Tommy Tenney, whom I had not heard much about for some time, has written a small article for Charisma magazine. It's a bit weird.
But there is little understanding of what I call "presence evangelism." This is what occurs when the residue of God on a person creates a divine radiation zone of His manifest presence that affects those around him (see Acts 4:13).Ok, so, let's look at that verse.
13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.
This verse is in the context of Peter and John healing the lame man outside the Temple. They had done so, and when a crowd had gathered, Peter preached the Gospel of Christ to them. While Peter and John were doing that, some of the religous leaders had them arrested and later questioned them. This statement about Peter and John refers to the religious leaders recognizing what kind of people they were, and that they had been disciples of Jesus.
Sorry, there is nothing about "presence evangelism" there, nor anything about a "divine radiation zone".
"Shadow healing" would fall into this category. That's the kind of healing that took place when the shadow of the One with whom Peter walked created a healing zone around him (see Acts 5:15-16).That is kinda mentioned in the Bible. Here it is, with a bit of context.
12 Now many signs and wonders were regularly done among the people by the hands of the apostles. And they were all together in Solomon's Portico. 13 None of the rest dared join them, but the people held them in high esteem. 14 And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, 15 so that they even carried out the sick into the streets and laid them on cots and mats, that as Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on some of them. 16 The people also gathered from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all healed.
Now, I guess one thing I could point is that while v 15 says the people tried to arrange it so that the sick people may be where Peter's shadow would fall, it doesn't say that the people were healed by that. Perhaps it is understood, maybe by what is said in the next verse, but I think that could be questioned.
But even if people were healed in that way, it does not mean that we should expect it to be happening in that same way today. Word of Faith and Prosperity Gospel charlatans have played the "anointed healing handkerchief" trick quite often, based on the fact that at one poine the Bible mentions Paul sending such things to people who were then healed. We have no reason to expect that such things are going to happen today, or that we should do such things.
Today we need to hear the footfall of God as His foot touches the earth. When it does, we won't have to worry about telling demons to run. We won't even have to scream Scriptures against their princes or practice pulling down demonic strongholds--because the purpose of His manifest presence is to set the captive free (see Luke 4:18). This purpose will be fulfilled automatically when He shows up.
Is Tenney really saying that we should expect God to walk on the Earth? If he were talking about Christ's return, maybe, but I don't think he is. He's talking about something here and now.
If the Father of us all can allow His manifested presence to touch earth just once, then the flood of glory it will spawn will bring revival throughout the land as demons flee and sinners fall to their knees!If God can allow that to happen? What does that mean? That God can't allow it to happen?
No, this just seems like a fairy tale type of theology.
His presence can so saturate us that unsaved guests won't be able to step into our homes or be around us with unrepentant hearts. His glory will bring conviction in their lives that leads to salvation--not because of the words we say, but because of His presence and power in our hearts.Funny, but the Bible says that it is by preaching that God saves people.
Tenney's fairy-tale evangelism will not happen.