Aaron Wolf on JBP


This differs not at all from the Neo-orthodoxy of the 20th century Mainlines, who fought (and failed) to reconcile Darwinism with the claims of 19th-century European theological liberalism and wound up embracing Christian existentialism.  Faith is redefined from confidence in the objectively true Word of God, knowable through the grace bestowed upon sinful man by the Holy Spirit, to a bold leap toward the absurd.  Scattered throughout his lengthy forays into Jungian theories of reality and folksy explanations of Darwinian biology, Peterson parrots Karl Barth here, and Norman Vincent Peale there.

[A]s for such faith: it is not at all the will to believe things that you know perfectly well to be false. . . . It is instead the realization that the tragic irrationalities of life must be counterbalanced by an equally irrational commitment to the essential goodness of Being.This is how you tackle that pile of papers on your desk.  It is also how Peterson’s “Jesus” showed himself to be the Son of God.  For this faith in the absurdity that the Old Testament god preferred by Nietzsche and Richard Spencer is one and the same with the New Testament god of love and forgiveness is a decision “to act as if existence might be justified by its goodness—if only you behaved properly.”  According to Peterson (as opposed to the fantasies of the racialist neopagans) this existential faith “is simultaneously the will to dare set your sights at the unachievable, and to sacrifice everything, including (and most importantly) your life.”  Peterson repeatedly attributes this attitude to Jesus of Nazareth.

Considering the difficulties presented here, and in light of the miserable state of our society and culture, we ought to ask some uncomfortable questions of ourselves: How did we get to the point where we thought we needed Jordan Peterson?  In other words, why is it that we are so desperate for a purveyor of Jungian archetypes, the collective unconscious, Nietzschean existentialism, liberal/Neo-orthodox theology, and practical agnosticism to tell us the meaning of the Bible, why we ought to tell the truth, why we should be kind to others, why we should refuse to use the made-up pronouns zhe and zhir, and ultimately how to find meaning and purpose in life?  Is it that we, as philosophers, theologians, opinion-writers, and journalists—even as parents and grandparents—have completely lost touch with the truth and therefore cannot teach it to our children and to the young men in our communities?  Do we posses faith, hope, and love, but lack Jordan Peterson’s prudence and fortitude?  Could we, if called upon, declare the truths of the Unknown God, as St. Paul did to the Athenians, to Peterson himself?

Would we, if given the chance?  Or would we just ask for an autograph?

About PaulVK

Husband, Father of 5, Pastor
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1 Response to Aaron Wolf on JBP

  1. Lincoln Dunstan says:

    When are commentators going to cease from editorialising on JBP? You are going to have to get a whole lot smarter if you are planning any time soo on pigeon-holing him!!
    From the Bible…”Patience is a virtue”, so give the man a bit of time and space as he has stipulated.
    Why does everyone want to run 10kms ahead of him. Let him grow up. He does not pretend to mix with theological heavyweights at this point in time, (as I understand) which doesn’t preclude him from offering ill founded commentary from time to time.
    I don’t see too many arm-chair critics having lit up the world in the last couple of years like JBP has!! So pull your collective heads in for a couple or so years and then get out the knives!!
    …and I’m a conservative Christian at that,..

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