On Monday, author Adam McHugh delivered a guest post about the “snarling 8-headed monster” of the writing process. Today I return the favor — sort of — via an interview at his blog, Introverted Church. We talk about how my introverted personality has impacted my faith and doubt, and how the extroverted nature of the evangelical church can be a challenge for people like me.
From the interview:
How do you think that introverts might process doubt differently from those who are more extroverted?
I think this goes back to your descriptions of introverts as possessing a thoughtful temperament and a slower, deeper interior life….Most of my doubt is intellectual–not the relational doubts of “Can I trust God?” or the experiential doubts of “Where was God when…?” but the even bigger questions of logic, anthropology, literary influences and science. That’s an analytical kind of doubt, and once it takes up residence in your brain, it’s tough to shake. I think extroverts may process doubt more on a relational level — “I don’t feel close to God” — and those are feelings that can resolve and seasons you can grow out of. You get better over time. But when you process God on an analytical level, feelings have nothing to do with it. You don’t grow out of or away from knowledge. Once you know something you can’t just ignore it or let it go, and so many of these intellectual doubts then become a constant challenge to your faith. And, being an introvert, you’re not always likely to want to talk through them, so it becomes a private burden, a daily argument in your intellect. It can lead to an even deeper level of isolation from the rest of the church.
And thanks, Adam, for turning the spotlight toward us introverts.