…for writing this post.
I received the following email, shortened for length:
A little less than a year ago, I sent Gary North an email about Jordan Peterson. I stated that I had become concerned about the Jordan Peterson "bandwagon."
The writer lists Tom Woods, Bob Murphy, Lew Rockwell, and yours truly as examples of those on the “bandwagon.”
After expressing my concern re Peterson’s comments on the Bible, Jesus, Christianity, etc., I said to Dr. North, “Without sounding too dramatic, before this gets out of hand, someone needs to write an exposé on him. I'm not the guy, but I'm thinking you might be or know someone that is….
He didn’t take up the challenge, but he did reply (and gave me permission to pass on his comments) with this:
"Just another liberal. They are like cockroaches. Step on one, and four more appear.
A psychology professor who has taught at Harvard and now Toronto…a liberal? To paraphrase Captain Renault: I'm shocked! Shocked to find that psychology professors at major western universities are liberal!
"What I do not understand is why any Bible-believer pays any attention to such people. But they do."
Of course, I believe there are many Bible-believers who do not understand why any Bible-believer would pay any attention to Gary North when it comes to the Bible….
Well, the good news is there is now an exposé, if you will, on Peterson from a major Christian organization.
Today’s daily article from Creation Ministries International (CMI) is: “Is Genesis psychology or history?”
It’s not quite as in-depth or extensive as I’d like it to be, but it does a great job of finally providing an analysis of Peterson for the Christian community from a Christian perspective. Please take a few minutes to read it. …I give Peterson credit for being excellent on several subjects/issues. It's just that he's awful when it comes to Christianity.
Why any Christian would look to Peterson to be good on Christianity is beyond me…but anyway…. Following is my reply, in total (with some editorial comments inserted), after which I will add some further comments:
I do not understand why it is important to turn Peterson into an "either / or" box: either he is 100% right on everything or he is not worth listening to at all.
"Is Genesis psychology or history?" Why can't it be both? Why does it take an atheist to elucidate the idea that God may have put more in Genesis than mere history, that God might have offered a meaning and depth to the narrative far greater than the mere recitation of facts and timelines?
Peterson isn't a theologian, he isn't a historian, he isn't an archeologist, he isn't an evolutionary biologist. He is a psychologist, and he has brought to life meaningful depth in these Biblical narratives. When it comes to the psychological aspects of his lectures, I find nothing blasphemous in this (I am sure there might be something, but little).
Unless there are some Christians who believe that God isn’t the author of human psychology?
Perhaps Christian critics can spend more time evaluating the value in Peterson's psychological interpretation and less time worrying about adding the years since Adam.
Because adding the years since Adam may be the least important religious aspect of the book of Genesis.
Is there value in knowing something more about Cain and Abel beyond who killed who? It seems to me, yes. Why did it take an atheist to popularize this? Why are Christian leaders angry (to the extent that some are)? I don't know; I wonder if it isn't, instead, jealousy.
Someone has the courage to say the things Peterson says about our social situation, the trend in university, etc. Things that need saying, things that Christian leaders should have been saying all along. Why not just accept that this is a pretty good day's work.
As you know, I do not get into theological discussion at the blog, so I have not commented one way or another on Peterson's theological views. I wouldn't bother listening to him or discussing him if this was my purpose.
Because I do not look to Peterson as a theologian. (Hint: in case you missed it…he also never once has claimed to be.)
Now, to my further comments…
Why am I so spun up about this? Christian leaders should probably stop pointing out the speck in Peterson’s eye while missing the log in their own. Christian leaders are as responsible as anyone (I won’t disagree if you say “more” responsible) regarding the loss of freedom in the west.
No, I am not saying because of the Reformation. I am saying leaders today, right here and right now. They are the biggest cheerleaders for the war state, the spy state, the militarized police; they are certainly beholden to the terrorist state of Israel. They pray for the troops, pray for those fighting to protect our…freedom?
They have the US flag and often the Israeli flag – in the hall, in the lobby, in the sanctuary. They stand and cheer when one of their congregants enlists to go fight. They have added a fifth gospel to the four that, apparently, were insufficient: the gospel according to Scofield.
Laurence Vance is an outcast for pointing out the depravity of the military; Chuck Baldwin a fool for leaving his cushy tax-exempt position.
Christian leaders are more political, backstabbing, unethical, and power-mad than many in big business and even politics. Yes, I can speak with some authority on this.
Peterson at least could say this much about Trump (paraphrased):
He has not embroiled the US in an additional stupid war….How do you gauge the success of any American president? Not engaging in a stupid war is a nice start.
How many Christian leaders have the courage to call the wars started by their blessed Bush II “stupid”? I will even settle for them calling Obama’s wars stupid. Instead, they praise Trump for the worst in him – support for Israel, dumping the Iran treaty; they criticize Obama for the best in him – his less-than-enthusiastic support for Israel and his entering into the Iran treaty.
OK, now that I have that off my chest…go ahead and comment about how I am a Peterson apologist. Focus on my speck instead of your so-called Christian leader’s log.