Various Thoughts — and a Request — from an Enneagram 8

 

I failed to respond to last week’s Question That Haunts. It didn’t capture my attention. I don’t have anything interesting to say about baptismal regeneration. I’m sorry to Pastor Gary, who submitted the question. I let you down, Gary. All I’ve got is this comment from Mark Kirschieper:

The topic doesn’t much move me much, either. The English word regeneration, is used only twice, in the NT, that being Matt. 19:28, and Titus 3:5. The Greek word is “palingenesia” (feminine noun, Strong’s #3824). If the context of both passages is carefully studied, seems like they actually speak to Christ’s resurrection. At the very least, “palingenesia” is certainly a Divine accomplishment, and has nothing to do with any meritorious human act, or decision. In my humble opinion, the Roman, Eastern Orthodox, Anglo-Catholic, and perhaps Lutheran traditions, have gone very far afield, trying to incorporate the notion of baptismal regeneration, into the entire concept of original sin, and an infant’s cleansing of it, via. some water ritual. Just a personal opinion.

I had an argument with someone I care about over the weekend. It’s not the end of the world, but it sucked. I wish it hadn’t happened. I wish I would have walked away before it escalated.

I’m getting mixed messages these days. When I blog about something provocative or controversial — Marcus Borg, Rob Bell, gay marriage — traffic spikes. Publishers and Patheos like such things. But I’ve got friends who’ve asked me to tone it down. They say that the work they’re doing is suffering because of the oversplash of my blog. These are people I respect and love, and I want their work to bear much fruit.

So I have been blogging in a more straightforward fashion. And less people are reading. I could show you the graph, but the fact is that readership is down 20% from the early months of this year and the controversial posts that you all know about. That’s fine, but it does make me wonder how much I should bank my identity in blogging. For instance, relatively few people will read this post, even though it’s among my most personal.

Another friend told me that some of what I blog about is beneath me. Blog about theology, she said, not about Rob Bell’s new TV show. She’s got a point, but I also know that I am finite. I can only come up with so much to say about theology each week, and I am also writing the most challenging book of my career. That’s taking a lot of my mental energies.

So, there you have it. I’d be keen to get any advice from you, dear readers. I do love to blog, and I love that I sense some electronic kinship with you. So thanks for reading, and thanks for your feedback.

Lady Mary Is an 8 – Downton Abbey and the Enneagram

I have been hoping for a couple years that my beloved, Courtney Perry, would guest post here at Theoblogy. Her photos have appeared many times, but not her words. Well, I’m thrilled to introduce her first post:

A verbatim conversation had while Tony and I caught up on the Downton Abbey he missed (and I put on hold) while he was in Malaysia:

TJ:  “She’s such an 8.  I like her.”

CP: “No way, babe.  She’s totally an unhealthy 2 who is stressed a lot.”

Immediately my Love begged me to write a guest post on the Enneagram numbers of Downton characters.  I’ll do what I can.  I’m no Suzanne Stabile, but when it comes to the exaggerated, soapish characters of D.A., it’s not too hard to pinpoint a few personality types.  If I’m wrong, please chime in.  (If you think the Enneagram is a load of bunk, 1) I’m sorry for you, and 2) we get it and don’t need to hear it.)  This post is called simply having fun.

Isobel Crawley: Matthew’s mother, Isobel is the “I can help! I can help!” version of an unredeemed 2 that inspired the aforementioned conversation.  Tony thought her forcefulness indicated her 8-ness, and it did, but not as her core.  Twos go to 8 in stress, be it good or bad stress, and the Crawleys are usually in some state of imminent peril.
Twos need to be needed.

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Barack Obama Is an Enneagram Nine – What That Means

Barack Obama is an Enneagram Nine with a strong Eight wing.

I’ve been wondering what the Enneagram numbers are of our two candidates and what they means about our choices in the election. Although you’re not supposed to pin a number on another person, when someone is as much in the public eye as a presidential nominee, it’s pretty clear to Enneagram experts what number they are. So I asked around in the Enneagram community and found out that they’re a consensus on Mitt Romney’s and Barack Obama’s numbers. On Monday, I posted about Mitt Romney, an Enneagram Three.

Barack Obama is an Enneagram Nine, with a strong Eight wing. Other famous political Nines include Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford, and Dwight Eisenhower.

I asked Suzanne Stabile*, my personal Enneagram guru, to write up something about Nines, and here’s what she sent in:

Enneagram Nines are called “mediators.” They are men and women who intuitively try to maintain a sense of peace and balance. They avoid conflict and believe that having a single or personal agenda threatens harmony, often unnecessarily. They frequently merge with the other in order to maintain peace. They are self-effacing, tolerant, even-tempered and likeable. And their gift is their problem in that they see two sides to everything.

Nines are the primal person. They connect with everything and yet they stay disconnected from everything at the same time. These are people who are not stuck in their own way of thinking so they have the capacity for holding varied opinions and for finding value in most points of view.

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Mitt Romney Is an Enneagram Three – What That Means

I’ve been wondering what the Enneagram numbers are of our two candidates and what they means about our choices in the election. Although you’re not supposed to pin a number on another person, when someone is as much in the public eye as a presidential nominee, it’s pretty clear to Enneagram experts what number they are. So I asked around in the Enneagram community and found out that they’re a consensus on Mitt Romney’s and Barack Obama’s numbers.

Mitt Romney is a Three. Other famous Threes in politics are George Washington, Bill Clinton, and Condoleezza Rice.

So I asked Suzanne Stabile*, my personal Enneagram guru, to write up something about Threes, and here’s what she sent in:

Thanks to Tony for the invite to share some Enneagram wisdom about Threes.  It is always a gift for me to talk about this great spiritual tool and all that it has to teach us about ourselves while challenging us to see others as they are rather than as we are.  Threes are ambitious, self-confident, success oriented, image conscious and focused.  The United States is the symbolic country of the Three so we all have a bit of Three in us and in some parts of the country; in Dallas, if one is a Three it’s like being an alcoholic who lives above the bar.  Dallas is consumed with image, media, status and success.

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