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Christian Concerns About Jordan Peterson

6 December 2022

2.3 MINS

Some assorted concerns about Jordan Peterson

1. He is all about the self. Everything, no matter how transcendent or divine, is reflexed back to be about the self. Even the burning bush of Exodus 3. Even the statement, “the glory of God” in Romans 3. He will not approach the holy — he will rather hide in human psychology. Every. Single. Time.

Like many people, it seems to me that he fears the existence of such a God. He doesn’t let himself go there.

2. His entire outlook is immanent… That means, limited to this world (it’s the opposite of transcendent). Everything spiritual or divine is contained in this created cosmos. Everything objective, including truth itself, is contained in this created cosmos. The God of the Bible is excluded completely because there is no self-existing, transcendent, divine being. There is no Creator who imposes order (and a lot more besides), rather, the universe reveals its own order.

This is a neopagan outlook. It is the worship of creation. The divine is only here, part of the stuff of this world, just as we are. Romans 1 calls that “the lie.” It’s serious.

3. He preaches most of the pessimism of Christianity without the optimism. He is hopeless. He is Ecclesiastes without God. He is this passing world without eternity. He is sin without salvation. He carries a “cross” without the hope of resurrection. He is fallenness without redemption. He is the power of man without the power of God… People are messed up. Society is messed up. Utopia is not here and cannot be here. SO, TRY HARDER, MAN! The end.

Without the everlasting Kingdom of God, and the open door to enter it, not by my power, but through Jesus Christ the King… real, objective hope doesn’t exist.

4. He is exegeting the Bible, but “the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor 2:14). His exegesis is full of overt and subtle error which can be deceptive.
So, don’t get your Bible study from Peterson, unless it’s with a massive grain of salt and much discernment.

5. When he says “truth”, he does not mean what you mean. He means something approximating truth, which the universe has revealed to us about itself. He means some murky revelation of the immanent divine. The Bible is, to him, one such murky revelation of things immanent.

6. When he says “Christ” or “God”, he does not mean what you mean. He is speaking in metaphors.

7. If he had any kind of theological qualification, most of Christendom would be marginalising him as a pretty serious heretic. That’s a good thing to just bear in mind.

8. Weirdly, for all his focus on masculinity, he commits the single greatest masculine error imaginable… He rejects the true higher authority, as that authority revealed Himself. He won’t submit. He won’t be ruled over by the God he has read so much about. He prefers to rule over God, finding him in the hidden parts of this world — parts that are revealed in ways that never rise above his own intellect.

A big PS: None of this is to take away from the man’s towering intellect, his contribution to public discourse, his courage, his understanding of his field, or his discernment of the times in which we live. I have personally learned heaps from him. It is only to help people understand his limits, how to pray for him, and how to be wise when listening to him.

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Originally published on Facebook. Photo by Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons.

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6 Comments

  1. Jim Twelves 6 December 2022 at 6:50 pm - Reply

    Martyn, thank you. Quite a different take from my article, also published today, that asks could ‘Jordon B Peterson be a prophet’?
    For me, the Bible is replete with stories of God using non-Jews to speak to the Jews, and even he uses a donkey at one time if I remember correctly. I believe God can use anyone to call and direct his people, especially if the ‘church is not listening’.
    To become the judge of an other’s faith is rather dangerous in my view. I for one cannot say for certain that Jordan is ‘born again’; but does that preclude me from being called higher in my walk with God by such a voice?
    If Jordan succeeds in waking the church in our day, is not that the voice of a prophet?

  2. Kaylene Emery 6 December 2022 at 9:28 pm - Reply

    In over two decades of clinical practice in both private and public sector Mental Health J. P. Is without doubt the most charismatic personality I have ever experienced .
    He unashamedly speaks of his own encounters with prescription medications and the ramifications this had on his physical and mental health. I should add that I can relate .
    I admire and respect him as a man, for many many reasons. Like all brilliant Specialists and philosophers he has appropriated the Bible for his own personal agenda .
    What the activists did to him for for his refusal to comply to their insidious agenda’s , helps to explain why he has not yet realised that “ It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God”.

    • Jim Twelves 7 December 2022 at 8:37 am - Reply

      Kaylene, many thanks for this take. I think that yes the best way forward is to pray for a revelation of Jesus for JP. Having said that, I would still argue that he has been ‘used by God’ for good, even if he is not a ‘prophet’ in the strict sense of the word.

  3. Kaylene Emery 7 December 2022 at 4:42 pm - Reply

    I agree with you Jim and it is not difficult to pray for J.P.

  4. Warwick Marsh 8 December 2022 at 7:00 pm - Reply

    Martyn you are a very wise commentator. You have made some great points! Let me say upfront that I am a big fan of Dr Jordan Peterson. I released a video called 7 reasons why I like Jordan Petersen in 2019. https://youtu.be/f6SWRk54Y9I This is my article about Jordan Peterson in the Daily Declaration of the same name: https://dailydeclaration.org.au/2019/02/22/seven-reasons-why-i-like-jordan-peterson/

    My appreciation of Jordan Peterson is gaining ground as year by year he seems to be getting closer and closer to God. His daughter has professed faith in Christ . His wife the same. Jordan Peterson has yet to cross the line although only God really knows. It could be that he has crossed the line in his heart and his head still has to find out.

    Just as the law was a schoolmaster for Christ in that it pointed to Christ and laid a foundation for Christ Jordan Peterson is the same in his writings and lectures. I know many people who have either come to Christ or come back to Christ for the first time because of the wonderful work of Jordan Peterson.

    Jordan Peterson intellectual honesty about spiritual things and his personal honesty is staggering. Jordan Peterson is currently a one-man army against the forces of woke and the most well-known advocate for Judeo Christian Values in the world. For that he should be congratulated!

    Recently my wife and I heard Jordan Peterson speak in Adelaide Entertainment centre at the end of November 2022. He talked about the Hebrew meaning of the Hebrew name given to Jacob by God, ‘Israel’ which means, “he who wrestles with God.” Jordan was a the first to admit that he was following in Jacob’s footsteps

    The scripture in Ephesians 2:8-10, says that “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

    Let us pray for the necessary ingredient of childlike faith for Jordan Peterson. Pray that he allows God to win the wrestle just like Jacob. Soli Deo Gloria!!!

  5. David R Milford 31 October 2023 at 3:29 am - Reply

    Martyn, I have waited a long time to hear from someone who identifies biblical truths about “self.” Would love to share more but all in good time if there is an interest. One minor comment to what I have heard you say, would be to include a bit more in the direction of how “bad” changes to “good” in the atmosphere of “poverty” that you often speak of. I hear the message, but often in a mindset of being “hard” when actually it is a most wonderful thing to happen.

    So thankful you are sharing those truths. I’ve often noted that so few, (even the biblically educated), have little reality why God found it necessary to bring about the flood and totally miss that deeper truth about self and separation from God.

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