in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt,
Created April 1st, 1999--(April "Fools" Day)
"Though thou shouldest bray a fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, yet will not his foolishness depart from him."---Prov. xxvii. 22.
Among men, a fool is generally understood to be one void of reason, or understanding, having but little mind on any subject---an idiot.
Solomon, in his Proverbs, has much to say about the wise and the fool, and also the children of wisdom and the children of folly. The children of wisdom are such as are made wise unto salvation through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ; but the children of folly embrace all natural and unregenerate men of Adams race, no matter how wise, learned, or intelligent they may be in natural things, or how ignorant they may be, they are all alike fools when brought in comparison or contrast with heavenly wisdom from above. "A wise mans heart is at his right hand; but a fools heart is at his left."---Eccl. x. 2. It is thus shown that there is great contrast between the wise and the fool, and that no kind of pounding, beating, or bruising of the natural or unregenerate man with reproofs, rebukes, or arguments about religion, creeds, or gospel doctrine, will ever cause his foolishness to depart from him. God turneth the wise men of this world backwards, upsets, and reverses all their plans and doctrines when any one of them is brought to the knowledge of the truth, and "maketh his knowledge foolish."
The figures used in the text heading this article, are very forcible. To bray, in the sense used in the text, is to beat, pound, bruise, or grind, as the ancient people did, and as people in new countries now do, when they beat or bruise their wheat or corn in a mortar with a pestle, in order to soften and prepare it for wholesome food. But should any spurious or poisonous grain be put in the same mortar among the wheat, no amount of pounding, or bruising would ever cause it to become wheat, but it would still retain its own natural poisonous character. And though it might increase the bulk of bruised grain, it would so corrupt or poison the quality as to render all unfit for wholesome use.
Now, so far as the above remarks apply to natural things, they are easily understood, but how is it in spiritual things? One is a figure of the other. In Solomons description of a fool, he says, "It is an abomination to him to depart from evil." He has no delight in understanding, and is always right in his own eyes, trusting in his own heart, so that there is no possibility of instructing him in spiritual things. This description is precisely in harmony with the words of Jesus that, "No man can come unto me, except my Father which hath sent me draw him, and I will raise him up at the last day."---John vi. 44. It agrees also with Paul, that, "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."---1 Cor ii. 14.
Now, to take this natural, unregenerate man as here described in these texts---this fool in scriptural things---and put him "among wheat," or among the children of wisdom in the church of God, and try to beat and pound the doctrine of grace into him by argument, admonition, reproof, or rebuke, so that he will delight in receiving and understanding it, is a task too great to ever be accomplished by all the pounding arguments that have ever been used by men or angels. He may be numbered with the brethren in the church, as Judas was numbered with the apostles, but after all this pounding, beating, and bruising, "his foolishness will not depart from him."
It is true that the natural man, who receives not the things of the Spirit of God, may be taught and receive the letter of the written creed of the church, and he may learn the letter of the doctrine of Christ, so that he can make a strong argument from the letter of the written word, in favor of the doctrine of salvation by grace, and he may learn to prove by the written word of the Lord that there is a "remnant according to the election of grace," and that all the redeemed of the Lord are chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world that they may be holy and without blame before God in love, and he may be able to prove conclusively by the written word that all Gods people are predestinated to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ, and he may further learn from the letter of the word something of the special and definite nature of the atonement are embraced therein save those who are chosen of God in Christ before the world began, and he may be so well posted in the written word that he can bring forth a scripture to sustain every leading principle of the gospel----and yet be but a natural man, who has never received, in his own experience, the things of the Spirit of God. He cannot know them till he is "born, not of blood, nor of the will of man, but of God."
Now, if such a one described above should be numbered with the Lords people in the church, and happen to be a preacher, he may be learned and eloquent, bold and defiant in the letter of the truth, fond of argument, contention, and debate, but there is no amount of debating or pounding of him with the pestle of argument that will ever cause his foolish self-will and self-importance to depart from him. He knows only the letter and not the spirit of truth, and he feels but little concern how things go in the church. The prophet of God describes these characters in this way: "They lie upon beds of ivory, and stretch themselves upon the couches, and eat the lambs out of the flock and the calves out of the midst of the stall, they chant to the sound of the viol, and invent to themselves instruments of music, like David; drink wine in bowls and anoint themselves with the chief of ointments; but they are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph." Troubles in the church of God, and persecutions for righteousness sake, is no grief to them; "They are not in trouble as other men."---Psa. lxxiii.
To one who knows only the letter and not the spirit of the gospel of Christ, strife, envy, and debate--disputation and contention about words, which subvert from the right way of the Lord--are to him mere playthings, idle fun and pastime, sporting with his own deceivings, even though it be to the great affliction and distress of real Christians. It is thus that such an one exemplifies the truth of the text, that braying or beating a fool in a mortar with a pestle among wheat, does not give him any new principle to make him partake of the wholesome flavor or quality of the wheat, nor will it cause his foolishness to depart from him; but like the poisonous grain that is bruised in the mortar among wheat, his carnal style and fleshly zeal will poison tile comforts and carnalize the minds of real Christians. A little, even a little, of this corrupting leaven will corrupt a whole church.
Dear brethren, in view of the fact that the above is no fancy picture, and that preachers who only know the form and letter of truth, and not the spirit and power of it, and that they will engender a carnal spirit of envy and strife in and among the churches, would it not be well for churches to be careful as to whom they send forth to preach, and as to whom they receive? "Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit ye like men, be strong."--1 Cor. xvi. 13. With tears of sorrow Paul warns the churches against such preachers as serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but serve their own greedy nature for earthly things, and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.--Phil, iii. 19. It is the simple-hearted, unsuspecting Christian that is most likely to be caught in the net of fair speeches and beautiful outside influence and appearance.
This page contains great responses to atheism, agnosticism and provides cogent defenses for Christian theism. If you are a skeptic, be prepared to be challenged (if you are intellectually honest) by the materials at The Fool Has Said In His Heart. If you are a believer, this is a great site to build up your faith through solid and extensive evidences for Christianity
Here is Dale's introductory article from his page:
in His Heart..."
by Rev. Dale Tedder
In Psalm 14:1 we read, "The fool says in his heart, 'There is no God.'" That's a pretty blunt accusation - that a person who says there is no God, is a fool. Our modern overly-sensitive ears are startled when language like this is used. However, when the Bible speaks of "fools " and "foolishness" it isn't engaging in adolescent name calling. Instead, the word "fool " is used to describe a person who is in a state of moral and intellectual dullness. Greg Bahnsen cuts to the heart of the biblical teaching regarding fools and foolishness. He writes:
Having briefly examined the Bible's use of the word "fool," we might ask, "So, why bother responding to a fool at all?" Well, the Bible actually tells us to expose and cast down (or destroy) the foolishness of the world and it's foolish arguments. However, there is a razor's edge Christians must walk in relation to this task. Proverbs 26:4 says,
This means that we are not to engage in the same type of argumentation as the fool. That is, we are not argue from the presupposition that we are autonomous creatures. Bahnsen comments,
The point is, we cannot pretend to have some sort of objective neutrality and autonomy when it comes to forming a worldview or responding to someone else's. The Apostle Paul says that unbelievers actually know the truth about God, but they suppress that truth in unrighteousness. That is, they know the Christian God, but because they do not want to submit to him, they run from him and suppress their knowledge of him. Thus, the Christian should not argue from the vantage point of human autonomy - intellectual or moral.
However, Proverbs 26:5 (the very next verse) says,
One might read this verse and assume that Scripture is contradicting itself. However, what this verse is saying is that sometimes it is necessary to expose a fool's foolishness by doing an internal critique of his system, thereby showing him that his argument is built upon sand.
I cannot summarize this two-fold apologetic procedure any better than Greg Bahnsen. He writes,
The thread of articles under the heading, "The Fool Says in His Heart" are going to be examples of this two-fold apologetic. As one surveys the landscape of unbelief, one sees immediately what the Bible is talking about. Granted, some arguments are better than others, however, every unbeliever has a worldview that is built upon shifting sand (much like theological liberals - unbelief's sub-christian second cousin). If nothing else, I hope these brief articles will expose the folly of the world's wisdom against the foolishness of God.
Again, visit Dale's
Fool Has Said In His Heart" page
for this piece, and the other
1 Corinthians 1:20
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