Acclaimed author and psychologist Professor Jordan Peterson has said that there is much about the person and story of Jesus Christ which is "undeniable". In a recent interview with Orthodox Christian Jonathan Pageau, which you can watch below, the best-selling author of '12 Rules For Life' said that he was "amazed" by the extent of his own innate beliefs about Christ.
"The deeper you go into biology, the more it shades into something that appears to be religious," Peterson explained. "Because you start analysing the fundamental structure of the psyche itself, and it becomes something with a power that transcends your ability to resist it."
The psychologist went on to address the claims of one of his critics, who insisted that Christ is no different from "a whole sequence of dying-and-resurrecting mythological Gods".
“The difference - and C.S. Lewis pointed this out as well - between those mythological gods and Christ was that there’s a historical representation of his existence as well,” he said. “You can debate whether or not that's genuine. But there's a sense in which it doesn't matter because there's still a historical story. So, what you have in the figure of Christ is an actual person who actually lived, plus a myth, and, in some sense, Christ is the union of those two things.”
"The problem is, I probably believe that," Peterson added, becoming visibly emotional. "But I'm amazed at my own belief and I don't understand it."
"In some sense, I believe it is undeniable," he added. "Because I’ve seen the objective world and the narrative world touch. That’s union synchronicity. And I’ve seen that many times in my own life and so, in some sense, I believe it's undeniable."
Peterson explained how his "narrative sense of the world" had been "the world of morality...the world that tells us how to act".
"We treat it like it's real," he said. "It's not the objective world. But the narrative and the objective world touch...and the ultimate example of that, in principle, is supposed to be Christ."
"That seems oddly plausible," Peterson went on, again becoming emotional. "But I still don't know what to make of it...partly because it's too terrifying a reality to fully believe. I don't know what would happen to you if you fully believed it."
"If you believed in the story of Christ? Or that history and the narrative meet?" Pageau responded.
"Both, I think," Peterson replied. "When you believe that, you buy both those stories, you believe that the narrative and the objective can actually touch."
You can watch the full discussion below. Peterson begins to talk about Christ at around 21 mins 45 secs:
Later in the discussion, Peterson, who has just released a new book 'Beyond Order: 12 More Rules For Life', said that he had answered the question, "Do you believe in God?" in various different ways in the past.
"'No, but I'm terrified he might exist' - that would be a truthful answer," Peterson said, noting that he would often answer that he "acts as if God exists"
"I do my best to do that," he added.
"But there's a real stumbling block there because there's no limit to what would happen if you acted like God existed," he continued. "Maybe it's not reasonable to say to believers that you aren't sufficiently transformed for me to believe that you believe in God...or that you believe the story that you're telling me...the way you live isn't sufficient testament to the truth"
"People would certainly say that about the Catholic Church," he added. "With all the sexual corruption for example. Like, really? You believe that Jesus Christ was the Son of God, and yet you act that way? And I'm supposed to buy your belief?"
"It seems to be that the church is actually quite guilty on that count," the psychologist added. "Because the attempts to clean up the mess have been rather half-hearted.
"Christians don't manifest...and I'm including myself, I suppose, in that description...they don't manifest the transformation of attitude that would enable the outside observer to conclude that they believe."