The Acceptable Sacrifice: Duane W.H. Arnold, PhD

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13 Responses

  1. Tim says:

    Good. Thanks.

  2. Tim says:

    Do you serve a parish in Indianapolis?

  3. Khendra M says:

    Yes, the Luke 18 Pharisee.

    I once knew, and devotedly followed, a dogmatic Calvinist who attempted to link the 16 Myers-Briggs types to observable neuroscience (also claiming that type is inborn, fixed, and doesn’t change), and that only he and those similar to his own type were capable of consistently typing people the correct way. He further claimed that his own type, the ISTJs, along with the other I__J types, were inherently more moral and better able to follow God’s boundaries, rules, and laws than the more common E__P types.

    He wrote quite a treatise on this subject during the 2012 US presidential election period, where he argued that Mitt Romney was better man than Barack Obama because Romney was a J type and Obama was a P type. ENTP, in particular (the type he assigned to Obama), allegedly accounted for about 50% or more of the populace (in his view; ENTPs are said to account for about 5% of the populace according to most Myers-Briggs estimates), was arguably the most immoral type: manipulative, natural born Hollywood actors, prone to creatively distorting facts and taking them out of context (he said Darwin and evolutionists were all ENTP; Ken Ham, by contrast of course, was an I__J: INTJ), and unable to correctly observe, analyze, or comprehend and follow boundaries, proper contexts, and rules because of their “abstract, conceptual right brain dominance.”

    Curiously, he also claimed Solomon of the Bible was this ENTP type. He said that Solomon, for all his wisdom, was an example of moral failure and why it’s better to just follow boundaries. (Oddly enough, for all of Solomon’s failures, much of what he penned is considered divine Scripture somehow.) He also typed Davis as ENFP, the polar opposite of ISTJ. I’ve always been flummoxed why David could have such a prominent role in Scriptures if he was an immoral type that couldn’t deal with boundaries. I mean, using this guy’s logic, how dare God give such a prominent role to David when he could have such roles to the great, moral, and awesome ISTJ people!

    In all my life, I’ve never met a man so confident of his own morality, so prone to looking down on the common people, and so resistant to consider or hear anyone else’s point of view. He resembles the Luke 18 Pharisee.

    His name is Jon Niednagel. His Brain Types system, which he believed would be the most revolutionary science of the 21st century, is now faltering due to his excessive pride, insularity, and refusal to collaborate with others who would criticize any aspect of his system — none of which he would acknowledge, for remember, he believes he is inherently less sinful than others, and would dodge or evade any responsibility for such, throwing it instead on the E__P masses’ and our alleged inability to rightly comprehend his work.

    (And yes, he said I was a generic ENTP. So are some of his grandsons, whom I pity.)

  4. The New Victor says:

    MTBI has its roots in Jung, and is more the pseudo-science side of psychology than the experimental side (like Transactional Analysis, say).

  5. Khendra M says:

    Niednagel would always explain that he didn’t support Jung’s other work, but that Jung’s work laying the foundation of the 16 type system was actually based on empirical observation and thus worth supporting.

    Niednagel loved empiricism and “observable reality.” Problem is, you can’t come to faith through observable reality; that’s the claim of scientific materialism, not Judeo-Christianity. The abstract conceptual thought processes that he loved to detract are actually necessary not only for understanding metaphor and parable (very common didactic methods used by Jesus and throughout the Scriptures), but also for placing faith in a Deity one cannot see.

  6. Duane Arnold says:

    #2 Tim

    I attend a small Anglican parish here…

  7. John 20:29 says:

    This might develop into a useful thread of comments today…
    2 thoughts jumped into my head
    The brain types? I figured that out in grammar school. Not in a scholarly fashion, of course, but kids show early on their inclinations … Does that have anything to do with who will find redemotion? Only God knows, but it may show one’s bent to be religious etc.
    Also, if one is grateful to God for keeping them from destructive behaviors, i believe that differs from thinking that you are better, i.e., there but for the grace of God, go i…. ?

  8. Khendra M says:

    Yes, I do think there is something to be said for a degree of inclinations and inherent wiring, and that’s why I was a supporter of the “brain types” for a number of years. I certainly don’t think everything of Niednagel needs to be thrown out, but ranking of types by morality, or excessively focusing on the sins of one type and not your own, are examples of pride, and thus must be thrown out.

    One of their associates thought it less myopic and more helpful to view types as having greater proclivities for certain types of sins more than others, rather than trying to rank types by some kind of global morality scale. Fo for example, the extrovert types would be more prone to sins of commission, while introvert types more prone to sins of omission. Even this approach — more gracious and less prideful than the other, certainly — should also nonetheless be approached cautiously and not too dogmatically, however. For illustrative purposes, I’ll take examples of popularly gendered sins: lust and gossip. Broadly speaking, more men struggle with the former, and more women the latter. But it’s not _exclusive_ to either gender. I’m female and I have a major issue with staring at men that I find physically attractive. It’s been an addiction of sorts ever since I barely hit puberty. I couldn’t find _one_ online community for women who struggle with it even though I’ve seen numerous singular examples of women exhibiting the sin, and that’s because I think our culture has so ingrained the idea that it’s a male sin that we don’t even address those who are the exception to the generality.

  9. Michael says:

    I was noting again on social media all the places where pastors were advising folks on how to do anyone of a number of things to have their best life now.

    I can’t do that.

    The process of preparing a message almost always finds me being convicted by whatever text I’m working on…convicted to the point of often thinking I have no business teaching on it.

    The only reason I can is because of the mercy of God…not because I’m holier than who I’m speaking to…

  10. Duane Arnold says:

    #9 Michael

    The “Jesus Prayer” of “God be merciful to me a sinner” has served the Church well for 2000 years… and I suspect it will continue to do so until the parousia.

  11. Tim says:

    Duane- we are in a Baptist Church here on the southside of Indy.

  12. Duane Arnold says:

    #11 Tim

    Would love to meet up… get my email via Michael

  13. bob1 says:


    I really like the Jesus Prayer. I sometimes will chant it to help me realize God’s mercy

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