"We were not designed to react to everything the enemy does in the mountains of society, as is often our pattern, but to be proactive and force the enemy to react to us." - Johnny Enlow, The Seven Mountain Mantle
Well, I have. But after reading this book, I am encouraged and not discouraged, not only about the future, but about how God works and how He is moving among the nations.
Johnny Enlow is a prophet, teacher, and co-pastor in Atlanta, Georgia. This book is actually a follow-up to a previous book of his, The Seven Mountain Prophecy. I have not read that book, but I have seen/heard his multi-hour teaching on the Seven Mountains of Culture. I have also seen/heard a similar teaching from Lance Wallnau. Both these men have had a vision of how God takes nations, and both have a radical, life-changing approach to changing the world.
Here's the premise:
There are seven mountains of culture that you can find in just about any culture of the world: government, religion, family, celebration (arts/entertainment), education, media, and economy. As Christians, we are often consumed with the idea of "getting people saved" - that is, get 'em to pray the prayer, walk 'em through the Roman Road, and move on to the next person. But Christ told us to take nations. He told us to go disciple the nations, to capture the nations. In a nutshell, we are supposed to be leading culture with kingdom values, not just adding numbers to our list of "converts." When biblical, kingdom values and methods of operation are applied to the mountains of culture, nations are changed, and lives are radically consumed with the power of God. This does not necessarily refer to the direct, in-your-face, often ineffective stands of modern Christianity - rather, it relies the understanding of God's kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. This is how we see the world changed.
That barely scrapes the surface of the teaching, but it gives a good idea of where Enlow is coming from in this book, The Seven Mountain Mantle. The book is a combination of teaching and prophecy. Enlow takes the story of Joseph from the Book of Genesis and uses it as a prophetic picture of the work God is doing in the world today - of the power and places of influence He is ready to give to those who are willing to be "Josephs" and take the world in God's power. The first half of the book unpacks the Joseph teaching; the second half is where Enlow sees God taking us in the future.
This book was incredibly encouraging to me. Over and over again, he would say something and I would think "A-ha! THAT'S why that never felt right! THAT'S why that was never effective!" He paints a beautiful picture of a world where God's people lead the culture instead of the other way around. My favorite chapter is the one on government; it's something I think every believer should read. If we could get our heads wrapped around the concepts Enlow speaks of here - of seeking righteous people for office instead of those who have the right "Christian credentials," of letting go of empty fights with no purpose, of focusing on changing hearts instead of laws - we would see radical changes in this country like never before. That kind of encouraging perspective is what I found over and over again in the book.
That being said, there were a few things he said that I questioned. His view of the end-times and mine differ slightly. Not so much in his eschatology - like me, he finds no biblical basis for the idea of "the Rapture comes and we're all out of here, so who cares?" - but he does speak of a fantastic, beautiful future, while I believe it is important to acknowledge that we also have some terrible times coming. It's not all going to be kingdom values and glory...there will be much weeping and chaos as well. Somewhere we have to find this balance as we study the Scriptures and discuss the days to come. It will be both the great and the terrible day of the Lord.
In the meantime, however, we do need to move forward and quit acting like we can have no influence on our culture. We were meant to lead and disciple, not cower and try to make "Christian" versions of everything. We have God on our side. We have the power to change the world.
It's time we started acting like it.
If anyone would like more information on the Seven Mountain teaching from either Enlow or Wallnau, please comment below, I would be more than happy to get you more information. It is a teaching that has changed my life and the way I approach Christianity, and I believe it to be one of the most important revelations of our time.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
What's up next: The Royal Stuarts: A History of the Family that Shaped Britain by Allan Massie
Top Five TBR:
1. Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst
2. The Anne Boleyn Collection: The Real Truth About the Tudors by Claire Ridgway
3. Israel: A History by Martin Gilbert
4. The Story of Britain by Rebecca Fraser
5. Great Tales from British History, Volume 3 by Robert Lacey
P.S. Watch for my review of Erasing Hell by Francis Chan, coming soon!