On April 5th, 2017; I attended a workshop seminar presented by Leslie J. Francis and Christopher Ross. The general topic was about Jungian-based personality types (MBTI®) with biblical scriptures. Since the thesis is theirs, and a book is in progress for publication, I won’t detail too deeply here. Instead, I’d like to note my takeaways from the day.
The apostles returned to Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a lonely place, and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a lonely place by themselves.
+ Mark 6:30-32; Revised Standard Version (RSV)
I prefer to quote from the RSV on my blog, given that this translation is most comfortable for my purposes. I can’t recall which version Leslie read from.
This passage was the core of the entire presentation. Just as the thirteen (“Levi counts,” Leslie insisted) disciples journeyed this way, we as a group were effectively doing the same as an allegory.
All those whom Jesus called, are human. While becoming great, they retained their vulnerability, corruptible.
- Scripture is read contextually, according to the one who reads.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
+ Genesis 1:27 [RSV]
The question of theology: What does it mean to be human?
- Diversity as divine intentionality.
- Preferred psychological type is valuable for sharing in a hermeneutical community.
I enjoyed the way both presenters interpreted and permitted us to explore personality types within a theological framework. Their thesis rested on the idea that how a person reads Scripture is informed by personality type, which influences what the person does with the exposure.
- Extraverts and introverts, God loves them all!
- We express love for God in different ways.
- There are different (intensity) degrees of all functions.
To my amusement, each function (each letter of the four-letter type) would divide into four groups: The extreme oppositions, and two who were closer to approaching a midpoint from either side of the continua. I was in an extreme group for each function, and within my groups, I’d be included in the tail ends – extreme of the extremes. LOL. A scene from Twister is playing through my mind as that phrase is typed through my fingers.
Suggestions/observations I thought were especially helpful for me as an “extreme” ENFP (I’m the Bill in this type for that day, kekeke):
- How does an overarching theme apply beyond the recorded Scripture
- Intuitives can appear arrogant with their ability to jump. If in discussion with Sensors, they need their reports before entertaining Intuitives.
- Feelers may be more fluid with emotions, yet Thinkers do have touch with emotions.
- While diving into real, human issues, don’t discount Thinkers who connect Scripture to those real human issues.
We closed with a lovely reflection and continued imagery that began with Mark 6:30-32. I made some scribbles that touched me.
- I bring my experiences and the text to the boat.
- Revelation is found in the interactional conversations between text and persons.
- The text has restorative and redemptive power, by being alive through finding life in community.
- All are equally valuable. All are created in the image of God.