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Tropical_Man 68M
6573 posts
12/7/2011 1:58 am
Church's Unholy Union with the Four Temperaments

Martin and Deidre Bobgan

Myers asks: “Are there any Scriptural examples of “typifying” people, and would this
give us permission to do it ourselves?” He responds by saying: “There are at least two
systems, maybe more.”108 Myers begins by confusing psychological types with spiritual
gifts. However types and gifts are two entirely different ways of looking at people: one is
secular and speculative (temperament types) and the other is biblical (spiritual gifts). A
person with the gift of evangelism could feasibly be placed in various typology categories
from any number of secular systems devised by men. The spiritual gifts come from God; the
temperament categories come from unproven, extrabiblical sources.
Myers says: “God typifies people according to their spiritual gift. And they’re not
always divorced from natural traits.”109 Again, Myers confuses traits with types. Also, to
say that “God typifies people according to their spiritual gift” makes it sound as though the
spiritual gift intrinsically belongs to the person, rather than that spiritual gifts are given by
the effectual working of God’s power and life in an individual.
We agree that spiritual gifts are “not always divorced from natural traits.” However,
they are often divorced from natural traits—probably so that an individual will not become
puffed up. There are numerous biblical examples from Moses on, as well as saints over the
centuries. Spiritual gifts are dependent upon the indwelling Holy Spirit, rather than on a
person’s natural traits.
The fact that there are so many different personalities who exercise one or more of the
gifts is testimony enough that connecting personality types with gifts is an egregious error.
We recognize a person’s gift by his fruit, not by his personality—by his ministry rather than
by some personality category to which he has been assigned.
Myers confuses the idea of describing a person with typing a person. Descriptions do
not equal types. If we describe a person as generous and kind, that is simply a description.
We are not classifying him as a type and assume all kinds of other characteristics to be
applicable. Indeed, certain characteristics may accompany one another, but that does not
establish types. The Bible abounds with descriptions of people, but it does not set forth or
support a system of types.
Myers presents a second supposed biblical support for using typologies. He contends
that since biblical names had meanings, the name at birth was the individual’s type and that
“the name was accurate (even predictive—shades of astrology??)”110 (Emphasis his.) Let
us analyze this and use one of Myers’ several examples.
Myers says:
Jacob, for instance—born “with his hand holding Esau’s heel”—was typed for
life as “one who takes by the heel, or supplants” (Gen. 25:26). And indeed
this told his life story: the tale of a man who would not let go.111
What is Myers saying here? Is he suggesting Jacob was named because of his
personality or because of his manner of birth? We thought it was because of the manner of
birth. However, let’s say that it’s because of his personality. Was the name the result of
knowing who he would be when he grew up? Let’s say it was. Does this mean that a name
is a way of discerning a person’s future personality? Or is this a matter of causing one to be
the type of person like the meaning of the name?
Bobgan Response to Myers 2
It is obvious that many individuals in the Bible did not turn out according to their
names and that for numerous others we do not have enough information to know whether
they did or not. However, it is unlikely that the names used by Myers were either a
discernment on the part of the namers or a deterministic label. More likely it was prophetic
or the fulfillment of prophecy.
In all Myers’ examples there is not one in which God typed people à la the four
temperaments; nor is there even a hint of their use or presence. The way Myers and Voges
inject the temperaments into Scripture and then discover them there is known as eisegesis.
Almost anyone with almost any system can eisegete what they want out of Scripture by
merely reading into Scripture what is not there in the first place.
Myers says:
A recurring theme of the Bobgan’s [sic] book is that many evangelicals
(especially Ken voges [sic]) are imposing a foreign system upon the
In the parentheses, Myers says “especially Ken voges [sic].” Myers is not only twisting what
we have done, but pandering to the possibility that people in his congregation will get the
impression that we are singling out Ken Voges. Please look at our book; we are critiquing a
number of popularizers of the four temperaments teachings, including that of Voges. As a
matter of fact we analyze the writings of Ken Voges and Ron Braund together . We list them
in that order because they are listed in that order on their book. If Myers would have said
“including,” rather than “especially,” he would have been correct. But throughout his paper,
Myers puts a little spin on information in like manner, even though he should know better.
Myers knows that we have evaluated the writings of a variety of individuals, because he lists
them on page 1 of his paper. Incidentally, Myers’ omission of Ron Braund (Voges’
coauthor) on page 1 of his paper is a little puzzling.
Myers then says:
They [Bobgans] claim that Voges and Braun [sic] (his coauthor) “corrupt the
Scripture with unproved, unscientific, and even peganistic [sic] philosophies
of men;” [sic] and then they land the K-O blow by citing pastor Tommy
Before we discuss Myers’ treatment of Ice’s statement, we must correct a false impression
Myers gives here. Voges and Braund are not the subject of the predicate he quotes. Here is
what we say:
However, such systems present competing views of who man is and how he
changes, and they corrupt the Scriptures with unproven, unscientific, and
even paganistic philosophies of men. Unless a personality theory originates
from studying Scripture and reflects sound biblical theology, it will tend to
divert attention away from God and His Word concerning who man is and
how he is saved and sanctified. Such deviation will present an alternate means
of salvation and/or sanctification in addition to and in opposition to God’s
clear Word on the matter.114 (Emphasis added.)
Bobgan Response to Myers 3
The word they refers to its proper antecedent, which is “such systems.” Myers has a
penchant for misreading, reading into things, and saying that we say what we do not say.
Now here is what Myers refers to as “the K-O blow by citing pastor Tommy Ice.” He
writes the following as a quotation of Ice from our book:
Voges and Braund are imposing an external interpretative grid over the Bible. . .
. an interpretative (unbiblical) [Myers added the word unbiblical and should
have used brackets] framework. Since (they) rival the system in the Bible, in
the Bible, their views are part of the apostasy that Christ, Paul, and the Apostles
warned us to look out for within the Church.115
Myers cites page 83 from Four Temperaments, Astrology & Personality Testing as the
source for that quote. Please notice that the Ice quotation as it appears in our book is quite
Voges and Braund are imposing an external interpretative grid over the Bible
which arrives at conclusions that various personalities of the Bible can be said
to be illustrations of the DiSC system, thus giving the impression that this
modern discovery of personality traits has always been there. I cannot see any
difference, epistemologically, between using the DiSC grid as an interpretative
framework for explaining the behavior of those in the Bible and that of the
higher critical literary approaches of the Bible which produced things like the
JEDP theory and two Isaiahs.116
First of all, Myers omits an essential part of what Ice is saying. Then he omits the end of a
sentence and adds material not in the reference he cites. Where did Myers obtain that final
sentence? It is not in our book.
Then after Myers misquotes Ice and us, he says:
These are very serious charges: both for the accused and the accusers. They are
either true or slanderous. (Someday God will call someone to account.)117
(Emphasis his.)
Myers evidently does not know that slander has to do with the spoken word and that libel has
to do with the written word. He means libelous, but says “slanderous.” Either way, this is a
false accusation.
Next comes a long, tedious, tangential section in which Myers attempts to justify the
use of extrabiblical material. In this section, Myers does not address our specific concern
about syncretizing an entire extrabiblical, psychological, theoretical system with Scripture.
Instead, he takes the word extrabiblical away from our specific concern and gives examples
of other instances of what he calls “extrabiblical.”
In building a case for using what he identifies as extrabiblical material, Myers erects a
large umbrella, under which he hopes to protect the DiSC/BPP. A superficial reading might
lead the reader to think that using extrabiblical material is not so serious after all. However,
we are certain that more than a few conservative theologians would have some very serious
questions about the examples and explanations Myers gives of so-called extrabiblical
Bobgan Response to Myers 4
Before responding to Myers’ discussion on the word extrabiblical, we will once again
state our concern in case Myers missed it. Our concern is not with using Greek loan words
or figures of speech. Our concern with extrabiblical material has to do with importing
psychological, religious or occult systems to explain the nature of man and how he is to live
and change.
While we will not address all of what Myers lumps under the term extrabiblical, we
will discuss a few of his items. Myers asks:
Is there any Scriptural precedent for using “extrabiblical paradigms,” ideas, or
even terms? The examples literally abound—all already in the Bible, all
under inspiration: all such “impositions”, [sic] rightly safeguarded,
sanctioned (or at least precedented) by the Holy Spirit Himself. This will free
us to ask the second question: can we (in any way) use the extrabiblical?118
(Emphasis his.)119
Myers is saying here that much of what is already in the Bible is “extrabiblical” How so?
Because the writers used the vocabulary and various figures of speech from the culture?
Myers identifies as extrabiblical what is already in Scripture.
Myers even goes so far as to say that the Holy Spirit authorized the writers to borrow
from pagan philosophies and Jewish legends. Is that what happened? All Myers gives for
proof is a possible (but very problematic) interpretation of the word logos and a reference to
1 Corinthians 10:4: “And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that
spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.”120 The first instance is simply
a word existing in the culture. The second is a metaphor referring to the preincarnate Christ
being with the of Israel and supplying them both physical water and spiritual water.
Myers argues that when John used the word logos, he, “consciously imported into the
Scripture (then redeemed for God’s use) a concept that stood for an entire paradigm.” Myers
quotes the conservative theologian Leon Morris for support:
It would be impossible to use a term so widely known in Greek philosophy, in
a writing in the Greek language, probably published in a center of Greek
culture, without being mindful of the associations the term would arouse.121
Myers is quoting from a footnote which merely serves as a qualification of what Morris says
in the text. Here is what Morris says in the main body of that text:
When John used the term Logos, then, he used a term that would be widely
recognized among the Greeks. The average man would not know its precise
significance to the philosophers (any more than his modern counterpart knows
what the scientist understands by, say, “nuclear fission”). But he would know
that it meant something very important. John could scarcely have used the
Greek term without arousing in the minds of those who used the Greek
language thoughts of something supremely great in the universe. But, though
he would not have been unmindful of the associations aroused by the
term, his essential thought does not derive from the Greek background.
His Gospel shows little trace of acquaintance with Greek philosophy and
less of dependence upon it.122 (Emphasis added.)
Bobgan Response to Myers 5
As the reader can see, Morris’s statement does not support Myers’ argument. If we had
merely quoted part of a qualifying footnote and ignored the main text in which the author
presents his position, Myers would probably infer dishonest scholarship on our part.
Myers confuses using the Greek word logos with approving Heraclitus’s philosophical
ideas. Myers says:
. . . and if the Apostle John put his seal of partial approval on one of this
philosopher’s ideas, then even more it seems we have some promising (vs.
poisoning) roots: the beginning of a sterling pedigree for the temperamental
But did John “put his seal of partial approval on one of this philosopher’s ideas”? There is
no evidence of it—only vain speculation. Since the Bible uses language within culture, are
we to conclude that it is appropriate for Christians to incorporate the various philosophies
and religions of the culture as well? Did John use logos according to the current meanings,
or did he specifically use logos in such a way as to incorporate the philosophical ideas of
Heraclitus? Using loan words from the culture does not equal using the concepts or
ideologies that may be associated with those words.
Is Scripture to be interpreted according to pagan religions and philosophy or does it
interpret itself? Might John 1:1-2 be better interpreted with Genesis 1 and with Colossians
2:16, 17? Even if one might read John 1 with Heraclitus in mind, John’s intent would have
been to draw the reader away from the erroneous Greek concept of logos as an eternal
principle of order. Jesus was not a principle of order, but a Person, the of God, without
whom “was not anything made that was made” (John 1:2). Nevertheless, Myers seems to
want to make John approve of Heraclitus so that he might be justified in endorsing and
incorporating an entire system of pagan philosophy (the four temperaments).
We believe that every word, every allegory, every metaphor, every simile, and every
other figure of speech in Scripture are inspired by God. We take the following passage
literally and very seriously:
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for
reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God
may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works (2 Timothy 3: 16,
The purpose of Scripture is not to approve some Greek philosophy or pagan religion, but
rather to accomplish God’s purposes. Myers seems to argue in favor of God borrowing from
Greek philosophy and in favor of adding the four temperaments and the DiSC model to help
accomplish what the Bible says it does.
Next Myers declares: “In 1 Cor. 10 he [Paul] imports a story from Jewish legend.124”
This is the verse that is supposedly extrabiblical.
And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock
that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.
Myers then cites two commentators who give some credence to that notion. However, there
are other theologians who disagree with that idea. For instance, Dr. S. Lewis Johnson, Jr.,
Bobgan Response to Myers 6
former Professor of New Testament Literature and Exegesis at Dallas Theological Seminary,
The same spiritual drink, a fifth privilege, refers to the events mentioned in
Ex 17:1-9 and Num 20:1-13 (cf. Num 21:16). The words that spiritual rock
that followed them do not mean that Paul believed the rabbinical legend that
a material rock followed the Israelites throughout their journey and that
Miriam, above all others, possessed the secret of obtaining the water (cf.
Godet, op. cit., II, 56). Actually, the apostle says, that Rock was Christ, i.e., it
was the visible means of the supply of water which came ultimately from
Christ. . . . The literal sense of that Rock was Christ is no more to be pressed
than is the literal sense of “I am the true vine” (Jn 15:1). The was, rather than
is, may, however, point to Christ’s pre-existence (cf. II Cor 8:9; Gal 4:4).125
(Emphasis in original.)
Thus Johnson refutes Myers’ argument.
Next Myers attempts to show that Paul “uses a system of interpretation that for the
most part completely distorted the Scripture, and that was rooted in Greek philosophy.”126
As evidence for this Myers quotes Galatians 4:24, 25 in which Paul uses allegory to teach the
difference between the two covenants of law and grace. Myers declares that Paul was using
“the allegorical (or Alexandrian) school of interpretation.”127 Myers further declares:
Paul uses two technical terms from this school in the passage: “allegorically”
and “corresponds to:” [sic] and the allegory itself has several parallels to
Philo’s allegory of Hagar and Sarah. Philo was Paul’s famous contemporary
(whom he surely read) and the founding father of [sic] allegorical school.128
It is amazing to learn from Myers that allegory is rooted in Greek philosophy. Use of
allegory predates even ancient Greek philosophy. While the Greeks may have named it and
have founded an “allegorical school,” they were not the originators of what they named or
defined. There are examples of allegory in the Old Testament. The prophet Nathan used
allegory to confront David (2 Samuel 12:1-9).
In Galatians 4:24, 25, Paul was not interpreting the OT text according to the usual
manner of the Greeks. He was not overlooking the plain meaning of the text in search of
hidden, esoteric meaning. Instead, he was inspired by the Holy Spirit to use the true history
of Hagar and Sarah as a picture—an allegory—to teach the difference between the law and
grace. Paul used allegory to teach, and that’s the purpose of allegory according to its
. . . a story in which people, things, and happenings have a hidden or symbolic
meaning: allegories are used for teaching or explaining ideas, moral
principles, etc.129
Jesus used allegory when he taught by way of parables. Surely Myers would not suggest that
Jesus was borrowing from Greek philosophy!
Next Myers introduces Paul’s use of the Greek word musterion, which is translated
mystery. Myers says:
Bobgan Response to Myers 7
Back then the term “mystery” (musterion)—far more than logos—was almost
universally known to have a very special meaning. It came direct from the
“Babyloian [sic] mysteries,” or “mystery cults” far and away the most popular
religion of Paul’s day: and one of the most licentious.130
Is Myers suggesting that Paul is borrowing more than the word and that he is borrowing
something from the mystery cults when he uses that term? The very context of the verses in
which Paul uses the word mystery argue against that idea. The mystery of the Gospel is a
revealed mystery, not a hidden, esoteric mystery. Thus, if Paul made any reference at all to
the mystery religions, he would have used the word polemically to show the vast difference
between Greek religion and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Other Bible scholars relate Paul’s use of musterion to the Greek Septuagint, where it
occurs in Daniel 2:19, 27, 29, as well as in other places.131 Regarding mystery religions, Dr.
Ronald H. Nash says:
Paul would never have borrowed from the pagan religions. All of our
information about Paul makes it highly unlikely that he was influenced by
pagan sources. He placed great emphasis on his early training in a strict form
of Judaism (Phil. 3:5). He warned the Colossians against the very sort of
things that advocates of Christian syncretism attribute to him—namely, letting
their minds be captured by alien speculations (Col. 2:.132
In using the word mystery, Paul is certainly not in any way whatsoever endorsing the mystery
religions any more than he would have endorsed astrology and its four temperaments.
Doesn’t Myers see the difference between using vocabulary and using occult systems?
Language is language. It exists in culture and it reflects culture. To say that the Bible
borrows terms from the culture does not give license for importing philosophical, religious,
occult systems. Myers offers no evidence that those who write about and teach the four
temperaments and the DiSC model are simply using the language of the day to communicate
the message of God.
If we use the arguments for using extrabiblical material by which Myers hopes to
justify using the four temperaments and the syncretism of DiSC with the Bible in the form of
BPP, then anything can presumably be added with impunity. Myers is right when he says,
“Syncretism is the mother of much heresy.”133 Using the DiSC along with the Bible is
syncretism. Using the DiSC/BPP does not simply fall under the language of allegory or
parallel. Myers’ so-called “clear Biblical precedent within Scripture for some creative
parallelism” simply cannot justify the inclusion of a pagan occult system or a twentiethcentury
psychological derivative that does not qualify as science.134,135
Myers further attempts to support the use of extrabiblical material like the four
temperaments and the DiSC by citing Acts 17:23, 28.136 However, when Paul referred “TO
THE UNKNOWN GOD” and quoted pagan poets, he was not borrowing a pagan system.
Nor was he using those examples to add to the doctrines of salvation and sanctification.
Instead, Paul used them as points of contact to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Adding
doctrines of the four temperaments or the DiSC does not constitute a point of contact, but an
entire metaphysical system of attempting to understand and change people. Our concern is
not with words in the Bible, or with allegories, or with points of contact. Our concern is with
extrabiblical material that adds to the Gospel by presenting another philosophical,
Bobgan Response to Myers 8
psychological, religious way to understand and improve a Christian’s spiritual growth and
Myers’ next paragraphs are about the importance of theology and how certain terms
and ideas, such as the Trinity, were brought to Scripture. He says:
The history of orthodox theology is the story of unloading entire extrabiblical
systems onto the text. . . . No one system is without faults, not one is
infallible, but every system with a high view of Scripture shows different
facets of God’s truth through unique lenses.137
By this he seems to be trying to justify using the DiSC model as an aid to understanding
Scripture as well. However, to imply that the DiSC and BPP are the same kinds of
extrabiblical systems as systematic theology “with a high view of Scripture” is to wander far
from the doctrines of the Sacred Text into the never-never land of the opinions of men. And
once a person has taken that journey he may not realize how far his high view of Scripture
has slipped.
Myers continues:
There is is [sic] no escaping theological questions; no getting at the Scripture
without theological lenses. How can one even become a Christian without at
least a vague notion of the trinity [sic] (the Father sending the to die for
us, by the Spirit to live in us)? As we grow our goal is not to become lensfree
(we’d be blind!)—but to try on different lenses as we “study to show
ourselves approved;” [sic] to learn from each theological focal point; and
perhaps to settle on a prescription that helps us see as through a glass least
Thus Myers would like us “to try on different lenses” and “to learn from each theological
focal point.” Does he honestly believe it would be wise to do this, since “each theological
focal point” might include any and all theological perspectives? Furthermore, from the
context, it appears he would approve of the lenses of the four temperaments and the DiSC, as
We agree we need lenses to see, but we would prefer the lenses of Scripture—that we
might more and more see Jesus through His Word—not through the DiSC/BPP model!
That’s the prescription we’ll take—not the prescription Myers offers. We believe it is
especially tragic when Christians view Scripture through faith in unproven psychological
theories about the nature of man and how he is to live and change.
Myers says:
Finally, to think that all “external interpretative grids” (even those drawn from
the secular world) are illegitimate betrays a startling ignorance not only of the
Scripture, of church history, and of the interpretative process, but also of the
gift of teaching and the role of the teacher.
If anything, we’ve seen that God’s priority is to communicate—to reveal
Himself to the world. Clearly we need supernatural illumination, but He
knows we also need a lot of earthy—even some earth—language. Thus we’ve
seen again and again the Spirit of God redeemed the common parlance of
Bobgan Response to Myers 9
Biblical men and women in order to speak through the known idioms and
ideas (even ideologies) of Biblical times. . . .139 (Emphasis his.)
These two paragraphs clearly reveal that Myers is erecting another straw man. As stated
earlier, our concern is not with language or figures of speech.
Our concern is with those extrabiblical systems that subsume, subvert, supplant, or
supplement the Gospel of Jesus Christ in such a way as to deny the sufficiency of Christ and
the Word of God. Those extrabiblical systems are not biblical theology, science, logic, or
even research psychology. They are that part of psychology that is metaphysical, religious,
and based on opinions. They are that part of psychology that does not qualify as science.
For a more complete understanding of our position, we suggest readers examine Chapters 2
and 3 of PsychoHeresy: The Psychological Seduction of Christianity.140
As for the Colossian heresy, we believe Paul was intentionally speaking in general
terms in Colossians 2:8 to include all present and future extrabiblical faith systems,
philosophical world views and occult religions. Throughout Colossians 2, Paul specifically
addresses those heresies active in Colossae at that time. However, Colossians 2:6-9 is
timeless and broad. While we still suspect that Paul may have had in mind some Greek
ideas, such as the four elements and temperaments, we were and are only making the
suggestion as to the possibility. We are not the only ones who have suggested that there
could be a relationship between Colossians 2:8 and the four cosmic elements.141 Even so, we
would certainly not be as dogmatic as Myers is when he declares that Paul “imports a story
from Jewish legend”! (See our Response to Appendix III.)
Suffice it to say, we still contend that using the four temperaments and the DiSC/BPP
goes against Paul’s admonition:
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the
tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ
(Colossians 2:.
And Myers has not proved otherwise