Jordan Peterson on Meaning

I admire much that Jordan Peterson has done and said. Very much. But I cannot accept his thought entirely regarding the question of Meaning in our lives and times, which he and others have publicly discussed, and which many admire.

To the contrary, it is Jesus Christ, “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Heb. 13:8), who is our ultimate Meaning, or it is nothing. His life, His teachings, His cross and His resurrection. This is what Christians confess.

If Jesus is not the ontological Center of all existence, if He does not inspire us wholly, there can be no complete Meaning in our lives.

We are because He is. And only because He is. This is our Meaning. Who are we apart from our Maker?

He is our Creator, the Logos, the Meaning of all existence, and we cannot retreat from the biblical and traditional understanding of the Incarnation (Jn 1:1-14) or suggest that ultimate Meaning can be found elsewhere.

Christians cannot recede spiritually into aesthetics or psychology (however much these have their own proper place) or into the mists of philosophical uncertainties. We cannot return to “unknown gods” (Acts 17:23).

We are because He is. This alone is our Meaning. When this truth is received and confessed (Gen. 1:1; Jn 1:12), everything that flows from it becomes wondrous and is open for faithful philosophical reflection and discussion. But we cannot live and act merely “as if God exists,” which until now is as far as Jordan Peterson says he can go in confessing a kind of spirituality.

No. Jesus is “the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (Jn. 1:29; 3:16,17). We must receive and confess the whole revelation of God in Christ Jesus, because only “if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Rom. 10:9).

 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.” (Jn. 1:1-3).

This is our Meaning and the invitation for the entire human race. We cannot barter this meaning or transvalue it into other non-biblical meanings. Even Jungian ones.

The law and the prophets were given until John; since then the good news of the kingdom of God is preached, and every one enters it with urgency.” (Lk. 16:16). We must not postpone decision (Heb. 9:27).


See also, Gilson, St. Thomas and the Self-Attesting God