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LifeWay Christian Stores is ready to stop the sale of Eugene Peterson's works as soon as the nation's largest Christian retailer can confirm his position on same-sex marriage.
"LifeWay only carries resources in our stores by authors who hold to the biblical view of marriage," a spokesperson for LifeWay, a Southern Baptist affiliate, said in a statement to Christianity Today.
Peterson is the man behind The Message translation of the Bible as well as dozens of other titles including A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society, The Pastor: A Memoir and Run with the Horses: The Quest for Life at Its Best.
"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 84-year-old Peterson announced he revised his view on same-sex marriage in an interview with Religion News Service's Jonathan Merritt.
"I wouldn't have said this 20 years ago, but now I know a lot of people who are gay and lesbian, and they seem to have as good a spiritual life as I do. I think that kind of debate about lesbians and gays might be over. People who disapprove of it, they'll probably just go to another church. So we're in a transition, and I think it's a transition for the best, for the good. I don't think it's something that you can parade, but it's not a right or wrong thing as far as I'm concerned," Peterson says.
The Christian resource center also halted sales of evangelical Jen Hatmaker's books after she made similar statements.
"In a recent interview, [Hatmaker] voiced significant changes in her theology of human sexuality and the meaning and definition of marriage—changes which contradict LifeWay's doctrinal guidelines," LifeWay spokesman Marty King said in October 2016. "As a result, LifeWay has discontinued selling her resources."
Jessilyn Justice is the director of online news for Charisma. Born and raised in a pastor's family in Alabama, she attended Lee University and the Washington Journalism Center. She's passionate about sharing God's goodness through storytelling. Tell her what you think of this story on Twitter @jessilynjustice.
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