For the first time in a year, revered and reviled Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson has posted a video to his three million Youtube subscribers.
Before he starts lecture series on the Old Testament book of Exodus or Proverbs, the controversial social commentator described how health issues have sidelined him this year.
“I have been suffering from severely impaired health, as a consequence of benzodiazepines use for anxiety or, more accurately, from a combination of using that medication and then ceasing its use, once I realised it was dangerous,” began Peterson.
Peterson has been hospitalised during the past year, including in Russia, and he also reportedly suffered from COVID-19 and pneumonia.
“I can tell you what kept me going during what was certainly the worst period of my life – family, that’s for sure, friends and the work I was able to continue doing,” explained Peterson in the dimly-lit video.
Having released a lecture series in 2017 on the Book of Genesis, Peterson intends soon to “start working on the next book, which is Exodus”. However, before that video series, he revealed that “I think I’m going to produce videos devoted to Proverbs, a book of wisdom essentially.”
“With God’s grace and mercy, I’ll be able to start generating original material once again, and pick up where I left off,” Peterson concluded.
Along with Peterson’s positions on politically correct language and the status of masculinity, he has attracted international attention for how he upholds the Bible, God and Jesus. Among other fans of his philosophies, notably young men, Peterson has attracted a groundswell of support from plenty of Christians.
His endorsement of biblical views about good and evil, morality and living well together has contributed to this popularity, yet Peterson has never publicly claimed to be a Christian.
One of the reasons, according to Peterson, is the high bar set by the perfect life lived by Jesus Christ. Peterson thinks it “audacious” for anyone to claim they believe in Jesus so much that their life can be changed accordingly. To live as if one truly believed in God’s saviour son is “an unbearable task, in some sense,” Peterson said at PragerU 2019 Summit – because no-one can match Jesus’ moral record.
“So while I try to act like I believe [in God], I never claim that I manage it.”
Yet in his new video, Peterson references God’s grace and mercy in relation to himself.
Perhaps the past year has unveiled more to Peterson about what the Bible reveals about grace and mercy, such as Ephesians 2:8-10: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Or Titus 2:11-14: “For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope — the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.”