Earlier this week, author and Bible translator Eugene Peterson shocked the evangelical world when he says that he supports homosexual marriage. This has caused a flurry of responses,including Lifeway Christian Bookstore's decision that it will no longer be selling Peterson's books, including The Message Bible. However, a day later, Peterson retracted saying that he doesn't support homosexual marriages anymore. Based on the retraction, Lifeway will continue to sell Peterson's catalogue.
"I affirm a biblical view of everything," Peterson said. "It's worth noting that in my 29-year career as a pastor, and in the years since then, I've never performed a same-sex wedding. I've never been asked and, frankly, I hope I never am asked."
"Based upon Eugene Peterson's retraction, we will continue to sell his resources," said Carol Pipes, LifeWay spokeswoman in a statement.
"LifeWay only carries resources in our stores by authors who hold to the biblical view of marriage," stated a spokesperson for the affiliate of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). "We are attempting to confirm with Eugene Peterson or his representatives that his recent interview on same-sex marriage accurately reflects his views. If he confirms he does not hold to a biblical view of marriage, LifeWay will no longer sell any resources by him, including The Message."
The LifeWay website currently lists 135 titles by Peterson, including dozens of versions of his Message Bible, his memoir The Pastor, and his popular book on discipleship and the Psalms, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction.
LifeWay has dropped author's books before for this reason. Last year, it stopped carrying best-selling Christian author Jen Hatmaker's books after Religion News Service columnist Jonathan Merritt reported that Hatmaker supports same-sex marriage and believes that such relationships can be holy.
The nonprofit also opted not to sell Amy Grant's recent Christmas album. Her manager said the decision was made because the album was not Christian enough for the Southern Baptist retailer.