Can Christians Learn Something from Psychologist Jordan Peterson and His Growing Influence?

Theologians and other Christian writers are weighing in on the phenomenon of Canadian psychologist and professor Jordan Peterson, whose influence among young men continues to grow.

And even though Peterson is not a Christian, “his understanding of Scripture is something that we can learn from,” said British theologian Alastair Roberts in a Desiring God interview Monday.

“We see that there are structures of meaning and archetypes and these sorts of things. These are represented in Scripture,” he said of Peterson’s views about the Bible.

“But at the same time, it’s not inspired, infallible, or inerrant [for Peterson],” he continued. “It’s not the sorts of things that we as Christians would hold as absolutely essential to an orthodox doctrine of Scripture.”

Many first heard about the University of Toronto professor as a result of his advocacy in 2016 against bill C-16, which added “gender identity or expression” as a prohibited ground of discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act, something which Peterson objected to because in practice it requires belief in gender ideology and compels speech, as people would be forced to use the preferred gender pronouns for individuals who identify as transgender.

Largely since then, he has become an internet and speaking tour sensation, has amassed a huge following online, and his YouTube videos — where he has often given advice to troubled young men — receive millions of views.

Peterson, 56, who was raised Protestant and is unapologetically a “Jungian”— named after Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Carl Jung — told Roman Catholic author and podcaster Patrick Coffin in a Feb. 5 interview that he needed “three more years” before he could say whether or not he believed Jesus rose from the dead. Yet his best-selling book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, is saturated with scriptures and recognizes the Bible’s foundational role in Western civilization. Taken together with his fierce insistence on always telling the truth, he has won fans and admirers from within churches.

Roberts also observed that a significant part of the fascination surrounding Peterson is how he has connected with so many young men. While he has the professional credentials, he speaks to them not as an academic, but as a firm, kind-hearted dad.

“People recognize in him a father figure, and they respond to him as a father figure — someone who represents a man who cares about them, who’s concerned for their well-being, and who speaks with authority into their situation,” Roberts explained.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Brandon Showalter