The Charismatic Challenge

John W. de Silva

210pp. £6.95, published by John Ritchie Ltd., 40 Beansburn, Kilmarnock KA3 1RH. (ISBN 0-946351-88-0).

In recent years, many Christians have become uneasy of mind as reports have filtered through of the inroads made into established churches by the so-called ‘Charismatic Movement’. Its adherents believe all the gifts of the Spirit of God are available to Christians today and, in particular, they are anxious to demonstrate by usage the spectacular gifts of healing and speaking in tongues (unintelligible utterances). That there is a danger from this quarter likely to affect assemblies of believers is undeniable. All the more reason to study, in depth, the emphatic teaching of Scripture on this subject, for to allow ourselves to be influenced by the glowing testimonies and ‘experiences’ of others is an alternative not to be contemplated.

The author handles his subject well, and with utmost thoroughness considers the matter of supernatural signs throughout the Scriptures and the reasons for their bestowal at particuar times. His assertion, that some gifts demonstrated in the early days of this dispensation have been phased-out, is supported by ample testimony from Scripture. Claims made by devotees of the Charismatic Movement are thoughtfully considered, as is the legacy likely to accrue from such practices. This is a most helpful book, and thoroughly recommended for those holding genuine concerns over this development.