Generally speaking, Peterson has a Christian worldview and promotes Christian values and principles, but I wouldn’t consider him to be a Christian because he doesn’t appear to have a personal relationship with God. He studies the Bible for information, not revelation. Nowhere does he mention prayer.
It wasn’t until the last chapter that Peterson shares his experience of his daughter’s battle with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. This has influenced him greatly and I wished he had mentioned it earlier in the book because, at times, the reality of suffering almost makes him sound depressive. I was pleased to read his daughter is now well.
Peterson’s rules are helpful but they lack the power to change lives. As I said when discussing rule 1, most people don’t lack instruction. There’s plenty of advertising promoting a healthy lifestyle and a positive attitude. What we lack is discipline. Teachers, police, politicians and others who desire to change behaviour think that education will fix the problem. But knowing the right thing to do doesn’t mean we do it. However, despite this, Peterson seems to have developed a remarkably high level of self-discipline. In my experience, this is unusual.
Christianity, however, isn’t about developing self-discipline, it’s about surrendering to God and allowing him to make changes in our lives. Lasting change comes when we are motivated by a desire to live a life pleasing to God, not by the fear of failure or punishment.
This concludes this series on Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life. To go back to the start of this series, click here.