Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Seven Mountain Renaissance by Johnny Enlow

Enlow has had a number of visions and words from the Lord as to how Christians are to manifest the kingdom of God in the seven primary spheres of society. He related that information in his earlier books, The Seven Mountain Prophecy and The Seven Mountain Mantle. Now he writes what he expects to take place in the next thirty five years.

He expects the coming years to be an Era of Renaissance. As the first Renaissance showcased man's achievements, this one will display God before the watching world. There will be such a great increase in the knowledge of God and His ways that life on earth will be changed forever. (25)

Christians are usually presented with two options when it comes to society: 1) fight to go back to our godly roots, or 2) hunker down. Enlow presents another way: bringing God's solution to our broken lives and broken society. He sees Christians demonstrating God's goodness and advancing His kingdom. He sees Christians interacting with people, helping them realize how much God cares for their hearts.

He sees this leading to personal and cultural transformation in the seven primary spheres of society: religion, education, family government, economy, media, and celebration/arts. I'll highlight a few of his expectations.

Religion: Enlow sees a clear trend away from John Calvin and toward George Fox. There needs to be a recognition that the Spirit is greater than the Word (Bible). (68) There will be an increasing knowledge of God as churches find more ways to reveal who He is, how He works, and to display His love to society. (More on this religion aspect below.)

Government: “The best is yet to come in American government. By 2020, we will have a real stronghold of righteousness in play that will progressively and positively affect government in this nation – and the world as a whole. By the year 2030, we will be manifesting the highest level of governance ever known.” (217)

Economy: “Over the next twenty years, there will be an explosion of kingdom multimillionaires all over the globe.” (221) Enlow gives a five step “miracle-grow” formula for financial provision.

Celebration/Arts: Hollywood is going to become “Holywood.” “This isn't simply over-the-top, wishful thinking but a future reality.” (260)

Enlows comments about the future of education are a little troubling. He writes, “...[W]e were designed by birth and wiring to be right brain dominant. The left brain was designed to be complementary and to assist the right brain.” (104) There is no footnote to support this statement and an Internet search I did provided no supporting evidence. Right handed people are left brain dominant and that seems to be somewhere between 84 to 95 percent of humans. Since this right brain issue is foundational to his expectations in education, I am leery about his proposed future.

I was disappointed with his writing about religion. He makes inflammatory statements an unsubstantiated claims about John Calvin. For example, “Calvin was responsible for executing at least a hundred people...” (43) That is just not true. The two footnotes listed mention the one man executed, Servetus, and mention no others. Again, “...[Calvin] personally oversaw the execution by drowning of Anabaptist ministers, as well as the execution of scores of other believers who disagreed with his views.” (56) That is just not true. Enlow provides no footnote this time. I did some research and found that, “Servetus was the only person put to death for religious opinions during Calvin’s time in Geneva, even though executions for heresy were common elsewhere.” (You can find the source here.)

The sad part about his writing on Calvin is that it violates Enlow's own method for showing God's love. He writes, “Finger-pointing could never be considered a correct portrayal of how Jesus would respond to people if He were walking the earth today.” (185) Yet that is what he has done with Calvin.

I can tell Enlow hates Calvinistic theology. He makes some pretty harsh statements about it. He calls predestination a “horrendous” doctrine, “which turns God into a megalomaniacal monster.” (60) He describes Calvinism as “believing in a God who is not merciful, or just, or humane but who rather cold-heartedly sticks to an arbitrary plan, assigning lives of comfort to some and horrible existence to others.” (65) As a Charismatic Calvinist, that hurts. In all my reading of books critical of of Calvinism, I have never read statements so inflammatory and so full of misunderstanding.

Even though I am Charismatic, I don't like Enlow's elevation of the Spirit (prophecy today) above the written Word (Bible). I've heard many “prophets” prophesy many things that did not come true. Enlow himself says, “Many Christians have wrongly prophesied America's demise because of the removal of prayer from the public schools.” (117) There needs to be a standard by which to judge prophecies and that would be the Word. Enlow shows how important the Bible is when he says sex must necessarily be inside “His guidelines” and “God's boundaries.” (143) Those guidelines and boundaries come from the Bible, not a current prophetic word.

I have mixed feelings about this book. I like his attitude that the kingdom of God is advanced by influence and not by imposition. The problem is whether there are people of influence in each of these seven areas and whether they will do the influencing work. His unsubstantiated comments about the right brain dominance will probably alienate many educators. His inflammatory language about Calvinism will probably alienate many Christian intellectual, as it did me. As with any prophetic book, time will tell.

My rating: 3/5 stars.

Johnny Enlow is an author, a speaker, a reformer, and a mentor. He is Senior Apostolic Leader at Harvest International Ministries (H.I.M.), a large network of over 20,000 churches in fifty–plus nations. He was born and raised in Peru, South America, where his parents were missionaries for five decades. Along with his wife, Elizabeth, he founded Daystar International Christian Fellowship in Atlanta, Georgia, where he served as senior pastor for over fourteen years. Johnny and Elizabeth have been married for twenty–six years and have four daughters and one son–in–law. The Enlows make their home in California.

Whitaker House, 288 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through The Book Club Network for the purpose of an independent and honest review.

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