Friday Flashback: Personality and Theology

Donald Miller (author of Blue Like Jazz, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, and other books) had an interesting blog post a few days ago – Does Your Personality Influence Your Theology? I’ve never thought of it that way, but I instantly saw that he was right – and it explains a few of my friends! 

If this is valid, if our theology is in part a function of our personality, what does that mean? Firstly it would mean that God created us this way – to see the things of Him in a variety of ways. That would mean those variety of ways of seeing Him are not inherently wrong! I’m not talking about those folks who don’t accept clear truths of the Bible, but rather the variety of ways we colour what the Bible says because of our personalities.

Friday Flashback: Personality and Theology

Is it possible that we need to see Him and His word in a variety of ways because none of us has any hope of understanding Him on our own? Has He given us a variety of windows through which to view Him because no person can see more than one window’s worth? Are we all looking into the “house” of God from one of many windows? If that’s true, then what would happen if we shared what we each see? What if we got really radical and didn’t reject what others saw just because we didn’t see that? This would mean that together we could have a much better understanding of Him than we ever will by just hanging with those who have the same view we have. In fact, it would mean we can’t really know Him, and can’t really follow Him, without the input of the entire body of Christ.

On a marriage level, this might mean your wife’s view of God isn’t as skewed as you think!

[This post first appeared April 25, 2010.]

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4 Comments on “Friday Flashback: Personality and Theology

  1. I think this is very true; I see God much more as a Marine officer than as a ‘Daddy’, and that makes it easier to accept what’s happening to me now. An officer may have to send his men to almost certain death…and those riflemen may not know the reason, but have to trust that there is one.

    This makes it easier for me to accept things, but does rile those who see God differently; they think it’s more appropriate to ‘lean into Jesus’ and ‘crawl into Abba-Daddy’s lap’ for comfort, and think of me as rather a hard, cold individual.

  2. Absolutely it does, I am very skeptical of all things, bible included. Just because someone tells me “the Bible says xyz” does not mean I’m going to accept that, nor does it mean I’m going to accept the literal wording of whatever translation I’m reading at the time as if I was reading something written in English ten years ago.

    • @mykidsmademedoit – I am the same way, and have been most of my life. I generally treat it like a scientist would. Any theology is a hypothesis, and I then try to prove or disprove it based on what the Bible really says. Of course that can be a whole lot of hard work, but I find it worth it.

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