Jordan Peterson’s Religious Doubt

I have been critical of Jordan Peterson in the past. I think he has done a lot of good and has good ideas. However, I was skeptical because of his atheism. He is often quoted as saying that he, “fears God exists” or that he “doesn’t believe in God, but acts as if he does.” These are pithy lines. And I often feel these are just pithy lines he uses to make sure his Christian audience doesn’t abandon him.

I recently listened to an episode of his podcast that he did with Jonathan Pageau. Pageau is a member of the Eastern Orthodox artist, and he has a YouTube channel dedicated to understanding and teaching symbolism called The Symbolic World.

As an aside, I highly recommend Pageau’s videos. We live in an overly rational world, yet we are a narrative and myth-driven species. Understanding symbolism is a great way to decipher our current world. Here are a few good videos to get started: On Last Summer’s Protests, Problems With The Enlightenment, and On Feminist Propaganda

The interview between Peterson and Pageau is fascinating. It provides insight into Jordan Peterson’s personal beliefs that I had not previously seen. In the video we watch as Jordan Peterson truly wrestles with God and what it means to be a Christian. He asks and works through powerful questions. I’ll warn you now, it a bit of a heady talk. But it’s absolutely captivating.

While listening I found myself nodding along in agreement with Peterson. He has very relatable stumbling blocks when it comes to Christianity. Ones that I myself have had and have on bad days. And I would argue that Pageau does a great job of combating those objections and doubts. 

Humor me while I over-sell it. I’m reading St. Augustine’s Confessions for Lent.

Watching this interview feels like I’m watching a thirty-year-old St. Augustine wrestle with Christianity. Instead of the Manichees, it’s Modernity. He’s a man trying to release himself from the bondage of his earthly habits. He’s flailing and going to different mentors trying to find the truth with Pageau playing the role of Simplician. In this interview, we see a man on the cusp of sainthood. We see the next St. Augustine.

Okay. Thanks for humoring me. I have no idea what the future holds for Jordan Peterson. I do know we are in need of saints. Our anti-Christian world and the prevalence of heretical ideologies are fertile ground for the emergence of saints. 

Anyways, here is the video of an interesting talk between Jordan Peterson and Jonathon Pageau. It changed my mind about Jordan Peterson. I went from being skeptical to calling him the next St. Augstine. 

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