DuncecapThe fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good.
—Psalms 14:1 ESV

The English Standard Version translation shows 202 verses in the Bible that contain some variation of the root word fool. Reading those verses makes it evident that the world is filled with fools and folly.

Indeed, we are all fools in wisdom and knowledge when compared against God.

But some don’t get this. And they don’t comprehend it because they have no humility. If anything, they exult in their foolishness:

Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.
—Proverbs 28:26 ESV

Claiming to be wise, they became fools…
—Romans 1:22 ESV

I’m tired of foolish talk. Sadly, we live in an age when the people babbling on like fools are most likely viewed as wise by most of the world. I see a lot of scientists who get face time in the media prattling on with foolish and desperate theories about this and that, and it’s clear after a while that the one thing you can say most assuredly about their views is that they desperately want God to vanish. Fact is, God doesn’t care what they think because such people are fools, no matter how many letters and titles they stack before and after their names.

The really sad part about that is almost all of Western science is based on the ideas of scientists who were Christians, or at least who ascribed to a Christian worldview. In fact, because the Christian faith is one of the only ones that contends that God is both knowable and understandable and the creator of an ordered world that reflects His knowability and understandability, science is even made possible. What would be the point of examining a capricious world built on the whims of an unknowable God or on the ruthlessness of a random world? No, that science exists at all is because God Is, God Was, and God Will Ever Be.

But then, the fool can’t begin to comprehend that truth. Somehow, the fool thinks that faith and science can’t co-exist or that science alone can answer all the questions of life. Which forces us to ask, in the end, who then is the truly close-minded?

I listen to a lot of discussions between atheists and theists, and the one thing that never fails to strike me is that for all their learning, the atheists never seem to know all that much. Their arguments are remarkably simpleminded, and when people of faith bring up the slightest aspect of what it means to live by faith, the atheist seems baffled by such reasoning.

But then, atheists are just people who are unable to admit they are sinners and that their thoughts are futile and packed with one sinful idea after another, and isn’t it easier to justify all that mental futility and wickedness by erasing God? For intellectual cowards, yes, that may be true, but not for sober people who look at life with any seriousness.

I’m not surprised that people try to erase God as a means to justify their immoral lifestyles, though. A recent scientific study shows that many people are unable to morally reason from the perspective of someone whose beliefs differ from theirs. In most cases it is people who hold more “liberal” attitudes about life who cannot grasp the thinking of more conservative people, though the reverse is demonstrably not the case.  While this is not intended as a political statement, it nonetheless shows that an incapacity to grasp some moral truths does exist in people, especially those who proclaim their “enlightenment.” In that same way, the Bible says that issues of faith are foolishness to many. Things of the Spirit are incomprehensible to them:

Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.
—1 Corinthians 2:12-14 ESV

We live in an age when spiritual discernment is at an all-time low. Our leaders talk all sorts of lofty ideas, but they cannot bring themselves to talk about God or anything related to Him because they don’t know Him. In the end, their wisdom is actually foolishness, and that foolishness is blasted out for everyone to see and hear and receive as “wisdom” when it is anything but.

Sadly, some who self-identify as faithful are just as foolish. Many people who parade themselves as Christians are peddling fear instead of faith. That’s foolishness, too, and yet those hucksters are able to gather around them a sycophantic horde and sell millions of books that do nothing but stir the pot of fear.

In the midst of all these fools, what does God ask of us? It’s pretty simple actually:

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
—Micah 6:8 ESV

Fools can do none of those things. Only the wise can acknowledge that, without Jesus Christ, we are all fools.

How Christians Can Demolish Atheism with a Word


I’ve been listening to Unbelievable, a British podcast that pits Christians and atheists against each other on popular topics. Often, the battle is purely head-to-head, with no other topic than why atheism or why Christianity is true or not.

Here in the States, we had a slow news cycle leading up to the Olympics, so the Ken Ham and Bill Nye debate took on a life of its own, with even the secular press touting the “event.”


I say this because all this logic and carefully worded argumentation misses the point. While I can see atheists not understanding how the point is lost, that Christians can’t see beyond is most troubling and says much about the state of the Church in the West.

What Christians forget is what places the Christian Church above all other religious groups and systems, including atheism. Christians believe God put His Spirit into each believer, which both empowers and grants the ability to experience true relationship with God through Jesus.

No Spirit, no Church. End of story.

And yet Christians almost never go to the Spirit when confronting atheism.

Paul preaching at the Areopagus (Mars Hill)All the reasoned logic in the world is unlikely to sway modern skeptics. We can appeal to Paul’s example at the Areopagus, but what was new to the ears of the Stoics and Epicureans in Paul’s day has had nearly 2,000 years to accumulate rebuttals. Reason alone cannot be our primary weapon.

While the Bible is God’s special revelation to mankind and contains what we need to know to have faith and to live the Christian life, many do not acknowledge it as such. To any who saw the Ham and Nye debate, Ham’s repeated returns to Scripture fell on Nye’s deaf ears. This is NOT to say the Bible as God’s Word is inadequate in some way, only that many have inoculated themselves against it when it is used alone.

But there is a word that can stop an atheist argument in its tracks. Why Christians today don’t use it is one of the great losses of our generation.

That word? The word of knowledge.

Yes, the charismatic gift.

A Christian and an atheist arguing presuppositions about the origin of matter can dispense with all the bilateral systematic dismantling if the Christian would simply say, “Your mother told you when you were 13 that she wished she had never conceived you , and you struggle daily to recover from rejection, don’t you?” Or how about “God revealed to me that you’ve been cheating on your spouse for the last two years”?

Any Christian out there wonder if that would change the direction of the debate?

If we’re talking whether God exists or not, connecting with the supernatural is the natural course of argument. A spoken word of knowledge immediately dismantles all opposition. Immediately. People who claim God does not exist must now explain that word of knowledge. Let them try. They won’t succeed. NOW who is on the defensive?

See, God intended us to be more than a Word Church. He intended us to be a Word + Power Church.

In the sidebar of this blog is an ad for Gospel for Asia. When you read the testimonies of the missionaries involved in that organization, nearly all came from non-Christian homes, and nearly all had some power encounter because of a missionary coming into their homes and bringing a miracle of some kind. Supernatural healing, deliverance, words of knowledge, words of wisdom, whatever—the Word was accompanied by a Spirit-filled believer operating in supernatural Power. The result was faith.

You see, the arguments against the Lord went dead in the face of God working through His people in power.

Is it any wonder why atheism has revived in the age of a Western Church that more likely than not DENIES the operation of the charismata? And is it any wonder that the Church is moving forward in leaps and bounds in those places where Christians place no such restrictions on the Spirit moving through charismatic gifts?

American Church, are you listening?

Get the gifts moving again and see the arguments against God crumble. Because they will.

And one more thing…

We always like to say that Christianity is not a religion but a relationship. Why then do we Christians never press the relationship reality when we debate atheists? Why is it always a battle of logic? If knowing Christ is eternal life and relationship with Him is the cornerstone of our Faith, why do Christians never bring up this living relationship with Christ when talking with atheists? Ravi Zacharias is about the only apologist I ever hear who gets to the heart of relationship with Christ when discussing the uniqueness of Christianity and its superiority. More of us need to talk about our vital relationship with Christ with our atheist friends.

For too long the discussion has been from our heads. It’s time to take it back to relationship with Christ and to Word + Power. Because that’s what makes Christianity the only true answer.

The Cardiovocal Atheist


Vocal atheist returns less than 11,000 results, says Google, but I ran across it at least three times in items I read last week. In contrast, vocal Christian returns 127,000 Google results.

Funny thing is, atheism doesn’t start with what is voiced with the mouth. I guess Google, fount of all theological wisdom it might be, got this right.

Psalm 14:1 begins like a punch to the solar plexus:

The fool says in his heart, There is no God.

I did a bad thing there in that quote. I left out the ESV’s quotation marks around what the fool said. Instead, I went more for the formatting style of an internal thought. You see inner monologue formatted that way in novels. Sometimes, it’s even written like this:

The fool says in his heart, There is no God.

That second style seems even more ominous than the first. Almost like a shout. Or the whispered thoughts of the heroine in the horror flick who is walking the “empty” house, and we hear her inner trepidations–and all the while we know the deranged killer is right behind her.Inner wasteland

Regardless, what is said in Psalm 14:1 is internal only. It reverberates inside the heart. Call it cardiovocal. A resonate dissonance that ends up shattering the whole man, like some cheap crystal facing Ella Fitzgerald on Memorex.

One gets the sense that it’s a ruminated internal saying, too, a cardiovocalization people repeat over and over as if looped, a repeating sample people dance to.

I think if you could hear the cardiovocalizations of the average person, you would hear There is no God loud and clear. A person doesn’t have to say it with his or her lips because it never stops echoing in the chambers of the heart.

Which is why I think that Alister McGrath, the noted theologian, is wrong in his The Twilight of Atheism. There is no God is the mantra of atheism, and it is being cardiovocalized by millions, if not billions. It is not a saying fading into twilight but a reality expressed nonstop in the world today. Even if we do not hear people saying it with their lips, we see it practiced ad nauseam. People living as if there were no God. Some mantra must be driving that reality.

While the silent cardiovocalizations of some people do come out in practice or in veiled writings, the nature of such inner monologue is to be hidden. You won’t get a judge who claims to be a moral person yet who makes immoral judgments admit that There is no God drives his decisions. Or the pastor who can’t stop checking out the ladies. Or the soccer mom who lives solely to buy more stuff.

Funny, though I’ve learned a lot in 50 years, one of the most important lessons goes back to my childhood and a children’s story. In that story, it says, What is essential is invisible to the eye.

Might I substitute ear for eye, in this case? Because that interior cry of atheism is rampant. It is essential to understand its prevalence, what it means, and what its ramifications are.

Christians are not immune to cardiovocalized atheism, which should sober us. Every day, I read material written by supposedly devout Christians who deny the gifts of the Spirit, mock the supernatural, make peace with the things Christ gave His very life to destroy, and craft endless mitigations of truth, which masquerade as “enlightened” spiritual treatises and “doctrinally pure” systematic theologies. In short, there is no difference between such people and atheists. The cardiovocalizations are the same. There is no God is at the core.

Sounds like a conflict, right? How can believers in Jesus have a heart that says There is no God?

Simple. They decide that they don’t like what the real God is saying and substitute a god of their own creation. If that’s not a denial of God, then what is? There might be a god, but there is no God.

No person is immune. What is your heart silently saying?

If Christians don’t understand this broken message of the heart, then we will not understand why people appear OK on the outside, yet the world keeps moving forward in the wrong direction. We will not understand motivations that seem to clash with spoken intentions. We will assume everything is fine with the people we encounter, yet inside they are screaming something that should appall us.