Peter Gomes Discusses his Recent Book

Posted by Kendall Harmon

RAY SUAREZ: You talk about preaching a sermon in which you mention some of these hard ideas about who Jesus, who God is and was in history. And you say, "Surprisingly enough, nobody walked out of church, but I did receive quite a few letters from people who were listening and didn't like what they heard. This reaction suggested to me that I was doing my job."

Is that your job as a preacher?

PETER GOMES: My job is, to coin a phrase used in the 19th century and adopted much by my old friend, Bill Coffin, "to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted." So, in some sense, if the one thing the sermon does is wake you up so that you discover that you don't agree, it's done a good thing, in that respect.

But most people stop there. They say, "I don't agree with that guy," and they click him off, and they'll never turn to him again, instead of pressing the matter. Why don't I agree? Where does this lead us? Opening rather than closing conversations.

Read it all.

Filed under: * TheologyChristology

4 Comments
Posted December 27, 2007 at 7:18 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. TonyinCNY wrote:

Why is it that when homosexual persons make public statements it so often sounds like self-justification?

A. Because it is.

We need go no further than the second question of the interview to see Gomes injecting sexuality and the third question to see him injecting homosexuality.  Now, tell me again, who is obsessed with sex?  I guess it’s those who define themselves first by their sexual orientation.

December 27, 10:23 am | [comment link]
2. wildfire wrote:

Surely these books just write themselves by now.  They appear to be more formulaic The Hardy Boys and more cliché-laden than a teenager phone call.  It does make it easier, however, for those of us who have no intention of reading them.

December 27, 11:28 am | [comment link]
3. Little Cabbage wrote:

Yup.  This is the man who (years and years ago) insisted Harvard grant him and his lover campus housing.  And, of course, that august institution did so.

TonyinCNY, you are ‘spot on’ in your observations.  Thanks.

December 27, 6:38 pm | [comment link]
4. Albany* wrote:

I think it is worth noting how “comfortable” life is at Harvard and NPR.

December 29, 11:13 am | [comment link]
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