Shortly after this article was published, Eugene Peterson retracted his statement and affirmed a biblical view of marriage instead. More information can be found here.


In an interview published yesterday with Jonathan Merritt at Religion News Service, Eugene Peterson announced his willingness to perform same-sex weddings and his general support for same-sex couples in churches. While the headline says Peterson has “changed his mind” on the issue, it would be more accurate to say that he simply has become willing to speak about the issue and his relative indifference to it.

Multiple times he clarifies it isn’t a big deal to him. The churches where he served have always had gay members. “People who disapprove of it, they’ll probably just go to another church,” Peterson concludes. “So we’re in a transition and I think it’s a transition for the best, for the good. I don’t think it’s something that you can parade, but it’s not a right or wrong thing as far as I’m concerned.”

Peterson’s response is not quite what you have in others who really have changed their mind about the issue of same-sex relationships, such as David Gushee, Rob Bell, or Julie Rodgers. Gushee argues that supporting same-sex couples is in keeping with the biblical command to love one’s neighbor, and Rodgers argues that marriage itself is a school of virtue and same-sex couples should be allowed to marry so they too can have access to that resource.

They are making arguments about which we can disagree—we can talk about the end toward which Christian love is directed or the meaning of marriage and have fruitful or at least clarifying debate. It’s much ...

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