While the Enneagram may appear to be just another personality typology, Katie Jo Ramsey at Relevant believes it can be a tool for stepping into the transformation God extends to us in Christ.
Everywhere I turn someone is talking about personality tests, and more and more they are talking about the Enneagram. Our culture craves self-knowledge. Tell me my spirit animal or Hogwarts house, and you know I’ll share my results on Facebook.
I find it both surprising and ironic that the Enneagram has so quickly gained popularity in the culture while some evangelicals remain suspicious of the tool. After all, it is a system that robustly affirms our sin and brokenness. As Western Seminary professor Chuck DeGroat recently reminded skeptical conservative Christians, “The Enneagram has people of all stripes talking about besetting sin patterns. Can you imagine that? It takes sin far more seriously than any contemporary psychological tool, perhaps so seriously that it’s shattering behavioral sin paradigms that give people a false sense of control.”
Recently, a prominent Evangelical leader condemned the Enneagram as “an approach to spirituality that is alien to, and often at odds with, the language and contours of Scripture.” But as Howard Baker, professor of Christian formation at Denver Seminary, stated, “Some evangelicals are wary, skeptical, or critical of the Enneagram based on one author’s interpretation or use of it. That would be like discarding the Bible after reading one ultra-liberal commentary on it.”
While on the surface the Enneagram may appear to be just another personality typology ending in self-knowledge, I believe it can be a tool for stepping into the transformation God extends to us in Christ. But the tool won’t work if we don’t first know its purpose in context of the Gospel.