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Truths without the Truth—How Christians Should View Jordan Peterson, Ben Shapiro, Et Al?

The Christian Worldview / David Wheaton
The Truth Network Radio
December 7, 2018 7:00 pm

Truths without the Truth—How Christians Should View Jordan Peterson, Ben Shapiro, Et Al?

The Christian Worldview / David Wheaton

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December 7, 2018 7:00 pm

There is a pushback taking place against the ever-increasing totalitarian impulse of the Left, which seeks to redefine all that God has established regarding marriage, sexuality, gender, individuality, freedom of belief, thought, and speech, punishing or “de-platforming” those who dare dissent.

Leading the pushback are popular thought leaders such as Jordan Peterson, Ben Shapiro, Dennis Prager, and others who hold tremendous sway with millions of followers who watch their speeches or video and read their books...

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Truths without the Truth. How Christians should view Jordan Peterson and Ben Shapiro and others like them. That is the topic we'll discuss today right here on the Christian Worldview Radio Program, where the mission is to sharpen the biblical worldview of Christians and to share the good news that all people can be reconciled to God through faith, in Jesus Christ.

I'm David Wheaton, the host of the program, and our website is thechristianworldview.org. There is a pushback taking place against the ever-increasing totalitarian impulse of the Left, which seeks to redefine all that God has established regarding marriage, sexuality, gender, individuality, freedom of belief, thought, and speech, which punishes or quote deplatforms those who dare dissent. Leading this pushback are popular thought leaders such as Jordan Peterson, Ben Shapiro, Dennis Prager, and others who hold tremendous sway with millions of followers who watch their speeches or videos and read their books. They resonate with people from all walks of life, conservatives, liberals, libertarians, and yes, Christians, who see the tyranny of political correctness and identity politics. These men espouse degrees of truth, but none believe in the way and the truth and the life, Jesus Christ. In other words, they each have an intelligent and highly developed worldview, but not a biblical one that includes an accurate view of God, man, Christ, and redemption. So how should Christians view these men on the front lines of the battle with cultural Marxism, which seeks to topple the oppressor of Christianity or simply make it irrelevant?

Are they helpful allies or actually distractions to the Gospel? Well, joining us today is Travis Allen. He is the senior pastor of Grace Church in Greeley, Colorado. He was the featured speaker at the Christian Real View Conference in 2016.

He was also a former managing director of Grace To You and a former Navy SEAL. Now, before we get to the interview with Travis, let me just give some background on who Jordan Peterson and Ben Shapiro are, in case you haven't heard of them or are not familiar with them. This is from Jordan Peterson's website. Dr. Jordan Peterson, who is 56 years old, is a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto. He's a clinical psychologist and the author of the multi-million copy bestseller 12 Rules for Life.

It was number one for nonfiction in 2018 in the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, the Netherlands, Brazil, and Norway, and now slated for translation into 45 languages. He's lectured to more than 200,000 people across North America, Europe, and Australia in one of the most well-attended book tours ever mounted. His videos on YouTube feature Dr. Peterson's university and public lectures, has 1.5 million subscribers with 70 million views. His videos derived from his online content by others have been viewed more than 400 million times. His podcast with more than 50 episodes has attracted 750,000 listeners per episode with 60 million downloads.

His public lecture tour, the 12 Rules for Life tour, has now covered more than 70 cities drawing 200,000 ticketed attendees. Now to his worldview, he is known for being against political correctness. We'll get more into that today, against identity politics from laws forcing the use of preferred pronouns for people who are transgender. He's against the push to emasculate men. The New Yorker wrote, his central message is a thoroughgoing critique of modern liberal culture, which he views as suicidal in its eagerness to upend age-old verities. And he has learned to distill his wide-ranging theories into pithy sentences, including one that has become his de facto catchphrase, sort yourself out, bucko. Politically, Peterson has described himself as a classic British liberal and has stated that he is commonly mistaken to be right-wing. He is a philosophical pragmatist. On the matter of his religious beliefs and whether or not he is Christian, Peterson has emphasized that his conceptualization of Christianity is probably not what it is generally understood, stating that the ethical responsibility of a Christian is to imitate Christ, for him meaning, quote, something like you need to take responsibility for the evil in the world as if you were responsible for it, to understand that you determine the direction of the world, whether it's toward heaven or hell, unquote. When asked if he believes in God, Peterson responded, quote, I think the proper response to that is no, but I'm afraid he might exist, unquote. Writing for The Spectator, Tim Lott said Peterson draws inspiration from Young's philosophy of religion, Carl Jung, and holds views similar to the Christian existentialism of Soren Kierkegaard and Paul Tillich. Lott also said Peterson has respect for Taoism as it views nature as a struggle between order and chaos, imposits that life would be meaningless without this duality.

Peterson is married and they have one daughter and a son. Now that was from, partly from Jordan Peterson's website, partly from The New Yorker, partly from Wikipedia. Now, let's move on to Ben Shapiro. The second person we'll be talking about today on our topic of truths without the truth, how Christians should view Jordan Peterson and Ben Shapiro.

This is from Wikipedia. Ben Shapiro is an American conservative political commentator, writer, and lawyer. He's 34 years old. He has written seven books, the first in 2004 titled Brainwashed, How Universities Indoctrinate America's Youth. Shapiro began writing this book at age 17. Also at age 17, Shapiro became the youngest nationally syndicated columnist in the United States. Shapiro writes columns for Creator Syndicate and Newsweek, serves as editor-in-chief for The Daily Wire, which he founded, and hosts The Ben Shapiro Show, a daily political podcast and radio show. Skipping two grades, third and ninth grades, Shapiro went from Walter Reed Middle School to Yeshiva University High School of Los Angeles, where he graduated in the year 2000 at age 16.

He graduated summa cum laude in Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California Los Angeles in 2004 at age 20, and then cum laude from Harvard Law School in 2007. He began The Daily Wire in 2015. He's the editor-in-chief as well as host of the online political podcast The Ben Shapiro Show, which is broadcast every weekday.

As of November 2017, the podcast was downloaded 10 million times each month. Now to his views. Shapiro's views have been described by The New York Times as extremely conservative. Shapiro, however, in a 2016 interview with The Rubin Report's Dave Rubin, describes himself as basically a libertarian.

He accused his contemporary liberals of creating an imaginary hierarchy of victimhood in glorifying perceived victims leading to identity politics, has been called the voice of the conservative millennial movement. He has three sisters. He married Mor Toledano, an Israeli citizen of Moroccan descent, and she is a doctor.

Together they have a daughter and a young son, and they both practice orthodox Judaism. So with that as some background on Jordan Peterson and Ben Shapiro, let's get to the first segment with Pastor Travis Allen as we discuss how Christians should view men like these and others who hold viewpoints that we can sometimes agree with in light of the fact that they don't believe in Christ or the all-sufficiency bottom line truth of scripture. Travis, it's great to have you back on The Christian Rule of Your Radio Program.

Thank you for taking the time today. I'd like to start out by reading a couple paragraphs from the most recent edition of the Schwartz Report. And it starts out by saying, the first time Ewip Timmer heard Jordan Peterson speak in a YouTube video, he thought his voice sounded like Kermit the Frogs. And like Kermit, this 56-year-old University of Toronto psychology professor was a skilled communicator, hands gesticulating and brows furrowing as he spoke about personal responsibility and bearing one's suffering. At that time, Timmer, a 30-year-old data analyst from the Netherlands, was battling suicidal thoughts, desperately clicking through streams of motivational videos for inspiration to live on. And he says he found it in Jordan Peterson.

In that video, Peterson was unpacking the meanings behind the biblical story of Noah and the flood. Be prepared, he warned, because storms of tragedies are coming. Life, he declared, is quote, really complex, short, finite, full of suffering and beyond you. It doesn't take much to suffer, but if you lie around merely suffering, then it accumulates. It turns into the dragon of chaos.

It waits until you're not at your best and then it eats you. Timmer was transfixed. Every word from Peterson struck close to heart. He had been doing exactly that, lying depressed, mulling over how he had gotten the job he wanted but still couldn't find meaning in it. He was struggling with marriage and financial issues, tension with his parents. He felt unhappy and directionless until he heard Peterson's challenge. Pick up your cross and walk up the hill. And he used a profanity before saying cross. Yes, life is painful and unjust, so what are you going to do about it?

Accept it voluntarily and try to transform as a consequence. It's a message that falls far short of the gospel, the writer of this column writes, but it spoke to Timmer. Nobody had been able to reach him in his darkness, not even psychologist or his baby daughter, but for some reason, Peterson did. The way Peterson used biblical stories to illustrate his points made sense to him.

I'm just going to read one more paragraph here. Peterson's three-hour lectures center on ideas such as one, all human beings are capable of unspeakable evil, especially in the name of good. Number two, change starts with the individual.

Number three, ancient stories from the Bible to Egyptian mythology hold profound, still applicable truths about human nature and life. Now, Travis, I just gave you a little snippet of who Jordan Peterson is. We'll get into Ben Shapiro in a second and maybe to a somewhat lesser extent, Dennis Prager. All three of these are intellectual, philosophical thought leaders of our day who are pushing back against this totalitarian impulse of the left, this cultural Marxism. So my first question for you today, Travis, is why are Jordan Peterson and Ben Shapiro so popular and how are they different than someone like more conservative political guys like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, or Mark Stein? When I peruse and watch some of the videos and read the articles that are coming out about these guys and from these guys listening to some of their lectures, I see just a difference. You're contrasting two groups of socially popular thinkers and pundits. And I think the difference between Peterson and Shapiro is that they're actually going beneath just the surface political conversation. I think they're going beneath the day-by-day, blow-by-blow, Twitterverse kind of chatter. And I think they're going beneath that to talk about things that are deeper underneath the surface.

So I think they're scratching where a lot of people are itching. In a secular age, there's a spiritual vacuum that is massive, and secularism cannot fulfill or satisfy all the longings and the cravings of the human heart. That's because God has put eternity into the heart of man, according to Solomon and Ecclesiastes.

That's exactly the way we're designed. We are not satisfied with simply staying on the surface of the conversation, but we have to understand issues of meaning and significance. And I think that's how Christians should view Jordan Peterson and Ben Shapiro and other more conservative thought leaders who aren't believers in Christ, but with whom we do share some common values. Much more coming up on the Christian Real View after this.

I'm David Wieck. Social justice is a gospel issue. This has become the mantra of many evangelicals. Rectifying perceived inequities of race, gender, sexuality, poverty, immigration, amongst others, is considered a top priority. But what exactly is social justice? Is working for social justice a biblical mandate, an application of the gospel? Cal Beisner has written an insightful booklet entitled Social Justice, How Good Intentions Undermine Justice and Gospel. Also included in this revised 44-page booklet is a copy of the just-released Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel. You can order this social justice booklet for a donation of any amount to the Christian Real View. Go to thechristianrealview.org or call 1-888-646-2233 or write to Box 401, Excelsior, Minnesota, 55331. The Christian World View is a listener-supported ministry. You can help us in our mission to impact hearts and minds by making a donation of any amount or becoming a monthly partner.

All donations are tax-deductible. You can give online at thechristianworldview.org or by calling us toll-free, 1-888-646-2233. When you give, we'd like to thank you by sending you a current resource.

Monthly partners can choose to receive resources throughout the year. Call 1-888-646-2233 or go to thechristianworldview.org. Thank you for your support. The Christian Real View radio program. I'm David Wheaton. Our website, as always, is thechristianworldview.org. Our topic today is Truths Without the Truth and how Christians should view Jordan Peterson, Ben Shapiro, and others who aren't believers but with whom we share some common values.

Our guest is Travis Allen, the senior pastor of Grace Church in Greeley, Colorado, and let's get straight back to the second segment of the interview. Do you think that Jordan Peterson and Ben Shapiro, they have, you know, hundreds of thousands of followers on Twitter, Facebook, millions of views of their videos and speeches. There must be a lot of people who consider themselves to be Christians following them. I know of some who are younger and really pay attention to what these guys are saying. What have you heard from being a pastor with maybe the younger folks in your church or that you know? Yeah, I've found the same thing among younger people, probably found in my experience for it to be more men than women, young men than young women. I think part of that comes out of the academic and university environment where men are feeling more and more pushed to the margins and I think continually assaulted and insulted just for the fact of being male. There are terms like intersectionality, microaggression, and toxic masculinity that are put forth in classroom settings and other places as well. Also, not to mention the LGBTQ et cetera et cetera ethos that's pervaded the college campuses that is trying to bind men from being men. And so men feel emasculated in the public square, like they can't speak up and say anything.

I personally witnessed this not too long ago. My son was taking part in an ethics competition with his university and they were visiting colleges and universities with teams of students that were debating, kind of in a mild debate form, ethical issues. And especially on some issues, women were given the floor, put on the pedestal, especially when it comes to issues like one question was asked about the limits and the definitions of consent in a romantic relationship. And it was the men were falling over themselves to try to put the women in the driver's seat on that conversation.

One of the judges, I thought judges were supposed to be unbiased and prejudiced, but the judge introduced into the room the concept of toxic masculinity and posed the question to one of the female participants. And she waxed eloquent about how much we have to have conversations as if toxic masculinity is just assumed, this male patriarchy is assumed, undebatable fact of human existence. And so the men, I think, sit there and listen to that. I think that many of them don't agree. The ones who do give verbal assent, I think, are doing so because it's popular, there's a peer pressure, there's a fear of man issue going on there, or a fear of woman, you might say.

There are many men who just sit back from that conversation, watch it happening, and feel like they have no place at the table. So when they click on a Jordan Peterson or a Ben Shapiro video that tells, that challenges this idea, this assumed idea of this continuing male patriarchy that's held women down and that's destroying women and upholding male power and dominance and violence against women just by men being in positions of authority, I think they find that very attractive. And so I think there are young Christian men as well, young Christian women who are tired of that narrative, and they're finding that a Peterson and a Shapiro have a voice of a pushback against that, what's really the feel of an increasing totalitarianism from the left. Travis Allen with us today on the Christian Real View radio program, the senior pastor of Grace Church in Greeley, Colorado. He was also our featured speaker in the Christian Real View Conference in 2016. I'd like to play a soundbite of both Jordan Peterson and Ben Shapiro, just so listeners have an idea of who they are, what they speak like, what are some of the topics they speak on. In this particular soundbite, they were actually both being interviewed on a program, I think it was by the Dave Rubin program, and they were sitting side by side and they were being interviewed about some of the contemporary issues of our day. They talked in this soundbite about individuality versus communitarianism, and we'll just play the soundbite and let you comment.

Here's Jordan Peterson first for about the first minute and a half, followed by Ben Shapiro. There really was an attempt on the part of the postmodernists, and this is allied, I think, with their fundamental Marxism, to demolish the idea of the autonomous individual. So, for example, one of the things that's really interesting about the current free speech debate is that it really isn't a debate because you have to be in the Judeo-Christian slash Enlightenment tradition to believe in free speech, because to believe in free speech, you have to believe that there are autonomous individuals who have their own viewpoints, who can spontaneously generate creative ideas, and then who can engage in an active dialogue in a manner that consists of fundamental goodwill and truth, and that you can change each other's opinions and that you can come to a negotiated agreement. You have to believe all of that, including the autonomous individual, in that concept, the logos, which is what Derrida, what he criticized so heavily, that idea of logocentrism, you have to believe in the autonomous individual.

And the postmodernists and the neo-Marxists, they don't. They believe that the individual is a mouthpiece for a power assembly and that there's no such thing as free speech, which is why they know platform, right? It's not, well, so the debate about free speech is way deeper than who should be allowed to talk.

The debate about free speech is whether or not there is such a thing as free speech outside the power game that neo-colonial Europeans are playing. And so what I'm doing and what you're doing with me, and I think what everybody in the IDW is doing to some degree, is speaking to people as if they are autonomous individuals who are the bedrock of civilization and sovereignty. And that is absolute anathema to the radical left.

And so they see that as a fundamental challenge, which it is. Okay, now we'll go next to Ben Shapiro. So in that sound by Travis, we're hearing from Jordan Peterson talking about, no, we're not just a collective like the communists think of us. We're individuals and we want free speech.

And it's based on that. And the other side doesn't believe in free speech. So I think many Christians will hear what he's saying there and think, well, I can agree with a lot of that.

Now let's go on to Ben Shapiro and see what he has to say. And I think this goes to the fundamental conceit of folks on the left, which is that they are more sympathetic human beings and people who oppose them politically are unsympathetic human beings. And this goes back to the individual versus communitarian distinction for the left. If you're an individual, this means that you are inherently unsympathetic to others because your individuality stands against the collective. If you are, if you're a member of the collective, then you can show that by your, the amount of sympathy that you have for other people.

Have for other people. And so I think, but also for the collective, which is also a very weird form of sympathy, right? Because the collective doesn't suffer, individuals suffer, right. You know, and that's a, and then the other thing that's interesting about that reflexive identification of sympathy with virtue is that it's actually extraordinarily immature as far as I'm concerned, because most complex problems aren't, uh, aren't solvable by reflexive sympathy and reflexive sympathy is more like a, it's more like an instinct. It's more like anger. It's more like jealousy or rage or love for that matter.

It doesn't have that cognitive component that enables you to take apart complex systems and to analyze them and determine what the problem is and what a solution might look like. And then to lay that out in a cold and calculated manner towards some positive end, it's this automatic assumption that because you're overwhelmed with pity, let's say that that somehow makes you morally virtuous. And not only does it not make you morally virtuous, it's often the case that that, and this is the big Freudian observation, that that all encompassing pity actually has a devouring component. And that's that over protectiveness that while the Jonathan Haidt and, and Lukinoff have been writing about, for example, and it's very, it's, it's that interferes with the development of people's autonomy.

And so the reflexive idea that because you're a sympathetic person, you're good, right, is, is bad enough. In addition to the fact that, well, all the sympathy is on the radical left, which is certainly isn't, no doubt, these guys are intelligent. They're talking about the deeper things of life. And I think they're diagnosing the left and the cultural Marxism that seeks to impose its worldview on this country, and specifically to try to undermine and topple the oppressor as they see it of Christianity. So neither of them are evangelical Christians, neither are born again Christians. Ben Shapiro is an Orthodox Jew. Jordan Peterson asked when he does he believe in God?

He said, well, it might take me a couple hours to answer that question. Certainly not born again Christians. But couldn't you still say they're allies of Christians when it comes to values, because they're pushing back against the anti Christian cultural Marxism of our day. That's how some people would see them.

Okay, so stay tuned. Travis Allen will answer that question after this next break of the day on the Christian Real View Radio program. And just to clarify, we're not picking on Jordan Peterson or Ben Shapiro.

We're just using them as examples of our day. And there are others beyond them who aren't Christians, but are pushing back against the ideologies that are undermining Christianity and Christians in our society today. And remember, the big distinction between guys like Peterson and Shapiro and other more political conservatives like Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh and others is that Hannity and Limbaugh and others like them tend to just fight the left versus right battles. Whereas Peterson and Shapiro are more at the ideological philosophical level, answering some of the big questions of life that really Christians in the church should be boldly answering, both in the church and in the public square, rather than those who aren't believers who are really just borrowing from the Christian Real View for some of the nuggets of truth that they do say, but also mixing it with lots of humanistic thought that is contradictory to a biblical worldview. So stay tuned. We have much more coming up with Travis Allen today in the Christian Real View. I'm David Wheaton. In his DVD, The Death of Discernment, Mike Gendron uses this apt analogy from A.W.

Tozer. That's the only way that the body of Christ can remain strong. Be sure to take advantage of two free resources that will keep you informed and sharpen your worldview. The first is the Christian World View weekly email, which comes to your inbox each Friday. It contains a preview of the upcoming radio program along with need-to-read articles, featured resources, special events, and audio of the previous program. The second is the Christian World View annual print letter, which is delivered to your mailbox in November. It contains a year-end letter from host David Wheaton and a listing of our store items, including DVDs, books, children's materials, and more. You can sign up for the weekly email and annual print letter by visiting thechristianworldview.org or calling 1-888-646-2233.

Your email and mailing address will never be shared and you can unsubscribe at any time. Call 1-888-646-2233 or visit thechristianworldview.org. And welcome back to the Christian World View radio program. We have a full segment ahead with Travis Allen, the senior pastor at Grace Church in Greeley, Colorado, as we talk about how Christians should view non-Christian thought leaders like Jordan Peterson and Ben Shapiro.

Let's get back to the interview. I think they're diagnosing the left and the cultural Marxism that seeks to impose its world view on this country and specifically to try to undermine and topple the oppressor as they see it of Christianity. So neither of them are evangelical Christians. Neither of them are born-again Christians. Ben Shapiro is an Orthodox Jew.

Jordan Peterson asked when he does he believe in God, he'd say, well it might take me a couple hours to answer that question. Certainly not born-again Christians. But couldn't you still say they're allies of Christians when it comes to values because they're pushing back against the anti-Christian cultural Marxism of our day? That's how some people would see them.

Yeah, absolutely. You know, I agree with you as you listen just to those sound bites and if you were to extend those sound bites into their hour-long videos and lectures, you're just going to hear more of the same. They sound erudite, well-read, educated, very articulate obviously, clear-thinking, bold, and in a sense they're simple to understand. They speak with a humanity, especially if you listen to Jordan Peterson who talked about that issue of sympathy and how it's the individual who suffers, not the collective that suffers, and as he's interacting there with Shapiro. And sometimes Jordan Peterson can sound so sympathetic, some have described him like a philosophical father figure.

I get that. He seems that he really gets the plight and the suffering of the modern age. So they sound like they are in a sense allies with Christians pushing back against the liberal Marxist social totalitarianism that is really setting the narrative, not just for the left, but it's all through the universities and colleges and it's really all the way down through primary education, primary and secondary education. So that's I think why they're such sympathetic thinkers and spokesmen for this perspective.

That said, there are throughout their lectures many unargued assumptions, just like their philosophical opponents. So it went by pretty fast there and we might think we agree with this, but Peterson spoke a couple of times about the autonomous individual, the autonomous individual. He says that that is the product of the Judeo-Christian worldview and is what gives us this concept of free conscience or free speech.

That's why he pushes back against this Marxist collective consciousness idea that there needs to be the autonomous individual. Autonomy means self-law at its root. And so the biblical position is not about the autonomous individual. The biblical position is about the responsible individual or the accountable individual. And it's our responsibility before a holy God who is our creator and lawgiver and judge, it's our accountability to Him that produces that concept of a free, uncoerced conscience before a holy God, to speak according to conscience. That truly comes from Scripture, from Old and New Testaments.

But the autonomous individual is something that's snuck in there as a product of the Enlightenment, not Reformation thinking, but Enlightenment thinking. Travis Allen with us today on the Christian Real View, talking about truths without the truth. How Christians should view Jordan Peterson, Ben Shapiro, and others who have had a strongly pushing back in a more conservative, libertarian way against the ever-increasing totalitarian impulse of the left in this country and around the world. So what is the concern then, Travis, for Christians who love these guys, who follow them, who are being influenced by them? What's important to understand about their worldview? What's really important to understand is that they are not true allies with the Christian worldview. They appear to be, and they seem to be, at a superficial level, perhaps. But I'm really concerned for, well, definitely for young people but for all people who find some voice in these guys.

Again, I just want to express, I get it. I can sometimes cheer some of the things that they say that are so clear and such a bold, unapologetic pushback against the system, you might say, that we find ourselves in today. But my concern is that too close of an alliance with these types of thinkers and spokesmen is actually an unnecessary and real distraction for Christians.

Because it's only in Christ, in Christ alone, that Colossians 2-3 in him are hidden, not just most of the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, but all of them. So finding Christ to be our champion, Christ to be our spokesman, Christ to be our example for all things, that's where I want to point Christians is to him and not to cultural, social warriors like these guys, even if some of the things they say sound similar. I think we really need to not just look at the similarities and what we find sympathy with. We need to look at the differences. We need to see, there are distinctions between the way we think.

I just brought up the one with the autonomous individual. We do not, the Bible does not teach it, we do not want to teach or enforce, reinforce in anybody's thinking human autonomy. We want to understand that we are under the law of God. That is the best, safest, most joyful place that the human conscience can be is underneath the law of God in Christ. Underneath the law of God, out of Christ, not in Christ, that is a terrifying place to be. As Martin Luther, that was a part of his own testimony, it drove him to Christ. But in Christ, to be under the law of God and to live out his commandments, that is a great joy and such ultimate freedom to have accountability and responsibility to him. You're not going to find that in any system promoted by Jordan Peterson and Ben Shapiro.

So I'm concerned about that. There is a superficial feel-good experience that many people have as you follow the videos and the teaching of these kind of in-your-face pushback of the social warriors. It may feel good for the moment, but at the end of the day, it's kind of again like Colossians 2 says, 223, they have only an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body.

You hear a lot of that in Jordan Peterson's just suck it up bucko or whatever he says, you know, make your bed, life is suffering, get used to it, make something of yourself. That's Colossians 223 right there. But none of that has any value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.

That's my real concern because at the end of the day, Peterson and Shapiro, they are just yet another dead end and that they will share an eternal fate with the leftists that they oppose. So I want to turn Christians, not to those kind of thinkers, those spokesmen, but I want to turn them to Christ. There's salvation in him and him alone. Amen. Travis Allen with us today on the Christian Real View, the senior pastor of Grace Church in Greeley, Colorado.

He's also the former managing director of Grace To You and a former Navy SEAL. I'd like to play another sound bite where Ben Shapiro gets into the idea of presuppositions. I think you can explain this, Travis, how understanding what presuppositions are, and then a couple other big words, metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics, how those three things are the foundation for every worldview.

So let's listen to this sound by Ben Shapiro, and then I'll follow up with a question. There are two views of the Enlightenment. One is that in Jonah Goldberg's words, it was the miracle. It kind of sprang from nowhere. Suddenly, reason dominated over revelation, and it crushed revelation.

And in the wake of that crushing came the full flowering of economics and humanity and freedom and liberalism. Yeah, and that those things were opposed, reason and revelation, were opposed. And not only that, they weren't intentioned, they were fulsomely opposed. Because there's truth that reason and revelation are intention, but it is also true that certain assumptions undergird the assumptions of reason. In order for you to believe that reason exists, and isn't just an evolutionarily favorable firing of neurons, then you have to, if you like, I think that Sam's position that objective truth exists in the absence of anything remotely approaching a system of assumptions is unsupportable. It's completely unsupportable. Because you are built to create more little copies of you.

I mean, this is evolutionarily speaking what you are created to do. How that has to do with discovering objective truth is utterly beyond me. And what it has to do with the existence of objective truth. In any case, the Enlightenment is based on certain fundamental assumptions. It's based on the idea that you can act as an individual freely by making rational decisions in a predictable world of laws.

Every one of those assumptions is ungrounded in a world of pure scientific determinism. It just doesn't exist. So the Enlightenment actually ate itself. The Enlightenment ate itself. What happened is that the Enlightenment was, and I think that you see this in Kant, Kant sees all of this.

He sees that this struggle is coming. And so he attempts to re-inject religion and spirituality and God back into a moral system without actually saying so. Kant is not actually an atheist.

Kant is actually trying to create a rational basis for Christian revelation and Christian reasoning so that he can avoid the trap of having to cite the Bible. But he can say that all of this makes sense anyway. Okay, Travis, there was a lot in that particular soundbite. I know they're speaking on such kind of a high intellectual level.

It's kind of hard to follow. But some of the things that I heard from that soundbite from the standpoint of the difference between reason, just that comes from the mind of man, versus revelation, that which comes from Scripture. And then he talked about that you can't have these objective truths in life without having some assumptions, some presuppositions.

I'd like to explain that. And finally, he talked about Immanuel Kant, the philosopher of way back when, who tried to take revelation of Scripture and put reason to it so people wouldn't have to say the Bible says there was there was reasons to believe in the revelation. What do we need to know with regards to presuppositions, metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics as related to the Christian worldview that we should have? All right, get ready to put your thinking cap on as Travis Allen answers that question after this next break of the day on the Christian real view.

I'm David Wheaton. Here's Mike Gendron previewing his DVD on apostasy. We'll see how apostasy is the result of Satan's relentless attacks on the church. We'll also look at four steps that characterize a church's drift into apostasy. Then we'll look at the history of the church a chronological development of the Roman Catholic religion and its drift into apostasy.

And lastly, and most importantly, what are you and I to do in the midst of this great apostasy and the growing ecumenical movement. The DVD is titled Roman Catholicism's Drift into Apostasy and contains two messages. You can order it for a donation of any amount to the Christian worldview.

Normal retail is $15 plus shipping. Go to theChristianworldview.org or call 1-888-646-2233 or write to Box 401, Excelsior, Minnesota 55331. Social justice is a gospel issue. This has become the mantra of many evangelicals. Rectifying perceived inequities of race, gender, sexuality, poverty, immigration, amongst others, is considered a top priority. But what exactly is social justice? Is working for social justice a biblical mandate, an application of the gospel? Kell Beisner has written an insightful booklet entitled Social Justice, How Good Intentions Undermine Justice and Gospel. Also included in this revised 44 page booklet is a copy of the just released Statement on Social Justice in the Gospel. You can order this social justice booklet for a donation of any amount to the Christian worldview. Go to theChristianworldview.org or call 1-888-646-2233 or write to Box 401, Excelsior, Minnesota 55331. Final segment of the day here on the Christian worldview radio program. Be sure to visit our website theChristianworldview.org to visit the store for a meaningful gift at this time of year or if you missed any of the interview with Travis Allen today.

We have a full segment ahead so let's get straight back to the interview with Travis Allen. The difference between reason just that comes from the mind of man versus revelation that which comes from scripture and then he talked about that you can't have these objective truths in life without having some assumptions, some presuppositions. I'd like to explain that and finally he talked about Immanuel Kant, the philosopher of way back when who tried to take revelation of scripture and put reason to it so people wouldn't have to say the Bible says.

There was reasons to believe in the revelation. What do we need to know with regards to presuppositions, metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics as related to the Christian worldview that we should have? Let me back away from that just briefly and just say that every single one of us has a worldview. We have an understanding of how we got here, what happened, what went wrong with the world, how it gets fixed, where we're going, where history is heading. We all have an understanding of those things. It's a worldview.

It's what you might call a metanarrative or something like that. And at the basis of that worldview, even if we don't unpack that or look carefully at it, examine the foundations of it, is a view of metaphysics. Metaphysics is a fancy word for issues like ontology, what we understand about being, the nature of being, what we are as individual human beings, who God is and what he is as a divine being, angels, all the rest. We have an understanding of cosmology, how everything, the cosmos is ordered, how it got started, what the nature of it is.

That's all in metaphysics. We have an understanding of epistemology, how we know what we know, how we think and reason, what are the limits of human knowledge. And we all have an understanding also then, coming out of that, of morality and ethics, that which is right and wrong, what our standard of moral law is, and then how we work that standard of moral law out in our practical day-to-day decisions. Is it okay to...must we always tell the truth? Are there exceptions to that? Can we at times lie, like when the Nazis are knocking at our door looking for hidden Jews?

Is it okay to lie in that circumstance? Do...must we always protect the weak and disadvantage, or can we take advantage of the weak? Those are all ethical questions. A lot of the questions that you hear in the public discourse today are not examining any of those foundations. They are people shouting back and forth at one another, whether it's on Twitter or Facebook, whether it's on your media outlets. They're shouting at the level of ethics, what they think and perceive to be right and wrong, good and bad, most beneficial for society or most damaging and destructive to society. That's the level that they're arguing on. But the ethics are built on an understanding of morality.

A morality is understood...is based on a view of epistemology, how we know what we know. And all of that is based on metaphysics, especially ontology and cosmology. In that soundbite, you heard Ben Shapiro getting down. This is, I think, one of the reasons why he and a guy like Ben Shapiro and Jordan Peterson are attractive to people is because they're actually dealing with some of these issues that are so glossed over in most of the public discourse that's an angry discourse these days.

People are tired of that and they want to get down to actual linking and reusing. And so that's what Shapiro's talking about. You know, he's had debates with Sam Harris, Sam Harris, an atheist who believes in a...he's an empirical materialist, evolutionist. He does not...he denies the supernatural. He denies the existence of the immaterial spirit. He believes all that exists...this goes ancient.

This goes way back. All that exists is atoms. All that exists is matter. And matter, you know, the real logical philosophical, philosophical problem with that is that if you believe that all that exists is matter, you got to go back to the point of origin and say, where did matter come from? And so you get into the problem of this law, this infinite regression of matter, that matter is eternal, matter itself is eternal.

And so you're assuming something of matter that it cannot support. The other problem with this atheistic materialism, strict empiricism, is that it cannot explain everything else in life, like why do we have standards of right and wrong? Why do we have a sense of beauty and love? Where does poetry come from?

Where do these expressions come from? Nothing about the evolutionary worldview can give a rational explanation of any of that. And so Ben Shapiro's pointing that out. It's going back to the Enlightenment and the reason versus revelation. As Christians, we do not see reason and revelation as opposed to one another. We believe as Christians, and this goes back to our understanding of epistemology and metaphysics, we go back to the central truth of the Christian worldview is the triune God. God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. Infinite, eternal, simple, immutable, impassable God.

Omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, omnipresent. This God who is by nature pure spirit, who is the source of all being, who is the star in the origin of the universe, he is the creator, the lawgiver, and the judge. And it's out of him that comes revelation, general revelation in creation, conscience, the law of God written on every human heart, and then special revelation in the Old and New Testaments of the Holy Bible. Revelation, Christians believe, our reason must be subject to revelation. We reason from a standpoint, a very strong standpoint of believing and trusting in the Word of God and what he revealed. So reason and revelation are not opposed to one another. But revelation supports and is the basis of all rational human thought. So these two thinkers don't necessarily think that.

I think Ben Shapiro is trying to say some things like that. But they're really saying that reason revelation are opposed to one another. Now in the Enlightenment, you know that what I just described about revelation being primary and foundational, that is the reformation point of view. The Enlightenment project borrowed and stole some of the reformation ideas that were swirling around the cultural ethos at the time. And they wanted to set God aside and see, promote human reason in its, and this is again Jordan Peterson's comment, as the autonomous individual.

The individual who is a law unto himself. And his reason then was king. The reason is what guided all the decisions. And by feeding and supporting and expressing and exercising human reason, it gives us all the wonderful things we have in society. So Ben Shapiro was contrasting that with the Judeo-Christian worldview that says it wasn't the Enlightenment that brought us those benefits, talks about the iPhone and technology and medicine and all those things.

He's saying it's a Judeo-Christian worldview. All right, that's all we have time for today. Thank you for joining us on the Christian worldview.

Part two is next week. So hope you can join us for that. In the meantime, remember, think biblically and live accordingly. 1-888-646-2233. The Christian worldview is a weekly one hour radio program that is furnished by the Overcomer Foundation and is supported by listeners and sponsors. Request one of our current resources with your donation of any amount. Go to thechristianworldview.org or call us toll free at 1-888-646-2233. Or write to us at Box 401 Excelsior, Minnesota 55331. That's Box 401 Excelsior, Minnesota 55331. Thanks for listening to the Christian worldview. Until next time, think biblically and live accordingly.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-10 21:27:43 / 2023-11-10 21:46:00 / 18

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