Love & Magic

Psalms 14:1
People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus
sacrificed His life [for them], shedding His blood (Romans 3:25).

When an atheist online reader of ODJ submitted
a comment that called religion “anti-science”
and Christianity “magic,” a fascinating online
dialog ensued. I thought of the books authored by brilliant
minds—articulating a reasoned and logical case for belief
in God. I pondered the complexity of the human eye, the
intricate design of a giraffe’s neck, and the oddity of the
duckbilled platypus. I considered how the laws of nature
irresistibly infer a Lawgiver. And, I thought of several
scathing and unhelpful ways I could have responded to
the God-denier. Thankfully, I refrained.

The exchange brought to mind two nearly identical
Psalms 14:1 and Psalms 53:1. Psalm 14:1 says, “Only fools say
in their hearts, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, and
their actions are evil; not one of them does good!”
But those Psalms don’t indict only those who deny God.
“The Lord looks down from heaven on the entire human
race” (14:2). The conclusion: “All have turned away; all
have become corrupt. No one does good, not a single
one!” (v.3).

That’s emphatically inclusive language! “Not a single
one” includes you and me!

“Everyone has sinned,” Paul asserts. “We all fall short
of God’s glorious standard” (Romans 3:23). Thankfully,
there’s more. “Yet God, with undeserved kindness,
declares that we are righteous,” Paul adds. “He did this
through Christ Jesus when He freed us from the penalty for our sins” (v.24).
We have no right to despise those who choose not to believe in God. Rather,
in love, we can thank God, who “chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault
in His eyes” (Ephesians 1:4).

It isn’t magic to believe in the One who established the laws of science. It’s
love for our heavenly Father.

—Tim Gustafson

What does Romans 1:18 say about “sinners”? How does
Romans 2:1 elaborate on that? According to Ephesians 1:3, do
followers of Christ have any right to boast?

How do you react to people who hate God? What attitude do you
picture Jesus having toward them?