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Mirror for the Soul: A Christian Guide to the Enneagram

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  336 ratings  ·  56 reviews
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 spirit ...more
Paperback, 185 pages
Published July 14th 2017 by IVP Books
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Aug 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Emily Helquist
Aug 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
“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
Dec 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
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
Michele Morin
Nov 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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
Lori Neff
Jun 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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.
Michelle Kidwell
Aug 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing

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
Holly Buxton
Sep 01, 2019 rated it liked it
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
Varina Denman
Jan 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book, and the enneagram concept, will probably prove to be a life changer for me. It already feels that way.
Tamara Murphy
Sep 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Stefanie Kellum
Jul 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: christianity
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.
Mar 27, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2019, new-age
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
Feb 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Matthew Sherman
Jan 10, 2019 rated it liked it
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
Jan 11, 2022 rated it liked it
Shelves: christian, enneagram
As a Christian who has been studying the Enneagram for a number of years, I am always looking for books I can recommend to fellow Christians who wish to learn more about this work. In Mirror for the Soul, I found a book that has a lot to recommend for a group of people learning to use the Enneagram as a tool to grow their faith, provided that they enter into the study with a solid knowledge of the Enneagram from other sources. The author does not provide enough detail about the Enneagram to buil ...more
Adam Shields
May 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Matthew Green
Apr 06, 2018 rated it liked it
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
Jan 06, 2020 marked it as did-not-finish
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
Hope Eifert
Mar 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
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
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
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
Dec 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Elisa Watson
Jan 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
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 ...more
Chad Grissom
Mar 22, 2020 rated it liked it
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
Nov 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Mar 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: spiritual-life
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. ...more
Elizabeth Forshee
Oct 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
I appreciate Fryling's balanced view on the use and purpose of the Enneagram. She keeps it honest and I like that. If you are new to the Enneagram, I would recommend this book as a good starting point that doesn't wrap it up as a personality test celebrating discovering what 'number' you are. Enneagram is not meant to be a self-glorifying tool, but a tool of self-awareness, humility in order to be whole and wholly known by God, self and others. ...more
Rachelle Sperling
May 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
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.)
Oct 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
Bo Kyle
Oct 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Jodie Pine
Nov 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very insightful. "The Enneagram can be taught from many religious and secular perspectives. But as I bring my own Christian values to Enneagram teaching, I believe that because of the Enneagram, I understand Scripture better, I understand those I love better, and I understand myself better. This is a journey God has invited me to continue." ...more
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Alice Frying is a spiritual director and the author of nine books, including Seeking God Together: An Introduction to Group Spiritual Direction. She has been giving Enneagram workshops for fifteen years, teaching participants how to use the Enneagram to know God and themselves more deeply. She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren.

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