Comfortable Heresies

By Rob Schwarzwalder

Eugene Peterson is a renowned Christian writer whose paraphrase of Scripture, The Message, has impacted millions.  

In an interview a few days ago, Peterson said he affirmed same-sex unions and would perform one if still a pastor.  

Now, Rev. Peterson has retracted these statements: “I affirm a biblical view of marriage: one man to one woman. I affirm a biblical view of everything … (A same-sex wedding is) 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.”

Christians can rejoice in Rev. Peterson’s retraction. Endorsing biblical truth is the first duty of every follower of Jesus. That he has done so is refreshing and encouraging.

A number of well-known Evangelical Christians have endorsed same-sex unions (for example, women’s speaker Jen Hatmaker and former Christianity Today editor David Neff). Thankfully, they are in the small minority.

In November 2015, my friend Owen Strachan and I introduced four resolutions affirming Scripture’s teaching on marriage and human sexuality at the annual conference of the Evangelical Theological Society. Both of us are members of ETS, and Owen has leadership positions within it.  

Our resolutions were these:

  1. We affirm that all persons are created in the image and likeness of God and thus possess inherent dignity and worth.
  2. We affirm that marriage is the covenantal union of one man and one woman, for life.
  3. We affirm that Scripture teaches that sexual intimacy is reserved for marriage as defined above. This excludes all other forms of sexual intimacy.
  4. We affirm that God created men and women, imbued with the distinct traits of manhood and womanhood, and that each is an unchangeable gift of God that constitutes personal identity.

These affirmations were endorsed by the members of ETS. The significance of this endorsement is this: ETS is composed of America’s leading Evangelical theologians, seminary and college professors, and others with graduate degrees in theology. For the Society, as a community, to endorse these resolutions speaks to the continued commitment of Evangelical leaders to biblical teaching…


Comfortable Heresies | The Stream