I am highly skeptical of the Enneagram. I am not sure why in particular, but I am. The Enneagram is the new current in-vogue, Christian personality test. Personality test systems can be helpful to give language and concepts to how people are different. But all of them in the end are systems that have to be understood as broad categories which do not completely capture the full individuality of a person.
But I picked up The Sacred Enneagram because it was on sale (still $4.99 on christianaudio) and because a number of people that I respect that are either pursuing training in Spiritual Direction or have Spiritual Directors have recommended it to me. I mostly approached this book as a means to get a broad overview.
I am not sure an audiobook for Sacred Enneagram is really the best method for a broad overview like this because a nine category personality system is somewhat complicated. I am not a fan of the narrator. He is a competent narrator, but a bit droning and in a book like this that is talking about spiritual matters, his emphatic tone doesn’t doesn’t really work. The narrator reminds me of Scott Brick. Brick, and Adam Verner the narrator of this one, have great voices, but they should be narrating thrillers or horror novels, not books on prayer and spiritual growth.
I got the overview of the Enneagram. I appreciated that Heuertz took seriously my skepticism about the medieval origins of the Enneagram. What I thought was most helpful about the book was the last section that attempted to show how different Enneagram types approach prayer differently. I do appreciate the fact that the system is focused not just on strengths, like most personality trait systems, but on common areas of weakness and sin. I can understand how Enneagram can be helpful in spiritual direction.
I promised myself I would read at least two books on the Enneagram before I really evaluated it. So I will read a second, Alice Fryling’s Mirror for the Soul sometime in the next couple weeks.
I will note that a friend assumed my type. I took a test which leaned toward the same type. And by descriptions I would also lean toward the same type for myself. What I think is helpful are articles like this one at Christianity Today about how pastors of different Enneagram types approach their job. It is not saying one particular type (or a group of types) make good pastors. It identifies different areas where a pastor of each time would have strengths and weaknesses.
The Sacred Enneagram: Finding Your Unique Path to Spiritual Growth by Christopher Heuertz Purchase Links: Paperback, Kindle Edition, Audible.com Audiobook, Christianaudio.com MP3 Audiobook (currently on sale for $4.99)