Robert Barron | – Thoughts on the Jordan Peterson Interview

In March 2019, Bishop Barron was interviewed by Dr. Jordan Peterson for the Jordan B. Peterson Podcast. To say the discussion was highly anticipated is an understatement. Fans of both Dr. Peterson and Bishop Barron have asked for these two great minds to meet, and their wide-ranging, nearly two-hour discussion is worth the wait.

Although the interview hasn’t been made public yet on Jordan Peterson’s channels, in this episode we discuss some of the most interesting parts of the interview.

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A listener asks about the term logos and what it means.

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About The Author

Bishop Robert Barron These are brief and insightful commentaries on faith and culture by Catholic theologian and author Bishop Robert Barron. The videos complement his weekly sermons posted and podcasted at WordOnFire.org.

Comment (49)

  1. How emotional Jordan becomes when he is asked about God, tells me he does and I believe the Holy Spirit is at work – 'God has got his man'. He is a good, good man and I believe God is working in him and through him.

  2. I have a big big problem with Jordan Peterson. He doesn't condone but he doesn't go out of his way to outright condemn the alt-tight and the fringe white supremacists and neo nazis – many of whom are his most ardent and vociferous supporters.
    Exhibit A: Here he is he stood there grinning with a MAGA guy giving the OK white power gesture in front of pepe the frog – a recognized white power meme and symbol of hate.
    https://longviewoneducation.org/why-does-jordan-peterson-resonate-with-white-supremacists/

    Christ calls us to reach out – even to those who hold genuinely deplorable ideas – but I would be deeply uncomfortable with – for example – Bishop Barron visiting a nazi group to talk with them and then posing for a photo , relaxed and smiling in front of a swastika flag. That's essentially what is going on here with Peterson.

    White power people are known to be taught to be very wary and very cunning in carefully controlling what they reveal in public – i.e. lie – about their true ultimate intentions (which is a white ethnic super state) . This is so as to come over reasonable and fair with most people in the short term in the hope of gradually shifting the mainstream debate to their hate filled viewpoint over the long term. They are playing the long game. I fear Jordan Peterson is an intellectual master at this game and that people like Bishop Barron are being used as carefully placed chess pieces in their long term game of hate and divisiveness.
    Remember Christ's warning – 'many will be deceived , even among the elect'. If you think it's not possible that you can be deceived and this doesn't apply to you, then that means it probably is more likely that in fact you can more readily be deceived,.

  3. JP’s argument that our cerebral capacity can’t explain why humanity would deviate from a zero sum game to be compassionate supports the argument for the Holy Spirit’s whispering that leads us away from the influence of the dark shadow. But, JP stops (just) short of committing to the existence of the HS, and this is where spiritual leaders like Bishop Barron can help the seekers take that next step. Personally, I’ve found A Course in Miracles helped to bridge the gap to commit entirely by putting the ego in its place and by accepting that JC and my HS are there to help navigate my way through this mess. External gratitude for the teachings of both JP and B Barron to help explain the unexplainable.

  4. everyone thinks so highly of their 'god', but to an outsider it just looks like an ideologically possesed man. And if that rings familiar its because thats how Peterson sees other peoples 'gods' despite the claim he makes (or should i say one of them, as some are contradictory) that god is nothing more then the highest value in the hirarchy. Its of course rather post-modern to say something like this, but hey, thats petersons claims not mine. He just doesn't go far enough in the modern ideologies as he does with the old ones. Thats also a point zizek made about his perticular interessts. Presumably, both old and new ideas are part of the 'mythological substrait'. But its much easier to dismiss new ideas, because they havn't yet possesed enough people, and haven't been here for years and years.

  5. Religion is naturally fundamental. Even for Christianity. It has to be. If it was, the appeal for it would be gone. Which is why liberalism in the Church evil.

    That horizon where reason and logic are limited and in the other side is God. That vast sea is faith (what JP clearly struggles with).

  6. 13:45: "If you don't realize you're a sinner, this thing is going to get dysfunctional fast."

    Beautiful. Chris Hedges, Presbyterian Minister once said something to effect of "I'm not as worried about replacing the concept of God with something else as much as I'm worried about losing the concept of SIN."

  7. My parents were committed atheists in my childhood, though they were raised Catholic. My grandfather was one of the first members of Opus Dei, to give an idea of how important the faith was in my family history. Despite their feelings, my parents sent me to Catholic school. I remember thinking, as a small child before Vatican II, that one of the beauties of the faith was the Latin liturgy. I thought that, wherever I might go in the world, the Mass would be the same. It gave me a sense of a very important connection with millions of people on our planet. I'm sorry to say that the church lost me after Vatican II. I have been to mass several times as an adult, for weddings, christenings and funerals, but I have never had the same feeling of mystery and transcendence that I felt as a child going to the Latin Mass with my classmates in primary school. Vatican II was a huge mistake, in my personal view, but I would be very interested in the bishop's perspective on that sea change in the Catholic Church. Jordan Peterson is a thoroughly good and hugely intelligent person, and I admire the bishop for the way he approached the dialogue between them.

  8. Jordan is not a “religionist” if there is such a word. He is a disciple of Jesus in the sense that Jesus described it — by his DEEDS, which matters the most. His lectures on the books of the Bible are obviously Holy Spirit inspired.

  9. Dr Peterson did not discover the Hero’s Journey. Joseph Campbell popularized it in his book The Hero with a thousand faces. Dr Peterson keeps making reference to it and apply it to the Bible without noting where it came from.

  10. As a christian I always have an itch when I listen to Dr. Peterson, I have an itch to say something to him, to make him somehow realize what is he actually talking about. But as I think about it, in the greater scheme of things, for him to make the Biblical series while he is still unsettled with things is a greater benefit to everyone, christians and atheists (or whatever).

    As it provides another perspective of things. Even if you analyze the teaching of the Bible from this side of the Universe you can find out that it is indeed describes life, it understands the human being, the human consciousness, the human brain and the human condition better than any scientist today. And we have to put the question: Why?

    We of course know the answer for that, but it's indeed marvelous to see the power of Logos how it breeds life into plain text. You analyze the text psychologically, putting aside everything religious and you hit your head in mystery which leads you back to the Power of the Word and how it creates things and give them life. It's true how it is described in the Bible that even if everybody remains silent the rocks will speak about God, because indeed everything was created through the Word.

    As for Jordan Peterson, I don't know what journey God planned for him, he and his family went thru a lot of bullshit for sure. I hope God will find His way in his heart and in his mind. He has a good grasp on starting to understand the Word, the world, the struggle and reality, he yet needs to understand the grace of God and which is the easiest way to Win the fight. His biblical series remains a very good starting point to engage religion for the modern atheists and skeptics, because it's just hilariously sad that people today are so arrogantly claim and think that we believe in Santa Claus.

    I'm not really into Catholicism, but dear Bishop you earned my subscription today (after I watched several videos with you), you are certainly a treasure to Christianity. Good thinking, keep oiling your brains.

  11. Does JP perhaps regret not accepting his call to priesthood ? The Catholic Priesthood. He talks about circumambulation, therefore he may have made a mistake by getting married. Might account for a lot of his issues.

  12. All Jordan did is to speak the truth, and what’s driving people away from The Church is the fact we stopped telling the truth.
    If the Catholic Church is no longer the mystical body of Christ, instead is just a “preferred” path somehow managed to be promulgated to some Vatican II documents, why should I convert to The Church?!
    If Hell is empty, and somehow Jesus will manage to get as saved, why should I change my ways?
    Let’s go back, let’s start teaching what The Church taught for 2000 years.

  13. Bishop Baron and Jordan Peterson, I’ll add:You have to talk to former Anglican Bishop convert to the Church Gavin Ashendon! Check out his channel. Yes, you cannot be trivial about Jesus, one’s every moment must be given over to Him, but trust and surrender is the hardest thing for those of us raised in materialism.

  14. The title of, “His Excellency” should be shot down by the very kind Bishop Barron. What would happen if he lost the costume, put on a pair of khakis and a checked shirt, and stepped out and said: “Let’s stop it with the high and mighty Catholic majesty and titles and send ‘His Excellency’ to the dust bin of ancient history. I’m no different than anybody watching this – just a sinner, saved by grace.” That would win respect and new ears — not to mention a huge burden off his shoulders — when he is in, you know, alone in the restroom when all of your humanness is obvious. But seriously, I think it’s worthy of consideration. Let them throw rocks — Bishop Barron would be a rock star, just without the “excellency.”

  15. Not sure Peterson should be positioned in the courtyard of the gentiles. He has the ability to strengthen my faith in Catholicism even though I am a long time practicing Catholic. I believe he is invaluable to our culture and our faith. Would love for him to provide a class for the seminaries.
    He is more than a seeker, he has wisdom that seems to come from the Holy Spirit. When Peterson says saying “I believe in God” is a daunting thing to say he is so right!

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