Faith and the INTJ

Someone wrote this comment on one of my blog posts: “Sorry to inform you, but there is no way you can be an INTJ if you’re religious. Note that INTJ’s are logical, religious beliefs are not logical, also INTJ’s are smart, religious people are not smart. Hence, why you cannot be an INTJ if you believe a magic man in the sky created the universe in a week.”

This is one of my most favorite comments that I have ever received on my blog.  Firstly, it sounds like a typical INTJ comment, dry and matter-of-fact but tinged with a sense of irony and drollness.  For that reason, it made me chuckle.  Secondly, it reminds me of a time when I thought the same way and of my journey from unbelief to faith.

Let’s break it down.  “There is no way you can be an INTJ if you are religious.”

“Religious” is a tricky word.  In the church I attended as a child, ritual and moralism were predominate themes.  I believed that the people who attended my church by choice (this excluded myself, as I was forced/bribed into going by my parents) were lemmings who shelved their brains in order to get cheap comfort through a systematic and predictable pattern of standing-sitting-kneeling and responsive reading.  At the time, I viewed faith as synonymous with religiosity.  I do not consider myself religious in the sense that I do not take comfort in moralism or ritual.  My faith is not based upon going through the motions, nor do I believe these things draw me closer to God or earn favor with Him.

My faith is based solely on the saving work of Christ Jesus.  I believe that the Bible is the Word of God and that all of it is true.  Defending that claim is a discussion for another day.  So let’s look at Ephesians 2:8-9:

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith —and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—  not by works, so that no one can boast.

I have been saved (meaning that God has drawn me into a personal relationship with Himself) based on grace (His free gift to me) through the saving work of Jesus Christ (who lived the sinless life I should have lived and died the wretched death that I deserved to die).  None of this is based on anything about me – not what I do, what I think, what I say, who I am.

Therefore, it is true that I did not arrive at “Jesus Christ = Lord and Savior” by logic.  I arrived at Jesus Christ through Jesus Christ alone.  Adding anything to Christ turns the issue and my faith into what I would consider “religious” (which I loosely define as moralistic behaviors that often accompany faith).  Religion has nothing to do with my faith.  Or my Myers-Briggs personality type.

Stay tuned for Part 2.

  1. Can’t wait for part 2. I’m married to an INTJ who is a scientist, intellectual and strong believer in Jesus Christ. He laughs at these ridiculous myths about intelligence precluding faith. Many physicists have spent years scaling the intellectual heights to find their little old Sunday School teachers having tea with the theologians up there already.

    • Anonymous
    • May 21st, 2012

    I have some recommended reading for you – ‘The God Delusion’ by Richard Dawkins.

  2. One INTJ claiming another cannot be religious is a bit absurd, since there are plenty of religious INTJ’s — and that fact alone proves him wrong. Then too, there is the fact that possibly the most famous INTJ of the last century was C.S. Lewis — and his journey to faith WAS through logic! (“Mere Christianity,” anyone?)

    Good for you. Keep the faith. =)

    • Jeremy Fraser
    • November 15th, 2012

    I agree with some of the previous posts. Being religious and an INTJ is not incompatible.

    Among other things I am a Theologian, a practicing catholic and a INTJ. While the norm may be for this type towards atheism, I assume as I have no real statistical data to either prove or disprove this.

    Society seems to be turning away from religion as a whole, assuming that it is incompatible with Science and there for wrong.

    I am rambling, I apologise (I am tired when typing this). Any way the point being I am an example of a religious INTJ!

    • stellerkeller
    • February 14th, 2013

    Here’s a thought. Romans 3:4 states (paraphrasing) “let God be true but every man a lair”. Not some men, not most men, but all men. The bible was written by 36 MEN (according to whatever version of bible you like best). Logic dictates the bible was written by liars. So either the statement that “every man is a liar” is incorrect or the bible was, in fact, written by liars. How can one reconcile believing wholeheartedly in a book that was admittedly written by liars? I’m not being smug; I am genuinely interested in an INTJ’s logical and reasonable explanation for this. Please and thank you.

    • Kevin
    • March 14th, 2013

    How an INTJ build lasting faith and hope? Been trying for awhile and I get a spurt or two here and there….

    • Arthur
    • April 4th, 2013

    Intelligence is one of the strongest incubators of faith. There is no one better at deluding themselves than the intelligent. In the same vain, there is no one better at rationalizing the irrational than a delusional INTJ.

    • Anonymous
    • April 26th, 2013

    One can “believe” anything…most people do…and most people aren’t very smart (typical INTJ statement I know). If I claimed to believe in leprechauns that would threaten to cut your pee pee off if you didn’t wear green every second thursday of the month you’d think I were nuts. Yet most people can make idiotic policies about “morals” or drugs simply because on Sunday the preacher told them to eat bread and they can get their “goodness” back. Religious beliefs are undoubtedly the crutch of human civilization simply because their negative impact on human progress and even the slightest of logical thinking and consistency. As a whole religion brings out the worst in humanity.

  3. I enjoy reading your web sites. Thanks for your time!

  4. I guess I’ll add my name to the list of religious INTJ’s. In my case, I was raised in the Church and went through a lukewarm period, but went through a crisis that brought me down to two choices: Either Jesus Christ was real and I needed to be fully dedicated to Him, or He wasn’t and I needed to stop pretending and go find what was real. I did the research, came to the conclusion that not only was classical Theism the only logical philosophical system, but that there was more than sufficient evidence in the Resurrection to warrant my faith. I did end up being a bit odd in that I went with Messianic Judaism instead of classical Christianity, so do with that what you will.

    • Anonymous
    • November 21st, 2013

    If a man is a liar, he has lied during his life. It doesn’t mean that he can’t speak truth…@stellerkeller

  5. Thanks for this post. I am an INTJ and have a strong faith in Jesus. I’m thankful I found your site. For those who believe science contradicts the Bible, there’s a great movie called the Genesis Code. The story if creation does not discount the Big Bag Theory. God exists outside of our notion of time. Anyway, thanks!

    • StellerKeller
    • January 27th, 2014

    The chances of ALL the men in the bible speaking truth throughout the ENTIRE bible without embellishment or one fib is highly improbable. To believe that snakes and donkeys spoke, a man walked on liquid water, and an entire body of water was separated on command is turning your back on logic. We would also have to believe that the bible, translated from a now dead language many times over, somehow retained the exact meaning without one variance or mistake is highly unlikely. If two people who are fluent in two languages translated the same text, there would undoubtedly be some variances between the two and that’s just one translation. I respect anyone’s belief but we have to admit that a belief in the truth of the bible is not logical.

    • StellerKeller
    • January 27th, 2014

    How do you know that God exists outside our notion of time?

  6. Because space-time is a physical property of the universe, which we know is not an eternal brute reality. Ergo, the same First Cause (the eternal brute reality) that is transcendent over matter, energy, and space would be transcendent over time as well.

    • stellerkeller
    • January 29th, 2014

    That makes absolutely no sense. Sometimes it’s best to admit “I don’t know”. There is power in saying”I don’t know” instead of dressing it up in fancy language to attempt to explain what we don’t yet know. There is no way to prove what space time is in our entire universe because we have not yet left our solar system. A belief is one thing but a belief is not fact.

  7. I suppose I will add to the INTJ Believer list: I am an INTJ. And yes; I’m a Christian in the LORD. The silly idea of INTJ’s not having beliefs if stupid. Yes, logic is an INTJ priority. But as an INTJ I can say I’ve been saved since I was 9. And as an INTJ. some might say I sound silly or un-INTJ-like- but to believe in God is to have FAITH. I have faith that God exists: and for once, that’s all I need.
    For those out there saying; Sure but there is no evidence that God exists!” Let me tell you something. Every single thing written in that Bible has come to pass. And the things that have not will. When everything happens according to Scripture and God’s plan; You Atheists come back and say how he doesn’t exist. Even INTJ Atheists can’t say all of those things in the Bible were ‘coincidences’.
    Well, that was sort of a rant but… I have noticed how the articles take INTJ’s as unreligious know-it-alls and I for one know that is not true. Thank you, INTJ blogger for writing this! -AW

    • Anonymous
    • July 15th, 2014

    I would say that I am skeptical, but also optimistic about all religions as a INTJ. The world I live in “the more information the better”. The more information you have the more rational you become which will lead to more logical decision making. The world is a ball information, and I want gasp (on my own) as many concepts as possible. I do think that in general religion is form of advance form of mind control (a tool) that was used to manipulate humans, just look at society now. The fact that you can get a mass people to feel and think a certain way is amazing within itself.

  8. But that’s not just true of religion; any cause can be used to “brainwash” the masses. Just look at atheistic communism last century, for a more secular example. “Religion is the opiate of the masses” is a nice slogan for the intellectual snob, but it’s not a logical argument against the claims of any specific religion.

    All religions make truth claims. Some are more testable than others. The reason I’ve been drawn towards Messianic Judaism is that I have been able to test its historical claims the same way I would any secular historical claim, and found them to be credible. Other truth claims are of course more subjective–the renewal of life by the Spirit, for example, or the very specific supernatural and spiritual encounters that I’ve personally experienced. But since that’s the case with all metaphysical truth claims and spiritual experiences, I’ll go with the religion that not only satisfies me spiritually and challenges me morally, but which also satisfies my intellect.

  9. @Charis Psallo
    that’s pretty encouraging, knowing that. I’m an INTJ and Christian at the same time, and I’ve never come to the conclusion that science and faith contradicts. In fact, they support each other more and more.
    Somehow it’s just that people who say otherwise with such conviction just kinda makes me stop, ya know. If it’s not too much, it’s like it takes your breath away (at least, for a moment), how people can readily say things, never seeming to doubt themselves.

  10. @Charis Psallo
    In fact, the comments here and the blog itself are greatly encouraging. ^_^
    So thanks a lot. 😀
    and ‘course, thanks also to Him ^_^

    • Joshua
    • July 8th, 2016

    I am an intj too and i beleive in only in christianity.I have analysed all other religions like islam,hinduism,atheism but have come to a conclusion that these cannot be right.

    • Anonymous
    • August 4th, 2016

    You are obviously not an INTJ — It is cute that you pretend that you are one, though! I’m guessing that it makes you feel more intelligent, right?

  1. May 19th, 2012

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