"The Enneagram: for Christians"
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Rick_C



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 12:02 pm    Post subject: "The Enneagram: for Christians" Reply with quote

This isn't a Theological Topic, per se.
So why am I posting it (here)?

As an audio/sermons/lectures afficianado, I listen to a lot of teachers, preachers, panel discussions, debates, etc. In recent months I've come across talks from someone in the "emerging church movement" (can't remember who) and N.T. Wright; both mentioning they've "taken the enneagram." Wright, (and I think it may have been Doug Pagitt), said what "type" they were but I've forgotten.

Enneagram:
from two Greek words - ennea (nine) and grammos (something written or drawn).
(1) a nine pointed geometric figure.
(2) psychological testing used as an indicator of basic personality traits and/or styles: of individual strengths and weaknesses or assets/liabilities.

I've taken the MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) test many times through the years, being introduced to it on the job in the Navy as a Neuro-Psychiatric Technician. I've consistently scored as the INTP personality type (Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Perceptive).

When I heard that N.T. Wright took the enneagram I was, like, "Wow, one of my fave theologians! Maybe I should take it too?" So I did. Why? I could give various explanations such as, "INTPs are constantly thinking about 'deep stuff' in their internal mental world."

But for this thread: N.T. Wright related the enneagram to his ministry, in terms of what he does best, how he goes about doing it and: What things he doesn't get done but would like to do, or is otherwise not naturally disposed to get done in terms of his personality. One example was how he would like to do more book reviews but hasn't made time for it due to being an extrovert, (not especially enjoying sitting around reading alone, much preferring being "out" giving lectures, and so on).

I have several links to free online enneagram tests and can post them here.
However, if you google "free enneagram test" you'll probably (easily) get the same ones I found. (Some are short, taking maybe 5 minutes, others take a tad longer).

From here: http://www.9types.com/cgi-bin/ennea/tal/test.cgi (a very basic types description).
Quote:
The Nine Personality Types of the Enneagram
Type 1: The Reformer. The rational, idealistic type.
Type 2: The Helper. The caring, nurturing type.
Type 3: The Motivator. The adaptable, success-oriented type.
Type 4: The Artist. The intuitive, reserved type.
Type 5: The Thinker. The perceptive, cerebral type.
Type 6: The Skeptic. The committed, security-oriented type.
Type 7: The Generalist. The enthusiastic, productive type.
Type 8: The Leader. The powerful, aggressive type.
Type 9: The Peacemaker. The easygoing, accommodating type.


Other sites identify them slightly differently, e.g., :
Type 1: The Reformer.
Type 2: The Helper.
Type 3: The Achiever.
Type 4: The Individualist.
Type 5: The Investigator.
Type 6: The Loyalist.
Type 7: The Enthusiast.
Type 8: The Challenger.
Type 9: The Peacemaker.
Link: http://www.enneagraminstitute.com/descript.asp

(Btw, the number 5 guy's computer desk is more organized than mine, not kidding! and shopping malls have one, and only one, primary function: THE BOOK STORE)!
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My scores: I've taken about 6 separate tests.
The longest and, therefore, possibly the most accurate test had me as a "5w4." The "w" = "wing" which is the secondary personality trait or orientation. So I rated as a: Thinker-Investigator with the secondary "wing" of Artist-Individualist. Another test scored me as a "5w6". I consistently had 5 as my primary (by far) with an exception where I rated a "1w9" on a shorter "quick" test: But the questions didn't seem "logical," lol.

What the enneagram is good for, imo.
It didn't tell me anything I didn't really already know. But it did point out areas I need to focus on. For example, as a Thinker-Investigator (which goes right along with INTP), I can tend to become so absorbed into my internal thought-world that I isolate from others. Iow, I need to put more effort into social interaction and what all can be involved: E.g., "my types" don't do much "small talk" (and often find it annoying and/or irrelevant) -- "deep stuff" is so much more important and interesting! On the Individualist-Artist "wing"-- I need to keep in mind that creativity and individuality doesn't make me "the odd man out"...or that I can "go it alone."

In short, "my Types" (Enneagram and/with Myers-Briggs) are good at critical and creative thinking, detached evaluation, perception, etc. We have things to offer others but have to make deliberate efforts to share them due to a "loner" tendency: (People are always saying I should teach a Sunday School class or something like that...but I don't regularly go to church or have a certain group of people I hang-out-with).

What's strange.
The very same people who say I "should be teaching" quite often also say they don't know what I'm talking about! or otherwise, don't appear to be all that interested? or have the intelligence to comprehend what I say? This strikes me as odd and I don't know what to do (unless they want to take the time and effort to Investigate?)....

The fact that I both feel and am "different" I should see as my God-given uniqueness -- not that I'm a "weird-oh recluse". (I can be perfectly contented reading and studying alone for like, weeks! see, The Mad Scientist). It's not a bad thing to study alone a lot, in and of itself. But being a Christian is about sharing, and so on....

A Type 5 Motto:
"I don't have to know everything" (but wouldn't mind)! Shocked Laughing Rolling Eyes Question ... Wink

Of the famous Type 5s (Einstein, Neitzsche, Lennon, etc.) the one I most relate to is "Fox Mulder" (actor David Dukovny, The X Files).....

Gtg check on a job! {"You need to get out more often, Rick!"}....
OK! {I really HAVE to in this case}!
Any thoughts or comments? Thanks Smile
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Last edited by Rick_C on Fri Jul 04, 2008 6:40 pm; edited 5 times in total
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Rick_C



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To talk about "you" here's a link to help you out (take a test & yack):
Eclectic Energies Enneagram Tests (free)

The "classical" one is the long version I wrote about, Thanks, Smile
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Paidion



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I took two tests. The first scored me highest as "thinker" but also scored me almost as high for "reformer", "skeptic" and "leader".

However, the second and more detailed test was "thinker" all the way.
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Michelle



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I took two of the tests (I have just a tad too much free time right now) and came out Type 9, the peacemaker, on both. I pretty much think that it's the loser category, except they say we create a calm atmosphere, which is nice, I suppose. At least we were mentioned in the beatitudes.

I think were supposed to say how this impacts us as a Christian, yeah? Well, Type 9s tend to go along with the flow in order to keep the peace. This may cause us to compromise, I think. So I should be vigilant not to give into that desire to keep the peace when I know my Christian principles might be the casualty.

Apparently we don't acknowledge negative emotions and they build up until they're uncontrollable and we explode. On the positive side, our storms are brief; on the negative side, our storms are completely unexpected by other people. I should probably work on that...
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TK



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

michelle wrote:

Quote:
I think were supposed to say how this impacts us as a Christian, yeah? Well, Type 9s tend to go along with the flow in order to keep the peace. This may cause us to compromise, I think. So I should be vigilant not to give into that desire to keep the peace when I know my Christian principles might be the casualty.


very perceptive michelle- and it think this is indeed a problem with peacemakers (i havent taken the test yest, but i suspect that i might be a #9.

Rick- i always tested as an INTP as well- i wonder if i will have a similar outcome to yours on this test. we shall see.

TK
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Suzana



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 6:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did just one of the tests, (from the link) and the results were unclear - I am most likely either a 2 or 9-
Helper/Reformer or Peacemaker/Reformer.

I feel pleased that I don't quite fit a pigeon-hole; that's probably a sign of something, but I'm too tired to try work it out, or do more tests.
Also I'm not sure if people can be, or should be, so neatly divided into categories.
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Paidion



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 7:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Also I'm not sure if people can be, or should be, so neatly divided into categories.


I agree. We think that if we put a person into a box (category), then we have a handle on the person. We think we know what he is. But that can be a serious mistake.

I think that this may sometimes be the motive even for asking a person what church he attends or belongs to. The one who asks often thinks he knows what that denomination or church teaches, and thus generalizes, thinking he knows what the person believes and practises. But most likely that information tells him very little, if anything, about that individual.
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TK



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

well, I agree with not putting people into a box.

but in case you want to, as expected I am a 9w1. (peacemaker with a reformer wing).

TK
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Paidion



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How do you get the wing? Which test?
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TK



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i went to the site noted in rick's 7:09 pm post. i took the longer test; when you are done it will give you your main score then your secondary "wing" score.

TK
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Rick_C



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greetings Enneagramers, Wink

A few things. First, on the eclecticenergies link.
As you can see it's, at least in part, a New Age site, having Chakras, I Ching, and so on. I went ahead and linked to it because the Enneagram itself is not New Age. And from taking Enneagram tests on other sites; I can tell that eclecticenergies is using the same psychological science (regarding the Enneagram) in their tests.

Second, the Enneagram is both generalized and detailed.
It's not about stereotyping or singling people out into being a a certain type. Neither is it like astrology (as it is popularly practiced), to where like you're supposed be be "like" your zodiac sign.
The Enneagram, like the Myers-Briggs, is based on psychological science. The types are general descriptions of your basic and secondary personality traits, or your type.

These kinds of tests for Christians.
I'm a Myers-Briggs INTP. By the Enneagram I'm either a 5w4 or a 5w9. When I looked up these types' descriptions they describe me quite well (accurately). However, as a believer I'm not saying anything like, "Well, I'm an INTP, so I might as well stay home all the time and read," Laughing No, of course not! God's Word that tells me that I'm not supposed to live like that. So the benefit of these tests are, imo, an alternate way of understanding your basic personality makeup. We don't need pysch tests to tell us our strengths and weaknesses. But these tests are helpful tools we can use toward that end (is really all this thread topic is about).

Another site (similarminds) has Myers-Briggs, Enneagram, and other types of free psych testing: http://similarminds.com/enneagram_word.html
The above link is their Enneagram.
(Similarminds classifies things rather differently).
E.g., here are my results from them:

5w9

Type 1 Perfectionism
|||||||||||||| 54%
Type 2 Helpfulness
|||||||||||| 46%
Type 3 Image Focus
|||||||||||||| 54%
Type 4 Hypersensitivity
|||||| 30%
Type 5 Detachment
|||||||||||||||||||| 82%
Type 6 Anxiety
|||||||||||||| 54%
Type 7 Adventurousness
|||||||||||| 46%
Type 8 Aggressiveness
|||||||||| 38%
Type 9 Calmness
|||||||||||||||| 66%

type | score | type behavior motivation
5 20 I must be knowledgable and independent to be happy.
9 16 I must be peaceful and easy to get along with to be happy.
1 13 I must be perfect and good to be happy.
3 13 I must be impressive and attractive to be happy.
6 13 I must be secure and safe to be happy.
2 11 I must be helpful and caring to be happy.
7 11 I must be high and entertained to be happy.
8 9 I must be strong and in control to be happy.
4 7 I must avoid painful feelings to be happy.
____________________________________________________


Note how they classify number 5 as "Detachment" as opposed to Thinker-Investigator, and 9 as "Calmness" rather than Peacemaker.

Actually, I think similarminds may be the most reliable and/or accurate of all the psych test sites I've used: Overall, I seem more like a 5w9 than a 5w4 (as I had gotten on another test).

See that 82%? Pretty "thoughtful," eh? I'm a 5 beyond any shadow of doubt!
(and didn't really have to think about it, I've ALWAYS been like this), Wink

Lastly for now, psychologists who've studied all this stuff tell how you can use the Enneagram (also Myers-Briggs) to improve your life. You can find this yourself if you explore the sites. As an example, as an INTP, I can be lacking in E (E as opposed to I, Extraversion over against Introversion). In other words, I need to make conscious efforts to try to balance out my natural tendency to live in my own internal-world by considering others; their opinions, what others think and believe an so on. Another way to say this could be, "Though I have a strong internal sense of things; getting out and mingling with others is where I can make a difference" (or I can stay home forever and just post on blogs), Laughing

With the Enneagram, if you look around, you'll find the traits in other types you need to shoot for: Just like an I (Introvert, such as myself) needs to balance things by doing what doesn't come naturally (Extroversion, get out there in the world of people, places, ideas, and things), etc.

Psych tests or not, we all have our strengths and weaknesses. I just felt these tests (the Enneagram primarily on this thread) would be a cool thing for us to look into and use.

Your Detached, Thinker-Investigator Christian friend,
who likes a calm, peaceful existence and atmosphere,
(and who doesn't have to know everything but wants to!)
Rick, Thanks! Smile
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Michelle



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Also I'm not sure if people can be, or should be, so neatly divided into categories.

I agree that perhaps we shouldn't pigeonhole people if the idea is to develop a way of determining which characteristics are more desirable and which individuals have them. I felt a little of that with this test (sorry TK) when some of the descriptors were: inertia, light-weight, stubbornness, complacency, and self-effacing (I do realize that the last one probably explains why I focused on the negative aspects, so, to be fair, we are also characterized as indomitable and all-embracing.)

I've also heard a fair share of Baptist-bashing lately, so I get the idea Paidion brought up about imagining you know someone based on their church denomination. In both cases I want to say, "But, but...I do know how to think too!"

I don't believe that putting people in neat little categories in order to pretend that we know them is the purpose that Rick_C had in mind, although he can correct me if I'm wrong. I liked his idea of looking at some of your personality quirks and thinking about how they affect your Christian walk and ministry. I think these tests just have a way of focusing your attention on some of those quirks. I found the results of my test to be a somewhat accurate representation of some of my qualities, and it was an interesting exercise to think about what areas I might need to be aware of and to work on.


Last edited by Michelle on Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:21 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Rick_C



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

P.S. Imo, take the similarminds test, folks.
P.S.S. Bible characters who were a 5...hmmmm...Doubting Thomas, I think?
"The truth is out there" -- Fox Mulder
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Michelle



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rick_C wrote:
P.S. Imo, take the similarminds test, folks.
P.S.S. Bible characters who were a 5...hmmmm...Doubting Thomas, I think?
"The truth is out there" -- Fox Mulder
Shocked Rick! You could have given a language warning! The last item was a shock (although it made me laugh.) Shocked

edited to add: Interesting. They shuffle the items around so the shocking item will come at different times for different people...
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Rick_C



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Michelle,

You wrote:
I don't believe that putting people in neat little categories in order to pretend that we know them is the purpose that Rick_C had in mind, although he can correct me if I'm wrong. I liked his idea of looking at some of your personality quirks and thinking about how they affect your Christian walk and ministry. I think these tests just have a way of focusing your attention on some of those quirks.


Yes, these tests are just "another way to look at ourselves" (is what I meant).

And, yes, they can reveal what our quirks might be.
But at the same time they accentuate the positive (let's look at that too!), Wink

You also wrote:
I found the results of my test to be a somewhat accurate representation of some of my qualities, and it was an interesting exercise to think about what areas I might need to be aware of and to work on.


Yeah, that....me too.

Btw, in books on the Enneagram and on some sites they have very long lists of the characteristics of the Types, rated as: High Functioning, Average Functioning, to Low Functioning (I mean, like, 30 words for each).

It doesn't mean you "have" all of them. But it could mean you could get some of them. For example, a High Functioning 5 is perceptive but could become hyper-critical (in a bad way). So, each on their own level (we're all growing here), Smile

I have to go (tell some friends I just found a job)!
Before I go I just want to say I don't want to go off into debates about denominations on this thread.

Or, the Enneagram is non-denominational, imo.
~ Peace ~
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