Stephen Charnock and The Fool by tmaples
January 19, 2008, 6:11 pm
Filed under: Evangelism

T Maples

“The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’  They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good.” Psalm 14:1

The Fool defined:

“So a fool is one that hath lost his wisdom, and right notion of God and divine things which were communicated to man by creation; one dead in sin, yet one not so much void of rational faculties as of grace in those faculties, not one that wants reason, but abuses his reason.”

The fool says in his heart:

” … he thinks, or he doubts, or he wishes…he wishes there were not any [God].” The atheist has “tampered with his own heart to bring it to that persuasion, and smothered in himself those notices of a Deity; which is so plain against the light of nature, that such a man may well be called a fool for it.”

I point us to this writing not to mock the atheist but to reveal what’s really going on.  It is helpful to be aware of this inward condition of the heart when we seek to reach the lost, especially the atheist.  It’s a sad state.  It is an indictment of their hearts.  They have intentionally choked out any acknowledgment of God out of their minds and hearts and so they are without excuse.  Let this understanding of sin inform our evangelism. Let it tear out any self righteous residue that would cling to our words.  When we are aware of what’s going on below the surface we quickly see that we cannot rely on our own arguments, or own little phrases when engaging the lost.  Instead we pray, we cry out to God for help.  We pray for the illuminating power of the Holy Spirit to break forth in our conversation.  It nudges out any room for pride and arrogance when were talking to folks that have blotted out the knowledge of God.  Because that was us.  Maybe not so antagonistically like Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett or Sam Harris.  But, nonetheless, we all lived a life that did not practically acknowledge God.

When we finish the verse we quickly find that we ourselves don’t escape such an indictment.  “there is none who does good.”

“No man is exempted from some spice of atheism by the depravation of his nature, which the psalmist intimates, ‘there is none that doeth good;’ though there are indelible convictions of the being of a God, that they cannot absolutely deny it; yet there are some atheistical bubblings in the hearts of men, which evidence themselves in their actions.”


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