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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