Reinhold Niebuhr Quotes

Enjoy the top 145 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Reinhold Niebuhr.

Reinhold Niebuhr Quotes

We have previously suggested that philanthropy combines genuine pity with the display of power and that the latter element explains why the powerful are more inclined to be generous than to grant social justice.
— Reinhold Niebuhr —

Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime; therefore we must be saved by hope.
Nothing which is true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore we must be saved by faith.
Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore we must be saved by love.
No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as it is from our standpoint. Therefore we must be saved by the final form of love which is forgiveness.

— Reinhold Niebuhr

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

— Reinhold Niebuhr

For man as an historical creature has desires of indeterminate dimensions.

— Reinhold Niebuhr

Every profession has its traditions and its traditionalists. But the traditionalists in the pulpit are much more certain than the others that the Lord is on their side.

— Reinhold Niebuhr

There is no deeper pathos in the spiritual life of man than the cruelty of righteous people. If any one idea dominates the teachings of Jesus, it is his opposition to the self-righteousness of the righteous.

— Reinhold Niebuhr

God, give us grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, courage to change the things which should be changed and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.

— Reinhold Niebuhr

We take, and must continue to take, morally hazardous actions to preserve our civilization. We must exercise our power. But we ought neither to believe that a nation is capable of perfect disinterestedness in its exercise, nor become complacent about a particular degree of interest and passion which corrupt the justice by which the exercise of power is legitimatized.

— Reinhold Niebuhr

The dimension of depth in the consciousness of religion creates the tension between what is and what ought to be. It bends the bow from which every arrow of moral action flies.

— Reinhold Niebuhr

Great talents have some admirers, but few friends.

— Reinhold Niebuhr

Faith is the final triumph over incongruity, the final assertion of the meaningfulness of existence.

— Reinhold Niebuhr

As racial, economic and national groups, they take for themselves, whatever their power can command.

— Reinhold Niebuhr

This insinuation of the interests of the self into even the most ideal enterprises and most universal objectives, envisaged in moments of highest rationality, makes hypocrisy an inevitable by product of all virtuous endeavor.

— Reinhold Niebuhr

History may defeat the Christ but it nevertheless points to him as the law of life.

— Reinhold Niebuhr

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