On Believing [in] GOD

A Message of Encouragement for Dr. Jordan Peterson et al

A message of encouragement for Jordon Peterson et al…

Dear Dr Peterson,

I fułly understand your cynicism when considering the ‘mountains of contradictions’ you have observed, both in your reading of the (Judeo/Christian) history of belief and praxis and in your observation of its apparent failings. There are enormous contradictions yet there have been tantalising signs of integrity as (Christian) belief has produced enormous amounts of ‘good’ throughout the world. The Gospel is about ‘rescue & reconciliation, redemption & renewal. It is, ultimately about Justice: The Justice of God rather than the beliefs and ideas of man.

Romans 7:14-25

The Admission of SIN & Cry for Help

14 We know that the law is spiritual, but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[c] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Reconciliation (Redeemed. Rescued, Ransomed)

Romans 8:20-28

20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that[a] the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[b] have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

Taking Redemption Seriously/ Wade in The Water

Luke 9:23-26

23Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. 25What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? 26Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.

Dr Peterson, please do—Wade in The Waters of Grace, pick up the cross and follow Christ, who alone is The Way, Truth and Life. NB. Christ’s yoke is not burdensome. 

Sincerely Yours,

Derek J. White


Dr. Jordon

Losing Self

And he (Jesus) said to all, ’If anyone wishes to come along after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his SOUL will lose it; but whoever loses his soul for my sake, this one will save it. For what profit is there for a man gaining the whole cosmos but losing—or being deprived of—himself.’(Luke 9:23)

You do not exist—in fact ‘you’ were only ever a figment of metaphysical conjecture. indeed ‘you’ were not the person you once were—especially if ‘the mind’ has been ravaged by the effects of any form of degenerative disease (My wife and I when caring [over seven years] for my father-in-law evidenced the physical effects of such deterioration —from the accomplished engineer to the hapless victim of advanced dementia).

The view of Empiricist Philosophy is that, at birth, there exists the physical: That which is revealed at birth is a blank slate (tabula rasa) on which physiology and social mores dictate the outcome; well that is the normal state of affairs. However, Jesus cannot be referring to the kind of self of the above reasoning; there has to be something else—for if qualities that cannot be defined by physical laws, e.g., ‘redness’ or, in this case, ‘human identity (imago Dei) there has to be more to the story—a reason why the Gospels should record such a scary narrative, e.g., ‘the loss of personhood’. Edward Feser [1] offers the following:

For if sensible qualities as we experience them do not exist in the external material world, then they do not exist even in the brain and nervous system either, for these are, according to the Mechanical Philosophy, made up like everything else in the natural world of nothing more than colourless, odourless, tasteless particles governed by exceptionless laws of nature. And if these qualities do exist in the mind—and there is nowhere else to exist. According to Mechanical Philosophy—then the mind necessarily cannot be material, or at the very least not wholly material, since these sensitive qualities themselves cannot be material. The mind must instead be something like the soul as conceived of by Plato, an immaterial or non-physical substance, existing apart from the body and brain. P.190

There is, so much more to ‘me’ than meets the eye of the beholder—whether through what the latest medical technology has to offer or from the enquiring ‘musings’ of the most sophisticated philosophical enquirer.

Returning to the question posed by ‘the one who was, and is and is to come’—even Jesus. What would be the benefit of your or of my soul being lost for eternity? Of course, the challenge of following Christ is too much for so many of ‘us’; we’d rather not answer the King of King’s gracious invitation. “When Christ calls a man, he bids him to come and die.” (Deitrich Bonhoeffer). Moreover, Christ challenges us to live.

Derek J. White (03/01/22)

[1] The Last Superstition: A Refutation of New Atheism. 2008, P190