03 April 2008

Prayer and temperament

My friend blogging friend Sue has just posted a review of a book that suggests that people of different temperaments pray in different weys.

Sue's Book Reviews:
'Prayer and Temperament' attempts to reconcile the differences of temperament, as described by David Keirsey, Linda Berens and others, with preferred and most helpful methods of Christian prayer. It's based mainly on a big survey that was taken, discussing various methods of reading the Bible and praying, and correlating with each person's personality type in the Myers-Briggs system.

It mainly deals with the four temperaments (Idealist/NF, Artisan/SP, Guardian/SJ and Rational/NT) as proposed by Keirsey, and the different ways people find easiest to relate to God. There are useful broad descriptions of the needs and strengths of each temperament, and explanations of different methods of praying, with specific recommendations.


Has anyone ever done research to find out whether different temperaments are attracted to different Christian traditions? Are Calvinists inclined to be one personality type, Pentecostals another, and Orthodox a third?

Perhaps there's a doctorate waiting for someone willing to find out!

1 comment:

Matt Stone said...

I am not aware of any hard research on this but I've seen some less rigourous pols and done a few myself.

Can't remember where I originally posted on this but in Australia at least Emerging/Missional Christian leaders are almost invariably Ns, either NTs or NFs. Where I have seen non-Australians take personality tests they suggest it may be the same overseas.

A psychologist I spoke to recently indicated NFs for Sydney Baptists, NTs for Sydney Anglicans (Calvanists), SPs for Sydney Hillsong (Pentecostals). I was wary of the Sydney Anglican assertion though as in my experience the dominat trait is TJ, whether STJ or NTJ.

Although I think there is something to be said for prayer and temperament I am very wary of this too. In my experience prayer can sometimes involve exploring your shadow side so I think prayer needs to be explored within a broader framework of Christian practice.

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