Today we are going to talk about Eugene Peterson.
ICYMI: Eugene Peterson has been in some hot water lately. About a week ago he gave an interview in which he was pressed for his views on same-sex issues and offered what some took to be an endorsement of gay marriage. Needless to say, this landed him on conservative evangelicalism’s shit list. He later issued a retraction/clarification via his publisher which landed him on the shit list of progressives who took his prior comments as an endorsement of gay marriage. So at this point it’s safe to say that Eugene Peterson is on everybody’s shit list.
That is where we are in evangelicalism and in Christianity at large. Just like our nation’s current political climate, we have lots of ideological camps and special interests which all demand 100% adherence to every point of their respective agendas, and if you fail to comply you will experience the consequences. Conservative evangelicalism is rife with those who demand unquestioning adherence to their way of looking at things with respect to abortion, gay marriage, and women in church leadership. On the other side of the aisle there are groups which demand unquestioning adherence to their way of looking at things on gay marriage, women’s rights, racism, climate change, etc.
In this climate there is no room for those whose thinking on an issue such as gay marriage is marked by nuance and complexity and motivated by basic human kindness and love of neighbor. If Peterson says yes to whether he would in some circumstances officiate a gay wedding, it cannot be taken as an expression of basic human love or pastoral concern for the people standing directly in front of him but must instead be taken as a sweeping endorsement of gay marriage. Let him feel the wrath of those who oppose gay marriage in the name of biblical truth. Should he then seek to clarify his remarks and/or offer some nuance to his views, let him feel the wrath of those who support gay marriage and now count themselves abandoned by the celebrity whom they deemed an ally.t