One of the pastors I spoke with about Eugene Peterson is Fred Harrell, pastor of City Church in San Francisco. He attended a conference in 2014 in which Peterson shares insights that are interesting in light of recent events. Below is the video of the Q and A with Peterson at Western Seminary.
Around the 2:23 mark, Peterson talks about being raised in a culture when gay was “really bad.” He says, “I accepted the status quo.” But recently, Peterson says, he thought about two homosexual men in his church, one who committed suicide and another who was divorced by his wife.
The result, Peterson said, was that, “I started to change my mind.”
Around the 2:31 mark, Peterson is asked about how to pastor families whose children come out as gay. He says, “I’ve helped several families accept their children as gay. And, uh, they are devastated at first and then with just careful, prayerful conversation, they’ve finally accepted that this is not a bad thing, that this can be a good thing. This can be a flourishing thing.”
Around the 2:36 mark, Peterson says, “I’ve paid attention to the literature that’s written on homosexuality by evangelicals, by mainline people. And when people, a lot of pastors have asked me about this, call about it, and I copy these things.” He references an article “in the Christian Century right now” that he calls “brilliant” and “masterful.”
What was the article Peterson lauded and recommended? It was titled, “What is marriage now? A Pauline case for same-sex marriage” by Gerald Schlabach.
The video provides a window into the nuance of Peterson’s views on this issue.