The discussion …

“Every story must have an Author”

“Ultimately, whether you’re a Christian or not, whether you admire Christianity or not, the simple historical fact is that, of all the ways that humanity, over the course of history, has devised to explain why we’re here, what humanity is for, how we relate to the cosmos beyond, of all those attempts to explain, Christianity is historically the most successful, and that success must be founded in an ability to provide satisfying answers to the profoundest questions“. [Tom Holland]

I pray that as you go through this site you develop aTheistic Optimism“[Larry Pettigrew] which provides “meaning” for the context of who you were created to be and what purpose you were created for.

“In the apostle Paul, for the first time since Aristotle, Greek philosophy made a real step forward”[Sir William Ramsay]

Questions like …“The ultimate meaning of life necessarily exceeds and surpasses the finite intellectual capacities of man. Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of life is, but rather he must recognize that it is he who is asked:-

  1. What is “reality”?
  2. Who is blessed, or “well-off”?
  3. Who is really a “good” person?
  4. How does one become a truly “good” person? [D Willard]

In a word, each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible.” [Victor E Frankl]

Truth can uderstand error, but error can not understand Truth“. [G K Chesterton]

“It is the destiny and the duty of our life to look for the Truth … To read mythology right and to have a true anthropology are one and the same thing. …Christianity reads mythology correctly.” [Rene Girard]

It is important not to learn what to think, but to learn how to think, to do this you need to “re-think” your “thinking”.

REALITY exists totally independent of the human mind, it exists whether we think about it or not, regardless of what we think about it, it has whatever characteristics it has. REALITY is also knowable by the human mind.

God is that collective unconscious that is “supra-natural”, beyond the conscious control product of the collective consciousness that transforms the material world into productive space.” [Jordan Peterson]…and even Carl Jung – “the sub-conscious sub-personalities, by watching the behavior of other beings for millions of years develop consciousness and through that consciousness change the chaos of the material layer into productive, ordered space in which those beings may inhabit and thrive.”


“Quarreling means trying to show that the other man is in the wrong. And there would be no sense in trying to do that unless you and he had some sort of agreement as to what Right and Wrong are.” [CS Lewis]

“The critique of every experience from below, the voluntary ignoring of meaning and concentration on fact, will always have the same plausibility. There will always be evidence, and every month fresh evidence, to show that religion is only psychological, justice only self-protection, politics only economics, love only lust, and thought itself only cerebral biochemistry.” [C S Lewis] If the factual validity of your viewpoints are false or irrelevant to your perspective, your sole path to victory in any debate is dominance by force.

“If language is not correct, then what is said is not what is meant; if what is said is not what is meant, then what ought to be done remains undone.” [Confucius]

But logical thinking – Reasoning – has to be the pivot of arguments because, of all the claims which the human mind puts forward, the claim of Reasoning to be valid is the only one which the Naturalist cannot deny without (philosophically speaking) cutting his own throat”. [C S Lewis]

In his book Rhetoric, which is said to be “the most important single work on persuasion ever written”, the Greek philosopher Aristotle divides the art of persuasion into two distinct forms, dialectic and rhetoric …“Before some audiences not even the possession of the exactest knowledge will make it easy for what we say to produce conviction. For argument based on knowledge implies instruction, and there are people whom one cannot instruct.” Rhetoric is much more forgiving of falsehood, and in fact, it’s not even strictly possible to say that a rhetorical statement is a lie. Rhetoric consists of the construction of what Aristotle describes as enthymemes— which are not proper logical syllogisms, but incomplete or invalid arguments that merely take the form of syllogisms—in which all that matters is that persuasion is achieved by means of the “proof” provided, or more accurately, the apparent proof. For the purposes of following this vital philosophical distinction, it might be easier to think in terms of “logically sound” and “not logically sound” rather than in simple terms of true and false. The point is that you can construct a logical syllogism that proves or a pseudo-logical enthymeme that apparently proves, but in either case, they can both be used to correctly point the person with whom you are speaking towards the relevant truth of the matter.(Vox day SJW Always Lie p572)

Rhetoric – is the theory and the practice of the art of speaking fluently, persuasively and well, it was used primarily in the art of persuasion. In the democracy of Ancient Greece the most “Sophisticated” man with the greatest command of words and language, the one who could successfully persuade and influence the most people, was most respected and most powerful. The main purpose of Greek “Sophist” education therefore, was to teach clear, logical and fluent speech – “rhetoric”. Rhetorical communication was thus the key discipline through which, and at which young Greeks were educated and prepared for their role within the city state democracy.

The speaker or orator needed only a good memory and the ability to imitate and improvise on his predecessors. He had a general idea of what was expected of him, and used platitudes to hold his audience’s attention, all his speaking was “off the cuff”, not prepared but spontaneous at the moment for the moment. His emphasis was on the communication feature of the communication process, not the Truth in the message content. What he did not do was theorise deeply about or personally experience the content of what his art communicated. The innovation of rhetoric, as used by the Ancient Greek Sophists (and which similar traces may be found also in Ancient Indian and Ancient Chinese traditions (see Difficulties in the way of Persuasion by Han fei Tzu 300 BC) ) succeeded in not only shifting the focus of competence in thinking onto the competence of verbalizing thoughts, but also in smothering the dialectic of arriving at Truth. ] [WHAT IS COMMUNICATION by M van SCHOOR]

If ideas are “COGNITIVE OBJECTS” in our own minds, and they are both –THAT WHICH we directly apprehend, and THAT BY WHICH we directly apprehend, then, what interent commentators like Vervaeke, Peterson etc are trying to describe, in their own eloquent and learned ways, are, not a normal intellectual idea or object, but that inexplicable object or “method of apprehension and appreciation” – REVELATION. We may think that, from our experience, from our own ideas, we can somehow infer the existence of things that are not ideas in our minds, however, the awareness we have of ideas is often “miraculous revelation” – not our own means of apprehension (“that which or the means by which”) we become aware – and it is a natural consequence to want to explain it because we think we command things we can explain, however, the apprehension – THAT Which, and THE MEANS BY Which – Saul of Tarsus experienced on the road to Damascus, and which transformed him from a strong-willed, intense Pharisee into a humble slave of Christ, we will never be able to explain fully, – “since I can have no direct acquaintance with or immediate awareness of anything that is not an idea in my own mind, it is difficult to see how any attempt to argue for or prove the existence of an external reality can be carried out successfully.” [Mortimer J Adler] However, because – “We do not know enough about the unknown to know that it is unknowable.” [G K Chesterton] it’s necessary that everyone keep on trying to do so.

Greek thinkers moved the complete intellectual communication process, and hence the discipline of reasoning and philosophy, off the absolute foundations of objective Truth, cause and effect or the dialectic argument, onto the expedient, shifting sands of rhetoric or human relative ability and potential. Parmenides, a pre-Socratic philosopher was going around teaching that the only things that are real are the things that never change, and Heraclitus, also a pre-Socratic philosopher, was teaching that everything changes. The reality and truth that the great intellects of the day were teaching their disciples was in fact, if you superimpose their teachings – nothing is real. Obviously some things are real, so the enormous intellects which founded the art of reasoning and philosophy must have thrown logical rational thought processes out of the window somewhere along the line. Socrates perceived the irrationality in their thought processes, understood its causes and developed a system to ensure it would not be reintroduced – “dialectic” dialogue or “Cause and effect”

“DIALECTIC” in the modern Marxist sense is Hegelian in origin, it must be completely set aside when we speak of Medieval or ancient dialectic. Dialectic is concerned with “proving”. In the Middle Ages there are three kinds of proof;

from REASON – establishes geometrical truth

from AUTHORITY – establishes a historical truth

from EXPERIENCE – establishes that oysters do, or do not, agree with us.

Unfortunately the word “experience” is not always used for the third type of proof . To ‘feel’,  or even more misleading to “know by experience” is used as proof. Neither the grammar nor the rhetoric had anything to say about the point of view or the individual sensibilty. The ancient teachers of rhetoric saw no distinction or anthithesis  between RHETORIC and POETRY but by the Middle Ages it has become literary, its precepts addressed quite as much to poets as to advocates.

The Socratic method of arriving at truth and then communicating it is demonstrated by Socrates himself, in dialogue with the Sophist Georgias, he explains…
“Socrates: Let me explain the point which surprised me in what you said, Gorgias – it may be that you were right and I didn’t understand you properly. You say that you can make an orator of anyone who likes to learn from you?
Gorgias: Yes.
Socrates: And consequently he will be able to get his way before a popular audience not by instructing but by convincing?
Gorgias: Certainly.
Socrates: You said just now that even on matters of health the orator will be more convincing than the doctor?
Gorgias: Before a popular audience – yes, I did.
Socrates: A popular audience means an ignorant audience, doesn’t it? He won’t be more convincing than the doctor before experts I presume.
Gorgias: True.
Socrates: Now, if he is more convincing than the doctor he is more convincing than the expert?
Gorgias: Naturally.
Socrates: Not being a doctor, of course?
Gorgias: Of course not.
Socrates: And the non-doctor, presumably, is ignorant of what the doctor knows?
Gorgias: Obviously.
Socrates: So when the orator is more convincing than the doctor, what happens is that an ignorant person is more convincing than the expert before an equally ignorant audience. Am I right?
Gorgias: That is what happens in that case, no doubt.
Socrates: And the same will be true of the orator in relation to all the other arts. The orator need have no knowledge of the truth about things – it is enough for him to have discovered a knack of convincing the ignorant that he knows more than the experts.” [58]

Socrates challenged the Sophists by challenging Gorgias on the fact that, “Sophistic rhetoric emphasises the role of the communicator.” [59] rather than, and to the detriment of, the Truth content of the message being communicated. Socrates had good reason to be concerned about what was happening to Truth. The Sophists were teachers in the art of succeeding in public office, they were known for their dramatisation of contrasts and their controversial moral judgements and overall were not particularly concerned about grounding their arguments in consideration of reason or Truth.

“Propositions arrived at purely by logical means are completely empty as regards reality” [Albert Eienstein]

“They preferred instead to exaggerate the credibility of their viewpoints with emotional appeals and self-aggrandisement. According to Plato the Sophists preferred to advocate the appearance of truth rather than the truth itself; they were men who saw that probability is to be rated higher than truth, and who could make trivial matters appear great and great matters trivial simply by the forcefulness of their speech” [58]

Probability, when it is rated higher than Truth, is deception. Deception is the first phase of a pattern used since the beginning of time that leads people from reality to destruction. The pattern is plain and simple to understand. The phases or stages are:-


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“Truth can understand error, but error can not understand Truth” …

“It is vital in any discussion like this that we should make sure we are going by meanings and not by mere words. It is not necessary if any argument to settle what a word means or ought to mean. But it is necessary in every argument to settle what we propose to mean by the word. So long as our opponent understands what is the thing of which we are talkng, it does not matter to the argument whether the word is not the one he would have chosen.” [G K Chesterton – The Barbarian of Berlin]

Sartre said that “Logic insists that a finite point is absurd if it has no infinite reference point.” If there is no universal, absolute moral standard then one can not say in a final sense that anything is “right” or “wrong”, so there is no point in debating with people who do not respect a universal moral absolute because they will always be “right” or “wrong” under their own terms of reference.

“Quarrelling means trying to show that the other man is in the wrong. And there would be no sense in trying to do that unless you and he had some sort of agreement as to what Right and Wrong are.” [CS Lewis]

Maturity is being an individual with certain intellectual qualities, someone of independent judgement who respects the individualities of others and therefore is tolerant of opinions in conflict with their own; they must prefer methods of discussion and persuasion to methods of force. It is not enough for them to “love the truth” they must learn how to find it. It is easy to teach students to reason correctly in the physical sciences: it is much more difficult to reason correctly in the social sciences where your own prejudices and passions are involved. They must be taught the habits of clear thinking in order that they may acquire the power of recognizing their own prejudices, and of discussing with calm, and with the same desire the other person’s position, with the same precision and absence of emotion, that they would bring to the discussion of a problem in mathematics.


When C S Lewis says, “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” he is saying something much more than, and profoundly deeper than, “my belief in Christianity is as certain and true as the sunrise”. He is saying “Should the Christian faith ever become one of many co-equal pensioners of a government, it will be proof that subjective religion has again lost its God-given hold on objective reality … travelling back again from the region to which the Gospel brought us, towards that in which it found us” [W E Gladstone] – a pagan society. Lewis is saying we should be asking ourselves – “How can we move from the place where we explain the Gospel in the terms of our post-modern society world-view to the place where we explain our post-modern society world-view from the point of the Gospel’s world-view.?” [Lesslie Newbigin] “Explanation” puts a strange thing into a place where it fits and is no longer strange, and as C S Lewis says, “What you see and hear depends a good deal on where you are standing; it also depends on what kind of person you are” [C S Lewis]
So, Lewis is saying – “Beliefs must come to terms with facts, not facts with beliefs.” [Dallas Willard] and whether you accept the explanation or not depends on the way in which you understand Reality, and if you are not standing “in Christ/in the Kingdom of God” your limited world-view (one without the dimension of Holy Spiritual Reality) restricts you to being unable to, have not been empowered to, can not hear/understand, see/perceive, or receive the Reality of the Son Of Righteousness being God. We are not able to do do this in our ‘self’. Only the exceedingly great power which raised Jesus Christ Himself from the dead, the Holy Spirit, is able to raise anyone from the dead and set them above all principalities, powers and dominions, and only the Holy Spirit gives us a clear perspective of these power systems (politics is activity in relation to power) and their spiritual, mental and physical capacity.

“It may be that a clear sense of the self can only crystallize around something transcendental in which case, our prospects look poor, for we are rightly committed to the rational” [Robert Bolt] … sums up in one sentence what Nietsche said when he limited the definition of “TRUTH” to reason and rationality and in so doing assumed that Christianity, by elevating “TRUTH” to the highest virtue, created, in the search for “TRUTH”, the undermining of the axioms of Christianity itself. The fact that he saw the “truth” of the Bible as being limted to “wisdom helpful only for the afterlife, and not for life and living today”  limited his view of the scriptures to “eternal insurance”, as opposed to being a Kingdom that is “at hand” [Matthew 4:17]

Jordan Peterson, Pastor Paul VanderKlay and Bolt are all saying – You can think that a clear sense of the individual “self” can only crystalize around something non-transcendental but humanities prospects can then only end in Nihilism, simply because if there is no supra-natural objective view of individuality then the most popular view of subjective conformity must prevail. TRUTH=GOD=reason and rationality because

I am also unsatisfied when JP uses biology or evolutionary psychology to float fuzzily on the infinite translations and meanings of the numinous to avoid his ignorance or to avoid his personal conclusions . But don’t we all ?, including pastors and theologians who at least have sufficient maturity to admit it. Mythology is often born of a mixture between naturalism and spirituality, unless you don’t believe in miracles and you have to believe in miracles to accept a virgin birth, see C S Lewis explaining that he was led to Christ by realizing that the virgin birth was a myth that had really happened in time and space.
I think you may have hastily interpreted JP incorrectly though, he is not a wolf in sheep’s clothing, I think he is a sheep in wolf’s clothing.


In C S Lewis the Holy Spirit’s work of “renewing our mind and the very way we use it to think”(see Romans 12:2) is prioritised. Our entire manner of thinking, contemplation, reasoning, imagining and ideation (how our ideas are constructed into suggestions and thoughts) and reflection that Christian sanctification requires is pointing us at Christ’s Way, Truth and Life, in other words at Reality. This imbues the reader with spiritual confidence of – “in thinking right we live right, and if we live right we think right”. This novel notion, so old that it is embarrassing to think about its history, is still surprising to all of us. We are so used to thinking in other categories that we think we can have the Truth without being happy and that we can be happy without having the Truth. To be “inwardly renewed day by day even as outwardly we decay” (see 2Corinthians 4:16) we must “not conform to the pattern of the world” (see Romans 12:2) but focus our minds and our “thinking” – ” on what is unseen, not on what is seen, on the eternal, not on the temporary” (see 2Corinthians 4:18) on the substance of our faith (Jesus Christ), not on the form that the substance takes (religion).(p115 Paul L Holmer)”

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