The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt,  
their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good.
Psalms 14:1

fool (fööl); noun:  1. One who is regarded as deficient in judgment, sense, or understanding.
2. One who acts unwisely on a given occasion;  
3. One who has been tricked decieved, or
made to appear ridiculous; a dupe;
   4. Archaic. A mentally deficient person; an idiot.

The Deceit of the Human Heart  Pounding a Fool Among Wheat  "Fool" Scripture   The Fool Says in His Heart

Created April 1st, 1999--(April "Fools" Day)

(Author Unknown)

Psalms 14:1 The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good.

"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked"
(Jer. 17:9).


I have just been reading in the prophet Jeremiah. I often do as I feel very specially drawn to him. There is, I think, some peculiar affinity of natural character between him and me which strongly attracts me to him and which helps me, perhaps, to understand him better than any other of the old prophets. And then some of his words have been such powerful forces in my life. I know not how to thank God suitably for warning, instruction and encouragement granted me through the words of the faithful Jeremiah. I venture to think that nothing is better fitted to meet the dreadful evils abounding among ourselves, at this day, than the Book of Jeremiah, and the Epistle of James.

In very early life a word from Jeremiah laid firm hold on me in a way no Scripture had done before, and it has never slackened its grip in the least. It was this word, "The heart is DECEITFUL ABOVE ALL THINGS, AND DESPERATELY WICKED" (Jer. 17:9) with the preceding verse. That utterance has given distinct shape to all my subsequent life. Whose heart does the prophet describe? Of course it is my own, and it is an alarming thing to find that in dealing with God one is not even moderately honest. A deceiver, a self-deceiver; and so deceitful that there is NOTHING in existence to match it. "He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool."

Ah, the need to flee to the Lord Jesus, not only from external enemies, but from our very own selves. And yet how few, how very few, have the slightest appearance of doing this. Looking back over a fairly long life, and this life spent among unusual opportunities for becoming acquainted with the workings of the religious mind in general, I am greatly struck with the smallness of the number, even among professing Christians, who seem to have any suspicion of the awful deceitfulness of their own hearts, or any adequate consciousness of their actual condition before God.

They sadly recall the awfully solemn warning of our blessed Lord in Luke 6:46-49. Instead of digging deep and DEEPER, until they get down to the living rock, and laying their foundation on that, they begin at once, without any deep digging whatever, yea, even without a foundation, to build their edifice on the surface, to their eternal ruin.

And this is precisely what Jeremiah bewailed in his day (see chapter 6:13, 14; 8:11), though I think the evil could not well have been more prevalent then than it is now among us. The words in chapter 7 strike one dumb. On the eve of threatened judgments, the prophet is charged to search Jerusalem with care, and if he shall find a man, ONLY ONE, among the crowds of zealous religionists who was a SINCERE FEARER OF GOD, for the sake of this unit, the doomed city would be spared. But it seems there was not one. And all this is the more striking when it is recollected that Jerusalem was at this time zealously religious, and that a great revival had not long before taken place, during the reign of King Josiah. And as a spectator of all this, what a model Jeremiah furnishes to any who may be cognizant of similar evils among themselves (see chapter 9:1). No doubt it was in part for the same evils in His day that Jesus was "A Man of Sorrows." His general aspect reminded the people of "The Weeping Prophet," so that some thought He must be Jeremiah himself come back again (see Matt. 16:14).

What a heart-breaking thought it is that there are more, far more, of our fellow-men-many of them the professed disciples of Christ-on the way to the bottomless pit than to the Father's house.

Why did the Jews so scournfully reject Jesus? Because he was not the sort of Deliverer they wished : neither was the salvation He offered them the kind of salvation which they ardently longed for. They would not have it, or Him, on any terms. "We will not have this Man to reign over us," was their settled decision. So they hurried Him to the CROSS. And the case is still the same. What is substantially the same grand old gospel is now generally welcomed among us as a doctrine, but Christ as actual Lord, is just as little wanted, and His salvation is just as little relished now as then. The modern Church no more really welcomes the RULE of Christ than the ancient people of Israel accepted Him as their King. All this brings us back to the word, "The heart is DECEITFUL above all things, and DESPERATELY wicked. Who can know it?" Whose heart? Mine. This is the heaviest affliction I have, and it is as distressing to speak of it as to detail the shame of a mother. If what I have said be true, it is well that we should all solemnly think of it. If not true, it were an unspeakable mercy to me to have my mistake corrected.

This subject may possibly be somewhat new to you. It is most. familiar for long years to me, and what I have hinted at-the deceit of the human heart-is the heaviest affliction I have. May the Lord draw us and keep us near to Himself.


Pounding A Fool Among Wheat
(Author Unknown)

"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 Adam’s 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 man’s heart is at his right hand; but a fool’s 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 Solomon’s 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 God’s 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 Lord’s 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.


For a more extensive, reasonable, scholarly and intelligent defense of the Christian faith, please go to Rev. Dale Tedder's apologetics page:

The Fool Has Said In His Heart

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:

"The Fool Says in His Heart..."
(Part 1: Introduction)

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:

"If we are to understand how to answer the fool, if we are to be able to demonstrate that God has made the pseudo-wisdom of the world foolish, then we must first study the biblical conception of the fool and his foolishness. In scriptural perspective the fool is not basically a shallow-minded or illiterate ignoramus; he can be quite educated and sophisticated in social reckoning. However, he is a fool because he has forsaken the source of true wisdom in God in order to rely on his own (allegedly), self-sufficient, intellectual powers. He is unteachable (Prov. 10:8) and despises instruction (Prov. 15:5); whereas the wise man heeds council given to him, 'The way of a fool is right in his own eyes' (Prov. 12:15). The fool has utter self-confidence and imagines himself to be intellectually autonomous. 'He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool ' (Prov. 28:26). A fool cannot think of himself as mistaken (Prov. 17:10). He judges matters according to his own pre-established standards of truth and right, and thus his own thoughts always turn out in the long run to be correct. The fool is sure that he can rely on his own rational authority and intellectual scrutiny. 'The fool beareth himself insolently and is confident' (Prov. 14:16), and therefore he utters his own mind (Prov. 29:11). In actuality, this autonomous man is dull, stubborn, boorish, obstinate and stupid. He professes himself to be wise, but from the opening of his mouth it is clear that he is (in the biblical sense) 'a fool ' - his only wisdom would consist in keeping silent (Prov. 17:28). 'The heart of fools proclaimeth foolishness ' (Prov. 12:23), and the fool flaunts his folly (Prov. 13:16). He eats up folly unreflectingly (Prov. 15:14), pours it out (Prov. 15:2), and returns to it like a dog to his vomit (Prov. 26:11). He is so in love with his folly and so dedicated to its preservation that 'It is better for a man to meet a bear robbed of her whelps, than a fool is his folly' (Prov. 17:12). The fool does not want to find the truth; he only wants to be self-justified in his own imaginations. While he may feign objectivity, 'A fool hath no delight in understanding, but only that his heart may reveal itself' (Prov. 18:2). He is committed to his own presuppositions and wishes to guard his autonomy. Thus he will not depart from evil (Prov. 13:19), and thus all his knowledgeable talk reveals nothing but perverse and lying lips (Prov. 10:18; 19:1). He may talk proudly, but "A fool's mouth is his destruction, and his lips are a snare of his soul' (Prov. 18:7). He shall not endure the judgment of God (Ps. 5:5)." (Greg Bahnsen, Always Ready, pp. 55-56)

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,

"Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will be like him yourself."

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,

What the world calls 'foolish ' is in reality wisdom. Conversely, what the world deems 'wise' in actually foolish. The unbeliever has his standards all turned around, and thus he mocks the Christian faith or views it as intellectually dishonorable. (Bahnsen, p. 59)

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,

"Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes."

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,

In the first place, the unbeliever should not be answered in terms of his own misguided presuppositions; the apologist should defend his faith by working within his own presuppositions. …But then in the second place the apologist should answer the fool according to his self-proclaimed presuppositions (i.e., according to his folly). In so doing he aims to show the unbeliever the outcome of those assumptions. Pursued to their consistent end presuppositions of unbelief render man's reasoning vacuous and his experience unintelligible; in short, they lead to the destruction of knowledge, the dead-end of epistemological futility, to utter foolishness. (Bahnsen 61-62)

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  "The Fool Has Said In His Heart"  page for this piece, and the other
installments of this thread of articles, as well as many other apologetics resources.



"Fool" Scripture
(The Author is Known)

Psalms 14:1
fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good.

Proverbs 10:23
fool finds pleasure in evil conduct, but a man of understanding delights in wisdom.

Proverbs 12:15
The way of a
fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.

Proverbs 14:16
A wise man fears the LORD and shuns evil, but a
fool is hotheaded and reckless.

Proverbs 15:14
The discerning heart seeks knowledge, but the mouth of a
fool feeds on folly.

Proverbs 17:16
Of what use is money in the hand of a
fool, since he has no desire to get wisdom?

Proverbs 18:2
fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions.

Proverbs 19:1
Better a poor man whose walk is blameless than a
fool whose lips are perverse.

Proverbs 26:12
Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a
fool than for him.

Proverbs 28:26
He who trusts in himself is a
fool, but he who walks in wisdom is kept safe.

Ecclesiastes 10:2
The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the
fool to the left.

Isaiah 32:6
For the
fool speaks folly, his mind is busy with evil: He practices ungodliness and spreads error concerning the LORD; the hungry he leaves empty and from the thirsty he withholds water.

Proverbs 8:5
You who are simple, gain prudence; you who are
foolish, gain understanding.

Jeremiah 5:4
I thought, "These are only the poor; they are
foolish, for they do not know the way of the LORD, the requirements of their God.

Jeremiah 5:21-24
Hear this, you
foolish and senseless people, who have eyes but do not see, who have ears but do not hear: Should you not fear me?" declares the LORD. "Should you not tremble in my presence? I made the sand a boundary for the sea, an everlasting barrier it cannot cross. The waves may roll, but they cannot prevail; they may roar, but they cannot cross it. But these people have stubborn and rebellious hearts; they have turned aside and gone away. They do not say to themselves, 'Let us fear the LORD our God, who gives autumn and spring rains in season, who assures us of the regular weeks of harvest.'

Matthew 7:26
But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a
foolish man who built his house on sand.

Luke 11:40
foolish people! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also?

Luke 24:25
He said to them, "How
foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!

Romans 1:21
For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their
foolish hearts were darkened.

1 Corinthians 1:20
Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made
foolish the wisdom of the world?

Galatians 3:1
foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified.

Ephesians 5:17
Therefore do not be
foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is.

Titus 3:3-5
At one time we too were
foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit...

James 2:20
foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless?

Psalms 92:6
The senseless man does not know,
fools do not understand,

Proverbs 1:7
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but
fools despise wisdom and discipline.

Psalms 107:17
Some became
fools through their rebellious ways and suffered affliction because of their iniquities.

Proverbs 10:21
The lips of the righteous nourish many, but
fools die for lack of judgment.

Isaiah 35:8
And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness. The unclean will not journey on it; it will be for those who walk in that Way; wicked
fools will not go about on it.


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