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Is the enneagram demonic? Is it psychologically valid? Should Christians use the enneagram? What is the truth about the enneagram?

Several of the people who helped build the enneagram were not Christians.

True: The enneagram is not a Christian tool. It is merely a tool that can be used “Christianly”.

The origins of the enneagram are not Christian so we shouldn’t use it. 

False: While many teachers of the enneagram (both old and new) have promoted beliefs that are incompatible with Christian faith, many teachers have also been faithful Christians who have rejected approaches to the enneagram that are against the ways of Jesus and sound doctrine. We benefit every day from God’s common grace working through people who are not Christians. All truth is God’s truth.

The enneagram is influenced by ancient Christian monks. 

True: Though these monks in no way created the enneagram, their reflections on sin, virtues and God giving orderly structure to creation became a foundational influence.

The enneagram came from the New Age Movement.

True AND False: It’s true that some of the early contributors were part of the 1960s counterculture New Age movement. However, while some of these people attributed their theories to mystical sources, they were actually trained psychologists who studied personality systems at Harvard and Berkeley. (Their ideas came from study and practice, not from a nefarious spirit.) Some elements of their original teaching are incompatible with Christianity. However, the framework of the enneagram, which was developed by a larger group over many years, is not inherently incompatible.

The enneagram isn’t scientifically valid. 

False: The enneagram meets all the criteria for personality inventories including predictive validity, demonstrated usefulness, and comprehensiveness. It is utilized by many respected psychologists and therapists including Dr. Daniel Siegel and Dr. Dan Allender. 

Christians should not use “wisdom” from outside of the Bible.

False: Solomon and Paul both studied wisdom literature outside of the Hebrew texts and put it to use. Though scripture is preeminent, we can also find truth in tradition, reason and experience. The enneagram pulls wisdom from the last 3 categories and can be beneficial when governed by the Bible.

Pursuing self-awareness and studying my personality will make me self-absorbed. 

False: Chances are that if self-absorption is already an issue for you, the enneagram won’t cause it but will reveal the specific ways it’s already hurting the people around you. You can’t repent of what you aren’t aware of. 

The enneagram doesn’t address our sin and need for a savior. 

True: The enneagram is not Christian. But through studying it from a Christian perspective, people are invited to see (in very specific ways) why they need a savior and why Jesus is worthy of their complete trust and devotion. 

If I’m focused on Jesus, my relational health isn’t important.

False: Jesus tells us that all of life is about loving God and loving people as we love ourselves. In other words, the purpose of life is relationships. We can only glorify God if we are in a healthy relationship with him and others. This is why the phrase “one another” appears 100 times in the New Testament and why he says if we don’t love others, we don’t love him.

WANT TO EXPLORE THE ENNEAGRAM FROM A CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE?

Check out our books and our podcast!

HOW WE RELATE: UNDERSTANDING GOD, YOURSELF AND OTHERS THROUGH THE ENNEAGRAM by Jesse Eubanks Discover how God speaks into your unique personality and life story to make the gospel come alive for you. Enneagram coach and host of The EnneaCast podcast Jesse Eubanks invites readers to go deeper for true transformation. In How We Relate, Eubanks interprets the Enneagram through the gospel story to help readers grow in self-awareness, improve their relationships, and encounter Jesus. LIFE IS ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS. IT’S TIME TO TRANSFORM YOURS.

Like a workshop, interview and game show for your relational health. Welcome to The EnneaCast, a bi-weekly show that explores personality and the Enneagram through the lens of the gospel. Every episode combines teaching, an interview and a game into a fascinating and fun listening experience. Hosted by Jesse Eubanks and Lindsey Lewis, The EnneaCast features authors, artists, pastors and counselors sharing their wisdom with one goal in mind: to help you experience more meaningful relationships with God, yourself and others.

RelateBetter exists to help you build better relationships. Get the tools. Put them to work. Enjoy better relationships with God, others and yourself. Start here!