Q & R: Faith, doubt, and personality types

Here’s the Q:

I have followed you for years and appreciate your ideas tremendously. My husband and I were at Busboys and Poets in DC this past weekend. We enjoyed seeing you and hearing you in person for the first time.
Something I wonder about myself and would love to know your opinion about pertains to the underlying reasons people choose a certain religious belief system. Do you see any common thread among people who are “knowers” versus “questioners” in your experiences? It seems to me that some people who have come from abusive or alcoholic homes and upbringings need the rules and black and whiteness of what some religions offer versus many of my counselor friends who have been through therapy or have a psychological mindset are able to tolerate the more gray areas of belief systems/religions.

Here’s the R:
Great question. I think there are many factors at work in the knowers-questioners spectrum. If we’re talking personality type, in Myers-Briggs terms, we might say that NF’s and SP’s will ask different types of questions than SJ’s or NT’s, and some types are probably even more intense questioners while others are more intense defenders of tradition. Yet each can arrive at a powerful and beautiful kind of “proper confidence” if they’re given the right kind of help. If we’re talking Enneagram, I’m sure we could also find certain types more disposed to questioning authority and probing accepted notions.
Add to that, as you suggest, family and personal history – and even national and ethnic history. Victims of injustice might, in some circumstances, be more prone to question authority (and in other circumstances, I can imagine them being more prone to keep their questions to themselves).
Add to that what I talk about in Naked Spirituality … stages of maturity. People in the stage of simplicity ask different kinds of questions than people in the stage of complexity or perplexity, and so on. Lots of variables – which argue for us not judging one another!