He is not a Christian and you should not expect his views to be. What Jordan Peterson is doing is very commendable. He is standing up to the intellectual stupidity that has pervaded our educational system and political discourse. Perhaps God has placed him in this time and place for this specific purpose because he is able to confront the insidious ideals that threaten western civilization better than any Christian could.
He is to be lauded as a correcting voice but for Christians to idolize him in any way shows how truly ignorant they are of scripture and the knowledge of God. But what I do expect is some fairness and clarity on the issue. If, when asked if he believed in God, Peterson had the decency to respond, "No, not in the sense that most people define God," I probably would not have bothered with responding to him.
But what we get is a minute word salad about archetypes and the internal structure that gives rise to consciousness. I think Peterson is not standing up to the intellectual stupidity, but he is capitalizing on it. The vast majority of his fans cannot understand the implications of his system of thought. The fact that some can even mistake him for a Christian is both an indictment of the Church for training our people so poorly, and of him for not being intellectually honest.
US July 30th, I agree, JP tends to read WAY to much into what the Bible says; always looking for allegories to profound truths which the authors and God may or may not have actually tried to convey. But I still get a lot out of watching his lectures. I used to have the social skills of a carrot, but he's helped me a ton in terms of increasing my social abilities. His criticisms of postmodernism and extreme liberalism are things that I'm sure you at CMI share.
His way of debating isn't confrontational; it's calm and understanding. I wish the more militant atheists like Dawkins and Harris could debate like Jordan Peterson. I do disagree with one minor point made in this article: "In lecture 3 at , Peterson shows a picture of Moses coming down from the mountain with the Ten Commandments, and he says the Israelites were terrified because of the revelation of the universal moral law—'break the universal moral law and see what happens'.
But this doesn't refute Peterson's point that the Israelites were terrified of what happens when they break the universal moral law; that is EXACTLY why they were afraid.
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They were breaking said law at that moment! So I'm not sure why you believed that Peterson was incorrect in saying that Anyways, thanks for taking so much time to research his lectures and thank you for writing this article.
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AU July 30th, Thanks for your response Lita. To clear up any misconceptions, I am not defending Peterson in a general sense. I just think that your review of him did not fairly appreciate his position or deal with it, but was instead a knee-jerk "hatchet job".
I stand by that assessment of your review. Critiques are generally most useful if they first attempt to sympathetically understand the position they are disagreeing with and engage with it meaningfully, but yours does not. From some of your other comments, it seems that you do not feel that he has been "fair" with your own position. I just wonder, though, whether "two wrongs make a right". It should be clear to anyone who listens to Peterson, or knows anything about Jung, that he is dealing with unconscious meanings.
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That is precisely why he can argue for meanings in art, for instance, that go against what the artist themselves would have said was the meaning of the work. If you believe in a "sensus plenior", and it seems you do and I agree with you on this , then I think you could admit that while we might disagree with Peterson on the precise mechanism by which deeper meanings are found in scripture, he is nonetheless correct that they do exist; and if we admit that, then I do not see why you can exclude the kind of archetypal meanings that he finds. In other words, his exegesis may be essentially correct in at least some cases, even if his explanation for how that meaning got there is flawed.
Again, it should be obvious to everyone, and I think is, that Peterson is not a Christian in any meaningful sense. However, it is possible that he has more belief in a transcendent metaphysical realm than what he is prepared to make explicit due to the constraints of secular academia. That was certainly the case with Jung.
Lita Cosner July 31st, If listening to dozens and dozens of hours of his videos does not indicate that we tried to fairly assess his position, I don't know what would satisfy you. Spending so many hours researching it also would tend to indicate it's not knee-jerk. His exegesis is flawed because not only does it not come to the conclusion that Jesus Christ is Lord, but it would lead people away from that truth.
You might as well say that Paul should have 'sympathetically understood' the Judaizers. Peterson is not a Christian, he is presenting another gospel, he is twisting the Scriptures to do it, and we dealt with him accordingly. For the record, I think our tone was quite restrained and civil. We quoted plenty of his statements, and gave the timestamp if anyone wants to go and listen to see if we took him out of context, which we tried not to do.
The demons believe in a transcendent metaphysical realm, and shudder. Stop trying to make him sound better than he is. Andrew S. AU July 31st, There is no doubt in my mind that Dr Peterson is preaching another gospel and his gospel is firmly predicated on a belief in evolution.
Evolution is of course fundamentally hopeless. Peterson stands out among a discipline that is steeped in postmodernism by standing boldly on a Christian assertion of responsibility. He has a protestant family heritage and his unspoken goal is to integrate meaning into an evolutionary framework. Good luck to him. His other great attraction is his overt stance against Marxist postmodernism; a philosophy that has no place for the individual but only the group.
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The massive contradiction is his thinking is his inability to question evolution or indeed to defend it. His talks are littered with silly just-so stories of the sexual selection type. The reason it is silly, is because you can argue for a point or its counterpoint using sexual selection. The only thing it proves is the willingness of the speaker to go out on the limb of populism. As a disciple of Karl Jung looking for meaning in the stories of our culture, it leaves him in an awkward spot with regards to the Bible.
My prayer for Peterson is that someday he will be awestruck as he contemplates the immense power that is displayed in the word of God, especially as it is expressed by Jesus Christ. Steve O.
US July 31st, But the Lord God called to the man, 'Where are you? Yet you judge Peterson for not having a "Christian view of God" when he clearly states he's not a Christian. What else would you expect? Having read his book, "12 Rules for Life" it is obvious that Peterson does have a perspective worthy of contemplation for the "good Christian" who has the courage and emotional maturity to read it.
It's a very good, well written book. Are Christians so timid that they can't read a book they disagree with?
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A Christian's perspective can be so obsessively focused on anti-evolution creationism and the theology of God that they are unable to appreciate a valid and very Biblical perspective on the psychology of the those "created in His image. Are you a Christian? If so, you should be concerned that in your defense of Peterson I couldn't tell where you were coming from. If not, it's no surprise that you don't understand our problem with his misinterpretation of the Bible.
Obviously we're not too timid to interact with views we disagree with, hence this article, for which we listened to many, many hours of his lectures which are as rambling as his writing. I also have listened to the audiobook of 12 Rules for Life--his style is more bearable to listen to than to read. So you can put aside the straw men that Christians are afraid of everything they criticize. Our criticisms are valid, and you didn't deal with any of them.