How to be a Fool
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of men who by their wickedness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. Ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature, namely, His eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse; for although they knew God they did not honor Him as God or give thanks to Him, but they became futile in their thinking and their senseless minds were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools.” (Romans 1:18-22)
Claiming to be wise, they became fools.
Have you ever heard anyone bragging about how foolish they were? I just can’t quite imagine a father saying to his son, “I want you to work hard in life so that you can be a fool when you grow up.” After all, how many of us have ever wished that we could someday be a fool? The truth is, it doesn’t take any practice or effort to be a fool. It comes automatically. Folly is a birth defect of epidemic proportions ever since the Fall, when the serpent convinced Eve that the forbidden fruit was “desirable for gaining wisdom.”
In Romans 1:18-22, the Apostle Paul teaches us that even though God has successfully made himself known to all people, they inexcusably pretend as if God doesn’t exist. They are actively trying to put out of their minds any truth about God and His commands for their life, for fear of the judgment to which they are destined. Thus, there is an innate tendency upon the part of all humans to cover up truth about God— even though every aspect of this creation clearly reveals him. Only through God’s Spirit can we begin to stop this gigantic, lifelong cover-up project that makes fools out of us all.
Only through God’s Spirit can we begin to stop this gigantic, lifelong cover-up project that makes fools out of us all.
If you want to be a fool, then, the first thing you must avoid at all costs is acknowledging the living and true God. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 1:7). When we acknowledge God first, we have taken step one in avoiding folly. In fact, we find that this perspective is necessary for every field of study we turn to. In science, we explore the fascinating and complex details of how God has fashioned and controlled His vast creation. In history, we are confronted with the stories of how God’s purposes have unfolded in the lives of men and women made in His image. In the arena of mathematics, we are studying the order God has used in creating and maintaining this world. In short, the Triune God of the Scriptures must be acknowledged before His creation can be rightly appreciated.
At Cedar Tree we believe that God must be recognized in every academic discipline. Proper education is to be bathed in prayerful dependence upon the Holy Spirit and explicitly centered on the person and work of the Lord Jesus, in a manner consistent with Christian faith and practice. We are thrilled to share in the lives of young men and women who are taking these first steps of wisdom: that is, to recognize God and his work. “In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:6).
We also realize that to do anything less would make us fools.
Tom Bradshaw has been serving as Cedar Tree’s headmaster since 2006. This essay was first published in 2007.