Jordan Peterson’s strange version of Christianity (part 2)

Jordan Peterson’s strange version of Christianity (part 2)

“A Jungian gnosticism that is essentially Pelagian at key points.”

That was my claim in “part one” of this series on the Christianity of the now-famous Jordan B. Peterson.

(If you missed part one, go back and read it (here) before continuing.)

I should begin, however, by admitting that I have already changed my mind about one aspect of my prior post.  I said there that Peterson’s version of Christianity is “strange”—and I even used that word within my title.

I now regret that word choice.

Because, in some ways, it is the lack of “strangeness” within Peterson’s theology that makes it different from my own.

Historic Christianity is, after all, quite odd by human standards.

We assert belief in an unseen, all-powerful, and all-loving God despite a world awash with evil.  We affirm the inspiration of Scripture despite the many oddities contained therein.  We believe in a “Trinity” and in a Christ who is fully human and fully divine.

Thus, most heresies can be seen as attempts to resolve the strangeness of the faith, so that it reconciles more easily with whatever form of human “reason” now in fashion.

But while I recant my “strange” word-choice—I maintain the part about the “Jungian gnosticism” with a dash of old Pelagius.

Now to explain those terms.

“JUNGIAN GNOSTICISM”

Unlike his mentor, Freud, who dismissed all religion as an “illusion” based on “wish-fulfillment” (I want a strong and loving dad, so: “Accio Heavenly Father!”)—Karl Jung took seriously the utility of religious “myths” and archetypes.

So too Peterson.

Yet an important point in both Jung and Peterson is how quickly they divorce the biblical material from history, even as they homogenize it with all other pagan myths.

Hence, when Peterson talks about Genesis (or Jesus in John 1), he ends up concluding that the Babylonian Enuma Elish tells us pretty much the same thing—and in more interesting fashion.

After all, the Babylonian account is way-more Quentin Tarantino.

For Peterson, Marduk seems as good as YHWH, who makes great wonders out of chaos.

There is some validity to the comparison, since every first-year OT student learns the similarities between the Enuma Elish and Genesis. (Even as they also learn the massive differences!)

The problem, however, is that neither Peterson nor Jung need their sacred texts to be historically rooted in any sense.  They merely need the “knowledge” (gnosis) to gleaned from a psychoanalyzed decoding of them.

Thank-you Marduk-YHWH!  

Having read your tale, I too will go into The Unknown and make great wonders out of chaos, like when people try to force me to use “Ze” and “Zur” as pronouns.

(While one may agree on the pronoun point, the way of reading Scripture is deeply flawed.)

In both Peterson and the gnostics, “salvation” comes not through a flesh-and-blood person, but by the knowledge to gained from an intellectual guru who alone can decipher Scripture’s hidden meanings.

As Irenaeus long ago argued (c. 180 AD), that’s a bunch of hooey.

Now for the link to old Pelagius.

“WITH A DASH OF OLD PELAGIUS” 

In its particulars, Peterson’s version Christianity is of course quite different from that of the 4th c. Pelagius (thus I don’t want to “lump” them incautiously). Even so, a commonality exists in the downplaying of the necessity for supernatural grace.

Such grace is, I must admit, a very strange thing—but one cannot have Christianity without it.

For Pelagius, Christ-given forgiveness was not required for salvation, since what humans really need is to “buck up” and live responsible lives as Scripture commands us.

In other words, “Stand up straight with your shoulders back” (Rule 1); “Tell the truth” (Rule 8); “Set your house in perfect order… ” (Rule 6)—each from 12 Rules for Life.

None of this is bad advice, mind you. And if it prevents even one resentful young Incel from  shooting up a middle school, we will all be grateful.

Yet as Charlie Clark notes (here), Peterson’s whole self-improvement project is driven by a form of macho pride, and a conspicuous absence of the sine qua non of Christianity—“grace.”

So what does Peterson think you should do?

You should act like a dominant, alpha lobster and assert yourself: “Quit drooping and hunching around. Speak your mind. Put your desires forward, as if you had a right to them—at least the same right as others.” As a man, you’ve won the game of life when you present yourself as “a successful lobster, and the most desirable females line up and vie for your attention.”

While such testosterone-laden preaching may produce external changes, it also has a cost.

As Clark concludes:

Peterson is, in fact, precisely the character that [C. S.] Lewis describes in Mere Christianity, one of those teachers who,

“appeal to a boy’s Pride, or, as they call it, his self-respect, to make him behave decently: many a man has overcome cowardice, or lust, or ill-temper by learning to think that they are beneath his dignity—that is, by Pride.”

So:

Just as theological and social conservatives have too often compromised with sub-Christian political movements to prop up the illusion of a Christian nation, they would now put their hope in Peterson—at best, a good pagan—to teach their sons morals.

This is an enthusiasm born of desperation.

But to make his Pelagian error is to put our faith in ourselves rather than in Christ.

The righteousness that Jordan Peterson preaches is self-righteousness and it is not saving. The Pride it nurtures will prove spiritually fatal. The church owes young men better guidance than this.

CONCLUSION

My broader view of Peterson is more positive (See “part one“).

After all, we need not agree with someone entirely in order to learn from them. So let’s give our “sons” some credit for being able to separate the good from bad. Peterson has many noble points.

Still, at the end of the day, I must acknowledge that my brand of Christianity is far stranger than his. It holds that Scripture gives us not just disembodied ideas on how to “make order out of chaos” but a re-embodied Jew who is, himself, the hope of the world.

And it contends, quite strangely, that we require far more than Stoic admonitions on how to be good, “upright Lobsters.”

We need more than “good advice”; we need good news.

Jordan Peterson’s strange version of Christianity (part 1)

Jordan Peterson’s strange version of Christianity (part 1)

Sixty million.

That’s approximately how many views Professor Jordan B. Peterson now has on his official YouTube channel. Which, by my count, makes him the most famous professor since Albus Dumbledore.

Not that I’m jealous.

While few folks had heard of Peterson just three years ago, he has since sky-rocketed to international fame for his critique of political correctness run amok (see here), his thoughts on personal meaning and motivation, and his new bestseller: 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos (which, as best I can tell, is a kind of Purpose Driven Life for western, twenty-something males).

It may also have helped that Peterson’s voice, by his own bemused admission, sounds like a Canadian Kermit the Frog—that is, if the world’s foremost puppet-amphibian were to swap out every verbal “Hi-ho” for a “Dostoyevsky” or a “Solzhenitsyn.”

JP kermit

A CONTROVERSIAL (CHRISTIAN?) GURU

Peterson is also controversial.

He is loathed by certain Leftist groups.  His path to fame came by challenging the Canadian Government’s forced use of transgender pronouns.  And his very mention has become a kind of Shibboleth in a culture war that seems increasingly “terrorized by the fringes” (whether Right or Left).

But none of that is what I want to talk about.

This post (and however many that follow it) is on Peterson and Christianity.

Because while waffling on whether he calls himself a Christian (“It’s complicated,” he says), Peterson takes the Bible seriously, as evidenced by his mammoth YouTube walk through the Old Testament.

As he states:

The Bible is, for better or worse, the foundational document of western civilization … Its careful, respectful study can reveal things to us about what we believe and how we … should act that can be discovered in almost no other manner.

On human sin, he says:

Only man will inflict suffering for the sake of suffering. And with this realization we have … full legitimization of the idea … of original Sin.

And on one occasion, he even claimed to view Jesus as a member of the Trinity

So why the somewhat snarky title to my blog post?

SOME POSITIVES

To be clear, my claim is not that Peterson is toxic, or that the extreme claims against him are fair or accurate, at least based on my limited exposure to him (see here for a critique of those who fail to listen carefully to him).

I actually appreciate some of his emphases:

  • The crucial value of free speech
  • The danger of radical postmodernism
  • The abiding value of the Judeo-Christian narrative
  • The flaws in fundamentalism
  • The need to take “big questions” beyond the college lecture hall
  • And the necessity to reach the so-called “lost boys” of the west, before they are snatched up by dangerous ideologies like those of the “Incels” and the Alt-right.

I am not even claiming that Peterson is not a Christian.

My point is that he is simply wrong about what Christianity is.   

And I say that not as one of the many self-appointed internet heresy-hunters (shouting from a basement bunker beneath a pile of R.C. Sproul books), but as someone with a PhD in theology. Hence, this is quite literally the only aspect of Peterson’s program on which I am qualified to have a reasonably well-informed opinion.

This, then, is my thesis:

While Peterson talks often of the Bible and the need to “pick up your damn cross,” he also misconstrues some of the most basic claims of Christianity.

The result is kind of Jungian gnosticism that is essentially Pelagian at key points. And his approach to Scripture makes him something of a re-mythologizing “Joseph Campbell” for a tribal, YouTube culture.

(Rest assured, I will define these clunky terms more fully in “part 2”.)

For now, I’ll just get the ball rolling.

“AND THE GREATEST OF THESE IS ‘TRUTH’ (AND INDIVIDUALISM)”

Two quick examples:

In a recent interview with the atheist-neuroscientist, Sam Harris, Peterson argued (laudably) that the Judeo-Christian narrative ought not simply be discarded as a vestige of an intolerant and un-scientific past.  It has abiding value.

But when pressed on what that value is, Peterson’s Christianity gets strange.

His claim, from a biblical perspective, is that Christianity matters for at least two reasons:

  1. It “makes the group subordinate to the individual.”
  2. It posits truth-telling as “the highest moral virtue.”

In his words:

the truth speaks chaos into order in the most beneficial possible way. And that is the fundamental ethical duty.

Unfortunately, neither of these claims are accompanied by even the barest attempt at biblical support.  And at least one of them is flatly contradicted by the New Testament.

Let’s start with the second point: True speech as the highest “Christian” virtue.

RIGHTLY ORDERED LOVE > TRUE STATEMENTS

For both Jesus and Paul, it is not “truth-telling” but rightly-ordered “LOVE” that is the highest moral virtue (See Mk. 12.30 and 1 Cor. 13).

And while we ought not pretend that the two concepts are competing in a “hierarchy of dominance” (one of Peterson’s favorite phrases), it bears noting that one may actually speak true phrases in idolatrous and sinful ways.

To take just two examples: See Satan’s accurate quotations from the Bible when temping Christ (Mt. 4). Or secondly, the religious leaders’ turning of the Law into a “projectile” to be aimed at Jesus, with a woman’s life becoming little more than ammunition (Jn. 8).

So, no…, “the highest moral virtue” of Christianity is not truth-telling.

THE BIBLE AND THE INDIVIDUAL

Now for Peterson’s claim about the Bible making “the group” subordinate to “the individual.”

This too is rather odd.

To be honest, I can’t think of a single verse that would unambiguously support the claim–though there are a few that might be taken as such.  Jesus leaves the “ninety-nine” to find the “one” (e.g., Mt. 18.12); and he makes the individual’s allegiance to earthly groups subordinate to allegiance to him.  But this doesn’t seem like what Peterson is talking about.

For him, almost every conversation eventually returns to a critique of “Neo-Marxism.”

And while I dislike Marxism as much as the next guy, I get the sense that Peterson is a bit too liberal with his slinging of the label (In my view, adding slippery prefixes like “Neo-” and “Quasi-” is often a sign of lazy thinking).

As an ancient text, the Bible simply doesn’t buy into our Individualist vs. Collectivist dichotomy. That’s a modern thing. Scripture has a “participationist” ontology–and it’s better than both Individualist and Collectivist imbalances (See, for instance, the work of Colin Gunton in the published version of my PhD thesis ([here].)

This participation framework is rooted in the nature of the Triune God–who is neither a lonely individual, nor a faceless “collective.”  This God has space within himself for other “persons,” without obliterating their particularity.

Hence the New Testament speaks NEVER of “Individuals” on a lonely hero’s journey (as does Peterson), but of a knit-together family, called the body of Christ.

For such reasons, Peterson’s claims about these two distinctly Christian contributions turn out not even to be Christian. That doesn’t make him evil or “a heretic”–but it does make his version of the gospel somewhat strange.

(As for the clunky labels in my thesis, those will have to wait till next time.)

“Hi-ho.”

The cult of evangelical celebrity

The cult of evangelical celebrity

“It’s fun to be somebody’s god, for a little while.”

I still remember hearing that line from the lips of a well-known Christian pastor.

It has truth to it. I’ve felt it in rare moments. And he meant it as a warning.

To be a person’s “god” is to be the proverbial frog in boiling water: The hot tub is luxurious, until it cooks you.

In a few months, this same famous pastor would resign amid a cloud of scandal.

In his case (unlike some recent ones), the charges were not of sexual misconduct, but of ego run amok, a lack of accountability for someone deemed “too big to fail,” and a tendency to use celebrity as a “Find and Replace” for integrity when the cameras were switched off.

On second thought, perhaps it’s not so different from the recent sexual scandals involving well-known church leaders.

A common denominator (to misquote Eisenhower) is what I’d like to christen as “The (evangelical) celebrity industrial complex.”

A MUST-READ

In one of the more important blog posts of the year, Andy Crouch submits that it’s time for evangelicals especially to reckon with the insidious danger of celebrity power (Read here).

The reason for the “reckoning” is noted in his Introduction.

In three separate cases [this week] in my immediate circles, a person with significant power at the top of an organization, each one a subject of flattering major media exposure during their career, was confronted with allegations of sexual misconduct and related misdeeds.

All three were […] seen as among the most exemplary Christian leaders of their generation.

Since the article, still more allegations have surfaced against the most famous of these leaders—and he has since resigned while not admitting guilt.

Several of these charges come from high-profile female leaders, one a former CEO of Zondervan, alleging that the well-known pastor pressured them to bring wine and meet alone with him on his private jet, his private yacht, and his private beachside vacation home.

Like Crouch, I choose not to name the leader for at least two reasons. First, I do not know if the allegations are true.  And secondly, to focus on the “Name” may be to perpetuate one aspect of our problem: a fixation on the famous people and their escapades: their yachts, their private jets, their beachside villas.

It sounds like a Jay-Z song.

Like it or not, the church is hardly different than the culture in its celebrity addiction. And the culture is rife with it.

One need look no further than the contexts from which we now choose our leaders–The Apprentice, The Terminator, The Oprah.

Crouch again:

In the Oval Office of our country sits a man [… who] is simply brilliant at manipulating the power of celebrity.

He has colonized all of our imaginations—above all, one suspects, the imaginations of those who most hate him, who cannot go an hour in a day without thinking about him.

HOW CELEBRITY POWER IS UNIQUE

But wait a minute; aren’t all forms of authority prone to such corruption?  “Power corrupts,” said Lord Acton, “and absolut… [yada, yada, yada].”

True enough. Yet Crouch makes a key distinction between institutional and celebrity power, especially as the latter is now driven by technology and social media.

Celebrity combines the old distance of power with what seems like its exact opposite—extraordinary intimacy, or at least a bewitching simulation of intimacy. 

It is the power of the one-shot (the face filling the frame), the close mic (the voice dropped to a lover’s whisper), the memoir (the disclosures that had never been discussed with the author’s pastor, parents, or sometimes even lover or spouse, before they were published), the tweet, the selfie, the insta, the snap. All of it gives us the ability to seem to know someone—without in fact knowing much about them at all, since in the end we know only what they, and the systems of power that grow up around them, choose for us to know.

Crouch’s claim is that “institutions” of power have been largely replaced by individuals—celebrity leaders—whose charisma is both branded and broadcast (via technology) in order to achieve an illusion of intimacy with millions of followers.

Yet in this process, we create idols who behave like monsters—in part, because they both crave and (ironically) resent the fame now thrust upon them.

“It’s fun to be somebody’s god, for a little while.”

“DEAR BROTHERS” ~BETH MOORE

As proof, note how the problem with sexism (and sexual misconduct) often interfaces with the cult of celebrity within the evangelical world, as in others.

Hear the powerful words of the conservative Bible teacher Beth Moore on the subject (here):

About a year ago I had an opportunity to meet a theologian I’d long respected. I’d read virtually every book he’d written. I’d looked so forward to getting to share a meal with him and talk theology. The instant I met him, he looked me up and down, smiled approvingly and said, “You are better looking than ____________________.” He didn’t leave it blank. He filled it in with the name of another woman Bible teacher.

While this sounds almost tame compared to the exploits of Weinstein and Cosby, it still raises questions for the average, decent person.

“Who talks like this!?  What kind of person thinks this is an appropriate way to begin a conversation, let alone with a woman, let alone with a preacher, let alone with a female preacher you have never met!?”

Answer: a celebrity.

Because part of the business of fame is the conscious and unconscious learning that you get special treatment.

“When you’re a celebrity they let you do it. Grab them by the __________.”

ANOTHER KIND OF POWER

There are exceptions of course.

Not all celebrities leverage fame toward abusive or destructive ends. And it’s easy to be critical  from the cheap-seats. After all, who’s to say how celebrity would affect me?

“It’s fun to be somebody’s god,” until it isn’t.

One point, however, is how different this pursuit of fame and famous people differs from the way of Jesus. At various points in the Gospels, Christ was thrust onto the very cusp of (ancient) celebrity.

In John, after feeding five thousand people, we learn that the crowds had decided to “make him king by force” (Jn. 6.15).

This, after all, is one way celebrities are minted—almost without the permission of the one cast into the limelight. In some cases, a gifted and talented individual wakes up to find (almost to their chagrin) that they have been made into the “face” of an industry or movement overnight, without ever intending to be.

“I never asked for this,” they think – “I was just trying to speak truth, make art, or craft music.”

Too bad.

You’ve been made “king” by force. And the only way off the ride is to push the self-destruct button.

Or is it?

Christ chose a different path. He didn’t self-destruct exactly, but he did intentionally put the kibosh on the celebrity sausage-maker (a very unkosher metaphor).

After this same miracle, he says the following:

I am the bread that has come down from heaven. […] Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood you have no part in me.

The publicists stopped calling after that one.

And the next time they “made him king by force,” it involved a crown of thorns.

Throughout the Gospels, Jesus flees the crush of the adoring crowds in order to pursue more meaningful relationships, to pray, and to reenter the region of obscurity. Prophets are made in the wilderness, after all, not on the red carpet, and not in the Twitter-verse.

Crouch:

The visible image of the invisible God left no portrait. The one time he wrote, he wrote in the dust (Jn. 8.6). He had a different way of using power in the world, a way that turned out to outlast all the emperors, including the Christian ones.

He offered no false intimacy—his biographer John said that he entrusted himself to no one, because he knew what was in every person’s heart (Jn. 2.24 –25) —but he kept no distance, either.

He let the children come to him. He let Mary sit at his feet and let another Mary wash his feet with her tears. Hanging naked on a cross, he forgave, blessed, and made sure that yet another Mary would still have a son.

His power, truly, was not of this world.

If there is a solution to the evangelical celebrity industrial complex, it’s in reclaiming this strange kind of power.

Abby’s story

Abby’s story

This week I spend some time with one of my students–Abby Powell–talking about how Christ rescued her from an environment of drugs, abuse, broken marriages, and periods of homelessness.

The assumption sometimes is that “ministers” (or ministry majors, as Abby is) come from “safe” Christian homes in which they were taught the gospel at an early age.

Some do.

But not all.

Before feeling called to study ministry, Abby tells how she was homeless, sleeping on a lice-infested mattress, and wondering where God was.

Despite that, she is one of the most joyful and gifted people you will ever meet.

Beyond that, she shares how her encounter with Christ led to a transformation, not only of her own life, but those of her mom and twin sister as well.

Regardless of your story, I hope the interview is a powerful reminder of the radical and all-pursuing love of Christ.

abbypic

(Note: Apologies for some background noise; My university office is not a completely sound proof environment!)

Resurrection and Down Syndrome

Resurrection and Down Syndrome

Last week was Easter.

And in the Gospels course I teach, we spent time reading on the nature of the Resurrection.

As Scripture teaches, Jesus’ resurrected body was both like and unlike his prior one.

It bore deep scars of crucifixion, yet it no longer suffered, died, or was ravaged by disease.  His new body was “glorious” in a sense unlike the mortal one, and it did things—like passing through a locked door—that transcend normal limitations.

In other words, Christ’s resurrection life is physical sans fallenness. Or in the words of N.T. Wright, it is supra-physical.

This becomes even more relevant to us because, according to Paul, the same will happen to our bodies in the Age to Come.

Christ is the “first fruits” of resurrected humanity (1 Cor. 15.20), hence what happened to him will also happen to his people.  As Paul writes in Philippians:

the Lord Jesus Christ … will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body (Php. 3.20–21).

And in 1 Corinthians:

42 So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body (1 Cor. 15.42–44).

But what does any of this have to do with Down Syndrome?

WHAT WILL MY SIBLING BE LIKE IN THE RESURRECTION?

In our class discussion, I pointed students to an article written by my friend, Ryan (R.T.) Mullins. He is a PhD theologian from St. Andrews, and his sister (Kelli) has Down Syndrome.

In the article, he interacts with voices from the field of “Disability Theology,” and in particular the theologian Amos Yong.  Like Ryan, Yong’s sibling (Mark) also has Down Syndrome.

But despite a common desire for the church to be more inclusive toward those with disabilities, the two thinkers (Yong and Mullins) come to different views on how the resurrection may transform their loved ones with Down Syndrome.

First, for Yong:

  1. TO ELIMINATE THE DISABILITY IS TO ELIMINATE THE PERSON (YONG)

Following Stanley Hauerwas, Yong contends that to eliminate his brother’s disability would be to eliminate his brother’s unique personhood and personality.  As Yong asks:

If people with Down Syndrome are resurrected without it, in what sense can we say that it is they who are resurrected and embraced by their loved ones?

It would not be a “healing” but a kind of murder.

After all, Down Syndrome is not a “disease” (from which people are “suffer”) but a chromosomal condition that is constitutive of their unique and beautiful humanity.

An analogy might be the extent to which the “XY” chromosomes are constitutive to my identity as biologically male.  To take that away (say, by giving me the “XX” building blocks) would be to erase an important part of who I am—even if it is not the MOST important part.

One strength behind Yong’s point would seem to rest in the sense that many of us have when interacting with persons with Down Syndrome; this involves the feeling that maybe WE are the ones with a “disability” of a different kind—a loss of childlike wonder, a resistance to joy, and a tendency to misplace our pity in ways that dehumanize others.[1]

But I’ll come back to that…

  1. TO ERADICATE A DISABILITY NEED NOT ERASE THE PERSON (MULLINS)

On the other hand, Mullins takes issue with Yong’s extreme assertion (taken from Hauerwas) that “to eliminate the disability is to eliminate the subject.”

As Mullins writes:

I can imagine, perhaps as through a mirror dimly, my sister Kelli without Down Syndrome. This is because she is not identical to her disability. She has various character traits that are shaped by her Down Syndrome, but they are not causally determined by her Down Syndrome.

It is true … that her disability has shaped her personality, but why think that she would need to be continually disabled in order to retain that personality?

A RESURRECTED IMAGINIATION

While there is much more to Mullin’s argument, I want to focus on a single phrase within the quote above: “I can imagine…

Because while Yong’s treatment of disabilities in the Age to Come seems to spring from noble motives, it may also suffer (at least in my view) from a lack of biblical imagination.

Going back to Jesus, we saw that his resurrected body was both “like” and “unlike” his prior one in certain ways. The marks of wounds were there, but now scarred over. The physicality was real but amplified in power.

Perhaps even his appearance was altered. (Which might explain why some who knew him well apparently had trouble recognizing him [Jn. 20.15; Lk. 24.16].)

There is much we do not know about the life to come.

But that ought not quell our sense of hope and possibility.

EMILY WITHIN THE AGE TO COME 

After class, I brought some of these thoughts to the Dean of my department.

Dr. Weeter is himself a theologian, and the father of a daughter (Emily) with Down Syndrome.   Having known Mark and Emily for years, it was not difficult for my mind to wander to what she might be like ten thousand years from now.

After all, the hope of salvation is for everyone.

Is it possible to imagine Emily (and countless others) with all the beautiful aspects of Down Syndrome, without the accompanying trials? I think so.

Gone would be the heart defects, the vision challenges, and hearing loss that so often come with the condition.[2] Yet gone too would be my sense of misplaced pity or superiority when I and other (so-called) “able-bodied” persons sing next to her within the heavenly choir.

Gone might be certain mind-related limitations in both of us.  But who’s to say who might need more transformation. For Paul, the “darkened mind” had nothing to do with ACT scores; and Christ’s words were that “unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Mt. 18.3).

With that as a pre-requisite for resurrected life, it seems possible that my own transformation from perishable to imperishable may be more dramatic than that of many image-bearers with Down Syndrome.

How recognizable will I be to my loved ones?

Whatever answer there may be to such speculative questions, the hope of Christ remains the same for all:

Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep [in death], but we shall all be changed (1 Cor. 15.51).

 

 


On the subject of Resurrection, I’ve been loving the new Andrew Peterson album (Resurrection Letters, Vol. 1):


[1] Credit to my student Sam Thomas for bringing up this point in class.

[2] Thanks to Rylee Kelly (a nursing major) for pointing out these accompanying aspects of trisomy-21 in class discussion.

For more on this subject, see:

Amos Yong, Theology and Down Syndrome: reimagining Disability in Late Modernity (Waco, 2007).

R.T. Mullins, “Some Difficulties for Amos Yong’s Disability Theology of the Resurrection,” in Ars Disputandi, Vol. 11 (2011), 24–32.