Today’s show is based on our third distinctive, “apologetics.” In the “About Us” time we discussed the biblical command for apologetics from 1 Peter 3:15-16. Then we made it practical by sharing the times we’ve debated in our ministry; highlighting our engagements with Mormons, Muslims, IDMR and Black Israelites.

Next, for our “In the News” section we made a clarification concerning Eugene Peterson and then addressed the epidemic of cowardice in the pulpits across the U.S. For “Joe’s Gems,” he shared five main principles when doing Spirit-led apologetics from Jude 1:3. We’re still waiting for your questions!

Concerning Eugene Peterson

On last week’s program (7/12/17) we were one of many Christian voices on social media who offered an immediate response to Eugene Peterson’s apparent newfound acceptance of same sex marriage, as reflected in an interview with Religion News Service. The following day, in response to the ensuing controversy, Peterson offered a retraction where he stated, “I affirm a biblical view of marriage: one man to one woman. I affirm a biblical view of everything.” (More on Peterson’s retraction can be found here )

We accept Peterson’s retraction at face value and that somehow his words were mis-communicated or mis-interpreted. Some, such as leading authority in Biblical sexual ethics, Robert Gagnon, having analyzed the original interview and the retraction, are not convinced of Peterson’s consistency or clarity in anything he’s said. (Gagnon’s comments can be found here )

Nevertheless, we no longer wish to embroil ourselves in this controversy. We are simply noting that there was a retraction made by Eugene Peterson for his controversial remarks, and those need to be taken into account. We apologize for anything that came across as a direct attack on Peterson’s character. At “What Do You Believe?” we strive NOT to be quick to believe and spread bad reports about Christian brothers and sisters, as is so rampant in the church today.

We do, however, stand by what we believe was a teachable moment. In light of the initial controversy, we were able to have a conversation about how to perceive Christian leaders who come out in support of the LGBT lifestyle. We also offered practical and pastoral advice about whether Christians should attend or officiate gay “weddings,” and on what basis should a gay or lesbian be welcomed into a church.

We encourage you to listen to that program for those insights, and to pray for Eugene Peterson and the Body of Christ to stand firm on these issues, while reaching out with compassion to LGBT people.