Cover Image: Beyond the Enneagram

Beyond the Enneagram

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Member Reviews

The author has written other works to introduce the Enneagram and many of its core concepts (to which she refers liberally in this work), yet believes the Enneagram is not sufficient in and of itself.

The author situates the Enneagram in a greater whole she describes as “The Drawing.” In “The Drawing,” the Enneagram is imagined as reflecting the “adapted self,” our personality type and behaviors rooted in our fears and how we have compensated for them. She encourages movement from this “adapted self” toward the “authentic self,” in which a person gets beyond the negative voices and accusations and values and recognizes one’s inherent worth and standing. The “authentic self” is able to be well connected into the life and love of the Triune God.

She speaks of this transformation process in terms of a set of stages and a movement from “what I am” to “who I am,” from reactive to responsive, from bondage to freedom, from wounded to whole, from shakable to unshakable, from burdened to rested, and from glory to glory.

A lot of the substance here generally aligns with other frameworks in understanding the process of being made holy, sanctification, or entering more fully into the life of God; to that end it is mostly unobjectionable. I would be interested in knowing how well other students and specialists in Enneagram studies have received this proposal and its understanding of the Enneagram in the grand scheme of things.

How much and thoroughly can one move beyond one’s tendencies manifest in the Enneagram. It is healthy to grow and mature beyond one’s anxieties and fears, but at the same time, a lot of our growth in Christ comes from experiences which have caused us grief and distress. Are our positions in the Enneagram something from which we need to move, or are they our tendencies of which we must be aware and can be redeemed?

It will be interesting to see how the field continues to advance and explore such things.
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I received an arc of this title from NetGalley for an honest review. This book was an excellent enneagram book, but I did not learn anything new from other enneagram books I have read.
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I wasn't quite sure what to expect from "Beyond the Enneagram" but had enjoyed Marilyn Vancil's writing on the Enneagram elsewhere, and wanted to read this one. I think I was surprised to not have more Enneagram specific teaching within the book, but it felt like that was merely the springboard to talking about transformation and growth. If you're looking for an Enneagram specific book, I wouldn't say this is the best one to pick up. But if you're looking to have a spiritual director act as a gentle guide, and invite you into deeper growth, I think Marilyn Vancil has written a wonderful book.
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The writing of this book was a little bit too dense for me. I had a hard time following it and digesting the material.
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If you're looking for a book to help you live out the Enneagram, this isn't the one. But if you are looking for a general Christian living book, this one is fine. 

Vancil shares many encouraging things in this book, but I admit I was disappointed that she didn't focus much on the Enneagram or the individual types. Granted, the title does say "Beyond" the Enneagram, but since "Enneagram" is also in the title, I expected more about it nonetheless. She puts a lot of emphasis on The Drawing but it doesn't appear until you're about 1/3 into the book, and then rarely mentioned again until the end.

The book does have good content, but just not enough about the Enneagram itself for me. 

Favorite quotes:

"I believe all people are related to God and have a Spiritual Center. All people are being drawn by God toward the center, whether they realize it or not."

"The more our lives are centered with God, the more we will experience and express all the divine attributes and the “wow” qualities of all the types."

My thanks to NetGalley for the review copy of this book.
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In a world where enneagram memes populate social media and far too many folks use the enneagram to stereotype themselves and others this book is welcome reprieve. It focus on Beyond the Enneagram and how the enneagram can be a tool along the path. Some will take issue with the authors' premise but others will appreciate it. 
This is not your traditional enneagram book with reviews of the 9 types and therefore will be better received by those who are more familiar with their type and the enneagram and are looking for a change of pace.
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I love the enneagram, but this book was not for me.  I found this to be a basic self help book, and I kept searching for the parts of me that I would normally find in an enneagram book.  The Drawing was quite complicated and without any type divisions, also overwhelming.

Thank you to NetGalley and Convergent Books for the ARC of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
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While this a good book about the enneagram and the intricacies that make up what it is, I was looking for more specific tools, info, strategies, and more attributes that make up my number and the number of loved ones. I did have some great takeaways, but I prefer enneagram books where they break it down by number. The book does an overall great job of helping you realize your full potential and giving you ways to have a more full and well rounded life.
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Although this book has bible quotes, it is contradictive in Christianity.  Trying to combine a numerology system, such as the Enneagram with Christianity and the Bible is like trying to mix witchcraft with the Bible.  It cannot be done.  Why can't it be done?  Because God does not approve of numerology.   

According to Oxford dictioary, an Enneagram is defined as, "a nine-sided figure used in a particular system of analysis to represent the spectrum of possible personality types."

 "There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee."  Deuteronomy 18:10-12

God created us in His image and we all have the power to choose right or wrong, good or evil.  These choices have nothing to do with a number system or our "personality types", but the free will of humanity.  This book is enabling the minds of the readers to blame some unresearched number system on choices they make in life because they are categorized as a certain number.  

To each their own, but I don't think any person who wants eternal life for their soul should rely on a number system, but instead they should be relying on prayer and faith in God.  Writing a book on the Enneagram is one thing, bringing in God and changing bible quotes is another.  Vancil actually went as far as to put a "twist" on a bible quote to replace the word "scriptures" with the word "Enneagram"  The original quote from this book reads, "You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life." John 5:39-40.   She CHANGED THE BIBLE QUOTE FOR HER OWN USE by stating, " "You study the Enneagram" diligently because you think it will bring you life, but you don't come to Me to find the life you are looking for"     She used the NIV, also--which is not a clear translation, when compared to the ESV, KJV, or Geneva Bibles (which are worded a bit differently but say the same thing overall). 

Any author that changes the words of the bible is not a Christian, and they should not be using God's words to make their own opinions seem valid.  
     “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:” Revelation 22:18

Freedom of speech is a wonderful thing in America.  We all have the right to write anything we wish, and we all have free will to choose to read it or not.  Let's be honest enough about our topic to not try to combine God with numerology, though.  Write what you want, but is it really worth your soul?  This book is using God to spread non-Godly beliefs.  I'm just glad I am not easily influenced.  Many people believe whatever they read.  This book is not the truth of God's word, nor should it be classified as "Christian".  I do not recommend this book for any true Christian.
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A good strategy for improve knowledge and intimacy relationship with God using known tools about personalities and a deep look into the human being structure and behavior.  A lot of learnings can be extracted from here. Well Done!
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This is a well-written book that dives into the Enneagram. Unlike most books that break it down, it brings a faith-based look! I thought this was a great read and I loved all the infographics  throughout.
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Excellent read, really enjoyable and in-depth. Would recommend to any christian with interest in the enneagram- especially those already familiar who would like a deeper understanding!
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