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"Who in the world am I?" The Enneagram is like a mirror, reflecting dimensions of ourselves that are sometimes hard to see. In this helpful guide, spiritual director and Enneagram teacher Alice Fryling offers an introduction to each number of the Enneagram and their respective triads. More than just helping us discern our number, this book relates the Enneagram to our spir "Who in the world am I?" The Enneagram is like a mirror, reflecting dimensions of ourselves that are sometimes hard to see. In this helpful guide, spiritual director and Enneagram teacher Alice Fryling offers an introduction to each number of the Enneagram and their respective triads. More than just helping us discern our number, this book relates the Enneagram to our spiritual journey, as a way to identify our gifts as well as our blind spots. With Scripture meditations and questions for reflection and discussion, Mirror for the Soul offers a new perspective on our unique temperament so that we might know and extend God's grace more fully. Knowledge of the Enneagram leads us into more authentic self-awareness, richer relationships, and deeper places in the soul where we can worship God in truth and grace.


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"Who in the world am I?" The Enneagram is like a mirror, reflecting dimensions of ourselves that are sometimes hard to see. In this helpful guide, spiritual director and Enneagram teacher Alice Fryling offers an introduction to each number of the Enneagram and their respective triads. More than just helping us discern our number, this book relates the Enneagram to our spir "Who in the world am I?" The Enneagram is like a mirror, reflecting dimensions of ourselves that are sometimes hard to see. In this helpful guide, spiritual director and Enneagram teacher Alice Fryling offers an introduction to each number of the Enneagram and their respective triads. More than just helping us discern our number, this book relates the Enneagram to our spiritual journey, as a way to identify our gifts as well as our blind spots. With Scripture meditations and questions for reflection and discussion, Mirror for the Soul offers a new perspective on our unique temperament so that we might know and extend God's grace more fully. Knowledge of the Enneagram leads us into more authentic self-awareness, richer relationships, and deeper places in the soul where we can worship God in truth and grace.

30 review for Mirror for the Soul: A Christian Guide to the Enneagram

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jacci

    I had the honor of being a pre-reader of this book. I'm an enneagram fanatic so it was really fun. What makes Alice's book different than all the other books on the enneagram out there? First, she is a good storyteller. Many books on this subject are dry and hard to read, this book is not. Second, Alice brings a strong spiritual perspective and includes a personal meditation based on scripture at the end of each chapter. Many Christian's are leary of the enneagram and this book will help them un I had the honor of being a pre-reader of this book. I'm an enneagram fanatic so it was really fun. What makes Alice's book different than all the other books on the enneagram out there? First, she is a good storyteller. Many books on this subject are dry and hard to read, this book is not. Second, Alice brings a strong spiritual perspective and includes a personal meditation based on scripture at the end of each chapter. Many Christian's are leary of the enneagram and this book will help them understand that this tool has been used for centuries, by Christians, to help people grow in spiritual depth and healing. Third, there is a discussion guide at the end of each chapter so if you're studying this book with friends, as you should, you have a built-in discussion guide. Fourth, Alice puts concepts that can be hard to understand into layman's terms. I've already found myself using her language to describe things when I talk about the enneagram to others. So, enjoy this book, I did, and share it with a friend.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Emily Helquist

    “Learning about the Enneagram has helped me embrace the truth that God gave me gifts because God loves me and has equipped me to love others, not because my gifts are so impressive.” I love personality inventories, like Myers Briggs, because they help me to appreciate and communicate with others. I love the Enneagram, however, because it goes much deeper than likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses. It explores the issues of sin and grace. Why do we act compulsively in ways we wish we didn’t “Learning about the Enneagram has helped me embrace the truth that God gave me gifts because God loves me and has equipped me to love others, not because my gifts are so impressive.” I love personality inventories, like Myers Briggs, because they help me to appreciate and communicate with others. I love the Enneagram, however, because it goes much deeper than likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses. It explores the issues of sin and grace. Why do we act compulsively in ways we wish we didn’t? How do we stop acting out of the false self, and into the true self? Mirror for the Soul is the most important Enneagram book I’ve read, from the perspective of my Christian faith. It explains how each of us finds our “home space” in one of nine types, but it spends less time describing the personality traits of each number, and more time inviting us to use our knowledge of the Enneagram for spiritual transformation. The questions at the end of each chapter are open and inviting, and I found my times of reflecting on them incredibly enriching. Alice Fryling shares generously from her personal experience. One of the chapters I most enjoyed was when she lets us in on her thought processes after studying a Bible passage, and describes with humility and humor how she went about applying the lessons she learned to the circumstances in her life. For each number of the Enneagram, she shares quotes and insights that she has gained from talking to other people in that number. It gives the book authenticity and helps us relate to each type, not just our own. If you’re new to the Enneagram, this is a perfect place to start. Alice Fryling unfolds the Enneagram at a pace we can keep up with, helping us to understand and engage with it as we go. She’s gentle with the reader, offering small steps to help us on the journey of spiritual transformation. (Is five minutes a day too much time to spend in contemplative silence? How about one minute?) Though there are difficult truths presented in the Enneagram, I felt as I read that it was okay to be honest about them. As she says: “Slowly, slowly the Spirit of God helps us see more and more of who we are and who we could be.”

  3. 4 out of 5

    Bob

    Summary: An explanation from a Christian perspective of the Enneagram and its use in spiritual formation, helping us to live out of our gifting, recognize our blind spots, and experience the grace of God. Perhaps all of us have asked the question asked by Alice in Alice in Wonderland: "Who in the world am I?" Alice Fryling proposes that the Enneagram is a useful tool for not only understanding ourselves but for living out of our giftedness and experiencing Christ's grace.  Her aim in this book is Summary: An explanation from a Christian perspective of the Enneagram and its use in spiritual formation, helping us to live out of our gifting, recognize our blind spots, and experience the grace of God. Perhaps all of us have asked the question asked by Alice in Alice in Wonderland: "Who in the world am I?" Alice Fryling proposes that the Enneagram is a useful tool for not only understanding ourselves but for living out of our giftedness and experiencing Christ's grace.  Her aim in this book is to offer a thoroughly Christian treatment of the Enneagram (ennea = nine and gram = points, reflecting the nine pointed diagram that is basic to all discussions of the Enneagram). In addition to explaining the different aspects of the Enneagram, each chapter offers both questions for reflection, and a personal meditation from scripture. Most significantly, Fryling understands each of the home spaces on the Enneagram in terms of the gifted true self (the self as God intends us), the compulsion of the false self, and the grace of God enabling us to find our way back to the true self for our type. After a brief explanation of the nine spaces, she focuses on what she sees as one of the basic insights we gain from the Enneagram, the distinction between the true and false self evident in each of the types. She writes: "The false self is the person we think we should be but are not. It is the person we want others to think we are. The false self perpetuates the illusion that we are able to love perfectly, to be wise and all-knowing, and to be in control of life. The false self thrives on success and achievement. The problem is not that the false self is a bad person. The problem is that the false self is a façade. It is an imitation of God that we “use” to impress others. The false self languishes in pretense and in grasping for abilities and gifts that are not ours to have. The true self, on the other hand, truly expresses the gifts God has given us to love well" (p. 25). Fryling then goes on to explain the various aspects of the Enneagram--the three triads of heart, head, and gut, how we might begin to identify our home space, and how our "wings" and "arrows" add to our self-understanding. Having read a number of Enneagram book, Fryling's explanations of these aspects were among the clearest I've encountered, no doubt resulting from the many workshops the author has led on this material. In particular, I found her counsel for identifying our "home space," often just assumed, or reduced to a questionnaire, particularly helpful: "As happy as inventories might be to tell you your number, most of them require a good deal of self-awareness, something our false self does not want us to have. I'd like to suggest that instead of turning to inventories, you spend some time in quiet reflection, thinking about yourself and what you've learned about the Enneagram. Look for places where you already see yourself. Notice where there are clusters of truth about who you are. Be patient with the process. In fact, you might consider this 'dating the Enneagram.' You do not need to 'marry' the first space you think might work for you. Try it on. Live with it for a while. But let go of it if it doesn't fit. Remember that the Enneagram is supposed to reflect who you are, not dictate who you are" (p. 98). She also advises sharing descriptions of the different spaces with those who know us well to get their insights, discuss what makes sense and what seems confusing.  Her concluding chapters explore the Enneagram through the lens of the biblical account of creation, fall, and redemption. Then she goes a step deeper and explores the issue of our compulsions, the addictions inherent in each type, and how these drive us to the truth of scripture and the grace of God. Facing our need leads us to the hope of transformation through God's grace, which often comes through suffering, silence, and surrender. She invites us into practices of engaging scripture that deepen this transformative process. The strengths of this book are not only the clear explanations of the different aspects of the Enneagram, but the thoughtful Christian perspective that transforms this from a self-help tool where we try to "accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative" to a formational resource leading us into a deeper experience of the grace of God in our lives. This book invites an unhurried process of discovering something more of an answer to Alice's question ("Who in the world am I?") for the reader who will take the time to work through its chapters, reflection questions, and meditations.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Michele Morin

    Who in the World Am I? (Dating the Enneagram) Following the writings of the prophet Jeremiah has been a challenge this year. So far, it’s been seventeen chapters of lament tempered by steadfast faith — along with words of judgment interspersed with glorious promises of restoration. It shouldn’t have surprised me then when Jeremiah 17 took a sharp curve in the road at verse nine: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” Who indeed, for we are many things i Who in the World Am I? (Dating the Enneagram) Following the writings of the prophet Jeremiah has been a challenge this year. So far, it’s been seventeen chapters of lament tempered by steadfast faith — along with words of judgment interspersed with glorious promises of restoration. It shouldn’t have surprised me then when Jeremiah 17 took a sharp curve in the road at verse nine: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” Who indeed, for we are many things in addition to being “deceitful,” and our inability to know ourselves fully becomes readily apparent when we take it upon ourselves to know someone else in a meaningful way. Alice Fryling offers insights on how knowledge of the Enneagram can help us in sifting the motives of our hearts by understanding our own unique temperament — and maybe that of our loved ones as well. Mirror for the Soul invites believers to connect the dots between self knowledge and the grace of God, for as we embrace our Enneagram number, we learn that we are more than just a package of gifts and failures. Alice shares her own self-discovery in this way: “I am a person created by God, loved by God, and uniquely gifted to love others with God’s merciful and gracious love.” Often what we lack in our efforts to change and grow is a language of transformation. Alice found this in her study of the Enneagram and holds it up to readers as a mirror to provide a clear view of ourselves, and as a corrective to the “puzzling reflection we have of our own lives.” The Enneagram has hazy historical origins, but, then, so does the wheel. In the 1970s, Richard Rohr brought its teaching to laypeople, and since then, numerous authors have made it accessible as an aid to the Christian’s spiritual journey. In my reading about the Enneagram, I’ve been eager to find a parking space that fits me so I could begin to understand my gifts and the reasons I get sidetracked. Mirror for the Soul has given me a different goal for this personality inventory. Why not slow down and live in a space, trying it on to see if it describes me? Then look at another one that might be a closer fit? Alice calls this “dating the Enneagram,” and recommends a meandering process of self-discovery, noticing what happens when you are under stress, and using the process to learn about yourself. Nine Spaces and Nine Unique Perspectives The diagram shows that each of the nine spaces has three components: A main attribute A compulsion of “the false self” whose agenda is to look good and to pretend A “grace given to that person as an invitation to return to the true self.” I’ll clarify this using the Three as an example, because I think that’s my space: The main attribute of the Three is Effectiveness: I like to get things done. Ugly Deceit rears its head when I need to hide behind “success” in order not to be known as a failure. However, the path back to health is Truth: truth about myself, and Truth from God (in large doses, everyday). The gift of the Enneagram is that there is no “right” space. The Two with their gift for loving is no more beloved than the Eight with their gift for power. Each space is vulnerable to hiding, but in different ways, and God invites each of the nine types to receive grace in order to become their true self. Trying On the Triads Alice Fryling’s approach to self-discovery within the Enneagram focuses first on the Triads or groupings of the nine spaces: The heart triad (2,3,4) lives life based on feeling. The head triad (5,6,7) lives life based on thinking. The gut triad (8,9,1) responds to life with their gut instinct. It was this recommendation that sent me into “dating mode” with the Ennegram, because, although many of the traits of Three-ness line up with my tendencies, I typically function from the head rather than the heart. My love of books and knowledge lead me to wonder if I’m a five. I’m taking the author’s advice and looking at my motivations, life perspective, and instinctive responses to get closer to the bottom of this mystery. Looking in the Mirror For those who are on a quest for the transformation that comes with self-knowledge, Mirror for the Soul offers a number of practical principles and cautions: Look to your weaknesses and motivations rather than behavior. Beware of your blind spots. Since “the Enneagram is not in the business of giving out compliments,” (49) it is helpful to ponder the problems that come along with our gifts rather than focusing only on our gifting. Spend some time attempting to understand the Wings and the Arrows. Referring to the chart above, our Wings are the spaces on either side of us and influence each of us differently and to different degrees. For example, my bent toward quirky has led me to think that whether I’m a 3 or a 5, my wing is likely a 4. Referring again to the chart, the Arrows pointing away from a number indicate where we tend to go in stress. Those pointing toward the number describe “how we are living when we are in a healthy place in our lives.” (109) With this in mind, it becomes clear that spaces in the Enneagram are not rigid boxes, which accounts for the uniqueness we see even among people who may share the same type. Alice speaks of being “at home” (107) in a space, and the more we understand ourselves and the Enneagram, the more likely this is to occur. The So-What Factor For the believer, greater self-awareness is not a narcissistic rabbit trail, but, rather, it leads to a greater capacity for loving relationships with others and deeper worship of God. The Enneagram invites us to wonder about addictive behaviors that keep sending us back to the same broken cisterns for satisfaction. It reveals suffering as a means to growth and transformation. As we look into the mirror of God’s Word, and then ponder what we find in the mirror of the Enneagram, it would be tempting to despair, for we all have work to do. However, “the truth is that God is always waiting to be gracious to us and always ready to extend mercy.” This is good news as we boldly persevere in asking, “Who in the world am I?” and then live our way into our own unique journey of discovery in which we confront our sadness and frustration alongside our unique gifting and strengths and learn that the reflection gazing back at us belongs to a face that is deeply loved. // This book was provided by IVP Books, an imprint of InterVarsity Press, in exchange for my review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lori Neff

    Excellent resource for those who want to take a next step with the Enneagram. Alice gives one of the best explanations of the false self/true self that I've ever read. Great book for spiritual directors, those who have dabbled in the Enneagram, and those who want to learn more about the intersection of spiritual growth and self-awareness.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Kidwell

    Mirror for the Soul A Christian Guide to the Enneagram by Alice Fryling InterVarsity Press IVP Books Christian , Religion & Spirituality Pub Date 14 Aug 2017 I am reviewing a copy of the Mirror for the Soul through Intervarsity Press and Netgalley: Alice Fryling has written a book that serves as a guide of the Ennegram for Christians. The Enneagram is an ancient tool that helps us puzzle out who we are. The Enneagram is a set of numbers, lines and arrows that serve to help undestand who you are. The Ch Mirror for the Soul A Christian Guide to the Enneagram by Alice Fryling InterVarsity Press IVP Books Christian , Religion & Spirituality Pub Date 14 Aug 2017 I am reviewing a copy of the Mirror for the Soul through Intervarsity Press and Netgalley: Alice Fryling has written a book that serves as a guide of the Ennegram for Christians. The Enneagram is an ancient tool that helps us puzzle out who we are. The Enneagram is a set of numbers, lines and arrows that serve to help undestand who you are. The Christian Roots of the Enneagram are believed to go back to the desert Mother and Father's of the fourth century. They then break down this into nine perspectives on life. The people in the one space are gifted with goodness, they do things very well. The people in the twos are gifted in love. The people in the three space are gifted to be effective, the people in the four space reflect the creativity of God, those in the five places are gifted in the window, the people in the six space are faithful, those in the seventh are gifted with joy, those in the eight space are often leaders, and in the ninth space the gift is peace. Honestly before reading this book I knew nothing of the Enneagram let alone its context to Christianity and honestly something does not feel right about using mere numbers to describes one self and certainly one's faith, but Alice Fryling's book was well written, her arguments and facts clear and concise. I do like the fact that Alice Fryling addresses letting go of your false self and becoming more self aware. Although I do not agree with using numbers to describe your faith, I feel that Alice Fryling has written a book that does make it easier to understand, so I give this book five out of five stars. Happy Reading!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Holly Buxton

    I’ve read many books on the Enneagram. I originally started reading books just to have a general knowledge of a personality typing system that had taken the Christian world by storm. This book is one of the most helpful ones I’ve read for someone who is looking for a general understanding of the Enneagram while also giving an easy to follow overview of some of the more complex parts of the Enneagram system (wings, arrows, etc). Though none of the information in this book was new to me, I did find I’ve read many books on the Enneagram. I originally started reading books just to have a general knowledge of a personality typing system that had taken the Christian world by storm. This book is one of the most helpful ones I’ve read for someone who is looking for a general understanding of the Enneagram while also giving an easy to follow overview of some of the more complex parts of the Enneagram system (wings, arrows, etc). Though none of the information in this book was new to me, I did find the author’s style, clarity, presentation one of my favorites on the subject.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Varina Denman

    This book, and the enneagram concept, will probably prove to be a life changer for me. It already feels that way.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Stefanie Kellum

    I've only recently started studying the Enneagram, and it was interested to see it viewed from a Christian perspective. All the type One sections definitely hit home. :) *I read a digital ARC of this title from the publisher via NetGalley.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Tamara Murphy

    I’d already read several of the books at the top of the Enneagram suggested reading list and while this accessible work from Alice Fryling probably wouldn’t be my first recommendation for an introduction to the Enneagram, it definitely would be what I recommend for those wanting a theologically and biblically-oriented viewpoint. Of the Enneagram books I’ve read written for the Christian reader, this might be my favorite because it provides a bit more substance and integrates some of the common l I’d already read several of the books at the top of the Enneagram suggested reading list and while this accessible work from Alice Fryling probably wouldn’t be my first recommendation for an introduction to the Enneagram, it definitely would be what I recommend for those wanting a theologically and biblically-oriented viewpoint. Of the Enneagram books I’ve read written for the Christian reader, this might be my favorite because it provides a bit more substance and integrates some of the common language of Christianity with specific application points with the Enneagram. I also appreciated the author’s value for honoring the mystery inherent to each of us as made in the image of a mysterious and always-revealing God even as we try to know ourselves in a deeper, God-honoring way. For example: “So how do we learn our number? This is another great puzzle. There are many online tests and in-book inventories, but often they give suspicious results. This is because it is so very difficult to uncover our blind spots. We respond to inventories with what we know about ourselves, which is often an incomplete picture. The Enneagram describes motivation rather than behavior, and most tests ask about behavior, or our answers reflect our behavior.” And “I have found that the Enneagram respects the observation that the soul is shy, like a wild animal. Parker Palmer says that ‘if we want to see a wild animal, the last thing we should do is to go crashing through the woods, shouting for it to come out.’ Instead, we need to ‘walk quietly into the woods and sit silently’ until ‘out of the corner of an eye we will catch a glimpse of the precious wildness we seek.’ Palmer is not writing about the Enneagram, but this is a good reminder that we dare not crash through the woods of the Enneagram yelling for our soul to come out. The Enneagram is much more likely to give us ‘glimpses’ into our souls. The process may be painful, but it is gentle.”

  11. 5 out of 5

    SeriouslyJerome

    The enneagram can be an innocuous personality labeling system, not disimular to the Meyers Briggs personality types in it’s function for understanding people & their behavior. But I take issue with the “hidden knowledge” aspect, & the need for Christians to incorporate the enneagram into their greater understanding of God. The following quote is problematic, & implies an insufficiency of the Bible as a complete authority over life & godliness. Alice Fryling writes, “In modern times this oral tra The enneagram can be an innocuous personality labeling system, not disimular to the Meyers Briggs personality types in it’s function for understanding people & their behavior. But I take issue with the “hidden knowledge” aspect, & the need for Christians to incorporate the enneagram into their greater understanding of God. The following quote is problematic, & implies an insufficiency of the Bible as a complete authority over life & godliness. Alice Fryling writes, “In modern times this oral tradition has been passed down largely through the Catholic Church, but until the second half of the twentieth century the Enneagram was considered “secret knowledge.” Laypeople, it was thought, could not handle this information with care & wisdom. When Richard Rohr, a Franciscan teacher of the Enneagram, learned of the Enneagram from his spiritual director in the 1970’s, he was told not to pass it on in writing or to let anyone know where he got it. But, says Rohr, discovering the Enneagram was one of the ‘three great overwhelming spiritual experiences of my life. I could literally feel how something like scales fell from my eyes, & it became clear to me in a flash what I had previously been up to: I had always done the right thing... but for false motives.’ Breaking the silence, Rohr became a major influence in bringing the Enneagram to laypeople within the Catholic Church &, more recently, to Protestants. It took centuries, then, for the Enneagram to become accessible to someone like me.” ... So. Many. Red. Flags. It begs the question if the Enneagram should be pursued at all. Give me a non-spiritual enneagram book to review. Is that even a thing?

  12. 4 out of 5

    Andy

    I have read all kinds of writings about the enneagram since being first introduced to it as a concept in 2008. I know some people are cynical about it or question even that Christians should engage with it. I get there can be reservations especially with how the enneagram is used by some. Also, of course like any model, it has its limitations and it is not God(!!!), I have found it though to be very helpful for better understanding of myself and others, how people interact and for reflecting dee I have read all kinds of writings about the enneagram since being first introduced to it as a concept in 2008. I know some people are cynical about it or question even that Christians should engage with it. I get there can be reservations especially with how the enneagram is used by some. Also, of course like any model, it has its limitations and it is not God(!!!), I have found it though to be very helpful for better understanding of myself and others, how people interact and for reflecting deeper about God and us as people. 'Mirror for the Soul' was a refreshing, helpful and challenging read over the past few days. It is written from a clearly Christian world point of view, making reference to the Bible. So if someone is not a Christian, it might be a struggle reading it of course. Partly, I was engaging with it for me personally, partly for our church context (we have been talking and exploring about this topic at leadership level), Alice Fryling's book was timely to read. It deepened my understanding, gave fresh insights and gave provocative light bulb moments for my life and who I am and how I can respond to this in my walking out seeking to follow Christ. There are lots of helpful examples from real life to stop it all sounding theoretical and very useful reflection question sections to help readers 'earth' it into their lives. Having read the book through and also made some notes, now I need to reflect more in follow up. Plus I want to go back into the book and take time over coming days to respond more to the discussion questions and Bible meditations.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Sherman

    There are many Enneagram books coming out these days from a variety of perspectives. I’ve read some with a focus on leadership in business, I’ve read some that look at it from the perspective of a psychological/personal development tool, but where I think the Enneagram really shines is in spiritual development and growth. I appreciate that this book comes to the Enneagram with strong Biblical foundations and understanding. Scripture permeates the book. This is one of the first recent Enneagram bo There are many Enneagram books coming out these days from a variety of perspectives. I’ve read some with a focus on leadership in business, I’ve read some that look at it from the perspective of a psychological/personal development tool, but where I think the Enneagram really shines is in spiritual development and growth. I appreciate that this book comes to the Enneagram with strong Biblical foundations and understanding. Scripture permeates the book. This is one of the first recent Enneagram books to do this so well. The reason this books doesn’t receive higher than 3-stars from me is because I feel like there are some gaps in the author’s understanding of the Enneagram. I’ve read many author’s thoughts on this tool and they typically all correspond pretty well with each other. Each author will generally have their own opinion on certain features, but those are typically elaborations on an existing idea, not deviations. There are some obvious deviations in some of her understands of the types, which to me is a problem in a book about the Enneagram. Overall, the basic type descriptions are fine. The tie in with Biblical spirituality is great. I recommend this book with a small amount of reservation based on some weakness in the deeper elaborations of this tool. This is a good introduction to the Enneagram tied into a Biblically Christian view of spiritual growth and development.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Beth Diaz

    I appreciate how the author structured the book by starting with a birds eye view of the enneagram and slowly zooming in on each type. As a fan of history, I also enjoyed the brief background on the enneagram. Though it was just a taste, it successfully spiked my interest in learning more about the historical aspect of it. Although this book calls itself a "christian guide" I found that I often didnt agree with her hermeneutics. I did, however, find the explanation of the "false self" and chapte I appreciate how the author structured the book by starting with a birds eye view of the enneagram and slowly zooming in on each type. As a fan of history, I also enjoyed the brief background on the enneagram. Though it was just a taste, it successfully spiked my interest in learning more about the historical aspect of it. Although this book calls itself a "christian guide" I found that I often didnt agree with her hermeneutics. I did, however, find the explanation of the "false self" and chapter on the triads to be very, very insightful. The author added some questions for personal meditation where one is to set themselves into Biblical events and analyze how one may have reacted. I felt it to be practically impossible to do from an honest, unbiased perspective. If I already know how something will play out, and already know what the right thing to do is, the temptation to imagine myself in exemplary behavior is high. There was no way for me to answer those questions honestly. She did however include more reflection questions that I did find helpful and beneficial for self analysis and knowledge.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Adam Shields

    Short Review: I think this was the better of the two books I have read so far on the Enneagram. I am still a bit skeptical of it as a system, but I am a bit skeptical about all personality system. I do see some real value in spiritual direction and spiritual growth. And I think the focus on personality traits as something that both has value to the person and is part of the inherent weakness of the person is helpful. Our greatest strengths are often our greatest weaknesses and show us our need f Short Review: I think this was the better of the two books I have read so far on the Enneagram. I am still a bit skeptical of it as a system, but I am a bit skeptical about all personality system. I do see some real value in spiritual direction and spiritual growth. And I think the focus on personality traits as something that both has value to the person and is part of the inherent weakness of the person is helpful. Our greatest strengths are often our greatest weaknesses and show us our need for others to help balance and show our need for others. I think I know enough now to understand how the system works, but it will be a while before I am really conversant outside of my own type. I do think this is probably a book that is better in print than in audio, but the audio was fine. It is just that this type of content is given toward lists and charts and being able to flip back and forth would be helpful. My full review is on my blog at http://bookwi.se/mirror-for-the-soul/

  16. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Green

    Mirror for the Soul is a fair introduction to the Enneagram from a Christian perspective. It covers the basics and walks you into the details gradually so that it's not overwhelming. It even provides a few insights I hadn't seen before. At times, I felt like Fryling was a little too effusive about the value of the Enneagram, perhaps over-promising in some cases. It sometimes felt like she was presenting it as a cure-all. Also, her description of the diagram and concepts' history was really very Mirror for the Soul is a fair introduction to the Enneagram from a Christian perspective. It covers the basics and walks you into the details gradually so that it's not overwhelming. It even provides a few insights I hadn't seen before. At times, I felt like Fryling was a little too effusive about the value of the Enneagram, perhaps over-promising in some cases. It sometimes felt like she was presenting it as a cure-all. Also, her description of the diagram and concepts' history was really very anemic and kind of white-washes some things, which also felt like an issue. As an introduction, it's an okay book. It doesn't go deep or provide a lot of information, but it's a starting place, and the Christian perspective is a plus. Folks already familiar with the Enneagram, however, could skip it and not miss much.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    I won't rate this book because I only read just over half of it. I feel that the Enneagram is somewhat of a fad and won't be as popular in a few years. I started reading this book because our church staff is going to have a retreat on this topic, and I wanted to have some perspective. I find that this book, and other things I have read about the Enneagram are not compelling, and I don't want to give the time to reading more about it when there are so very many more interesting books to read! I d I won't rate this book because I only read just over half of it. I feel that the Enneagram is somewhat of a fad and won't be as popular in a few years. I started reading this book because our church staff is going to have a retreat on this topic, and I wanted to have some perspective. I find that this book, and other things I have read about the Enneagram are not compelling, and I don't want to give the time to reading more about it when there are so very many more interesting books to read! I did find that this book made the Enneagram feel more like a discipleship tool, which is a good thing. As for personal assessments, the ones I have found most helpful over the years are Myers-Briggs and Strengthsfinders. So, it's not that I don't like this kind of thing, it's more that I find this a bit too "squishy" or indistinct, rather than descriptive and helpful.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Hope Eifert

    This might be the BEST book on the Enneagram I have ever read! This book focuses on spiritual transformation, and is really about the process of uncovering our temptations and moving close to God through repentance, silence, and surrender THROUGH the awareness from the Enneagram; NOT about the Enneagram itself. Each chapter closes with wonderful reflective questions that focus on the process of discovery, rather than arriving at an answer--she really emphasizes the reflective process over needin This might be the BEST book on the Enneagram I have ever read! This book focuses on spiritual transformation, and is really about the process of uncovering our temptations and moving close to God through repentance, silence, and surrender THROUGH the awareness from the Enneagram; NOT about the Enneagram itself. Each chapter closes with wonderful reflective questions that focus on the process of discovery, rather than arriving at an answer--she really emphasizes the reflective process over needing to settle on your type, and her view of the Enneagram is a lot more fluid than many other writers. She also closes each chapter with a passage of Scripture, and questions for meditation on it. Just beautiful.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Denise

    I wasn’t able to dive in as deeply as I wanted because I had a library copy, but this was a wonderful Christian Enneagram perspective. Rather than starting out by letting you type yourself, Alice Frylings leads the reader through the history of the Enneagram and thoughtful descriptions of each type. Along the way, she frequently references how the Enneagram corresponds with Scripture and Christianity. There are even small Bible studies included at the end of each chapter to learn more. I absolut I wasn’t able to dive in as deeply as I wanted because I had a library copy, but this was a wonderful Christian Enneagram perspective. Rather than starting out by letting you type yourself, Alice Frylings leads the reader through the history of the Enneagram and thoughtful descriptions of each type. Along the way, she frequently references how the Enneagram corresponds with Scripture and Christianity. There are even small Bible studies included at the end of each chapter to learn more. I absolutely loved Alice’s language for the Enneagram and her acknowledgement of how many spaces other than our “home” we can slide into and act like both positively and negatively. At some point, I plan to add this to my personal library and spend more time soaking it up.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

    A very solid introduction to the Enneagram. I am rating it a tad low because I found it less helpful then more thorough books I've read (e.g. The Wisdom of the Enneagram), but perhaps it should get a star for brevity (in comparison). 4 stars also for the chapter on the Enneagram and Transformation (Chapter 11), very practical and helpful spiritual disciplines to pair with Enneagram understanding. Recommended for someone looking to get a quick introduction to the Enneagram (chs 1-7) or looking fo A very solid introduction to the Enneagram. I am rating it a tad low because I found it less helpful then more thorough books I've read (e.g. The Wisdom of the Enneagram), but perhaps it should get a star for brevity (in comparison). 4 stars also for the chapter on the Enneagram and Transformation (Chapter 11), very practical and helpful spiritual disciplines to pair with Enneagram understanding. Recommended for someone looking to get a quick introduction to the Enneagram (chs 1-7) or looking for some ideas to use the Enneagram for spiritual formation/direction (chs 7-12)

  21. 5 out of 5

    Tara

    This book was so practical and relatable for me. Alice Frying did an excellent job of giving a high level overview of the Enneagram and then taking us deeper into each number, wing and arrow. After each chapter, she provides questions for reflection to go deeper still and then there is a personal meditation which invites you deeper into self-awareness. If you’re new to the Enneagram, this is a great book to start with or if you’re not new but confused (like I was) by all you’ve learned this is a This book was so practical and relatable for me. Alice Frying did an excellent job of giving a high level overview of the Enneagram and then taking us deeper into each number, wing and arrow. After each chapter, she provides questions for reflection to go deeper still and then there is a personal meditation which invites you deeper into self-awareness. If you’re new to the Enneagram, this is a great book to start with or if you’re not new but confused (like I was) by all you’ve learned this is an excellent book to clear up the confusion and learn so much. The author has a very easy to read writing style and is vulnerable as she describes her own journey of self-discovery. I envision using this book as a reference for years to come.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Elisa Watson

    The enneagram. Do you love it? Hate it? Are you sick of it? Still trying to figure out how to pronounce it? The enneagram is a mixed bag for me, and there’s a bigger conversation to be had about it (a conversation I’d be happy to have), but for the sake of brevity, I just want to say here that if you’re going to read a book about the enneagram, read this one. This one IS faith-based, and the general position the author takes is this: We are all created in God’s image, and there are things in eac The enneagram. Do you love it? Hate it? Are you sick of it? Still trying to figure out how to pronounce it? The enneagram is a mixed bag for me, and there’s a bigger conversation to be had about it (a conversation I’d be happy to have), but for the sake of brevity, I just want to say here that if you’re going to read a book about the enneagram, read this one. This one IS faith-based, and the general position the author takes is this: We are all created in God’s image, and there are things in each of us that particularly reflect that image, but there are also ways that sin has distorted that image. Enneagram aside, that’s just a good way to look at life as a Christian, and in Fryling’s book, the enneagram is simply a tool to help us do that.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Chad Grissom

    This is the only enneagram book I will read. I have reservations about the enneagram in general but this book presents the best sides of it. My reservations have to do with our modern mania to "find ourselves" and I worry that this tool can feed that. On the positive side, the enneagram is rooted in Evagrius' eight logismoi and the Western tradition of the seven deadly sins. So, whereas the Meyers-Briggs does not have any place for the role of sin in our lives, the enneagram recognizes what sin This is the only enneagram book I will read. I have reservations about the enneagram in general but this book presents the best sides of it. My reservations have to do with our modern mania to "find ourselves" and I worry that this tool can feed that. On the positive side, the enneagram is rooted in Evagrius' eight logismoi and the Western tradition of the seven deadly sins. So, whereas the Meyers-Briggs does not have any place for the role of sin in our lives, the enneagram recognizes what sin does to distort our personalities. So, while I would no entirely endorse the enneagram without relational and ecclesial wisdom, this is probably the best book out there.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    This was my introduction to the enneagram. I appreciated and resonated with Alice's descriptions of the false and true self, and her movement from triads to spaces. the bird's-eye view given by walking through triads first was very helpful in giving perspective for the spaces, and narrowing down where my space might be. I appreciated the focus on both positives and negatives of each space, and the grace offered each space, given its particular pitfalls.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Terri

    Alice Fryling's book on the enneagram was helpful in that it started with a general understanding of each triad, then moved to the specific traits. I think the enneagram is one of the most helpful tools in our journey to become more like Christ. It can reveal our broken areas and our propensity to live there with a layer of protective comfort. What Aslan did for the dragonish Eustace in "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader," the enneagram can do for each of us.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Rachelle Sperling

    If you are looking for a distinctly Christian guide to the Enneagram system of personality types, this is the best one I've read so far. (If you are looking for a simple introduction to the types written from a Christian perspective, but not focusing on Christianity in it then I'd recommend Road Back to You by Ian Cron instead.)

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Of the enneagram books I've read so far I've liked this one the best. It seemed like it gave more actionable information. Some of the other books have talked about how once you figure out your # you use that information to grow upon but this was the first time I felt I was given some options for doing that.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Bo Kyle

    So far, this is the best Chrisitan book I've read to summarize the Enneagram. Her use of Scripture is by far the best I've experienced. She also includes discussion questions for every chapter. I highly recommend this book for those wanting to understand more about who you are through the lens of the Enneagram.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    I am new to the Enneagram and thought this book was a decent introduction. I thought the information was well organized and the book was well written. Some of the examples used were hard for me to relate to and I found that for me personally the last few chapters were frustrating.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Such a helpful guide to the enneagram from a Christian perspective! I loved that this book was succinct and had a lot of biblical application. Definitely recommend if you are interested in the enneagram!

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