Monday, April 18, 2011

Leaving the Signs and Wonders Movement : A Testimonial Book Review (The Other Side of the River)

The Other Side of the River
Authored by Kevin Reeves - Reviewed by Ralph Lavallee
" "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you." Jesus of Nazareth

This book is a troubling read. It is troubling because of the indictment it brings against the modern Body of Christ, Conservative Bible teachers today are increasingly lamenting the lack of basic Biblical discernment among those who profess to love the Word of God. Kevin Reeves, in this personal, and passionate narrative, has attempted to pull back the curtain, and share with the reader some of the mystical experiences commonly taught, practiced, and encouraged by many churches which at the same time profess to follow Christ and his Word.

When one begins to read The Other side of the River, it becomes apparent quite quickly that this is not just another "I came out from among their" book. All too often a disgruntled disciple of this movement or that, within "Christendom" breaks free and feels that it is his calling to write on his experiences. The result is little mote that axe grinding--light camouflaged as an expose of the movement. Used book stores have shelves of these "Christian" books.

One is immediately struck by the grace with which Reeves writes. Although we can sense the hurt, and frustration experienced by the author, he goes out of his way to avoid questioning the motives or intentions of those in teaching and leadership positions. The book winds it's way from the entrance of the Reeves family into the "River" of these teachings, follows his rise to leadership, his gradual and growing convictions as he approached a crossroad in his relationship with Christ, and climaxes with his decision to follow the Lord and His Word. The narrative draws the reader in, as one is walked through the consequences that Reeves is then faced with.

Modern Christian mysticism is generally considered to have been birthed (at least here in North America) through the Latter Rain movement of the mid l900’s, mainly through the efforts of men like William Branham and Franklin Hall. Reeves gives us valuable documentation as a backdrop to his story, and shows how little things have changed in spite of the passage of time. The book documents the many faces of modern mysticism, bravely dealing extensively with topics such as: whether or not Christians can be demon possessed; spiritual warfare; "holy laughter"; slaying and drunkenness in the Spirit; visions; healings; prophecies, and many other such practices undertaken and taught, not as Christ and His apostles did, but as modern mysticism would dictate.

This book is not for everyone. The novice brother or sister in our Lord will
no doubt he horrified and wonder what they are getting into. At very least they might question the sanity of the rest of us. And well they should. If only we would all question a little more, That is one of Reeves’ underlining themes as the narrative moves along. He maintains throughout that we have a sure foundation in Christ and His Word. David Wilkerson is quoted as saying, "Anything that cannot be found in Scripture is to be rejected outright--totally rejected." Reeves concludes, "David Wilkerson had said what I'd been feeling for a very long time."

The Other Side of the River
is written is such a way that it offers hope in the form of a ready defense to the confusing maze of modern mysticism. It points the reader to our sure foundation in Christ and his Word, and gives the reader a working model for clear biblical discernment by making the argument of the principle of precedent convincingly. Namely: If (fill in the blank) was not commonly taught and practiced by Christ and His Apostles, we are wise to avoid it today.

This book packs a wealth of information in its
228 pages, is thoroughly filled with references to the numerous quotes, and, surprise! has a very helpful index. I highly recommend this volume as a valuable reference resource for anyone wanting to get balanced documentation on this troubling movement." 

(Review appears here; can be purchased here)
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