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Reinhold Niebuhr Quotes

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Reinhold Niebuhr
June 21, 1892 - June 1, 1971
Nationality: American
Category: Theologian
Subcategory: American Theologian

Democracy is finding proximate solutions to insoluble problems.


Man's capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man's inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary.


If we can find God only as he is revealed in nature we have no moral God.


Life is a battle between faith and reason in which each feeds upon the other, drawing sustenance from it and destroying it.


Nothing which is true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore we must be saved by faith.


All human sin seems so much worse in its consequences than in its intentions.


The final wisdom of life requires not the annulment of incongruity but the achievement of serenity within and above it.


Our age knows nothing but reaction, and leaps from one extreme to another.


God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

    Topics: Courage

The tendency to claim God as an ally for our partisan value and ends is the source of all religious fanaticism.


Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore we are saved by love.


Evil is not to be traced back to the individual but to the collective behavior of humanity.


The mastery of nature is vainly believed to be an adequate substitute for self mastery.


Goodness, armed with power, is corrupted; and pure love without power is destroyed.


Democracies are indeed slow to make war, but once embarked upon a martial venture are equally slow to make peace and reluctant to make a tolerable, rather than a vindictive, peace.


There are historic situations in which refusal to defend the inheritance of a civilization, however imperfect, against tyranny and aggression may result in consequences even worse than war.


Forgiveness is the final form of love.


There is no cure for the pride of a virtuous nation but pure religion.


Original sin is that thing about man which makes him capable of conceiving of his own perfection and incapable of achieving it.


The sad duty of politics is to establish justice in a sinful world.


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