An article in The Spectator recently described Jordan Peterson as “one of the most important thinkers to emerge on the world stage for many years”—and they have a point. Peterson went from being virtually unknown in 2012 to perhaps the most famous public intellectual in the world in 2018.

He has more than 2 million followers on YouTube and more than a million followers on Twitter, and his 12 Rules for Life has sold approximately 3 million copies in less than a year. The book tour is reaching stadium crowds of up to 100,000 people.

Many reasons can be given for Peterson’s rapid ascent and expansive influence. But most important, I think, are his social status as a clinical psychologist and his unique ability to respond to a certain set of conditions inherent to our secular age.

Recently, I wrote a chapter for an upcoming book about Peterson (Lexham Press). My assignment was to evaluate the reason for his meteoric rise. In this article, I’ll briefly summarize some of the main lines of argument.

To read the rest of the article, originally published at The Gospel Coalition, click here.


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