Jordan Peterson: Message to the Christian Churches

There is a lot to discuss in this.  At some point we should try for a transcript. Listen to the whole thing before reacting. I know, I know… there’s combox and some people click into full “OOGA BOOGA” mode and have to start spouting before they’ve even gotten past the title. Try for a little patience. It won’t hurt.

BTW… what group within the Catholic Church is more aligned with Peterson’s message than most others? And what does that say about those who are trying to suppress them?

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  1. Public Savant says:

    I have had my reservations about Jordan Peterson from the beginning (constant Jung references) yet I still find myself listening to much of what he has to say and agreeing with him. He is right in this video, especially in his message about getting young men back to Mass. That said, Peterson himself has failed to make that ‘leap of faith’ and does not seem to get how that works so I am not sure about the wisdom of issuing such advice as long as he’s unwilling to become Catholic himself.

  2. redneckpride4ever says:

    Churches exist to save souls?!

    Wow, do I feel dumb. All this time I assumed they were communes to reinvigorate the hippie movement. I can’t believe that Jesuit missionary I met at the reggae festival would mislead me.

    Seriously though, this is spot on. Not to far off from what I hear at my TLM. Also not far off from what my traditionally minded NO pastor speaks.

  3. Cornelius says:

    Very good, excellent message. But the Church must do more than simply put up a welcome sign to young men. The Church must get rid of effeminacy within itself for it is effeminacy that repels men in general (young or old).

  4. JonPatrick says:

    He nails it. Now if only there was a Catholic liturgy that appealed to young men. I wonder if it could be that one the Vatican is trying to suppress.

  5. Kevin says:

    Were he to become Catholic. A certain very high level prelate might refuse an audience because of Jordan being too rigid being insufficiently pastoral.
    He’ll have to be careful. ;)

  6. Dan says:

    “Now if only there was a Catholic liturgy that appealed to young men”
    Sadly where I live, due to priest movements and shortages with no help from TC the closest TLM is a good hour away and outside our diocese. Our closest within the diocese is 2.5 hours. BUT that doesn’t mean even the NO cannot appeal to young men if it is done right.
    I have seen this in altar servers I work with, young men are dying to take responsibly! to be held to account. I have taken the altar server training from the TLM and applied it in the NO and the boys respond. Some people might say I am too particular or hard on them when I ask them why they showed up in tennis shoes and are not wearing black pants and shoes. Or correct their sitting posture etc etc etc, but I have seen an increase in their attentiveness, the boys in particular seek me out for their questions and to share their ideas, they want to do it right! I am not saying be mean, but this idea we have to constantly coddle our young boys or they will not like coming to Mass and will not serve is complete crap. Give them a challenge and they respond and more and more come.

    If you want to start recovering the sacredness of the liturgy, begin with the altar servers, their reverence will begin to spread everywhere.

  7. ThePapalCount says:

    An extremely powerful exhortation and timely instruction. I wish we had more bishops and pastors that could be so forceful. He makes excellent points but his call to care for souls reminds us what “church” is all about. This is a firm slap of reality.
    We need to “man-up” the holy Church.

  8. JabbaPapa says:

    Public Savant, it took me ten years from my initial conversion to becoming a Catholic through anointment with the oil of the Catechumens, then Baptism, Eucharist, and Confirmation.

    Let us celebrate his Christianity, and let God, Father, Son, and Spirit work in him, and all the Saints and Angels.

  9. Not says:

    No Worries ! Pope Francis, God Bless Him, just declared we should eat less meat to help save “the Planet”. All those vegan men will now be flocking to the church!
    My pet peeve…It’s the EARTH, where life began. The planets are those dead hunks of rock where there is no life nor ever will be.

  10. raisingdragonslayers says:

    On a recent episode of JBP’s podcast, he speaks to Rod Dreher — it’s a fascinating conversation about Truth between two men who are aaaaalmost there. I recommend it. (Episode 268: “Live Not By Lies”)

  11. Katherine says:

    I’ve been “following” Jordan Peterson since back when he was a lowly college professor posting poor quality videos of his undergraduate lectures on Youtube. If you want to get to the nub of this great man, I think it would be that he seeks the Truth, the beautiful Truth and the terrifying Truth. At the beginning of his Truth seeking, I do not think he knew that the Truth is a person. It is a delight to watch him evolve, moving ever closer to God the a real person, The Truth, Jesus Christ. I look forward to the day when Dr. Peterson stops calling Jesus “the archetypal perfect Man” and starts calling Him his Savior. As a friend of mine always says, “When you seek the Truth, you end up Catholic.”

  12. Katherine says:

    In response to raisingdragonslayers:

    Unfortunately, Mr. Dreher was Roman Catholic. If I remember correctly, he had a very public disappointment with how Archbishop Chaput was handling the abuse crisis in the early 2000s. He spoke the truth: it’s not a pedophilia problem; it is a gay-clerics-in-powerful-places problem. Of course he was basically ignored and ridiculed and finally took his toys to the Orthodox Church, where he’s had a few scuffles, too. He’s another man who finds the Truth and shouts about it. Both he and Jordan Peterson have gotten in hot water for that.

  13. Joe says:

    I have been following Dr. Peterson since Toronto. I hope and pray that he converts to the One True Church. He is right on the edge of doing so. I can see all the signs.

  14. monatingi says:

    I recently listened to a fantastic lecture by Dr. Anthony Esolen on the vocation of marriage. There is a similar thought process that Dr. Esolen proposes which lines up well with Dr. Peterson’s thoughts. Dr. Esolen encourages Catholic parishes to sponsor family dances (both young and old) on a monthly basis, to encourage young men and women who desire marriage to be able to meet each other in a relaxed and fun gathering where they can hopefully meet their future spouse and help build a solid Catholic culture within the parish.

  15. benedetta says:

    Coincidentally, my son has been discussing this week his idea to found a young men’s group. He’s looking for name suggestions. I’m thinking, Confraternity. But this is spot on from Jordan Peterson. Regardless of the fact that he hasn’t fully settled on becoming Catholic yet, he gets it right that the Church has traditionally been the place where civilization gets saved during desperate times. He gets the diagnosis for the present collapse right.

  16. MB says:

    Truth. I was hoping to get more of it at my TLM parish, but there was so much that was just not talked about; so much beneath the surface that no one was willing to face. I think it was due to the fact that ultimately a pastor (any pastor) has to pay the bills, so he always has to be careful not to offend. So, you go thirsty for truth, but what you get is more like greywater. Weeelll, it’s not clear cut …. weeeelll it’s complicated …. wellllll it’s not that black and white. I think that young men are thirsty for Truth. Aren’t we all. We should try telling it sometime.

  17. Fr. Reader says:

    From minute 1: “A variant of the sense of original sin in a very real sense.”… Very interesting idea.
    Min 2. I was wondering who this Dolores Umbridge is.
    Min 3. I don’t really know why he things it is “particularly true” of young men. Here in the country I live the demoralization is very deep in women.
    Min 4. I am not super-fan of Dr Jordan Peterson, but I found this video very interesting. Clear, to the point, well organized, and rich in content. Every minute is rich.
    Min 5. Ha… the old joker Jacques Derrida… “Divine Logos”: “What should we worship celebrate, properly, other than that? Deconstructionist?”
    Min 6. About the impulse that seems to be satanic in nature.
    Min 7. “A woman to find, a garden to walk in, a family to nurture, an ark to build, a land to conquer, a ladder to heaven to build, and the utter terrible catastrophe of life to face, stalwartly in truth, devoted to love, and without fear…”
    Min 8. We are outdated. And… who cares about you!
    Min 9. “Protestant… you’re the worst”. I was not expecting something like this. “Billboard: young men.”
    Min 10. Ask more, not less. “Ask more of them than anyone ever has.” “Your church is for God’s sake. Quit fighting for social justice. Quit saving the bloody planet. Attend to some souls.”

    Sorry for the long post. Video worth sharing.
    I saw that he also has a message to Muslim.

  18. The Vicar says:

    If I decline to listen to a pagan lecture me on my own faith, does that make me a bad person?

    Having read “12 Rules for Life,” I am underwhelmed.

    [You read a book, so you won’t watch this. … oh]

  19. maternalView says:

    I’ve had my reservations about Peterson because of his admiration of Carl Rogers. But his recent willingness to consider God is a welcome development.

  20. Fr. Reader says:

    @The Vicar
    I would not say he is a pagan. He is a very peculiar Christian.
    I would like to know a bit more of his metaphysical thought.

  21. Unfinished says:

    I have always seen Peterson as a sort of virtuous pagan so I generally enjoy his content. I think this video is worth the 10 minutes.

    Just wish he would follow his own advice from this video and become Catholic already. Having listened to him for a while, it seems to me he desperately desires to embrace Catholicism but there is some sort of intellectual block he can’t get over.

  22. JabbaPapa says:

    I know you don’t much like straight video links, Father, but this is great – – about Confession, the Eucharist, and the Sacraments. And the Faith.

  23. johnwmstevens says:

    I have watched and listened to a fair amount of Dr. Peterson’s work. He seems to be rediscovering big parts of Catholicism starting from first principles. In this video, he does that again.

    What is a call to the priesthood but a call to live a life of heroic virtue? To ask not just more, but MUCH more of a man? What is more attractive to a young man than the call to engage in battle and the opportunity to be heroic in service to something worth living and dying FOR?

    Is this not one of the successes of the empty new age religions: that they are calling young men to battle? Sadly, in the name of false gods or human leaders who are at best corrupt, and at worst on par with the mass murderer Dr. Peterson mentions, so the end result ends up being as corrupt as the source.

    We have something worth infinitely more.

  24. Katherine says:

    In response to The Vicar:

    Jordan Peterson’s Rule 9 from the book that underwhelmed you is titled, “Assume That the Person You are Listening to Might Know Something You Don’t.”

    We don’t have to be alike to learn something from one another, but that kind of learning, learning something very new to you, might require listening to someone very different from you.

  25. Cy says:

    It is a very good secular sociological take on Christianity and it’s place/role today in the world.

    Only wish Dr Peterson would take his own advice not for his own good but in support of the other goods he mentions. This was the missed finale of his presentation.

    Until then it does ring incredible in spite of my great admiration of this man’s thinking. It supposes a separate power to “instruct” the churches.

    But he has done a very lot of good for mankind with his work in society.

  26. ChiaraDiAssisi says:

    @ unfinished, that was a charitable interpretation. Intellectual block. :) Faith is a gift.
    I watched the video. It was okay. There are some good points and Fr. Reader pointed out something overlooked by J.P. that the demoralization is very deep in women as well. Something always leaves me uneasy and a bit sad about J.P.’s rants. I should say it leaves me a bit sad. I suppose to put it quite simply, it is difficult to listen to someone shouting at others to attend to their souls (which we all should) while not seemingly to adhere to anything that is actually good for his soul. Is he protestant? I don’t think he is a catholic or orthodox. What is a soul to him? What does it mean?

    TRUTH IS A PERSON. Truth is not threatened.

    Shouting at the world to attend to their souls because your comfortable existence has turned topsy turvy by a world in chaos and steeped in sin is not the same as the real work that is needed and that is our own personal sanctification. Ao he has a platform because he has gone against things that are too uncomfortable for him. But why? My opinion won’t be popular because for some strange reason, catholics like to cling to worldly folks who throw us a bone every once in a while. But we don’t need the world to tell us where to find truth, thanks be to God. We need to tell the world by our holy lives. Yes, J.P. is right, attend to our souls. Bravo. But, I think it will fall on deaf ears because he so far, doesn’t stand for anything except his own reasoning and observations about what works. People want to hear from someone who practices what they preach. So he just threw protestants under the bus with another astute observation. He is full of observations. Big deal! Just like the world, what he says will seem incoherent because he has not fully conformed himself to Christ, Who is Way, the Truth and the Life.
    Yes, attend to your souls but he has to teach them how or just be quiet! We need Saints! Not J.P.’s on loudspeaker rants about the chaos surrounding us. Every. One. Of those men who attended his conference was looking for Christ. And he couldn’t point them to Him! He could not emphatically say, you are looking for Christ. Because he still doesn’t know for sure himself. In the long run, this hurts the individuals. You can rile people up, get them excited about fighting this chaos but if it is not done for God and His glory, then what good is it? You’re just back to fighting for a comfortable life that fits your own standards.
    I pray he comes into the fold. That would be wonderful, as God wills it!

  27. ChiaraDiAssisi says:

    I guess Luke 9:49 comes to mind after my comments but seriously, if J.P. would just follow his own advice and make the leap already! The water is fine! You’ll find lots of crazy people to complain about within the church as well.

  28. Les Buissonets says:

    Austen Ivereigh (one of the Red Guard) has watched this video as well. His tweet in response: “It’s always refreshing to find a resurgence of Gnosticism pur et dur.” I’m not sure that St Augustine would have agreed that paying attention to the salvation of souls is somehow Gnostic, but there you are.

  29. SimonK says:

    @Public Savant (and others making similar points about Jordan Peterson): some people come to Faith quickly, others far more slowly. It seems at least possible that one day Peterson will in fact to convert (whether to Catholicism, or at least to some form of Christianity). He’s very slowly leading himself in that direction, and every step makes taking that “leap of faith” easier. Whether he will ever take the leap, God only knows – but we should hope and pray that one day we might hear that happy news.
    Another famous individual who seems to (slowly) be showing greater openness to faith is Elon Musk–another for whom we should pray that openness will continue to grow (at whatever speed it will), and maybe some day bear fruit.
    @Katherine: I felt this temptation within me to follow in Rod Dreher’s footsteps – I had done very little to act on it (never even stepped foot in an Orthodox Church), but I was struggling with it in my heart. And there has been a stream of unhelpful things strengthening that temptation – Traditiones custodes, papal promotion of Father James Martin SJ, and many more things of that ilk. But then, about three months back, news broke of his divorce – a sad development, for him, for his wife, and (above all) for their children – but for me, it was a kind of wake up call as to one of the downsides of Orthodoxy. I wonder, if he and his wife had stayed Catholic, would they have still ended up divorcing? I think, at least, it might have given them greater pause, whereas maybe belonging to a church which accepted that as an option made it easier for them to choose that path. It reminded me, whatever difficulties we experience as Catholics, there remain positive things we possess as Catholics which the Orthodox (and others) do not, and this is one of them. Finally, I don’t think we should ever give up hope that Rod Dreher (and Julie Dreher too) might one day come back to the Catholic Church, as a prodigal son and/or daughter–we should keep them both in our prayers.

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