Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Is "Ethics" Enough?

Hey, did you know that Jordan Peterson has a new book coming out? Don't know if you're a big Peterson fan or not. I'm not, but I do own his books. I appreciate his emphasis on self-responsibility ("make your bed!") and his general position on wokism. So it will be interesting to see what he has to say in his new book. His subject is actually theology, which is a topic I love. I wonder, though, about all these people defending conservative values. Ultimately, people need to come to terms with the gospel of Jesus Christ. So I'm not sure their message is all that helpful. As Christians, we believe that it is God alone who empowers both our "willing" and our "doing" (see Phil. 2:12-13). In other words, responsible living has nothing to do with self-effort ultimately. Rather, it begins with a life that is being transformed from the inside out by the Spirit of God. It means being invaded, as it were, by God's Holy Spirit, who creates in us both the desire and the ability to do what pleases him. We "work out" what God has "worked in." Moreover, whatever we do that is right and good we do ultimately for God's good pleasure, not our own. Our ultimate goal is to see that GOD'S purposes are accomplished in our lives and communities. 

Happily for us, God has made provision for all this in the Good News of Jesus Christ. You see, living responsibly is a God thing. It's not a matter of working out rules and regulations ("make your bed") but a matter of being devoted completely to Christ. So regardless of what we may think about JP -- and I know he is a controversial figure -- I hope we can all agree that our goal is not simply ethics but Christian ethics. This doesn't mean that "God does it for us." But it does mean that God, through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, supplies the working power. 

So while it is valuable for us to listen to conservatives like Matt Walsh, Ben Shapiro, Jordan Peterson, and Candace Owens  -- I do so quite often -- we can't afford not to check their message against the only perfect and infallible source of faith and practice known to man. 

Leaving it at this for now. Have a wonderful evening!