September 16, 2018


Jordan Peterson Takes on the Tower of Babel  (CHRISTOPHER KACZOR, 9/16/18, CERC)

Coming after Noah and the Flood, the story of the Tower of Babel begins, "Now the whole earth had one language and few words" (Genesis 11:1).  These first people said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth" (11:4).

In Peterson's view, they want to create a path to heaven and, ultimately, to "build a structure that's so large and encompassing that it can replace heaven itself."  Using their reason, they seek a utopia. [...]

Then "the Lord said, 'Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do; and nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them.  Come, let us go down, and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.' So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city.  Therefore, its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth" (Genesis 11:6-9).

Peterson notes that this passage seems to portray God as jealous and petty.  But if God is perfectly good, all-wise and all-loving, God cannot do evil, unwise and petty actions. 

On the one hand, God never claims to be omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent and omnicompetent; on the other, He repeatedly behaves as if He is none of these things and states that He is not, as much as we wish that He were, for our own comfort. 

Posted by at September 16, 2018 4:01 PM