Archives For Jordan Peterson

Dennis Prager’s interview with Jordan Peterson from March this year has it’s cringe worthy moments. All in all, though, it’s worth hearing. As you know I’m cautious about Peterson. I’d like to hear him be more direct about how faith informs his theological statements.

More often than anything else, Peterson focus’ on the humanity of Christ and comes across as a curious spectator. He sees that there’s more to Jesus Christ, but is bound by the conventions of thought inherited through a revisionist system that is at best, begrudgingly tolerant of Biblical Christianity (Judeo-Christianity), and is at its worst, completely hateful of Biblical Christianity and anything related to it. This is understandable given that Peterson’s academic history and that his field is psychology. The concern is that he skirts around the incarnation of Christ, and more dangerously seems to flirt with an abstract notion of it.

Continue to pray for him. The interview is as close as I’ve heard him get to any acknowledgement of Jesus Christ’s divinity, re: the incarnation of the Word of God. Among others, one accurate takeaway point can be summarised as this: if we cannot understand the shadows of creation, we will fail to appreciate the light. This partially echoes some of Karl Barth’s discussion in CD 3:3 on how sin and nothingness are not part of the shadows of creation, but are an ‘alien element’ that manipulates the shadows in it’s opposition to creation as a whole.

There’s no real need to give you a one thousand word commentary on the following lectures. This is because the content in each speaks for itself. I’ve watched all three; each of them reflect what I’ve written about or questioned here and on my other social media platforms.

When it comes to anything posted by or about Jordan Peterson, I am a cautious and curious listener. He has a grasp of the major issues that few, including most theologians and pastors, do. That’s a sad indictment, but the reality is most theologians and pastors show up as left-leaning and thus refuse to break with the modern liberal ideological radicalism perverting politics. My best guess is that this is due to the fear of public ridicule or a reluctance with having to deal with internal conflict caused by presenting an honest theological critique of the socio-political situation we are currently in.

My problem with Peterson is that he skirts around his own faith and steers clear of clarifying how his theology, or Christian theology in general, speaks into the political milieu of our age. This is amplified by his consistently ambiguous acknowledgement that the success of Western civilisation, especially after, through and despite so much human induced disaster, is due in large part to the Judeo-Christian faith and Western society’s Judeo-Christian foundations. However, given that Peterson is not a theologian, any outright rejection of Peterson would be too hasty; too harsh; too soon.

In regards to Alister McGrath, I’m a lot more receptive and less guarded. McGrath is a lot less political and a lot more consistent in his theological arguments, which are openly supported by his open confession of faith in Jesus Christ. This said, as a true blue student of Karl Barth, when it comes to McGrath overall, I’m drawn to hold some of McGrath’s thoughts on Natural Theology in question. Nevertheless, what Alister McGrath presents in the lecture below is outstanding and worth the effort spent absorbing.

Third and lastly, although I’m not all that well acquainted with Peter Hitchens, other than that he’s a seasoned journalist and the brother of the late militant atheist, Christopher Hitchens. I’m more inclined to listen to him because, like McGrath, he was a man of the radical Left, but is now a man-in-revolt against the radical Left.

Like Peterson, Hitchens is not a theologian, but speaks theological truths into a world happy to deny a Christian voice at the table unless it is a) supportive of the modern liberal ideological radicalism perverting politics or b) supportive of the unforgiving caricature of Christians in mainstream media.

Hitchens is careful with his words, considerate, relational and sober minded. Three qualities that Peterson and McGrath also possess; three qualities which make a great case for taking seriously what each individual has to say.

Peterson: ‘Postmodernism and Cultural Marxism‘ 

Alister McGrath: ‘Why God Won’t Go Away

Peter Hitchens: ‘The Abolition of Britain’ and other topics

 

 ‘Whoever has ears, let them hear.’ (Matthew 11:15)