Perhaps It's All In Our Personalities

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by KenH, Jan 28, 2003.

  1. KenH

    KenH
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    Why don't we all understand the Bible alike? Why do Calvinists and non-Calvinists butt heads all the day and night long?

    I just finished a two day seminar on supervision and a lot of the time was in taking and discussing a personality and temperament test from the book Please Understand Me.

    I thought about this in terms of our theological arguments and I have come to believe it is a matter of personality and temperament. This is by no means a hard and fast analysis but I believe that Calvinists tend to be the personality type called "Rationals" and non-Calvinists tend to be the personality type called "Idealists".

    There are also two other temperament types. And there are subsets under these based on additional factors such as introversion/extroversion.

    If you want to check out these temperament types, go to keirsey.com/matrix.html

    To a very large degree, our personality and temperament is pretty much hard-wired in us from birth. But sudden environmental pressures can exert influences upon us.

    So, I guess we will never reach agreement and there is no amount of arguing or debating by either side that is going to change that, free will or predestination notwithstanding. [​IMG]

    [ January 28, 2003, 07:50 PM: Message edited by: Ken H ]
     
  2. Abiyah

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    In my opinion, you have hit closer to truth than
    anything I have seen so far, but add to personality
    conditioning.
     
  3. KenH

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    Abiyah,

    I also learned why my wife and I don't communicate well and why she gets her feelings hurt so easily even when I don't intend to do so. We are on opposite sides of the spectrum in how we communicate. They say knowledge is power so maybe I will do better in communicating with her now. [​IMG]

    [ January 28, 2003, 08:06 PM: Message edited by: Ken H ]
     
  4. Abiyah

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    Ken --

    It sounds to me like you are up and running! Were
    there reading materials from the classes that you
    can share with her? Who knows what this could
    do for your relationship!
     
  5. KenH

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    Abiyah,

    I am going to try find a copy of the test online and have her take it. As the young people say nowadays I think it would be "way cool". [​IMG]
     
  6. npetreley

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    I think you're onto something, but I'm not sure this isn't a chicken-egg thing. I used to believe in free will, and was wound up in it emotionally as many here are. Others here have said similar things about their backgrounds. So if it's something that is inherent in our personalities, then why did we change?
     
  7. KenH

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    I think for me it fits as I used to be a Church of Christ member which is definitely free will to the max with its logical, systematic soteriology - hear, believe, repent, confess, be immersed, but with a false understanding that man was unaffected in his nature by the Fall in the Garden of Eden. Now as a Calvinist I am still attracted to a logical, systematic soteriology based on what I believe to be the correct Biblical understanding of the effects on man by the Fall in the Garden of Eden.

    And my parents were both dyed-in-the-wool Church of Christ members, so for me it all fits together as to what would appeal to me based on my personality and temperament. No system of understanding these things is going to be 100% accurate. There will always be exceptions to the general findings.

    If you get a chance to go to the link I gave, it is very interesting reading.

    [ January 28, 2003, 09:22 PM: Message edited by: Ken H ]
     
  8. npetreley

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    It's interesting, but many (not all, but many) of the descriptions read like horoscopes to me. I can identify with pieces of several contrasting personality types.
     
  9. KenH

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    The difference is that determining which personality/temperament one is is based on answers to almost 100 questions, not on the date of one's birth. [​IMG]

    On a couple of the items used to determine this I was on one extreme or the other(definitely introverted rather than extroverted, definitely judging rather than perceptive), but on the other two( thinking or feeling, intuitive or sensory) I was fairly close to the middle of the two possibilities so in those areas I could act either way.

    In addition, the test is to be answered based on how we actually are, not based on learned behavior. For instance, I person may be disorganized in his personal life, but he may learn how to be quite organized at work because his paycheck depends on it.
     
  10. Abiyah

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    I attended a weekend seminar some years ago
    that now sounds like this, with this recent
    explanation you have given. It was basically a
    communications / working-relationship seminar
    in which we filled out a lengthy questionaire,
    then our answers were analyzed and we were
    each slotted according our dominating traits and
    our secondary traits.

    Initially, I was quite turned off by the whole thing,
    but as I saw how it worked among people I had
    known for years, with whom I was easily
    compatible and some with whom I was not, I
    could see its benefits. I used the suggested
    tactics, especially with one woman who had, up to
    that time been particularly unnerving to me, and it
    worked.

    I recommmend it. But if a person is going to
    simply use it to learn more about themselves, it
    is a waste of time. If one is going to put it to use
    with others, it is a great tool. It is a good idea to
    occasionally reread the books. I need to pull mine
    back out of wherever I store them.
     
  11. Skandelon

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    I think it is interesting that you bring this up. My wife and I have opposite personalities but we both hold to the Doctrines of Grace and I know many others on both ends of the personality scale that hold to Calvinism and others to Arminianism.

    I think that the doctine itself has a tendency to change a persons way of approaching the scripture, rather than the personality being the reason they accept it or reject it. In other words, once someone finally understands and accepts these truths taught in scripture they begin to speak more rationally and less emotionally about the doctrines of sovereign grace. This might give the impression that only more rationally thinking people are Calvinistic.

    Also, read 1 Cor. 2. It seems to me that Paul is saying that we are taught the truths of God's word by the Holy Spirit. I wander how much our personality really has to do with that? Either way it is interesting to think about.

    Sam
     
  12. tyndale1946

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    Yes... but did you come to the change by yourself or did The Holy Spirit finally turn on the light!... Is there not a lot of blindness in spiritual Israel to this day?... Then again we all see through a glass darkly!... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  13. ScottEmerson

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    It is my prayer that the Calvinists here and elsewhere would be led by the Spirit to understand the true nature of the Triune God! It is my hope that this group is able to open their eyes and truly experience the God of the Bible - the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

    Keep reading the Word as openly as you can, being open to the Spirit yourselves, as He guides you in all truth.
     
  14. tyndale1946

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    Amen!... Scott we pray the same for you and all your brethren... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  15. Skandelon

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    Scott, your prayers for us are appreciated, but your implication that you have a better understanding of the true nature of the Triune God than do the Calvinists on this board reflects the absense of your less than humble realization of your own deficiences on the subject of God's nature. You may want to reword your prayer to say "the god of Peligus, Erasmus and Arminius" instead of "the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob." If you study the biblical accounts of these men it is clear they were chosen by God as a result of unconditional election. I don't know if their God will be so quick to guide us to adopt your so-called "truths."

    Sam
     
  16. npetreley

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    This is what I meant by the chicken-egg thing (no relation to the chicken-road-KFC thing). Obviously some of us started out in "rational" mode. But for the rest, which came first? Did some of us realize what it said about election and then realize we have to abandon our emotional views as a result? Or did we realize what it said about election because we abandoned our emotional views?
     

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