Saturday, September 11, 2010

Oh noes - have I been misusing this scripture?

A verse that I've quoted quite often is Psalm 14:1 (also 53:1) - "The fool says in his heart, 'There is no God.'" Like many, I've used it in reference to atheists, and used the terms 'atheist' and 'fool' interchangeably. But lately I've been thinking that maybe I've been using this scripture inappropriately, and that this comparison is unfair to fools.

See, the verses say that the fool says there is no God - but he only says it in his heart. And the rest of these psalms show the result of such folly - living as if there is no God produces nothing good, to say the least. The fool of the psalms simply pretends there is no God, and proceeds to live like it.

And yet, even in his insane wickedness, there is no indication that the fool would actually be stupid enough to say there is no God. He wishes there is no God, he lives as if there is no God, but to say it out loud? Even that seems to be too ridiculous for the fool.

But in the race towards insane depravity, the modern atheist leaves the biblical fool in the dust. In his wicked quest to spread his rage against his Creator from his own heart to the public, there is nothing so obvious he won't deny it, no line so clear he won't cross it, no rationalization so flimsy he won't cling to it and bet eternity on it. (Case in point - Stephen Hawking. But that'll have to wait for next time.)

So perhaps I owe an apology to all you fools out there. Sorry 'bout that. But you still desperately need to repent.


DJP said...

If you look at this same fool in Psalm 10:4, 11, you see that his denial of God is not absolute. He's not a theoretical atheist, he's a practical atheist. He does not mean "There is no God at all," he means "There is no God to worry my pretty little head about."

Robert said...

I'd say the atheists are more in line with the Greeks that Paul describes in saying that the gospel is foolishness to them while it is a stumbling block for the Jews. Of course, I guess the Greeks had invented their own gods, but to me it seems that philosophy and "thinking" were their gods...much like atheists today.