I read this book with mixed emotions. Hillman starts off well by sharing about how various individuals have been talking about conquering several spheres of culture. Francis Schaeffer, Billy Graham, and many prominent names were mentioned to raise interest. There are many familiar names, powerful figures, and intriguing stories to keep the reader interested. His concern is genuine, and the message is filled with a conviction that the world can be won, and that there is a good chance for change agents to bring about the kingdom of God through conquering the seven mountains. He also acknowledges that these seven mountains are not the only mountains, sharing about Loren Cunningham who suggests a seventh (science) and eighth mountain (technology). The practical applications are easy to follow. The stages described are appealing. The examples given are indeed very captivating.
My biggest problem with the book is its weak ecclesiology (Theology of the Church). For all its wonderful convictions and knowledge of the culture, the theology of the church is sadly lacking. This runs contrary to Jesus's words to Simon Peter about God using the Church to build his kingdom (Matt 16:18). Granted that the church is a community of believers gathered in Jesus' Name, a called out people (ekklesia), the role of the church is unfortunately relegated to the last chapter, instead of 'undergirding' every attempt to conquer any mountain. Even if I were to give Hillman the benefit of the doubt, that he meant the people of God to be the church, it is not clearly emphasized. It is true that one needs passion to become a change agent to make a difference. It is also true that one needs to be convicted about conquering the mountains in society. However, it needs to be done through the church and in the Power of the Holy Spirit. Another concern is the overwhelming focus on the 'top.' What about the rest? Mind you, God can choose to use anyone, anywhere.
In summary, this book has a noble purpose. It shines in giving examples even though some of the names given are not as credible over time. It also excels in terms of engaging readers through sections of easy to read stages and illustrations. Ultimately, it disappoints because of a weak theology of the church. It is a para-church implementation of the 7-Mountain strategy that is unsettling.
Rating: 3 stars of 5.
This book is supplied to me, courtesy of Charisma Publishing House without any obligation for a positive review. The comments made are freely mine.