The Enneagram, a personality system configured around a circle of nine types, promises to help the spiritual seeker break free from sin, peel back layers of dysfunctional ways of thinking, and find inside him or herself the essential, God-given gem. The nine numbers are grouped by three—those of the head, those of the heart, and those of the gut. Each number is associated with a particular sin and takes on the characteristics of the numbers on either side, the wings. New Age spiritualist Claudio Naranjo, joined the Enneagram to modern-day psychological practice, and from there, through Priest Richard Rohr, who borrows from Jungian conceptions of spirituality, it made its way into the Roman Catholic church in the 1980s. The Enneagram is now sweeping through mainstream Evangelicalism so Christians might be curious about both its origins and its view of the human person. Claiming it arose in the ancient Christian past, Richard Rohr, Ian Cron, and others have, unwittingly, adopted a gnostic view of the person, one which requires special self-knowledge. The New Age Roots and the misuses of Scripture—particularly in regards to the theological definition of sin—should give those seeking personal transformation through use of the Enneagram pause.
This Postmodern Realities episode is a conversation with Journal author Anne Kennedy about her online-exclusive article, “The Road Back to Where? A Look at Self Discovery Using the Enneagram”.
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