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A controversy was created when Peterson was reported to have expressed support for religious same-sex marriage, which had been endorsed by his denomination, the Presbyterian Church (USA), in an interview published in Religion News Service on 12 July 2017. He denied saying this the following day and further clarified his position by stating:
Recently a reporter asked me whether my personal opinions about homosexuality and same-sex marriage have changed over the years. I presume I was asked this question because of my former career as a pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA), which recently affirmed homosexuality and began allowing its clergy to perform same-sex weddings. Having retired from the pastorate more than 25 years ago, I acknowledged to the reporter that I "haven't had a lot of experience with it." To clarify, I affirm a biblical view of marriage: one man to one woman. I affirm a biblical view of everything.
Peterson was hospitalized on October 8, 2018, after his health took an abrupt and dramatic turn. "[It] was caused by infection", said his son Eric Peterson in an email. Peterson had retired from public life in 2017 after publishing his final book, As Kingfishers Catch Fire. This was around the same time as the same-sex controversy around him surfaced. In the days leading up to Peterson's death, his family is quoted as saying, "During [his final] days, it was apparent that he was navigating the thin and sacred space between earth and heaven. We overheard him speaking to people we can only presume were welcoming him into paradise. There may have even been a time or two when he accessed his Pentecostal roots and spoke in tongues as well." Peterson remained "joyful and smiling" in his final days.
When Paul of Tarsus wrote a letter, the people who received it understood it instantly, When the prophet Isaiah preached a sermon, I can't imagine that people went to the library to figure it out. That was the basic premise under which I worked. I began with the New Testament in the Greek -- a rough and jagged language, not so grammatically clean. I just typed out a page the way I thought it would have sounded to the Galatians.
A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society (1980)
Run With the Horses: The Quest for Life at its Best (InterVarsity Press, November 1983)
Traveling Light: Modern Meditations on St. Paul's Letter of Freedom (Helmers & Howard Publishing, 1988)
Reversed Thunder: The Revelation of John and the Praying Imagination (HarperCollins Publishers, 1988)
Answering God: The Psalms as Tools for Prayer (Harper San Francisco, 1991 reprint)
Where Your Treasure Is: Psalms that Summon You from Self to Community (Wm. B. Eerdman Publishing Company, 1993)
Like Dew Your Youth: Growing Up with Your Teenager (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1994)
Subversive Spirituality (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publish Publishing Group, 1994, reprinted in 1997 and 2006)
Take and Read: Spiritual Reading, An Annotated List (Eerdmans-Regent College Publishing, 1996)
Leap Over a Wall: Earthy Spirituality for Everyday Christians (HarperCollins Canada / Religious, 1997)
1 and 2 Samuel - Westminster Bible Companion (Westminster John Knox Press, 1999)
The Wisdom of Each Other: A Conversation Between Spiritual Friends (Zondervan, 2001)