Chaplain Mike: Exiting the Evangelical Wilderness

Oh man, I really appreciated this summary from Chaplain Mike over at InternetMonk.com today. While my path isn’t exactly the same as his has been, I resonate strongly with several of the moves he describes. He summarizes his move from the left-hand column to the right-hand column in a little table:

It’s worth reading Mike’s little summaries of each of those movements, but I found his concluding thoughts particularly interesting:

Here is what hit me earlier this week. The differences can be summed up in two letters. “J” and “P”. You may recognize them as the final letters in the Myers Briggs personality type indicator. While Myers Briggs has been somewhat discounted, it got me wondering. Have my theological choices been largely been a product of my personality or personal preferences? Is it just coincidence that many denominations are largely in one column or the other?

Then Wednesday’s Post came along with this humdinger.

Haidt (along with Richard Beck) have convinced me that when we take a stand for “truth” or “morality,” we are primarily revealing deep, fundamental visceral and emotional feelings and then using rational arguments to justify our “righteous” position. Furthermore, those who are on the more “liberal” end of the spectrum react intuitively to different things than those on the “conservative” end. (Chaplain Mike)

[I]t makes me wonder if most of my reasons for the theological changes I have made are because of the way I am wired. If I had been wired differently maybe I would have been quite happy to stay in the church of my youth. Conversely, perhaps those who are raised in traditions like the one I am currently in, and who crave certainty in their innermost being end up in those churches that promise more of that. And perhaps there are those who find they do not fit, and chose to chuck the whole church thing altogether.

Lots for me to consider there.

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