polemic, psychology

Your Salvation is in Doubt

Along the lines of Hauerwas’ polemic against nationalism, a couple months back in class, Prof. Long slammed the Meyers-Briggs test. He grouped it with a few other seemingly innocent acts, claiming in partial jest that they’d ruin us and we should avoid them at all cost. He then noted that many people have to take the Meyers-Briggs test for ordination. Ooops. Perhaps we should rethink ordination.

Well, apparently there is a Meyers-Briggs test for blogs now. And I have to agree with Long. While I score rather consistently (every single time, both personally and on this blog) as an INTP (see here for one of the best takes on definitions for the Jungian archtypes) what does this really tell me? First, it tells me something I already knew: I’m a nerd who doesn’t shut off. Perfect for phd studies. Since when was that new news?

And second, the archtypes are significantly flawed, particularly when it comes to dealing with a theologian. brain-activityAnd to assume the description as true for one’s self — to put myself in a box that understands rationality as contrary to spirituality when writing (see image) — is extraordinarily blind. I don’t mean to condemn those who revel in the Meyers-Briggs test, or deny the value in psychology (I do believe there is a great deal of value), I just mean to rain on your parade. Long was right, your salvation is in doubt. Instead, our community will let us know what we need to know, if we know one another.

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3 thoughts on “Your Salvation is in Doubt

  1. Steve says:

    Where’d you find that brain activity graph? Even a thoroughgoing Jungian ought to admit that it’s a gross oversimplification. (Not to mention the misspellings…)

    I didn’t understand the point you were making at the end. What do you mean by “your salvation is in doubt?” What parade do you mean to rain on?

  2. The brain activity graph is from the website that analyzes your blog. It is the first link. Then put in my blog’s url and you’ll see it at the bottom.

    While it is possible it is an over simplification of Jung, if I remember right, the dichotomy between thinking and feeling is still there, and still doesn’t know how to cope with theologians (ecclesiodemics). This is part of the point — that the Meyers-Briggs test is an adapted Jungian simplification of humanity and derived from an individualist anthropology.

    Also, if humanity is fundamentally relational, as theology claims it to be, then a self determined and administered test is problematic as well. It does little to take into account social bodies. I’d point to the Christian version of this, the “spiritual gifts tests” as something more close to home.

    In the end, I’m trying to show that the Meyers-Briggs test cannot be anything more than a broken tool that subverts community identity as it privileges the individual to be the one who has the corner on knowledge.

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