Thoughts on Jordan Peterson

In response to Peterson’s latest video I have a few thoughts to share.

“Lay hands suddenly on no man” Paul tells Timothy. The fascination with Peterson stymies me, frankly. He’s a natural law evangelist who has confused the curse of God (“and yet you will rule over her”) with the commandments of God. He seems far from grace to me as he preaches to the Church. While he correctly sees issues with how we raise boys, his cure is worse than the disease. Natural law, codified in the Commandments is fulfilled with Christ who says “Love…” which means our motivation is not dominion over others but humility in serving and giving. He seems, in his studies of Genesis, to have missed the point that our gender as male is primarily to reflect God’s glory as authority, not authoritarian. By making men victims he has gained a lot of traction amongst the “wild at heart” crowd. Victim identities will always inform a self-justification of blame-shifting and then try to dominate the conquerors. It’s a never ending feedback loop. The goal of the church, “first and foremost” (stated in his latest video) has precious little to do with masculine woundedness. We are not commissioned with taking back our man garden but to take on the world with the Gospel. Like his natural theology, he is consumed with binary opposition. Masculinity is never instructed to build a ladder to heaven. We don’t want what males apart from God’s Grace have to offer. We already have that and see it in operation. This cheering section for the testosterone laden is unhelpful and messy. Bring all things under submission to Christ is first and foremost, not Peterson’s gospel of the macho.

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Jim Pocta

Psychotherapist/Biblical Counselor in Dallas. I’m a follower of Jesus, husband to Linda, father to three wonderful sons, father-in-law to three incredible daughters-in-law, grandfather to three amazing grandsons and granddaughter, and an elder at New St. Peter’s Presbyterian Church.

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