking place in the church. Most independent congregations (not talking mega-churches here) are as you say, somewhat hand to mouth. But even in these, age and financial security are becoming issues. I know of a couple such situations where it is time and past time for the pastor to retire… they simply can’t. That’s another issue that will be hitting us more and more… Moreover, because the majority of seminarians are now older (Hi Josh) this will be a problem that will become even more severe in the years to come.

  155. Well, as ironic as it is, the “p***** grabber” in the White House reinforces Traditional and Godly Gender Roles.

    If the Bible is “Truth” and if Jesus affirmed the Law and Prophets aka The Old Testament and if Jesus truly said, “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill”

    Then Jesus endorses what the Old Testament says about Homosexuality being a major Sin and evil and Jesus, then, also affirmed that God created two Genders and created heterosexuality and that homosexuality is an “abomination”.

    Sure, there are lots of other sins and “Abominations” but Homosexuality and all this Gender Confusion nonsense and the example of the Mainstream of the Democrat Party leads young people into perversion and depravity.

    Is Heterosexual sin an “Abomination”? King David, a “man after God’s own heart”… A Biblical case could be made that Homosexuality is worse than Heterosexual sin.

  156. But, people will believe whatever they want to believe and they’ll cherry-pick the bible verses they want that support their particular narrative and opinions.

    I can tell you that Objectively, from Science, Homosexuality is not Normative. Assuming Evolution and Natural Selection are correct, then Homosexuality serves NO Evolutionary Purpose, it is an Anomaly and an aberration and not Normative and not the intent or design of Nature. If the Modern Human Species were to evolve into Homosexuals, the Species would go extinct. Heterosexuality is the Design of Nature.

    So, even Science affirms the Traditional Godly Gender Roles and the Design of Heterosexuality.

  157. Michael, it is hard to know how to act towards certain folks nowadays. We want to love our neighbor but we don’t know how to act that out sometimes. I think this problem faces most of us. No one here aligns themselves with the Westboro “Baptists” but how to show godly love and affection towards an unrepentant homosexual* without appearing to confirm them in their sin. Because if we, as Christians, in any way give them a signal that says it’s ok to be gay, that it’s not such a serious sin, and yes I’ll come to your wedding, etc. etc. it would be better if a millstone were tied around our necks and we are chucked into the ocean.

    If we can’t figure out how to do this- how to love the person yet hate the sin- then maybe it would be better if we avoided these situations, if possible, until we can figure out how to act. Personally, I had to step away from a particular situation last year. I was taking some classes at the local community college and everyone was gathered around a charming young man who was openly and enthusiastically homosexual, with a husband and all. These were all such lovely people and the young man himself was simply delightful: kind, caring, humble, etc. I found myself being drawn to these people. I found myself nodding in agreement with some of the things they said rather than be the odd man out and risk them not liking me. After one episode, I realized I was not up to the task and dropped the course and the entire program and joined another group where I was not tempted to be such a person-pleaser. Sometimes you have to do this if you can’t figure out a way to convey to the person that God loves them, you love them too but their activities will send them to hell if not repented of. I can talk about these things all the day long here on the blog but in real life, I waffle.

    It’s not like I expected myself to give the class a lecture on Christian morality. But I do feel like I betrayed Someone while I was in that class.

    ————
    * Repentant and repenting homosexuals who are sincerely struggling with their passions- I put these brave souls in the same category as anyone struggling with their sins. I am in the same category as they are.

  158. Xenia,

    Thank you…you get it….and me.

  159. While it is true that our lackadaisical attitudes towards divorce, etc. in the past has led us to the place we are today, we can repent of any role we had in these things but we can determine in our hearts to do better, to look at the present and not become paralyzed by the past. We say here that we don’t have the right to say anything until our own house is in order but that’s not how it works. You start with the task at hand and you may see that old mistakes start to rectify themselves.

    Consider the subject of personal holiness. How many people who are anti-gay still watch whatever garbage TV, movies, and popular music offers? Don’t you all think our consumption of godless entertainment has had an effect on Christian morality, or the lack thereof? We can turn off the TV and MP3 player right now. What’s stopping us? We may not be fornicators, adulterers and homosexuals personally but how many of us enjoy watching TV/movies about people who do these things and listen to music that glorifies these things? We can’t expect American Christianity to be holy if we are not interested in our own personal holiness.

  160. Xenia: “…..how to show godly love and affection towards an unrepentant homosexual* without appearing to confirm them in their sin.” that’s worth a thread, perhaps…?

    it seems to me that the person who is struggling – or not struggling – with same sex is a victim… to rob a bank is sinful, but is a volitional choice… it is, i’m convinced, society that creates most homosexuality and it is understandable that the victim, in most cases, can say that they had no choice, i.e., when someone hits you hard and causes a bruise, you have no choice, the bruise is there… sad tho to declare that bruise a “beauty mark”

    the prevelance and acceptance of this aberration is the canary in our coal mine – at least that’s how i see it – clean up societal norms and standards and a great many sinful behaviors would fade into the shadows, still sins but not dominating the commerce of the world

    as to teachers, honor them for their dedication, but judge their material, their conclusions, nevertheless

  161. In my study of domestic violence, I came across an article recently where experts admitted that the data indicated that lesbian relationships experience the most DV (or Intimate Parter Violence, as is now the term). The experts were loathe to admit this, because of the potential fallout.

    I think the controversial topic that isn’t touched upon, is that a lot of gay behavior may be the result of neglect, abuse (sexual and otherwise) in childhood. I first became aware of this, in retrospect, at 13, when my mom told me that one of the gay guys we hang out with as business partners had been horribly sexually abused by his father. The man had been married, but left his wife to embrace homosexuality. His sister was also horribly abused, was bi-sexual, and performed live sex on stage somewhere in San Francisco. This was in the mid-80s.

    As the years went by, I learned of woman my mother’s age who were victims of childhood sexual abuse. A few had embraced the lesbian life in middle-age. Can’t trust men? Was what I thought at the time. It made sense.

    Two years ago, I met with an old family friend. She’s 40 (going on 14 emotionally). I’ve known her and her family since she was 9, kind of like a little sister to me. She told me that her 13 year old daughter had recently come out as preferring girls. My friend, whom I saw come out as “pan-sexual” publicly on Facebook a few years ago, was celebrating this. I listened without judging, but couldn’t help but remember the history of this littler girl: bio-dad abandoned her. Subsequent husband was going to adopt her, but that marriage imploded in a very dysfunctional manner. A subsequent live-in boyfriend (the only one of them all I liked and seemed decent) was going to adopt this little girl. She called him “dad,” the 3rd man in her short life who was “dad.” That relationship imploded suddenly. He was a victim of IPV from my old friend. Both IPV and mutual infidelity were present in the previous relationships. There was another long term boyfriend after that, but by them I had stopped paying attention. I also purposely didn’t re-friend my old friend on my new FB account because I thought a lot of the stuff she posted was inappropriate.

    Regarding the little girl, I couldn’t help but think: “of course she turned to females, because every single male in her life let her down and hurt her.” Aside from her mother’s obvious dysfunction. It’s sad because the last time I spent a lot of time around the little girl, around 8 year old, she was a very nice, outgoing, God-believing young soul. The last time I saw her this past Christmas she was a scared, waifish, withdrawn young person. Her mom even laughed, kind of, that her daughter was like her, but not to a clinical level regarding her social anxiety and not trusting people. Mom is diagnosed with GAD, BPD and depression. She admitted this publicly on Facebook once.

    When I first was dating my ex, she told me that her little sister once flirted with being a lesbian. Both she and her sister have MAJOR issues with the lack of their father being engaged in their lives when they were young. If neither ever bonded with their father, it makes sense that they might be confused due to a pain deep in their hearts, unhealed.

    It actually kind of scares me as a parent how much influence I have on my own children.

  162. # 160

    I think we all feel this way, at last most of us here.

    I think some people feel panicky when our leaders fall off the true path in this area. The dominoes are toppling, faster and faster, and where will it all end?

  163. Xenia, yep.

  164. There is a tremendous wrestling with the relationship we as Christians have with the state when it comes to issues of morality. How we exercise our freedom as “salt and light” – and there is wide disagreement on this blog and worldwide as to the balance.

    Why this “wrestling” though should enter the Church is beyond me.

    Divorce in the church today can be directly connected to the state relaxing the divorce laws and the “no-fault” divorce. Christian girls getting abortions. Yep, and the state has made it so easy that your daughter can have one without parental notification. Christians watching p*rnography and destroying their marriages. Yep, and there was a time Christians fought against legalization of p*rnography even when it was just in theaters in seedy neighborhoods. Now it is on every phone and in every household. For free. Drug legalization, prostitution, and yes, homosexual marriage and advocacy are all front and center today. Of course, we will see it bleed into our churches and in a couple decades of time, the average Christian’s relationship with these sins (even with a little dash of conviction) will be no different than those others I cited from the past.

    But are we seeing the encouragement of abortion, drug use, p*rn viewing and the rest from within the Church? Even among those who are the loudest advocates for them being legal within the State? No.

    But homosexuality has to be wrestled with?

  165. i see a consensus forming here… who says we Christians are unreasonable people? 🙂
    again the PhxP proves that teachers from different flocks can come together in healing – under the balm of Truth

    Michael is an interesting catalyst ….. can anything good come out of Oregon? evidently so… LOL

  166. The issue has become a major Plank in the Leftist Political Platform, which is dangerous. Support of this Agenda by Religious Leaders claiming “Christianity” only makes it more dangerous. But, the Right is not without sin, either.

    “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”

    Yet, Paul the Apostle turns that inward and points the finger at himself: “I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good”.

    Dunno. But, I do know you gotta call sin, sin and if one claims “the Bible is the Word of God!” then clearly Homosexuality is sin and Gay Marriage is not kosher from a Christian/Church perspective.

  167. ….and you can’t cherry-pick Jesus and say “Jesus didn’t say anything about Homosexuality or Gay Marriage!” b/c Jesus did say he affirms the Law and Prophets….many times over….on many occasions….and quoted from the Law and Prophets on a regular basis.

  168. Ironically, Geneva, during the time of the Reformation….a period of time the Reformed guys look so fondly upon and appeal to for Authority in Scriptural Interpretation and Doctrine and Theology….was a very strict Theocracy that wielded the literal sword against those they deemed to be in error.

  169. The Reality is this: The State does impose Morality on Societies.

    That is why I am “for” Conservative Christians being involved politically b/c it can be as much a promotion of the True Gospel and Truth as any other endeavor that is commanded by the Great Commission.

  170. Let’s just move the ball to where it belongs. My Muslim or Hindu neighbor who is so kind, such a great neighbor, always there to lend a hand. A great citizen in the community. Opposed to all the evils done in the name of his religion while being a devout spiritual person seeking to love and do good.

    Surely a loving God does not send this person to hell. Surely it is unloving for me to tell him his religion and good works will only lead to God’s judgement one day. Surely I should not share the Gospel of Jesus Christ to this man.

    Except to do so would be most unloving. Because the objective teaching of God’s word tells us we all are guilty sinners and Christ alone is the only way to forgiveness of these sins before our Holy God. God warned us, He CAME TO US BODILY and died, and it is not about me being right and him wrong, or about my religion being better. It is about Truth (capital T) as God, Who is the Only One Who knows, has revealed to mankind.

    If God calls something a sin. It is because it is destructive to us and others. Period. And if not now in this life, then when appearing before His throne which we all must do one day. He is not depriving us of pleasure (though sin is often quite pleasurable for a season) He is not depriving us of love, fun, fulfillment or anything good. And He is not mean, cruel, unjust, or unloving.

    Satan’s lie to Eve was that she would know like God.

    Satan’s lie to our world today (as I think Xenia wrote yesterday) is telling us we actually know better, and are more loving than God.

    There is plenty of room for Christians to disagree about state-sanctioned homosexual laws that apply to the whole State. It is a thorny question.

    In all the love we show any of us sinners, and we all are sinners, there is no way that we can call it loving, if our loving does not affirm our desire and prayer to see the person repent. And homosexual sin is not an exception to this rule. Speak the truth in love.

  171. Great quote fro Peterson:

    When put on the spot by this particular interviewer, I said yes in the moment. But on further reflection and prayer, I would like to retract that. That’s not something I would do out of respect to the congregation, the larger church body, and the historic biblical Christian view and teaching on marriage. That said, I would still love such a couple as their pastor. They’d be welcome at my table, along with everybody else.

  172. Josh, that is most excellent. I knew a clarification was coming and I am not at all surprised that Peterson does put some of the blame on the interviewer itself…..

    Good for him indeed.

    Good for all of us.

  173. Steve W. well said IMO.

    And, btw, Heaven has a Gate, a Wall and there is Extreme Vetting 🙂

  174. “welcome at my table” as in he’d serve them the Sacraments? Or he’d have lunch with them?

  175. He must be getting a lot of pushback and losing a lot of support to make such a new clarification.

  176. I hope Michael will write a new article with link to Peterson’s clarification. It indeed is very good to read and see…..

    I’m out now.

  177. Hopefully it is sincere and not a business move.

  178. He must be getting a lot of pushback and losing a lot of support to make such a new clarification.
    —————————————-
    Alex, I truly believe what I wrote yesterday. An elderly man doing one of how many interviews for a new book.

    I don’t think his clarification is convenient or self-serving personally. I don’t think it has anything to do with the negative pushback from yesterday.

    And I also commend Lifeway for not jumping the gun and assuming the worse but asking first for clarification.

    And I am so glad to see the clarification that was offered.

    We’ve all said something “on the spot” that we regret. Especially if that “on the spot” is what the person we are talking to wants to hear.

  179. Alex,

    You have claimed that Peterson “likes men” and that he is doing things for financial reasons.

    The sin here is not Peterson’s…who has been faithfully married for decades to the same woman and who is renowned for the simplicity of his life and genorosity.

    I’m deeply offended.

  180. I told friends last night that Peterson got ambushed by a gay activist.
    I did not want to post such an accusation here,but it seems to be true.

  181. @183 – Yep. I think that is correct.

  182. My thoughts as well….

  183. Very good for EP. I hoped that we would get some clarity on his comments from yesterday as per my comment #133.

    “In the interview series with Merritt, Peterson also stated that he will no longer be writing, teaching, or speaking publicly. In his retraction, he reiterated his desire to avoid public statements and to restrict his communication to personal correspondence.”

    I bet this experience only intensifies his decision to avoid public statements.

    My guess is that the reporter had a different agenda than EP expected.

  184. I am very happy Eugene Peterson clarified his feelings. Good for him.

  185. I am glad to see the retraction, happy in fact. Jonathan Merritt, for those who may not know, is the son of James Merritt, a celebrity Southern Baptist pastor and past president of the SBC.

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