What can we learn from the Jordan Peterson phenomenon?

This is an excellent analysis of the Jordan Peterson phenomenon (the massive response, good and bad, from many on social media, his You Tube videos, interviews with left-wing journalists, and his best selling book, “12 Rules for Life”).  Alastair Roberts analyzes Peterson from a Biblical, Christian view-point.  It covers the good things about him and his ideas, and the problems with his basis / presuppositions.  He is not an Evangelical Christian, but he respects the Bible as one of the most important foundations of Western culture and civilization and understands the principles in Scripture that explain the psyche of man (the soul and heart of humans, in regard to sin, pride, jealousy, bitterness, etc.), – from his psychological (Jungian – see Carl Jung article) viewpoint, as true.  His Darwinism is a big problem for Bible believing Christians; but his amazing respect for the Bible make him very different from other Darwinian Atheists who are militant in their hatred / antipathy of the Bible, God and Christians. Peterson is very different than the late Christopher Hitchens or Richard Dawkins, or Sam Harris. (the “New-Atheists”) Peterson seems to be more “agnostic” than a hard-line atheist, in what I have seen when interviewers ask this question to him. (Of what I have seen. I have not had time to watch every thing.)

Be sure to read the entire article. Alastair Roberts provides an excellent and helpful analysis of Jordan Peterson’s entire philosophy of where he is coming from.  What Alastair Roberts says at the end is very important about men, fathers, pastors, authority, and caring.  Part of Jordan Peterson’s appeal is that he exudes genuine caring about young men.  Well worth reading and thinking about.



See also this video and my other comments about Jordan Peterson, where I really agree with him on this issue of what has happened to our modern western Universities for the past 30-40-50 years:


Posted in Apologetics, moral corruption of culture, Morality and Ethics in Government, Truth, Western Universities and cultural Marxism

About the Canon of Scripture and church history

The original meaning of the word “canon” κανων is “standard”, “rule”, “law”, “measuring rod”, “criterion”), based on the Hebrew קנה (= reed, rod, measuring stick). The later meaning “list” of God-breathed books, is based on the original meaning of “standard”, “rule”, “criterion”.

If a book is “God-breathed” (2 Tim. 3:16), then it is automatically “canon” (standard, rule, criterion) when it is written.

The discernment/process/discovering of all the God-breathed books written in the first century, took a while for all the churches to get all the scrolls together, since all were scrolls in first and second century, and early forms of “codex” (sheets flattened and tied together) only started becoming standard practice (from what I understand) in the later part of second and third centuries.

The second meaning of “canon” as “list” of authoritative books, is based on the first meaning of “standard” / “rule”, which is based on the quality of being “God-breathed”.

Thanks to Dr. Michael Kruger and Dr. James White – who are a great blessing in this area of the canon and the early church, in equipping the saints in apologetic answers as we do evangelism and missions.  For more, see here.

Apologetics and Agape

Canon Revisited, by Michael J. Kruger

Michael J. Kruger has some excellent books and a very informative web-site on the issues on the New Testament canon.

I recommend his book, Canon Revisitedfor people wanting to study the issue of the New Testament canon more accurately and deeply.

Professor Kruger has another book coming out later this year on the canon.

Also, he co-wrote another important book, the Heresy of Orthodoxy, with Andreas Kostenberger which deals with the whole Bauer-Pagels-Ehrman thesis that Gnostics and other heretical groups like Ebionites, Sabellians, Montanists, Arians, etc. were equally valid as expressions of early Christianity.  The thesis claims that it was the political power of Rome in the 4th and 5th Centuries that won the victory over them by force and persecution and the result was that “the victors wrote the history”, which is a common modern attack against orthodox Christian doctrine regarding the…

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Posted in Apologetics, Canon of Scripture, church history, Truth

How our suffering Glorifies God


See the link where John Piper preached the same message at a different venue – see the written text of his message.


Posted in Sanctification/Holy living, Spiritual growth, Suffering and God's Sovereignty

Make War on your own self-pity and temptation to sulk

“Make War on your urge to sulk” by John Piper

One of the reasons John Piper is such a blessing to me (and to so many) is that he is so honest and real about his own sinful tendencies; and also probably for me, these characteristics describe my sinful personality also. This is a good message for all who struggle with self-pity and sulking, introverted kinds of selfishness.

This quote is really good on how the gospel brings the power of God into our sanctification, because justification is first and the ground and basis, and we work out our sanctification from the foundation of our justification by faith alone in Christ alone.

“Now, Charles Wesley taught us to sing, “He breaks the power of canceled sin.” When he did, he was teaching the fundamental truth about how the cross of Christ relates to our battle with our own sin.

The cross cancels sins by faith for all who believe in Jesus. Then on the basis of that cancellation of our sins, the power of our actual sinning is broken. It’s not the other way around. There would be no gospel and no music if we tried to sing, “He cancels the guilt of our conquered sins.” That’s not gospel. First the cancellation, then the conquering, which means that the link between the cross and my conquered sin is a Holy Spirit–empowered willing. It works a willing in me.” John Piper

This reminds me of Romans 6:6-7 and 6:11-14 – the sanctification part of our lives that we can fight against sin, is only because we were first set free from the slavery to sin, verse 7= “for he who has died is justified from sin.” Most times it is translated “freed”, but the word is “justified”. ( δεδικαιωται – from δικαιοω – “to justify”, “to declare righteous”, “to declare not guilty”. This truth points back to the foundation of chapters 1-5 about sin (chapters 1-3) and justification by faith alone (chapters 4-5). Chapters 6-8 then show us how sanctification is possible by the foundation of justification.


Listen and read the whole thing:
Posted in Sanctification/Holy living, Spiritual growth | 1 Comment

Empires and Missions (19th & early 20th century missions) (expanded on July 30)

A very interesting lesson from church history, by Robert Godfrey of Ligonier Ministries.


Here are some notes I made:  (with expansion on July 30)

Empires and Missions

Robert Godfrey

Late 19th and Early 20th century.

As Empires spread, so did missions.

Lawrence James – “Churchill and Empire: A Portrait of an Imperialist”

“Historical Scholars agree that Empires (European colonialism) both profoundly helped the cause of missions and profoundly hurt the cause of missions”

A hurtful thing:  Many of the people that they were trying to reach, saw the missionaries as agents of the Empires.  They could not separate the imperialists / traders / politicians, military personnel, businesses, etc. from the missionaries, since the missionaries came from the same culture and ships that brought them to the new country.

The European Empires had churches and societies that had enough money to send missionaries.

“In 1900, 85 % of the world’s surface at that time was ruled by Empires.”   (from Lawrence James book on Churchill.  James includes the Japanese Empire, but leaves out China and Ottoman Empire.

Also, China and the Ottoman Empire – brings it close to 100%.

British Empire

German Empire

Russian Empire






USA  (not really an Empire, but Cuba and Philippines were under USA influence.)

All but Japan were European / Western.

This competition set up the background for what set up World War 1.

Darwin’s theory of Evolution and “the survival of the fittest”, – Social Darwinism influenced the Empire building and colonialism.  Rush for land; survival of the fittest.  Darwin’s ideas of “superior races and ethnicities” = sinful pride and arrogance.  This is one of the great proofs that Darwinian Evolution is wrong and cruel.  Hitler and Stalin and Mow and Pol Pot – all of their atrocities and murders and actions had basis in the idea (false ideas) of the “survival of the “superior” races, which Darwin taught; especially ideas in his book: The Descent of Man; and notice the title of his most famous book, “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life”.  The phrase “favored races” and the ideas related to that, fed into the sinful heart of mankind and the power of politics and military might to do many evil things. 

Praise God that the Bible teaches that we are all ONE race, the human race – all humans come from one pair – Adam and Eve.  Acts 17:26; Genesis chapters 1-2; 10-11; and God is redeeming people from all nations/peoples/ethnicities – Colossians 3:9-10; Galatians 3:28; Revelation 5:9; 7:9.

Missionary Zeal and love:  Dr. Godfrey mentions 3 missionaries who stood out to him of that era:

David Brainard – (1718-1747)  Jonathan Edwards was so impressed by his zeal and love for the people, that he wrote a biography of Brainard. Missionary to American Indians, 5 years; died when 29 years old.  Had passion and zeal. His journal inspired William Carey and Henry Martyn.

William Carey – India, 1793

Mary Slessor – (1848 – 1915) Africa – Calabar, now part of Nigeria.  Single woman. Scottish Presbyterian.  She had a great love for the Africans there; and identified with them by living at their economic level.  She was not afraid; and once some believers were established and could be gathered into a church, she always turned the work over to men as the elders/pastors/leaders of a new church group.  She obeyed 1 Timothy 2:11-12.  Women cannot be elders/teachers/pastors/leaders of churches.

William Carey – “was a better Calvinist than others, who are usually called “hyper-Calvinists”.  “I hate the term hyper-Calvinist”; The term “hyper-Calvinist” should not be allowed to be called to them – they are not Calvinists at all. “  Robert Godfrey.

Carey was a better Calvinist because he believed in both God’s Sovereignty and that we should obey the Great Commission by going to unreached areas and preach the gospel and make disciples and start churches.  (language and culture learning is part of the going and being there)

Dr. Godfrey pointed out that most missionaries went with good motives and had love for the people they were trying to reach.  India eventually appreciated William Carey greatly; for Carey worked to abolish the cruel Hindu practice of “Sati” – burning an alive widow with her husband’s body in a religious ceremony.  India even commemorated William Carey by issuing a postage stamp in his honor.  Read more about him and other Reformed / Calvinistic missionaries who served the Lord Jesus with honor, even during the colonial era.

See more here about William Carey and Calvinism and Missions, at an article I wrote several years ago at Beggar’s All. 

Posted in church history, History, missions | 2 Comments

15 Early Church Christians who used the word “Trinity” before 325 AD

Posted in Apologetics, church history, The doctrine of the Trinity, The rule of Faith, Theology, Theology of God | 6 Comments

The True God, the Holy Trinity, is relational, and helps us understand our need for relationship.

Here is my response and interaction with an article at Triablogue:

“Christianity is a relationship, not a religion.”

Why are relationship issues only a “feminine issue” ? or why is that “a rather feminine view of Christianity?”

You are right in that it is a shallow slogan, and one that can be abused, especially when accompanied by bad theology; (and bad worship songs, etc.) but it can be proper, even completely right & Biblical, when fleshed out with deeper theological and doctrinal explanation of what the essence of the issue is.

The Trinity, the true God from all eternity past was in an eternal personal spiritual relationship. (John 17:5 with the other verses on the person and Deity of the Holy Spirit) – “God is Love”; “God is Spirit” and the 3 persons aspect of the Trinity point to relationship.

[see the other articles I have written on the doctrine of the Trinity in the side bar of categories. Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14 are just two classic texts for the doctrine of the Trinity, but the entire Bible teaches the doctrine, when properly fleshed out.]

The 3 persons in eternity past points to “relationship”. God is relationship; God is personal; God is living. God is one in substance, nature, essence – One God; but 3 in relationship, persons.

John 1:12-13 speaks of receiving Christ (receiving Him for all that He is – His character, person; all of Him for who He is – the eternal Word (John 1:1-514), eternal Son (John 17:5), who became human to accomplish redemption for people from all peoples (Rev. 5:97:9). This points to relationship. The Holy Spirit testifying with our spirit that we are children of God points to relationship. (Galatians 4:6 and Romans 8:16) That we are “children of God” by election and predestination and adoption points to relationship. (Ephesians 1:4-6) That the Son intercedes for us at the right hand of the Father points to relationship. (1 John 2:1Romans 8:33-34; Hebrews 7, 9) That classic texts on foreknowledge point to relationship and knowing as in knowing a person in relationship speaks to this also.Romans 8:29Jeremiah 1:5 (Foreknow is foreknowing as a person knows a person, rather than know a fact in the future; but not excluding that also, since God knows everything.)

It would take explaining doctrinal truths and also the truth that God created man in His own image (both men and women) and that plurality within the one Adam (Genesis 1:26-285:2 – there is a male “Adam” (human) and a female “Adam” (human) points to the plurality of personal relationships within the Trinity in eternity past.

The idea of the slogan, that it was trying to communicate; is that the Christian religion is much deeper than a dry dead ritual of going to church and just out of rote mechanical ceremony, etc. of quoting the Apostles’ Creed, and going through the motions on Sundays, etc. and only purely intellectual doctrinal religion without the Spiritual reality of the new birth and all that entails in growing and trusting God and persevering until we die; etc. and the Holy Spirit praying for us with groanings too deep for words, (Romans 8:26-27) etc. That also points to “relationship”. “trusting God” each day in our spiritual life and growth points to relationship. [I add here, Psalm 28:7 – “The Lord is my strength and shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; My heart greatly rejoices; and with my song I give thanks to Him” ]

The Relationship aspect of the Trinity has helped me explain that to former Muslims in discipleship and growing spiritually. I will say something like this, along with the full doctrinal teaching of the Trinity:

“Only the true God, the Holy Trinity), can fill the void in your heart that longs for connection/relationship/knowing your creator (Pascal, Augustine, etc.) – because only the True God is the eternal relationship that is true, the creator, the truth, pure love (1 John 4:8, etc.), and pure spirit (John 4:23-24), who is also only ONE God. (Mark 12:29I Tim. 2:5Deut. 6:4-5, etc.)”


The issue of “the feminization of the modern church” is a real problem in recent history among USA Evangelicals; and this recent article is excellent on that issue:

“Act like men”, from 1 Corinthians 16:13-14


Posted in Relationship with Jesus Christ, Sanctification/Holy living, Spiritual growth, The doctrine of the Trinity, Theology, Truth, worship | 5 Comments