I picked up a copy of the currently best selling book in Canada and America (the #2 best selling book on Amazon right now) because there is an entire treatise on the male-female paradigm within Peterson’s mind.
Right now he has captured the hearts and minds of millions of men as the cultural rug of sexuality has been swiped from beneath our feet, leaving tens of millions in an abysmal panic at the resultant chaos.
Peterson’s rules come right on time. “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver” (Proverbs 25:11) describes it well. But it is more like a hasty retreat from abstract postmodernism into the comfort of rules. What is glaringly absent from the pages is anything regarding the practice of wisdom. Life circumstances and experiences cannot be judged by mere rules. God wants us to judge and decide based on wisdom which only comes from him.
The sabbath is for man, not man for the sabbath. He was made to (as is redeemed by Christ to) learn wisdom, judgement discernment, and discretion.
“The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight.” (Proverbs 4:7)
I really wanted to know what Peterson meant by saying he was a Christian (on a Steven Crowder interview) and this book really brings it out. Peterson mates ancient Taoist ideas (the yin-yang) with evolutionary biology and mates that with psychology and then mates that with Genesis 2 and 3. The resulting mix is bizarre for any orthodox Christian.
12 Rules for Life actually reads like a commentary on Genesis 2 and 3 and other scriptures including sayings of Christ. As a “commentary” though you will find no resemblance to any of the known and time-tested commentaries of the Church over the last two millennia.
As intelligent as Peterson is and as close as he seems to be to the right track, within a span of a few pages of this book I am left with a piecemeal of sweeping speculations and assumptions that are impossible to make sense of:
- The universe is a yin-yang of chaos and order. Order represents masculine and chaos represents feminine.
- We ought to have one foot in each in order achieve balance, i.e. the middle path (very similar to Buddhist teaching)
- The serpent (Satan) in the garden is symbolic of chaos
This is obviously in contrast to the orthodox Christian understanding that sin does not have anything to do with the feminine but has everything to do with rebellion to God’s will which includes the masculine and feminine. Reality does not consist of two opposing, abstract, nameless forces. This is abstract thinking and the Hebrew language is concrete, based on the five senses of the physical body. In Genesis 13:9 we learn of the first uses in scripture of “left” vs. “right” which are abstract Greek and English words.
Is not the whole land before you? Separate yourself from me. If you take the left hand, then I will go to the right, or if you take the right hand, then I will go to the left.” (Genesis 13:9)
Here the Hebrew is yamin which means “right hand” and semol which means “left hand“.
The first mention of “love”, an abstract English word, in the Bible is in Genesis 22:2:
He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love… (Genesis 22:2)
The word for love is ahav. It stems from a two-letter root word (h-v) meaning “give” or “gift.” In Ancient Hebrew pictograph it conveys a concrete image of providing for one’s family:
Ancient Hebrew: The pictograph represents one who is looking at a great sight with his hands raised as when saying behold. The is a representation of the tent or house. Combined, these pictures mean “look toward the house” or “provide for the family.” (Hebrew Lexicon of the Torah)
This understanding is what gave Hebrews (and modern day Jews) solid definition of what it means to “love your neighbor”. Treat them like family. No one ever questioned Jesus on what that meant. What they did question Jesus on was who the neighbor was. Hebrew communication was 100% concrete.
The universe is a cosmic dance between a Builder and his building material. All material is his. All of it is good and the more developed it is, the more work that goes into it, the better it gets –“very good” (Genesis 1:31).
Peterson sees order as being “surrounded” by chaos. God is not surrounded by evil, although Jesus does speak of an “outer darkness” (Matthew 8:12, 22:13, 25:30). Evil is not a self-existent thing. Evil exists only in our minds, hence, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. There was and is no Star Wars tree of the forces of good and evil. Peterson is stuck in a linear, Western mode of thinking in which there is no beginning and no end. For him chaos and order are open-ended things.
Truth, Jesus, says there is a beginning and there is an end. He is that beginning and end. Hebrew thought is circuitous. Jesus as the way, truth, and life means the path of truth and life is circuitous, a closed circuit (Revelation 1:8, 22:13). Psalm 139:24 calls it The Everlasting Way (Hebrew derek olam).
This a superior work by Elizabeth George that sits at the top of the best selling books on biblical womanhood. I was blown away to find that such a book and teaching is still circulating throughout the Church. This is not only doctrinally sound but presented in with true wisdom and gentleness. It testifies of the power of an older woman of wisdom passing on her knowledge and wisdom to the younger. As powerful and influential as this book is, I have not seen it in any Churches I’ve been to in my four decades of going to Church except for one. This is a tragedy.
It guides the woman into taking responsibility for her own life under God’s Word and recognizes that the principles taught in the Bible are nowhere by no one enforced upon her. They are words of wisdom.
Elizabeth tackles with grace how to set aside feelings when making decisions. She presents the correct view of “helpmate” and encourages wives to “be a team with him” and admonishes women to “make your husband your career”. She exegetes key words in biblical texts such as “homemaker” and “submission” correctly.
I was intrigued by how she encouraged women to “give the gift of headship” to her husband. It is her choice to submit. No one can make her–not her pastor, not her church, not her husband, not even God. Submission is to be to her husband only. She should see him as a “best friend”. I remember telling one of the first girls I dated many years ago that a husband and wife should be best friends and she disagreed. Many women (as well as men), from their wounds, distrust, and fears, have distanced themselves from the core meaning of marriage and have come to view it in a utilitarian way.
She goes on to discuss motherly affection and explores many practical ways of implementing biblical values. She mentions the Proverbs frequently and reminds us that “the wise woman builds her house”. The wife builds the home–not the masonry, or carpentry–the home.
In all seriousness, this book should be in every church. Any church that makes this book available to its women will find that there will soon be few single women. As long as the power vested in the feminine reality is concealed from our eyes, we lose. These truths will awaken the spirit and soul and create a vibrant church of spiritual joy. They will also weed out the chaff that shouldn’t be among the wheat as well.
The entire internet is a digital abyss of 1s and 0s where anything can be edited and anything can be hacked. Now that the cat’s out of the bag on Russia spending $1 million a month to hack American politics and divide America with deception, it is more obvious than ever that the internet is no more secure than a back-alley in Detroit.
The media, newspapers, and social media, in taking political positions, invariably report with bias which is to be expected and not necessarily bad in itself. However, as those platforms have all but rejected the morality of God and walked over the highest American value we’ve ever held (“In God We Trust”), the most important rule we could abide by in our speech is gone:
“Do not give false testimony against your neighbor. ” (Exodus 20:16)
If that’s no longer our cultural standard, what’s to stop media from misleading people? Nothing. So who can you rely on for accurate reporting of news and events anymore? How about a practicing Jew for whom the Law of Moses is of utmost importance? That would be Ben Shapiro. If there is one thing I can trust a practicing Jew to do it is to uphold the ten commandments to a “T”. That is why I can be confident that not only will Ben not lie but neither will he “spin” or “splice and dice” news to fit a narrative or bias. He knows he is obligated to report as accurately and faithfully to the facts as possible.
Dennis Prager is another practicing Jew who lives under the Law of Moses. Beyond these people I have found few reliable sources of news and reporting. I have to know one’s standard of morality before I can believe they are being honest. Even if Ben were to report something incorrectly, I can be sure he didn’t do it intentionally. Plug-in to his sites:
Tony Evan’s book Kingdom Man is by far one of the sharpest, most salient books available. It actually has the semblance of a weapon in your hand. It has exegetical analyses, powerful anecdotes, and a broading effect on the mind. That’s exactly what men need in a deconstructed society and a lukewarm Church that has shrunk Christian manhood down to little more than “not masturbating.” Being a man is being a part of a great cosmic reality and harmony. I listened to the audiobook but will be purchasing a hard copy to go through it again. I believe it’s worth owning.
This complimentarian work is an excellent, down to earth book on the practical application of New Testament teachings to a man’s life as a family man. It’s not so much a book about the Hebrew concept of “Man of God”, i.e. Elijah, Job, etc. which I was hopeful of reading something about because of the title. The sub-title is the more accurate: “Leading your Family.”
Contains lots of great counsel and advice on communication, raising children, leading, and taking responsibility in your family. Recommended.
“Looking at the statement which is my immediate authority as an Anglican, the Thirty-Nine Articles, I find it laid down in black and white that “it is lawful for Christian men, at the commandment of the Magistrate, to wear weapons and serve in the wars.” Dissenters may not accept this; then I can refer them to the history of the Presbyterians, which is by no means Pacifist. Papists may not accept this; then I can refer them to the ruling of Thomas Aquinas that “even as princes law-fully defend their land by the sword against disturbance from within, so it belongs to them to defend it by the sword from enemies without.” Or if you demand patristic authority, I give you St. Augustine, “If Christian discipleship wholly reprobated war, then to those who sought the counsel of salvation in the Gospel this answer would have been given first, that they should throw away their arms and withdraw themselves altogether from being soldiers. But what was really said to them was, ‘Do violence to no man and be content with your pay/ When he bade them to be content with their due soldier’s pay, he forbade them not to be paid as soldiers.” But of checking individual voices, there would be no end. All bodies that claim to be Churches—that is, who claim apostolic succession and accept the Creeds—have constantly blessed what they regarded as righteous arms. Doctors, bishops, and popes—including, I think, the present Pope [Pius XII]— have again and again discountenanced the Pacifist position. Nor, I think, do we find a word about Pacifism in the apostolic writings, which are older than the Gospels and represent, if anything does, that original Christendom whereof the Gospels themselves are a product.
The whole Christian case for Pacifism rests, there-fore, on certain Dominical utterances, such as “Resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.” I am now to deal with the Christian who says this is to be taken without qualification. I need not point out—for it has doubtless been pointed out to you before—that such a Christian is obliged to take all the other hard sayings of Our Lord in the same way. For the man who has done so, who has on every occasion given to all who ask him and has finally given all he has to the poor, no one will fail to feel respect. With such a man I must suppose myself to be arguing; for who would deem worth answering that inconsistent person who takes Our Lord’s words a la rigueur when they dispense him from a possible obligation and takes them with latitude when they demand that he should become a pauper.”
Misfire #1: If you’re single then its all about “where you’re trying to get to.” What, marriage?
Misfire #2: To the single dude he says, “I’m not going to keep writing separate stuff for you, unless you have a direct word from God almighty himself, asking you to stay single…” <chuckle>
Misfire #3: “There are 2 trillion amazing available Christian women…” What a dangerous attitude. We should not presume to think that all or even the majority of Christian women are prime candidates for bonding flesh and soul to a man. Men, DO NOT lower your standards. It is better to stay single just as Paul said in 1 Corinthians 7 and that is a direct word. Wait. God will provide what you need when you need it and not a moment too soon. Don’t ahead of him because you will hurt yourself. Bad. It’s the stupidest thing you’ll ever do. We don’t live in a culture that has any boundaries for keeping marriage intact anymore and the Church has largely failed to supplement what has been lost.
Misfire #4: “I wrote my doctoral thesis to help Joe be more open about the things he struggles with, and I started a church in a warehouse because Joe doesn’t need fluff or fancy.” You wrote a doctoral thesis and you’re talking to men like they’re kids. Stop it.
Misfire #5: “The book is really about two main Bible verses…the end of Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, he exhorts believers to take hold of what they long for and what God created them to be and experience. In 1 Thessalonians 2:7 Paul challenges all Christians to demonstrate the tenderness best illustrated in a nursing mother with her children…” What?
Misfire #6: The tone and voice of the book is based on the notion that “men like simple”. I hate that. Like, I really hate that, dude. Men do like simple, but they also like women’s breasts and the reality TV show Jackass. I’m not going to fill a book for men with pictures if women’s breasts however while trying to call them up to a higher standard. If they don’t know the language or the words, they need to be taught them. Their minds need to be stretched and pulled. It needs to hurt a little bit–not in a condescending way but in an up-building way. You don’t relax standards for a soldier and hope to win a war. You push them, and it is critical that you do so. If they can’t make it in training, they will never make it through the real world battles. Call up don’t insult.
Misfire #7: The subtle insulting tones and broad categorizations of men don’t help.
MacDonald was on track with realizing there was a specific nature and theology for men. He titled the book after the central New Testament verse to men: be strong, act like men (1 Cor. 16:13). It’s frustrating however when all you have to say about what that means is “don’t act like women.” 1 Cor. 16:13 is merely evidence that a vast plethora of truth awaits the man who undertakes to find out what “acting like men” meant to Paul…
This is one of the top books out there on Christian manhood. It is the only book I’ve come across that uses Greek exegesis to support our understanding of the New Testament man. It’s well balanced, and tactful. Gene also brings to the table a wealth of experience and powerful stories that are sure to rock your boat.
This, like other books on Christian manhood are written under the assumption that Paul got his revelations from the Holy Spirit in that he didn’t learn them from the Old Testament. Old Testament manhood, or what I call “Hebrew manhood” is largely missing from Christian books for men. Even though the Apostles and even Jesus himself consistently pointed back to the Old Testament, especially Genesis for direction on the masculine and feminine, the Church has so far fallen way short of everything that can be learned if we will simply take the time to study. The Old Testament is a huge collection of texts of course which essentially means if you really want to know the Word of God on manhood (and womanhood) in its fullness, you’ll have to do some leg work. So, how bad do you want it?
Creflo Dollar is a prosperity teacher but has written a book on manhood so I decided to check it out. What makes this book and this man’s leadership so misleading is the fact that everything written in the book is spot on. I listened to the entire audiobook. I find it a little presumptuous to put your own photo on the cover of a book entitled, “Real Manhood”. He peddles the gospel. He is no real man. He is like the Pharisee of whom Jesus said “listen to what they say, but do not do what they do.” Listen to what is said in this book, but don’t chase after thirty million dollar private jets.
He downplays and criticizes scholarship and theologians yet sports the label of “Dr.” everywhere he can. (He didn’t earn the PhD but was awarded it as an “honorary degree” from Oral Roberts University. If he wasn’t such a truth peddler I could give this book five stars. In fact, if you purchased it, tore off the cover and inked out his name, you’d have a pretty solid book loaded with Scriptures that men need to hear.
Creflo cashes in on the truth like nobody’s business. I don’t understand how his followers can be so blind to the fact that he has written this book which encourages men to “be men”, embrace their identity as men in the image of God, lead, and fulfill their ROLES as men while at the same time his wife Taffi preaches and publishes books that are anti-roles and rely on Feminist-Marxist oppression language. That tells me enough of the sham they are instigating against their flock. And why does every single one of his books feature his face? Is he a celebrity? Apparently, because that’s exactly how celebrities sell their books.